Anyone who has been to college has experienced all of the good and bad that is has to offer.
There truly is something special about spending time on any University campus. The students, athletics, excitement, energy, etc. It is definitely a dynamic place to be. I feel like, in the same way we form relationships with other people, we form relationships with school. In fact, it is the hope that we formed such a great relationship that we eventually want to give back financially to our respective institution. I digress. After spending 7 straight years here, I am currently finishing my last fall semester at the University of Utah. I basically should be an MD by now.
When I started college, campus was filled with familiar faces. The library was often more of a social experience than an academic one. Today, on the off chance that I do leave my only building, I don't recognize any of the far-too-young-to-be-in-college faces I see around. Everyone has long since graduated. But I'm left with millions of great memories of campus. I love to run into people who were part of my undergrad experience and reminisce about all of the good times. They are abundant. But almost without fail, the conversation ends up at a point where the person says to me, "You are so lucky to be in school still." And then, "I miss it..." with that dreamy look in their eyes. This is always such an interesting phenomenon to me. I think something happens to people after they're out of school for an undetermined amount of time. Much like following the break-up of a long-term relationship, we seem to forget all of the pain and suffering and remember only on the good times. I call it selective memory. For whatever reason, finals week doesn't seem to be a part of anyone's memory of college. Term papers, what are those? Stress? Don't know it. Late, late nights of Red Bull and Doritos... never happened. Forget about tuition. No no, everyone who has graduated can only remember the good stuff. You know, learning. Expanding their minds. Blah, blah, blah...
As I head into finals and my thesis proposal defense this week, let me be the one to remind you why you broke up with school, ie: graduated. School is hard. Tests, papers, tuition, projects, presentations, grades... They ran your life. Its uncomfortable, stressful, and in my case, interminable. Particularly right now, I don't think I can hear another person tell me how much they miss being in school.
On a whim, I bought a plane ticket to New York City during a "one day deal" through Jet Blue. Very spontaneous. Very unlike me.
The trip was amazing.
I was lucky enough to stay with my good friend Rachel Price, and we had a great time catching up and hanging out! I spent quite a bit of time on my own (behind the camera), exploring the city and seeing a few cool places.
Central Park. The colors were all almost gone, but the city was still beautiful.
"It would be a shame to miss New York in the fall..."
MoMA with Rachel.
More Van Gough at the Metropolitan.
Museum of Natural History.
They had the most fantastic gem exhibit including a 31 carat diamond!
Walked the Brooklyn Bridge.
Temple session at the Manhattan Temple.
(The whole session was conducted in Mandarin. Awesome)
Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine -
what an incredible cathedral.
Something I would never have seen if Rachel didn't live just around the corner.
The real drive behind purchasing the tickets to the city was to make a day trip to Philly to see my cousin Stewart play football. I loved the city, but the game was probably the highlight of the entire trip. The best part was being in the stadium and seeing how many fans had the #55 jersey on with Bradley across the back. It was seriously cool, and Stewart had a great game!
Snuck in the Liberty Bell before the game.
I was able to talk some friends into going with me. So fun!
Yep. Also just a couple of blocks from where I stayed.
Not pictured: Magnolia Bakery, Pinkberry, Harry Potter 7 midnight showing, Lunch with my good friend Lizzie (Hinckley) Davis, Trader Joe's (Yes, it deserves being mentioned!), church in Harlem, Christmas Spectacular with the real Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, and a few other odds and ends.
I love New York, and would love to find a reason to move out there some day.
Last year on this Saturday of general conference, it was 40 degrees colder in Utah. Today, a lovely, sunny 90. To take advantage, I hiked to the top of Mt. Aire from the Milcreek side with my friend Kim. The fall leaves were spectacular. What a great way to take advantage of the weather!
Since I saw these on Bakerella, I have been completely fascinated and really wanted to try them out. Oreo truffles. They seemed kind of yuck, but who doesn't love Oreos? So I had a few of my fellow dietitian/foodie friends come over and help me out. Becuase what's better than a bunch of dietitians eating quality food like Oreos?
Good Old, regular Oreos. Yum.
I went with the Fat Free, which, for the record, I usually don't do just on principle. However, by using the FF cream cheese, I cut the calories down by 460. Not bad.
I really wanted to spice these up a bit by putting a center in them. I didn't know how to do it using actual ingredients, and since I was already using Oreo cookies for the truffle part for crying out loud, why not just use another pre-made product. So, I used both Junior Mints and Junior Caramels. Just tucked one or the other inside each truffle.
Mixed, and mixed, and mixed the Oreos and cream cheese...It really looked kind of gross in this form. I almost threw it all away at this point. That was an entire package of cookies!
I wanted plenty of minty goodness inside, so I put two Jr. Mints in each one. That ended up being a good move.
I had read that it was important to use good coating chocolate instead of chocolate chips. I obeyed.
I did a few with white chocolate, just to mix it up a bit.
My partners in crime.
This terrible picture was meant to show the inside of a truffle with caramel. It was delicious. In fact, they were all delicious. I am so surprised. Definitely rich, so it is important to make them small. But all very good. By far, the mint-filled truffles were the winners.
Also, Kim brought the ingredients for Ghirardelli truffles, with almonds and coconut. They were outstanding, but if you can believe it, the Oreo truffles filled with Jr. Mints were the favorite. Almost doesn't seem right.
All in all, it was a successful cooking adventure.
Today, I went on a bike ride up Emigration Canyon in an effort to prepare for my triathlon this weekend, and at the top, the leaves were changing. Already I could see familiar shades of oranges and reds as the maple trees have started to turn. (Emigration is a such great place to observe the seasons.) It was a little cool out, and smelled earthy.
I always welcome
the change to Fall as it is my very favorite season, but it seems like this year, it just couldn't come fast enough! Summer felt interminable. I am excited to say sayonara to the heat and sunshine, put a little more distance between the spring and me, and greet the fall with all the enthusiasm possible. Hooray!
It was a last minute trip. I decided to go not 12 hours before departure. The conditions were right. I only missed one class.
And aside from an outrageously expensive speeding ticket in the great state of Oregon,
It was perfect weekend.
What a city.
For the small amount of time I was there, I feel like I got a good feel of the place...
and I LOVE it!!
I didn't feel a drop of rain the entire time.
I don't know what everyone complains about...
"It rains nine months out of the year in Seattle."
Pike Place Market. Ate mini donuts, hot fresh out of the oil and sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar. Had non-seafood chowder at Market Chowder. It was delicious. Had a grilled cheese from Beechers. Even managed to score some of the gorgeous dahlias that were for sale!
What an incredible place.
Hydrangea were growing wild everywhere. It was sunny and quiet. Dinner on the water at Doc's. And, I had the best ice cream of my life at a little place called Mora's. Bainbridge probably was the highlight for me.
The cool grey of the northwest.
Mariner's game. $0.50 tickets...14th row. Booyah.
Of course, made it to the Chi Omega House on UW campus. (Pictured in back. It was huge.)