Whale Watching in Gloucester

Yesterday was WHALE WATCHING day! I was super excited about it! Unfortunately, we had to leave early (like, 11- you can tell I work until 11pm now) so I wasn’t able to make it to the gym. Jess came to the house (she has moved out so we’re not longer roommates!) and had some breakfast with me and then we headed up to Gloucester!

We went whale watching with Capt Bill since there was a groupon for it! It was a perfect day to go out on the ocean!

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Thankfully, we both took something a little warmer to put on because it did get chilly out on the water! I’m not sure how long it took us to get out there- maybe 45 minutes or so, and then we started seeing whales!

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Sadly, the whales were all around the other boats and only came near ours once! This one splashed one of the boats though!

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Humpbacks aren’t social creatures like other types of whales, and these two have been together for the last 4-5 days and had a third whale with them today too. The naturalist on the boat said that’s pretty rare and they aren’t sure why they’ve been together so much lately.

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Can you imagine being in that little boat? Also, note Boston in the background.

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These whales were so amazing! I really loved doing this and I just love being out on the water anyway!

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The tail pictures were my favorite! Thanks to Jon for buying me the long lens for my camera so I could zoom in on these! Most of them were actually pretty far away!

Once we came back to land, Jess and I decided to try Cape Ann Brewing Co. The food was decent, nothing special for sure, but the beer was pretty good! I actually really liked their porter and I’m not a porter person at all! I just ordered their wit beer but Jess had the sampler, so it was fun to try a bunch of the different beers.

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We left Gloucester and headed down to have some cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory and then I came home!

I woke up too late for the gym today so I’m going to try and go this evening! I’m about to start a crazy 5 day work week and then I fly home on Wednesday morning (at 7am from Boston, after working till 11pm the night before) and then I work at home and leave Atlanta at 7am and work that evening again in Plymouth! So, aside from going home, these next two weeks are going to be really exhausting! I’m really dreading working 48 hours straight at this job here since we all know I feel about my job here!

Aside from that, it’s a beautiful day here! I’m going to head to the beach right now and then grocery shop, getting some fingerprints (I hope!) for my Oregon license, and go to the gym before cooking up some meals tonight! Sounds like a plan!

Random Tuesday

I thought I’d do a quick, random post! With numbers, of course!

1. I absolutely love it when Jon sends me cat pictures! I think him and Tom are the cutest buddies ever! I’m so excited to get home to these three! 7 more days!

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2. Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Cafe and Bakery seriously makes the best donuts ever! I’m really picky about my donuts too! That coconut donut was the best thing ever and look at the size of that apple fritter! I’ve been eating it for 3 days and shared it with 2 other people and it’s still not gone!

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3. I finally bought a notebook and some pencils so I started studying for the GRE! I feel like the biggest idiot. Prime factorization? What? Fun fact: I never took college algebra (and yes, I have a bachelor’s degree). Reverting back to math I learned back in high school sure isn’t easy! And my smart husband is all the way down in Georgia and can’t help me anymore!

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Also on the grad school front, I’ve been looking into grad programs. I had been pretty set on getting my MSN (nursing) in healthcare administration and leadership. Come to find out, there’s an MHA (master’s of healthcare administration) degree! I’m thinking an MHA may be more applicable outside of just the nursing arena, but then again, I want to stay inside of hospitals. That could change in the future though. The only drawback of the MHA is that it’s $20,000 more than the MSN and I am not taking out loans for grad school! Also, I could actually get my MSN for cheaper if I went to a school like Walden, but I think I want my degree from a “real” school. Doesn’t spending $40,000 on education sound insane?! (The answer is yes.)

4. I really miss cooking in my own kitchen! I’ve been making it work while I’m in Massachusetts and thankfully, Diane has everything that I really need, but it’s not the same. I’m also really getting good at not wasting food, which is surely saving me money! She also goes to bed around 8:30 since she works so early, so my cooking all has to be done fairly early and that’s the hard part for me!

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5. I obviously always love my cutest nephew ever! My sister wouldn’t paint his toenails so he did it himself! I wish I could see his cute little face more often! I’m considering taking a last travel assignment in Wisconsin and staying with my aunts or my sister so that I can save some big money (for that $40,000 degree).

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7. I made it to CrossFit yesterday. I skipped today because I was tired and also because today’s WOD included 21-15-9 of push presses, which makes no sense to me after yesterday.

“The Telford”
 
Part 1) 15 minutes to establish Clean 1 RM (80#, not great and I probably could have gone heavier, but I didn’t care to.)
 
Part 2) For time: (I finished in 13 something. I forget what cause I didn’t write it down. But the only time I broke that up was on the 21 pull ups and 21 HSPU. All the rest was unbroken because I hate burpees. And I did 65# for my GTOH.)
5 Ground to Overhead, 135/95lbs
21 Pull-ups
21 Handstand Push-ups
5 Ground to Overhead, 135/95lbs
15 Pull-ups
15 Handstand Push-ups
5 Ground to Overhead, 135/95lbs
9 Pull-ups
9 Handstand Push-ups
Time to go get ready for work now! I’m super pumped because tomorrow Jess and I are going whale watching out of Gloucester! We got a groupon so it wasn’t even very expensive, but it’s really not close to get there! Ah well! I hope we see tons of whales!

Martha’s Vineyard Weekend

This weekend, Rachel and I decided to go to Martha’s Vineyard! We left early on Saturday morning (like, way too early for having worked until 11pm the night before) and hit a ton of traffic! We had to take a ferry from Falmouth to Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard. Once we got there, we ate some not very good fish and chips and then it took about 2 hours to get to our hostel from Oak Bluffs!

Just a warning for those of you going to Martha’s Vineyard: Every review I read said that you can take the bus for $1. It’s $1 per town, so some bus rides are $3 or more. Buy a $7 day pass FROM THE START (not after spending $20 on bus fare) to get around the island or you waste money because it’s expensive. Also, the bus schedule kind of sucks, so we did spend a lot of time coordinating our bus rides!

After checking into our hostel, we headed to the Aquinnah Cliffs!

Martha's Vineyard Aquinnah Cliffs

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Martha's Vineyard Aquinnah Cliffs

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We walked around the beach for awhile and stumbled upon a nude beach! Lots of elderly naked men! Not very attractive! Far too much penis for me! I already have to look at penis all day at work, haha. It began drizzling so we headed out of Aquinnah and back to Oak Bluffs!

Once in Oak Bluffs, we walked around and did some sightseeing! We found this bakery and had the best donuts/cheese danishes ever! This place is highly rated and comes up on tons of Martha’s Vineyard website! For a good reason too!

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We enjoyed our donuts and some pizza and then walked out to the water.

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The next morning we woke up early and headed out to Edgartown! We loved Edgartown! It was so cute!

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I had some awesome fudge the night before from Murdick’s and was super excited that they had a cafe there! I got the best mocha of my entire life from the Murdick’s Cafe in Edgartown! It took them about 15 minutes to make it too so it’s a good thing it was so amazing!

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We headed to South Beach after, but it was way too cold to stay there and there wasn’t anything in that area other than the beach, so we headed out!

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Next we hit up Island Alpaca and saw these cute little guys!

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It started getting really rainy looking while we were there and then rained on us at the bus stop. Luckily we managed to stay fairly dry.

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Gotta look cute in the rain. Not. Anyway, we got back to the ferry and made it back to Plymouth at a decent time, were I looked at grad schools and skyped with my mom, dad, and Jon all at once (Jon was having dinner with them). Exciting night!

Now I’m headed off to work!

Hiking Mt Monadnock

I woke up today with big plans of hiking Mt Monadnock, New Hampshire! I was completely exhausted when I woke up at 8:30, but I got up and headed out by 9:15. Somehow, my computer told me that the drive was 2.5hrs and my phone said 3hrs, both showing the same route. Mmkay.

I had a really sleepy drive out there, but was pretty excited once I arrived! The mountain is in Jaffrey, which is a really cute little town! I loved driving through it! I was also glad that the drive was so direct and the trailhead that I was looking for was right at the parking lot! I’ve been to a few trails where you have no clue which trailhead you’re walking to.

I started the hike and got tired right away. The entire hike is obviously an incline, but I always get tired right when I start any sort of endurance activity. There weren’t many people on the trail, but once I hit the steep rocky incline, there was a couple there that I hiked close to. We made some small talk and it was kind of nice since I would have felt pretty alone out there.

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Pretty much the whole beginning of the trail was like this, or steeper. It was also hot and humid and I was literally drenched in sweat. My shirt completely changed colors on me because of the amount of sweat! After about an hour, I finally to the top of the treeline!

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I was amazed! It was absolutely beautiful and there was nobody else in sight! I just got to soak all of this in. At this point, I was really loving hiking by myself. I got to go at my own pace and not worry about stopping to take pictures. There’s just something about being outside all alone, climbing up a 3100 foot mountain.

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I kept on going and as I got closer to the Summit, I saw a huge group of people up there! At least I knew where the end point was! I was pretty glad (although I was still a good ways away) because I was seriously getting tired of climbing rocks! The temps did cool down at the top though and there was a really nice breeze! Luckily it wasn’t too cold since I forgot to bring along my long sleeved shirt!

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An example of some of the rocks I was climbing…

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There were so many carins all over the place! I loved them! Once I got above the treeline, I saw probably 20-30 of them!

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I sat at the top for about 30 minutes or so, just taking pictures and enjoying the view. I ate some trail mix that I’ve had in my car for the last month and is still only halfway gone. I don’t know what it is about raisins, peanuts, and M&Ms, but trail mix just really tastes amazing when you’ve been hiking! And it does well with my stomach and that’s really important when I’m hiking! (Beef jerky is a no go for hiking.)

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My knees were killing me on the way back down. Signs of nearing 30. I was so glad to finally get off all these rocks and get down to more of the flat ground! I ended up running about the last 1/2 mile.

I definitely loved this hike. I would recommend it 100%. I did see quite a few people heading up when I was heading down that were really struggling with the hike. I was really feeling grateful for being as fit as I am when I was hiking down (while I was hiking up, I was a little too miserable to think about anything other than my misery) because it really ended up being a fairly quick hike. And again, I really loved doing it alone. There were the perfect amount of people. I saw them maybe every few hundred yards, so I knew I wasn’t alone, but I didn’t see them enough to take away from the experience (except at the top, and even then it wasn’t too bad- that picture with all the people on the Summit was a camp group that headed down before I got up there). Also, the trail was REALLY well marked! Again, something I appreciated a ton! I have been on so many poorly marked trails and this one was clear as day! The only downside of being alone was that there weren’t great places to stop and pee, so the second person is needed as a lookout. I drank quite a bit early on in my drive to hydrate but still allow enough time to pee it all out before starting the hike, and then I drank two bottles of water on the hike, and didn’t pee until the end of the trail (where I had to peel my clothing off of me).

I had read that this hike was about 2 hours up and 1.5 to 2 hours down. I rested for the 30 minutes at the top and aside from stopping to take a few pictures and maybe resting for 20-30 seconds to drink water occasionally, I was pretty much on the go. Well, I did stop and talk to people a few times to up at the top and on the trail down. So maybe count 10 minutes for that. Start to finish, it was 2hrs and 55 min, which I thought was pretty good, especially since I would estimate that about 2hrs and 15 min of that was actually hiking time. Not bad for a difficult hike.

But my knees are seriously killing me and I’m seriously exhausted. I’m really good at being a passenger and sleeping for the entire drive, so it really sucked having to drive 6 hours today, all alone, especially after hiking. I made a pit stop at Whole Foods and ate and then got home around 6:45.

I was so exhausted that I wanted nothing to do with cooking, but I somehow managed to shower and then throw together my Mexicanish chicken dish again and FaceTime with Jon. I’m about to enjoy some trashy reality TV and then hopefully fall asleep somewhat early tonight! My head is killing me tonight.

(PS- I think treeline is actually two words. I’m making it one.)

Today is Tuesday.

I managed to get out of bed for CrossFit again! Woohoo! Only because I really wanted to do this WOD!

Max Effort Upper Body

1) Bench Press, 1RM (80#, my old 1RM was 105#)

2) Seated KB Shoulder Press, 3 x 8 reps (10#, I just didn’t care)

CONDITIONING

Old School “Baseline”

For time: (This badboy was what I wanted to do!!! 5:25 was my time)

500m Row

40 Air Squats

30 Sit Ups

20 Push Ups 

10 Pull Ups

And if you’re wondering what every morning after CrossFit looks like here in Massachusetts, this is it:

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I enjoy my blogs over breakfast. Always two scrambled eggs with two pieces of Applegate Farms chicken and maple sausage and 365 brand cheddar (no hormones). Sometimes my eggs have some shell in them, sometimes they don’t. Been having a glass of kefir. Today I had strawberries, mushrooms with tomato sauce and goat cheese, and always, a cup of coffee with my SO Delicious french vanilla creamer (and today is the first day it’s not in my Dunkin Donuts mug, but I left it upstairs and was too lazy to go get it). #goodeats #nomnomnom And sometimes the table cloth is green and sometimes it’s checkered. I didn’t know people still used table cloths till I got up here.

I’m not sure what Jess and I are getting into today. She’s in the shower. I’m thinking maybe a beach day? We talked about exploring Sandwich near the Cape. I’m kind of hoping to have a relaxing day since I haven’t had one relaxing day since I got here a month ago!

Have a good day, everybody!

 

CrossFit and Traveling. Always the same!

Not a ton happening over on this front! I worked my first 12 hour shift yesterday and had a much needed, very nice day at work! I still ended with some frustration at management at the end of the night, but I guess that just happens in this place no matter how good the day has been! It’s Monday today though and I’m sure it’ll be a busy day today to make up for yesterday! Thankfully I have two days off in a row coming up and Jessica is coming home early from Delaware tonight so we get to hang out again tomorrow! 

I managed to make it to the gym today! I was so shocked that I got out of bed for it. I’ll just thank my full bladder for getting me out of bed this morning.

1) Sumo Deadlift, 1 RM (I maxed at 175#, which was pretty surprising since I don’t lift heavy anymore, but I was still 25# shy of my last PR.)

2) *Bulgarian Split Squats, 3 x 8 reps (Just used a 35# bar)

CONDITIONING

AMRAP 10 (I did 3 rounds plus 13 reps- not very great but I never do great at these morning WODs. I’m definitely an evening person.)

10 Sumo Deadlifts, 225/185lbs (I used 105#)

10 Burpees

10 KB Swings, 53/35lbs (I used 25# and it was definitely too light- I should have gone with the 35#)

It felt good to be back at the gym since I only made it once last week. I only have about two weeks left of actually working out before my life gets crazy! I have a lot of traveling coming up, so I may have to drop in at the gym back at home since it’ll be free and I don’t want to let myself get back out of shape so much again. I might need to start running again… Meh. I’m over running.

I only have 14 days until I see Jon and the cats again! I’m super excited! Jon went to DC this past weekend so we only got to chat for about 10 minutes since Friday morning, which really was kind of nice. I haven’t been feeling the phone lately at all and have kind of been dreading our nightly chats (not because of him, but I just don’t want to be on the phone at all!!!). This is a bit unfortunate since we’re long distance while I’m doing this whole traveling deal. And he’s definitely ready for this whole traveling experience to be over! Not even close yet, sorry! And the more I travel, the more I want to travel! So putting a stop to this is going to be pretty difficult in the end, but I’m determined to try and still take a few assignments here and there, even when this year is up!

I’m going to go shower and get ready for work! Let’s hope all of Plymouth is staying at home today and that we magically have a good Monday! My sanity needs it.

 

Boston Day! Top of the Hub and Duck Boat Tours!

Yesterday was another awesome day with Jessica (and Christina, for the first half of our day!). I barely managed to drag myself out of bed at 11am, after receiving a call from my scheduler at work at 8:30 in the morning after not getting off until 11:30 the night before. Makes no sense, just like everything else at this job. I won’t even get into our conversation, but I will just say that I am so thankful for what an awesome scheduler we have at my home hospital.

Jess and I headed out to pick up Christina and take the T into Boston just after noon. We decided our first stop would be the Skywalk  at the Prudential Tower! I have been dying to do this as I absolutely love the Sun Dial in Atlanta! We got there and the Skywalk was closed, so we opted for the Top of the Hub, which is the restaurant at the top of the Prudential Tower. We decided to get a table and enjoy a drink, which ended up being a mistake because Jess and I were so tired the rest of the day! What old women.

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Too bad the reflection shows up in the sky! Ah well! Absolutely love this city! I think Jess and I talked about that a million times yesterday! I am so incredibly grateful to be living in this amazing area for 13 weeks! Even with the lack of real Mexican food and sushi, I still love it. Cities with water are my absolute favorite!

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Christina, Jess, and me! (Got that shift for $5 at Charlotte Russe the other day- hollaaaaa- love a good deal). We enjoyed some Kobe beef sliders and decided to be on our merry way! At the bottom of the Prudential Tower is a Cheesecake Factory so we decided to enjoy some cheesecake outside on such a beautiful day!

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We were pretty psyched to walk outside and see that fountain to sit by! After our cheesecake, Jess and I fell asleep for a few minutes sitting outside. It was so nice outside! Christina headed off to meet up with her boyfriend and Jessica and I decided to do a Duck Boat tour!

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These boats drive on land and go in water! I’ve seen them all over the place and have been wanting to do them so we were actually pretty excited about it! Sadly, our guide was extremely difficult to understand because he mumbled a lot, so I really have no idea what he was telling us about Boston. It was nice to sit down and enjoy the ride though. We definitely saw some areas that we want to go to next time we make it to Boston. Hopefully next time we wake up earlier and get a nice, early start on our day. Oops.

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I really love being on the Charles River! I loved our Charles River tour when Rachel and I did it and this was awesome too! The sun was setting and I wish we could have just stayed out on the water the entire time! How can somebody not love this city?!

Our tour ended and then Jess and I headed back to Plymouth! We had to eat at Burger King on the way back (I don’t even know the last time I had fast food- Jon and I didn’t even get it on our entire road trip that we took a few weeks ago). It was disgusting and we waited forever, but we found that nothing is open at 10pm aside from bars, and neither of us wanted to spend a long time eating.

I’m just getting ready now to go to work! I work today, tomorrow, and Monday. Tomorrow will be my first 12 hour shift at this hospital and I’m dreading it a bit, but at least I didn’t have to add an extra day at work to hit my 40 hour mark for this week! I definitely needed my day off yesterday and it was so nice to have a day off where I got to spend time with people! My excitement for travel nursing has been renewed a bit! I just have to have the time to go exploring or else I get too down with how much this job sucks! Jessica and I have been talking about our travels after this assignment (we’re going to NYC right after this assignment ends for a few days!) and I am super excited to start seeing some more new places! There really is just nothing more amazing than seeing new places! I still absolutely love that my career (/temporary career- until I go back to grad school) allows me to do this and I also am glad that I fully take advantage of this opportunity and am constantly exploring on my days off!

(Sometimes I need to talk about how grateful I am for doing this so when my job sucks and I’m near tears at the end of a day because of how rude the doctors are here, I have something positive to look back on and remember why I’m doing this.)