Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011

For Mr. D's last vacation of intern year, I wanted to make sure we took some time to actually get away since it will be several months before he has more than a day or two off in a row.  Unfortunately money is extremely tight so I tried to plan a low key, budget friendly getaway in the midwest.  With some suggestions from friends and family I was able to plan a very fun few days!

We started our trip meeting with our good friends (Mr. Dawkter's cousin and wife) at Starved Rock in Utica, Illinois.  We had a delicious picnic lunch and then hiked the afternoon through the park.

We had a perfect day for it!  The weather was in the low 70s which was perfect for hiking!
Jake and Lindsay

It was absolutely beautiful!

Although I had never been there before, it isn't too far from where Mr. Dawkter grew up, so we had a nice dinner that night with his parents and Grandma.

After that we headed north, up to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  Personally I love Wisconsin, but Mr. D being a devout Chicago sports fan, has a serious negative association with the state due to the intense sports rivalry (in football in particular).  As a result I've never been able to convince Mr. D that we should tour or sight see in the wonderful state of Wisconsin.  I'm not sure why he was suddenly open to it, but I think he's changed his mind!

We stayed two nights in Lake Geneva.  One night at generous family friends' place, and the other at a hotel on the lake.  The first day we got there we walked along the lakeshore, looking at all the beautiful homes.  That night we went to dinner near big foot beach, where we had a beautiful view of the sunset.

During our second day there we rented a double kayak from a place right across from our hotel.

Although we rented the kayak for two hours, we only lasted about an hour and forty minutes.  We also walked around and checked out the shops, and had dinner at the local favorite Popeyes.

The fountain in front of the Rivera

After that we continued north up to Cedarberg, Wisconsin.  We were a little bummed because our first day was rainy and dreary.  We tried to stay dry by checking out many of the cute little shops, and even took a tour of the local Cedar Creek Winery
One of the stairways at the settlement shops

Just outside the Cedar Creek Winery

That night we walked to dinner went to dinner at a delicious pub called the Anvil.  They had me sold when I saw pesto mozzarella sticks on the menu!

We stayed overnight at an adorable bed and breakfast called the Stage Coach Inn.  

A few things we enjoyed about the Inn were: 

  • Each bedroom had its own bathroom
  • In the evenings they had a free wine and root beer social in the little pub on the main floor where you could check out menus from the local restaurants
  • They served a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries, muffins, cereal, yogurt, coffee and tea
  • The the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful
  • There was a little candy shop on the main floor
  • The Inn gave us a coupon for a discount on bike rental and a free lunch at one of the local cafes for renting the bikes.
Thank goodness the rain cleared up for our second day in Cedarberg.  The beautiful weather allowed us to take some pictures around the precious little town.

Outside the Cedar Creek Winery

After getting a few pictures, we rented bicycles from the local bike shop.  For roughly $45 we got two reusable water bottles (to keep), two bicycles for four hours, and a coupon for a free lunch at a local cafe.  

Mr. Dawkter and I have cheap (crappy) bikes, so we really enjoyed renting and riding the "fancy" Schwinn bikes up to Port Washington, WI.  


The beach and the view of Lake Michigan was absolutely beautiful!

When we got back to Cedarberg, we grabbed our free (and delicious) lunch, a cup of coffee, some gelato and went to check out the covered bridge on our way out of town.  

After leaving Cedarberg, we took our time getting home, spending one more night on the road before returning to reality.
It was our first vacation (other than our honeymoon) that we spent somewhere other than Florida, and we had a wonderful time!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Mr. D and I just got back from our summer vacation.  It was our last extended period of time together before he starts the dreaded PGY-2*.  In my husbands specialty second year is one of the more difficult years (although not the most difficult year, it probably involves the biggest adjustment as it the hours and responsibility increase from this past intern year).
The past twelve months have flown by, I can hardly believe we moved here just over a year ago.  But every time we return home from a long weekend or a vacation, I am always reminded how this place feels like home.  I am so thankful for how this new place has so naturally, so seamlessly become our home. Everything about it seems so perfect and so right.
Since Mr. D and I met (six years ago) between the two of us we have had ten different addresses in eight different towns!  And no place has made me so happy as where we are now.  And  although I know we have (at least) six rough years of residency ahead of us, I can honestly say there is no where I would rather be!

I love it here, it's home.

*PGY = Post Graduate Year (residency/fellowship)

Friday, June 3, 2011

On the Eve of PGY2...

Yes, I've been gone; Missing In Action. 
(Here is my attempt to fill in the gaps for the past several months.)

March was hard.  

Very hard.  Probably even harder than last March (when I made myself crazy worrying about match).  If you remember my family and I were enduring a storm, and March was a turning point for us, we were waiting for the forecast. We would either be enduring months of more rain or we would finally get some relief in the form of a rainbow.  So in March, I was consumed with the turn of events and simply put, I was an absolute mess.  

But turns out we got our rainbow.  God faithfully answered our prayers. The sun is now shining on my family, and while we are still expecting a few lingering showers, we have made it out of that storm, stronger and closer than ever.  

And to be honest, April was still a little tough because even though I had gotten my wish, our prayers had been answered, I still felt bruised and broken.  I didn't understand why I was still hurt, I had expected the pain to all vanish as quickly as it had appeared.  I really struggled with being unable to bounce back to my prior self.  But with time, the pain and anger has faded, and I finally feel like a normal human being again.

But I have since struggled with how to get back to blogging.  Its hard to return to something when you have gotten out of the habit.  

When I was going through the storm with my family, it was not something I could share publicly.  It was also something in which I felt like I was constantly going out of my mind.  The turn of events were so unreal, I had trouble even putting them in writing for myself.  I just couldn't wrap my head around it all.  

But as we are wrapping up intern year, and I see the difficulties and challenges of PGY2* on the horizon, I realize I need to get back in the habit of blogging.  Writing has been my therapy the past several years (until recently of course).  And I lost that outlet.  

I know the next few months are going to be a difficult transition, as Mr. Dawkter takes on longer hours and greater responsibilities as a second year resident. I know I need to return to blogging as it is so therapeutic to share my frustrations, fears and laughs as we continue our journey through medical training.  Not to mention I will have a lot more time on my hands, and Mr. D will be spending the majority of his time at the hospital!

So while I've had a major leave of absence, hopefully I am back for good now.  

*PGY2 - stands for Post Graduate Year 2 (second year of residency or second year out of medical school)
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