Saturday, May 24, 2008

Vacation at last...in Paradise!

Our lives have been very full of late, and we've felt like we just kept going and going and going... but not so much like energizer bunnies. Tim worked late at the office on Thursday night, and I didn't get home from the hospital until about 8pm (sigh). It had been a really tough week - a busy service in the hospital, with many very sick patients, some dying (or trying to, at least), family meetings to transition patients to palliative care (comfort measures only), consultants with varying opinions and things to say about my management of patients (I guess they have to say SOMEthing - that's their job as consultants), not getting home until very late every night, many admissions during the day, and very few discharges. I usually like inpatient medicine and making rounds in the hospital, but this week I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere, that I wasn't doing a good job, and just couldn't get on top of things. Fortunately it's over, and I made my final phone call to one of my partners from the Chicago airport to ask him to do a few things I had forgotten to do... cuz we're on vacation!

Tim and I hadn't prepared for this trip at all, so we spent the evening into the wee hours of the morning Thursday into Friday doing laundry, packing, and getting ready to be away for 8 days - that's right 8 days! We went to bed around 1:30 AM, only to have the alarm go off at 3:45 AM to get up and get ready to catch our flight. We picked my parents up, and headed to the airport. It was a long day, but ended gloriously, when we arrived at the vacation home we've rented in Santa Barbara, California.
SB is truly a paradise, in and of its own, but our little oasis is very special. I found this house on Craig's List several months ago, and we decided to share the accomodations with my parents. Our house sits on acres and acres of gardens and fruit trees on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The gardens are AMAZING! We had fresh squeezed OJ for breakfast today. We have patios and decks all around, with indoor and outdoor firepits and a hot tub to top it off (we have yet to try this out). We both have king sized beds and our own bathrooms, and there are turtle doves inside a museum sized bird cage to sing the good morning song each day.

Last night we ran to Trader Joes, my favorite unique grocery store, and picked up all sorts of goodies for breakfast and snacks, not to mention our favorite beverage - Reeds Ginger Brew, which is a super strong ginger ale, Jamaican style. We had a breakfast of champions this morning with omelettes, home fries, toast, fruit smoothies, OJ and coffee. Delicious! We had breakfast on the deck overlooking the garden and ocean.

We had dinner at La Super Rica Taqueria last night, which is claimed to be Julia Child's favorite place to get tacos. It was super rico!

We've rested well, and now we're about to head out to explore the sites of Santa Barbara and participate in some of the wedding festivities that are forthcoming. My cousin Duane is about to get hitched - he's the 10th and final cousin in the Johnsen family to take the leap. We're so excited for him and for Audrey. They make a great pair, and we're looking forward to celebrating with them.
Enjoy some pictures from our little paradise!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Buy Fair Trade! A plug for World Fair Trade Day...

Saturday, May 10th is World Fair Trade Day, an annual event designed to increase the visibility of fair trade. If you are interested in supporting some fair trade and socially-conscious companies, check out Fair Indigo's list.

Also check out the FairTrade Foundation and Fair Trade Certified - organizations that promote Fair Trade around the world.
Note, the images above are from FairTrade Foundation and Fair Trade Certified. Please support them!
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