“Golden State of Mind”

Sold most of our belongings, packed our bags, dog in the car and off we went! West Coast, here we come! Over the next ten days we saw Badlands National Park, Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Salt Lake City and Lake Tahoe! It was a road trip to be remembered… that is for sure!

Oh my gosh, is that it?!?! We caught our first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge breaking through the fog. We made it! With the Pacific Ocean on our right, the city came into view and it was breathtaking! Worry and doubt quickly set in… “What did I do?”. My family, therapist and psychiatrist are all back home. Our apartment, our things and, most importantly, my routines are gone. My OCD wanted to turn around and drive right back to Wisconsin.

We arrived at our new apartment, in Sunnyvale, fully furnished and ready to go. I signed a 4-month contract, as a travel operating room nurse, at a local hospital. I started the next morning. Four days of training and I was on my own. It was scary and nerve-racking, but, boy, it was fun! I met so many people, made lasting friendships and refined my orthopedic and trauma skills. Chris and I, hiked, biked, ate, drank and traveled. We visited San Francisco, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz and everything in between.

At the end of my contract, Chris and I flew home to spend the holidays with our families. The love and laughter was plentiful. Two weeks passed, quickly, and it was time to head back to California. I signed another contract for 3-months at a children’s hospital in San Diego. We flew into San Francisco and road tripped Hwy. 1. The ocean, the cliffs, the sunsets… were absolutely stunning.

Surf’s up, Dude! The heat, the sun, the surf and the sand. San Diego had it all! We spent most of our time beach bummin’ at Ocean Beach (OB), Mission Beach and Pacific Beach (PB). We ate LOTS of fish tacos and frequented Northside Shack for the best açai bowls, to date! I was preparing to sign my next contract in Manhattan, when… SURPRISE… I was pregnant!

Time to pivot. While wrapping up my San Diego contract, we rented an apartment back home, interviewed and accepted new positions and planned a 4-week, backpacking trip. What a year!!!! Surprisingly, my OCD and anxiety were stable. Maybe our adventure was just the medicine I needed. On to the next… Europe here we come!


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