Vacation Recap.

Well.  I’ll tell ya.

Vacation certainly felt like a whirlwind.

Speaking of which.

Is it just me, or has summer been feeling like a whirlwind lately too?  I was making a list the other day, of all the summery things I need (absolutely MUST!) accomplish before autumn rolls around.  And there is so much still left to do.  Things like blueberry picking and swimming in a lake and making s’mores by the campfire.  I’ll share my complete summery list with you all as soon as it’s complete, and I’d love to hear what’s on your summery agenda too!

One of my “must-do’s” was to head to the White Mountains.  There is no other place on earth that makes me feel quite as happy as NH.  On top of a mountain, I instantly forget about all the worries and stresses of life.  It’s that feeling of absolute peace.

Here is the official photo recap!

HIKING

My goal is to hike all 48 of the 4000 foot mountains in NH.  I got 3 down on this one vacation trip.

First up was Mt. Osceola, which was a relatively steady climb with lots of switchbacks.  It’s one of the “easier” hikes, as far as 4000 footers go. 😉

My Dad taught me a lot about the mountains.  What to bring.  How to prepare.  And most of all, how to respect nature.  He’s hiked with me through all the mountains that I’ve climbed so far, until that day.

I shot off and did East Osceola on my own, which was a pretty exhilarating experience.  This part of the trail was called the “chimney” for good reason.  It was so steep and was WAY easier to climb up versus down.

The one other hike that was done was Mt. Eisenhower, which is one of my absolute favorites!  The view was spectacular.

FOOD

Icecream.  Every day.  What can I say?  I hold nothing back on vacation.  I will say, however, that it feels amazing to be back on track now that vacation has come to a close!

(My sistah is a fellow ice cream lover like myself!  So her little baby is almost guaranteed to love ice cream too…I foresee future icecream dates with my future nephew…yippee!) 

I do, however, still balance things out with healthier things.  Lots of fresh salads and fruits and lean meats.  One of my favorite salad toppings?

Grilled Cajun Chicken + Peach + Walnuts + EVOO & Balsamic Vinegar.  Yum!

JUST FUN

North Conway is one of my family’s favorite places to visit.  There’s all kinds of sightseeing, shopping, and people watching opportunities.

It’s a fun (slightly quirky!) little NH town.

We also went to visit some of the waterfall spots.

This is Sabaday Falls, one of my favorites…

And my sis and I (right) at the basin…

There was also this really cool trail that led through an array of birch trees.

Gorgeous.

And pretty rivers to wade through….

My mom’s favorite activity?

Miniature golf.

My dad always wins.  I almost always lose.  But I laugh the whole way through, so it’s totally more than okay. 😉

Me (left) and my sis!

My beautiful sis (and bestie!)

I need one of these chairs for my backyard.

Just sayin’. 😉

Yep.

Vacation went by way too fast.

But I already have plans to head back to NH later this month for another hike (woohoo!)

Off to relax before the work week begins tomorrow!

QUESTION: Do you take a summer vacation?  If so, what do you like to do?  

Post-Midterm Relaxation.

It’s honestly slightly frightening, how much information I’ve forgotten since going to school for my undergrad.

Things like the “cephalic” phase of digestion.  And phospholipid bilayers.

Oh, and organelles.

Hello,nucleus and mitochondria.

I suppose I can console myself with knowing that this memory refresher course might actually help me remember things for the long term.  Although, that probably isn’t likely.  Next year, you’ll probably mention ribosomes and I’ll look at you as if you have two heads.

Needless to say, this exam was a doozy, as I found myself having to study all of this material that I once knew but had now forgotten.

I strategically planned a “vacation day” around when I knew my midterm exam would be.  In between going to the ocean and soaking up all that beautiful sunshine, I also needed to do some last minute studying prior to taking my midterm exam yesterday.

Yep.

This girl needed some relaxation after a very full week of studying and working!

My form of relaxation involved going for a quick morning run followed by going plant shopping with my mom!!!

Our eyes may have been a little larger than our garden, so to speak.

We came home with 12 big beef tomato plants, 6 cherry tomato plants, 6 kale plants, 6 pepper plants, 3 butternut squash plants, 6 cucumber plants, and 6 hot pepper plants.  Not to mention the lettuce, spinach and beet seeds!!!

Oh.

And the flowers, which my mom was pretty excited about.

We followed up the day with some good ol’ Panera.

I had my usual.  Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with a whole grain baguette.  It hits the spot every time.

Back to work tomorrow!!!

QUESTION: How do you like to spend your days off from work/school/etc.?

Rockport, MA

Working, working, working.

There will be plenty of opportunities for me to discuss how I maneuver the hospital’s salad bars, some easy and work appropriate make-it-yourself-lunches (which I rely on 95% of the time!), how I snack throughout the day, etc.

But, for now, I’d much rather talk about my recent excursion to Rockport, MA! 😀

We all have our favorite places to visit, and Rockport just so happens to be mine.  Rockport, quite simply, makes life seem easy.

It doesn’t matter how crazy life gets.  How many things get in the way.  How long my tomorrow’s to-do list might be.  Rockport is an instant release and I go there whenever I can.

What is there to do in Rockport?

I’ll be honest.

I’m not really sure.

There’s a whole lot of nothing to do.  Which is, perhaps, what I love most about the place.

There’s window shopping.

Juice bars.

Water for wading.

Flowers for smelling.

People for watching (c’mon, you know you love it!)

I almost always frequent the Bean & Leaf Cafe for lunch, which is this quaint little place that offers wonderful wraps and lattes and things.  But Rockport also offers some fine, fresh from the sea FISH and other seafood.

This time, I took the lighter route since I knew I’d be wanting gelato later in the afternoon.  Just a basic Greek salad.

And then, Godiva Chocolate and Salted Caramel Gelato.  At the Robin’s Nest, which offers some of the best gelato I have ever tasted.

Disclaimer: This is the ONLY gelato I’ve ever tasted…haha!  But it’s amazing.  Trust me on this one.  It’s a family run business, and they’ve been making this stuff for years.

What a wonderful, refreshing kind of day.

I’ll see you again soon, Rockport.

QUESTION: What is one of your most favorite places to visit?