Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our little adventure

Jeremy had an interview in Florida at a nurse anesthesia school. I went with him and we left all the children in the care of aunt Deb, G&G Taysom and cousin Jacy - they took turns. Florida was beautiful and sunny, a little humid and hot, but the beach really captured my heart. Naples is the city we went to and it is a beautiful city - many rich people live there and the city is well maintained and beautified. We met many wonderful people while we were there. The people's house we stayed at are students there and we had never met them before, but they let us sleep there for two nights and even let us borrow their car. Florida is beautiful and who wouldn't be mesmorized and want to live there - but we weren't convinced that is where we should go to school.

Since our kids were already until the watchful care of many wonderful family members and since Jeremy didn't have to be back to work for five more days we decided to extend our trip and head to Pennsylvania to check out the area and the school where he has an interview next month. Erie Pennsylvania is on lake Erie in the north west corner of Pennsylvania, not the side of Pennsylvania I had always invisioned myself living, but still it was Pennsylvania, of which I have always been enamored with. We are fortunate that Jeremy has so many wonderful friends that offered to have us come stay with them.

We arrived in Pennsylvania Friday night and it was raining - it seemed dreary and cold in comparison to sunny Florida that we had just left that morning. We were so confused at the many emotions and questions and stress we had in trying to compare the two schools and the areas. We felt we needed some distance from it all and a break from thinking about what school to attend. Our friends told us that Washington DC was only 6 hours away and we decided to take advantage of it and go for Saturday and Sunday and not worry about school stuff until Monday when we could go to the school there and meet people.
With the help of our newly purchased GPS we fondly call "Garmina" (it's the garmin nuvi brand, but since it talks with a female voice it needed a female name. I never had any interest in a GPS before, but after this trip I am sold - Gps is the best thing ever invented. We also used an atlas along with the GPS, but without the GPS there would have been much unesscessary confussion in trying to navigate the crazy streets in the big cities.) we safely navigated our way to Washington DC. We walked the loop at "the Mall" which is the area that walks past the Smithsonians, Lincoln monument, the White House, the Capital building, the Vietnam memorial, the WWII memorial and other things. This walk took us four hours to complete. Next time we want to rent bicycles and ride around - maybe do a riding tour with a tour guide who can give us information about the different things there. After staying the night at a Hampton Inn, which I highly recomend - the room rate was reasonable and everything there was so nice, we decided to head to Connecticut - it was only 6 hours out of our way and then we could check out the other school that Jeremy is interested in applying to. We should have gotten to Connecticut early afternoon, but after a late start, a stop in Philadelphia and the bumper to bumper traffic through basically the whole state of New Jersey, we didn't arrive at our destination until 8 pm.
We were just going to drive through Philadelphia, since it was only a little out of our way. Once there it was lunch time and we wanted an authentic Philly Steak sandwich. We asked some locals where to go and they said "Geno's" on 9th and Washington. Jeremy made the mistake of putting the hot sauce on his sandwich. The fact that there was a large "caution, hot" sign posted all over the container disuaded me from trying any, but Jeremy saw others putting it on and wanted to do as the locals and have the real deal. Now that he has experienced the hot sauce he will never use it again - "it burned on the way in and on the way out".
After getting to Connecticut we found the hospital where the students do their clinicals and we were able to talk to a student who is currently in the nurse anesthesia program and ask her all our question. Unfortunately it was already dark so we couldn't really drive around and see much. Despite the late hour we headed half way back to Erie to cut down on the amount of driving we would have to do the next morning on Monday.
We did a lot of driving and saw a lot of trees - the trees grow so dense that most of the time you can't see past the trees that line the freeway and therefore can't see the towns and cities on the other side of the trees. Despite the trees, and because of the trees, we saw much beauty. The lengthly side trip did little to ease our confussion of which school to go to and what area to live in, but I was glad we took the trip - it was a nice diversion, and it was awesome to see some cities and sites I have been longing to visit - even if it was at breakneck tourist speed (I mean doing DC in 4 hours is only a drop in the bucket, and stopping at the Liberty Bell in Philadelpia and not even getting to see Independence hall and driving past New York City and taking a picture of the skyline and thinking that you can spot the Statue of Liberty from the freeway isn't really how I had envisioned my visit back east).
This is a picture of the house that our friends in Erie rent. The vehicle is our wonderful rental, which thankfully came with unlimited miles - we put at least 2000 miles on it in five days.
We picniced at the beach in Erie the night before we flew home. Yes, in case you noticed, that is the same shirt I wore for three days in a row. I only packed clothes for three days, so when we stayed and extra four days I had to make do with what I had.

Despite the 5000 miles we logged between flying and auto travel, despite the late nights and early mornings (the day we flew home, Tuesday, we woke at 2:30am Utah time and didn't get home to Saint George until 8:00 pm) we had a fabulous time. We saw many things, we met many wonderful people and we had a lot of fun. This was our first trip with no kids in four years, so it was a much deserved break.

Now that we are back life is crazy as ever. Next week we close on our house and will be homeless for the first time in 8 years. In the past 8 years we have owned 3 homes, but we have always gone from one house to the next. There is no next house and there will be no next house for many years. It is uncertain how much longer we will be in Saint George so we needed a place to live that does month to month rentals. Today we found a fabulous apartment complex that has that arrangement. It has many wonderful amenities that comes with renting there - 2 swimming pools, one with a splash pad for the kids, a playground area, and an exercise room. I'm going tomorrow to sign a lease. Once we figure out what our next step is that will determine how long we stay there. School doesn't start until January and life is wide open between now and then.