I miss you Italy

 Lately I've been missing Italy something fierce. I think it may be because of how much Portland reminds me of my favorite little city. The weather, the delicious food everywhere, walking constantly, and the feeling of spring that occurs when you've experienced a winter. I remember the distinct feeling of that first spring day like it was yesterday. All of a sudden the trees were blooming, the hills were the greenest of greens and all the cold weather was 100% worth it. 
When I think about walking the tiny streets and stumbling over the cobblestones, I find myself breathing easier and a general calm washes over me. It's been three years now since I lived in that beautiful place and I miss it every day.

 It was the first time I traveled alone, booked trips without the help of parents, let loose more than I ever had, drank delicious wine, and fully allowed myself to create a home somewhere. I will always have a piece of my heart in Orvieto. I have a feeling that whenever I return, all the old feelings will flood back and it will feel like home again. I can't wait to bring someone with me and show them all my old haunts and hope that they can love it a little bit too. 

As much as I miss that little town on the hill, I know I'll return. :)

PDX Adventures: St. John's Bridge

 There are so many amazing things to do and see in Portland that I sometimes wonder if I'll ever see them all. Visiting the St. John's bridge and Cathedral Park has been on my list for a while and I'm so glad I got to stop by recently.

When it's sunny in Portland, there really is nothing better. Everyone is out and about, enjoying the sunshine and truly living our their day. The kids on the dock even had a little motor boat they were playing with! 

The St. Johns Bridge is the only suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley and the park below, Cathedral Park, has its name because of the beautiful archways holding up the bridge (shown above). The bridge was built during The Great Depression and actually helped provide jobs for many people in the area. 

So there's your history lesson for the day and if you're ever in Portland on a clear day, definitely stop by. :)

Weekend Adventure:: Mirror Lake

After a crazy week filled with stacks of school work/practicum/and regular work, I was ready for a fun adventure. Luckily a couple of my friends were ready for an adventure as well so off to Mount Hood we went! 
 I fed a bird off of my hand and it felt like a Disney movie. Such a cool experience!

It was wonderful to sit up there and reflect in front of my favorite mountain. I had never seen him that close before! It was also great to lie in the fresh snow and make snow angels. :) 

Mirror Lake is a great 4 mile (round trip) hike that is beautiful any time of year. It was definitely challenging hiking in the snow and most people wore snow shoes but we were feeling reckless. ;) I can't wait to go back in the Spring or Summer when the lake isn't frozen over and you can see a perfect reflection of the mountain! 

Just a heads up, for this time of year you have to park at Ski Bowl and walk about a mile to the trail head. Honestly, the mile walk in and out, to and from the trail head was the hardest and most tedious part because you're walking along the highway for a bit. But it's worth it! I promise! 

Did you go on any adventures this weekend?

A Book Review

Sometimes you stumble upon a book that grabs your attention right away and you feel the need to highlight ever single sentence. They're hard to come by but once they do, I find them irresistible. As many of you know, I'm studying to become a Speech-Language Pathologist and would love to work in acute care in a hospital at some point in my career. Well if you are at all interested in doing some kind of medical work or you already do some kind of medical work, READ THIS BOOK. I mean, I think everyone can find something special from this book but what really spoke to me was how Dr. Kalanithi spoke about mortality and being faced with others mortality every day as a health care worker, or in his case, a neurosurgeon. 

But Dr. Kalanithi was not only a neurosurgeon. He was a complete renaissance man and his writing is poetic and beautiful. He talks about going from doctor to patient when diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at the age of 36 and how so much of what he preached day in and day out was now being preached back to him. 

If you follow the popular lifestyle blog, Cup of Jo, you know that Dr. Kalanithi is her brother-in-law. It broke my heart when we heard of his diagnosis and how her sister and her husband were coping and then when he passed away. I'm glad he decided to write about his experience as a doctor especially after being faced with such a devastating prognosis. 

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

Before operating on a patient’s brain, I realized, I must first understand his mind: his identity, his values, what makes his life worth living, and what devastation makes it reasonable to let that life end. The cost of my dedication to succeed was high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible: in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.

And then there are a few quotes that perfectly sum up how I want to be as a clinician. 

I had met her in a place where she was a person and not a problem to be solved.

Here we are together, and here we are through-I promise to guide you, as best as I can to the other side.

So? Did I convince you?