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6th November 2014

we have to go back kate

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I went to Hawaii last spring, one of the first real vacations I’ve had in years (most of my vacations have been traveling home or to Arizona to see family). I was so lucky to get to go with my dear Susan and her husband, not only because it was a chance to spend time together, but because they also understood and completely supported my need to get my fangirl on.

It’s been 10 years since it first debuted and four years since it left the air, but there were still many, many remnants of old filming locations of LOST. We were staying on the northern side of Oahu, in a town where many of the flashbacks/forwards/sideways were filmed and I found myself a google map and tracked down as many as I could during our stay. There were a few big ones that I missed, like hiking to the lighthouse and going to the bamboo forest. Luckily I have a friend who lives in Hawaii, also a Lost fan, who has promised to take me anywhere when I come to visit again. I just started rewatching Lost in honor of its 10th year anniversary (wut), and it’s been even more incredible because I have now actually been there.

(You can see pictures of my Lost escapades here, although I need to label the locations).

I’m afraid that this activated my travel bug. Now I’m itching to go all over. I have a friend who just moved to Japan – and she’s wanting to go to Italy this summer; another friend is making plans to go to Japan in the spring. Greece is on the list. As is England, and Cape Town in South Africa. And. And. And.

Not to mention my fandom must-sees. New Zealand for LOTR, which needs to be soon since they are finished up with the Hobbit. And I just stumbled upon this, and oh my word, I absolutely have to go on a location tour for Anne of Green Gables. Have to.

I better get that passport renewed, eh?

posted in All About Me, Lost, Passport Stamps, The Great USA | 1 Comment

8th November 2010

antigua

antigua

I got my flu vaccination last week – as a health care provider and one who has gotten the flu before, I get one every year. This year, I went for the nasal mist. I’m working on the consult service, so not in as direct of contact with the immunocompromised patients (those on chemotherapy) and I’m not that fond of shots. Both forms don’t reach full immunity until approximately 2 weeks after and the spray is a little bit of live virus which can make you feel a little ill. I woke up this morning with the sniffles (I initially typed “snuffles” but found out that that is a upper respiratory infection of rabbits and since my name didn’t change to Harvey overnight (oh I kill me), I had to be accurate and change it) and have been feeling just a little less than healthy today – not terrible, not enough to try to go home or even beg for chicken soup, but just bad enough that I think I’m making it an early night.

All About Me Day 5 – A picture of a place where you have been. I really should just remove the “A” from all of the questions and make it plural, because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to limit this to just one.

First stop: Guatemala. March 2004.

Tikal

I went to Antigua, Guatemala to learn medical Spanish. It was a course for intermediate to advance speakers – and I didn’t know a word, but the program agreed to let me go. So at the last minute, I asked for a rush passport (with truly the most terrible passport pic ever. No, believe me, I win), bought a ticket and away I went.


Tina and I, early morning in Tikal

My traveling companion was the unlikely combination of a procrastinating perfectionist. She would always put off doing important things, but then wouldn’t hurry up because everything had to be just so and we were often late. Very late. We almost missed the plane down there. And the plane back up. And the bus from Tikal, etc. It was the first time she had ever left home (except for her mission) and she had to talk to her parents every single night -which mean we missed out on seeing a lot of the city. I was much too nervous to break out on my own and go sight-seeing.


Antigua

We were there for just over three weeks. During the day we went to spanish language lessons or to programs around the city that provided care to the poor and the ill. We visited orphanages, an AIDS clinic, a poor farmer’s hut, a primary school, the mental hospital, a nursing home. The weekends we took trips: up north to Tikal and then to Lake Atilan.


Lake Atilan

Some of the culture was overwhelming. I never got used to the begging of the children, which usually occured only at the tourist sites. When we stepped foot out of a bus or a boat, they would come swarming. I hated haggling prices for souvenirs – I didn’t know the language and I found it frustrating. The food was pretty incredible, though and cheap. And the scenery more than made up for the frustrations.


Learning how to Salsa with Antonio


Tikal ruins

Learning the language was extremely difficult for me. The only language I had attempted to learn was sign language and there was very little cross over (the few months of online German in the 7th grade does not count either). I spent most of the month not knowing what anybody said. I had difficulty with the grammar and the pronunciation – I have a hard enough time with English, you should hear me slaughter drug names!


Admiring silk blankets

So while I came home only knowing how to say about 10 phrases (and I’ve forgotten most of those now), what I gained was an appreciation for a beautiful culture and the desperate need that other countries had. I realized how very spoiled I was by the American culture. I stayed in a middle class home, but even there, the showers were limited, the plumbing was fragile, electricity and food was very carefully utilized.


Colored sand with borders of flowers and fruit arranged in a Catholic cathedral for Semena Santa (Easter) Festival

I know it’s an overused phrase, but I can honestly say that Guatemala changed my life. It opened a thirst to see and experience new cultures and to make a difference.

I think I’m going to extend this over the next couple of days, because I’m am becoming more and more stuffy and my head is aching. Bed sounds really, really good right now.

posted in All About Me, Guatemala, Meme me, Passport Stamps | 0 Comments

21st May 2009

twenty-four hours

In twenty-four hours, I will be in Hoboken, New Jersey, settling in the “spare room” of Sam’s new apartment and cooing over Miss Megs. Her hair, I’ve been assured, is still delightfully long and poofy and she still adores her toes.

In twenty-four hours, we’ll finalize plans of what we will see over my seventy-two hour visit. We’re attempting to fit in a Broadway musical, a 2 hour boat tour around the island, a stroll through central park, a visit to Gray Papaya (I’ve been spoiled by the Milwaukee brats, I’m not sure that New York’s dogs can live up to it), a museum or two, seeing another friend (who’s husband is visiting for the weekend, so they may not be around), and lots and lots of baby time.

I’m still packing. Have another load or two of laundry to do. Just finished eating (I love corn). Trying to decide if I should bring my laptop (long trip without it, but want to be light on the luggage). Decisions, procrastinated decisions.

I’m on psychiatry consults this month. My coworkers have called this “great immersion therapy” for my phobia. We’ll see. Immersion or not, I decided I couldn’t do it without meds. I’m hoping that it’ll be better through a camera lens, but I’m not sure. Hence the back up, so I don’t have a melt down in the middle of the street. I’m still worried and on the verge of hyperventilation if I think about it too much.

New York, New York. Here we go!

posted in Friends, The Great USA, Those Rare Days Off | 7 Comments

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