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28 July 2014


After California, I flew back to Baton Rouge and we had a few days to wrap things up and get ready for another long drive/move. This time we headed even further south, down to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the month of June. Owen did a Forensic Pathology rotation with the Broward County Medical Examiners office. It was quite the experience for him, probably a bit too graphic to describe his best cases here, let's just say there were a lot of autopsys, a crime scene visit, and a wood chipper....but contact him if you want to hear about any of the gory details ;)

We were fortunate enough to stay with our family friend Alaina, who has lived in the area for a long time and had an extra room for the month! She lives about 17 miles north of the medical examiners office, so on the days we didn't have torrential rains, Owen cycled to work. I spent most days swimming at the pool in her neighborhood or attempting to run in the humidity. It was great to spend time with Alaina, whether it was going out to eat, meeting some of her friends, getting a pedicure (no Owen didn't join for that one ;) ) or just hanging out at home making dinner and watching World Cup together! We really enjoyed our time with her. Thanks again Alaina for hosting us for the month!!

During the month in Florida, Owen and I also had the chance to check out Las Olas Bloulevard in Ft. Lauderdale. It was neat to see all the lights, some high end sports cars, and get some gelato (about all we could afford there). We also met up with some friends (Tiffany and Monique) from medical school who were in London with us as well and watched a movie and I went to Hollywood Beach with Tiffany one day while Owen did a practice exam.

Here's some pictures from the first part of our time in Florida (more here), scroll down to read about my Dad's visit and see more pictures! 

Pool by Alaina's house that I swam at most days
Crazy storms for most of the time we were there!

Picking Mangos, they were delicious!
Early birthday pedicure with Alaina
The end of Las Olas Boulevard
Sunset by the lake at Alaina's
Dad's Visit

The last week of our time in Florida, my Dad flew down for a vacation. Fortunately Owen was able to take a long weekend and we drove down to Key West after picking up my Dad from the airport. We spent Friday-Monday in Key West and really tried to make the most of our short time. We ate at some great local places and even had the unique experience of being pooped on by an iguana up in a tree above our table at breakfast (at least we got free tshirts out of it!). We did a wave runner tour around the island, saw the southernmost point in the US, went parasailing, rented paddleboards, tried sailing on a hobiecat, enjoyed some beach and pool time, checked out the local history at the Wreckers Museum and the Mel Fishers Museum, loved the Key West style architecture and homes, and explored Duval Street of course! It was also neat to see a lot of sealife over the weekend, even though we didn't have a chance to go diving, we saw 6 nurse sharks, a starfish, a horseshoe crab all while on the wave runner; 1 baby nurse shark while on the paddle board; and some rays while parasailing! Most times you don't even get all that while diving! It was a great weekend getaway and it felt very much like being back in the Caribbean, a nice little touch of one of our homes! Check out more Key West here!

The rest of the week I hung out with my Dad in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea while Owen finished up his rotation. We saw the sunrise, went to the beach across from his hotel, watched lots of barracudas, rays, and a shark off the pier, and walked around the little town center. We also went to South Beach in Miami for a day which is a whole different world, and the art deco was really cool to see. We went to Bahama Breeze for dinner one night with Alaina and the other student who was doing the rotation with Owen, and walked around the Sawgrass Mills Mall. We also met up with one of my Dad's friends from work who retired to Florida. When Owen had free time, we all walked around Las Olas Boulevard, ate at the Aruba Beach Cafe in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, and spent the last night in Florida at my Dad's hotel to get up early and watch one more sunrise over the ocean before heading back north. We had a great time and we so glad my Dad was able to come down for the week! Thanks again Dad for a great vacation for us too! Enjoy your pictures ;)

Key West
Parrot Key Resort, Key West

Smathers Beach
Mallory Square Sunset Celebration

Wave runner tour

Key West Architecture
Okay so it's not us up there, but same idea ;)

Sailing on the hobie cat

Trying out the fun!

Treasures from Key West wrecking history


Totally worth getting up early for!
Art Deco in South Beach Miami
View from dinner at Bahama Breeze
Blue Seas Courtyard where my Dad stayed

12 July 2014


During the month of May, Owen had a break from clinical rotations and needed some time to study for the boards (Step 2). I decided to get out of the way and allow him time to study without distraction, so while he stayed in Baton Rouge and I headed out to California for the month to visit friends!! We had originally intended on doing a few rotations in California in order to see our med school friends, however that did not work out, but I still wanted to see people after 2 years apart! 

The Grapevine

(Warning most of the pictures are of friends and babies :) A few are borrowed, and for more of the scenery, check out Lots more Cali Pictures!)

Miles and Ella (pic by Shellena)
I spent the first few weeks in Bakersfield, where several of our friends from the island are doing rotations. Not only was it time to catch up with friends, but it was time to meet all the new babies!! I stayed with Alie and Sean, and got to spend a lot of time playing with Ella, who was only 5 months old last time I saw her, now a little over 2 years old! I also got to meet their newest addition, baby Miles, born in January! We had some fun adventures in house projects, including building a crib and clearing a clogged sink pipe ;) Alie, myself, and the kiddos spent a lot of time with Shellena and her new daughter, Evangeline (born in October). We had the unique opportunity to visit Shellena’s family’s farmland and pick tons of fresh veggies! Shellena also invited us to spend the weekend at her family's house in Santa Barbara, which was such a nice retreat from Bakersfield. Alie, Sean, Shellena, Kyle, myself and the kiddos spent time exploring the area, lunch at the marina, rode the carousel, played on the beach (I even went for a swim!), and explored the zoo! It was such a fun, relaxing weekend, thanks again Shellena for hosting!
Alie and me, building Miles's crib
Shellena, me, and Alie at the Santa Barbara Pier
Me, Shellena, and Eve!
Santa Barbara Marina
At the SB Zoo! Eve, Kyle, Sean, Ella, me, Shellena, and Miles

Picking beets at the farm (pic by Shellena)

I also had the chance to catch up with Rose and her newest addition, baby Riistia (born in March)! Alie, the kids and I went to Northridge to see Rose, Riistia, and Eliaa one day and went to a farm animals exhibit with the kids. It was great timing, as Rose and the girls were heading out to DC soon after, where Eero is doing rotations. Another friend I got to briefly catch up with was Madeline. She stopped by to visit and I got to meet her daughter Mireille (born shortly after we left the island). 

Alie (w/Miles & Ella), Me w/ Riistia, Rose & Eliaa
Alie, me, Shellena, Madeline & Mireille

Jackie, Dylan, & me
Another good friend that was in the area is Jackie, and her daughter Dylan (almost 2yo). She and Mark lived just down the road from Alie and Sean, so I had the chance to see her a few times while there, as well as Jen and Adi who were staying with them! We spent time catching up on everything, watching movies, went out for dinner. We also took a weekend and went to LA to explore while Mark took a test. Jackie, Jen, myself, and the girls went to the beach and were able to meet up with Rose and her girls again! Just like old times, hanging out on the beach (though the water wasn't nearly as nice ;) ). Another exciting part of our weekend to LA was meeting up with some people from the Caribbean International Academy in St Maarten who were there for a travel club trip. The best part, the 2 students I tutored for 2 years were on the trip and I was able to surprise them!! Such an unexpected part of my time in California, but definitely awesome! 
St Maarten reunion on the beach! Jen, Adi, Jackie, Dylan, me, Eliaa, Rose & Riistia
Spouses Board Reunion! (missing Katie ;) )
My tutoring students from St Maarten!! Alexis & Tatjana

Santa Monica Pier

Views from my morning run in Santa Cruz

 After a few weeks in Bakersfield with all my med school/island friends, I headed up north to Santa Cruz for a few days to visit my friend from college, Alison. She had just moved back out to California after 10 years in Boston, so it was really fun to see her new life! We took a day trip to San Fransisco and Alison showed me all the highlights. We also went hiking in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which was absolutely beautiful! It was a very relaxing few days and I had a great time being walking distance from the water (morning runs on the beach!), seeing more of the "wilderness" of California, and catching up with Alison. 

Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco
Alison and me

Finally, after Santa Cruz, I headed to up to Sacramento for a few days to meet back up with Alie and Sean. Sean had a break from rotations so they went home for a couple weeks. It was fun to see their hometown and spend time with their families again (had spent time with both on the island). Alie and I even got a girlie afternoon in and got Starbucks, pedicures, and a little shopping while her mom watched the kids! 

Overall it was a great trip! I got some much needed time in with good friends. It was so nice to have time with other med school friends/wives, especially after being isolated for so long (no other wives in Ealing or at elective sites). I really appreciate everyone hosting me for the month and showing me a great time! Thank you everyone!!! Can't wait to see you all in St Maarten next spring!