Search This Blog

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Boy, we have only been here a few days and I already LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Scotland! It may be that we have been having the most rare (for Scotland), but gorgeous weather = complete sunshine and hot! But this place is so beautiful!
We hired a driver/tour guide, Bill - who is awesome with his long hippie hair - to drive us from Huddersfield, England to Inverness, Scotland on Tuesday. We were in a mini van and he had set up a big speaker in between the 2 middle bucket seats so he could talk to us through his headset microphone during the drive. :) Along the way he played us sweet Scottish music. Some of it was traditional Scottish music (which I LOVE!), some was more modernized bagpipe and fiddle music (which I also LOVE!), and some was new music that we actually knew but didn't know they were Scottish artists - such as Snow Patrol, etc. He would also tell us stories about the history of Scotland - including the Jacobite rebellion and famous battles - legends, and perhaps some stuff he might have made up. :)This is our first night out exploring Inverness....what a beautiful city!

We stayed at a lovely little Bed & Breakfast in Inverness. Our hostess was the sweetest lady! She got me ice every night for my achilles tendon (or for you anatomy lovers = calcaneal tendon) that I hurt in England. For breakfast we had a choice between a full Scottish breakfast and a continental breakfast. Being the culture-curious people that we are, we opted for the full Scottish breakfast the first day... only to switch to the continental for the next two days. :) It wasn't horribly bad, but man, look at that black pudding (otherwise known as blood sausage). I don't know if I could look at that on my plate every morning. ;)Our first full day in Inverness was spent touring the main hospital (Raigmore) and a mental health hospital - both quite interesting. That evening, the really nice couple that set up our tours (with their super cute 9 y.o. son, Luke) picked us up in their two cars and drove us down to see Loch Ness, and Urquhart Castle on its shores. We watched and watched for Nessie, but she just didn't want to be seen. :( I was really hoping I might catch a glimpse of the real monster that inspired the name of our showerhead when I was growing up (it was red with eyes and the water came out the mouth) - we called it Nessie :)

Skipping rocks on the shores of Loch Ness while searching for Nessie
The Urquhart Castle has quite a fascinating history... it got blown up several times throughout the Jacobite rebellion, so it was mostly in ruins, but super cool!
I bet you know how sad this made me...
A trebuchet (catapult) at Urquhart Castle, which as our "tourguide Luke" told us, its only the medium size!this must be quite the popular place for women and children to visit since they have parking spots just for them! ;)

The next day we got to go out with district nurses (like home health nurses). While Heidi went to a town called Muir of Ord, and Christina went to Drumnadrochit, Candice, Michelle, and I went to the health centre in Dingwall. How would you like to say you're from Dingwall, Scotland?! :D We met up with our nurses there and left to do our visits. This is Candice and I really excited for the day!I went with my nurse to an even smaller town called Strathpeffer...yeah, say that 10 times fast! ;) She told me it was a real touristy place, but I don't know what she was talking was a town of hardly any people!
I really enjoyed visiting these people in their homes and seeing the elderly Scottish population who live out in the ruralist of rural towns. What fun!
Our nurses were so sweet! We all met up for lunch at a market where farmers come to auction off their beef and lamb; we ate a yummy "Tattie soup," which they paid for!!! Here are our lovely nurses (mine is standing just to right of me).
We got off a little early, walked through the main street of Dingwall, then caught a bus back to Inverness. We went to the Inverness Castle for a bit, then out to dinner at an Italian restaurant.
We sure loved Inverness, but the best is yet to come!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Last day in Huddersfield

Our last day in Huddersfield was a Monday, and it was a bank holiday. It was a wonderfully sunny day, so we went to the ward activity. We were all meeting at Castle Hill, so Heidi and I just ran there. But of course, we had to stop at the yellow field to take pictures in it.
And that took about 20 min, considering the 3 ft of stinging nettle all the way around the field that we had to figure out how to get through....and back. :)

Once at Castle Hill, the ward hiked over to a park (about an hour walk away). It was so fun to just walk and talk with ward members we have come to love so much! This is Bronte, the bishop's youngest daughter. She is adorable! ...and such a daddy's girl ;)

The wonderful Huddersfield ward

At the park, we ate lunch, and played games. There was a big football game (yes, soccer). We played baseball (known to them as "Rounders") with the little kids.

Then we taught them how to play ultimate frisbee and played as awesome game! It was super fun!
These are our friends, Luke and George...ha ha gotta love this pic! I feel like I'm taking a middle school sports picture. :) Oh, and George and I will be in the MTC together this summer - he's going to Albania!

Oh, what a great day! We didn't want to leave because we knew it was our last day with this great ward! But thank goodness for kind, good people in this world!

Goodbye Huddersfield!
(We were assured that Huddersfield is a great honeymoon spot if we ever want to come back ;))

Goodbye Royal Infirmary!

So I'm going to have to play a little catch-up...
Last Thursday we finally got to go back to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (hospital) to say goodbye to our wards and patients.This is my nurse, Claire....she was so sweet and so funny!
the nurses can choose to wear either shirt and pants, or a dress (and surprisingly most wore the dress - I liked it!)
our cute uniforms :)

Random tidbits from the hospital here in England:
-Patients here seem to trust their healthcare professionals more than in the states - I noticed that most of my patients just did whatever they were told, without question.
-It's all very Florence Nightingale-like nursing. Most of the hospital nurses don't even use stethoscopes for assessments - that's only for the doctors (I was talking to the nursing students about how we use stethoscopes all the time for listening to heart, lung, and bowel sounds (which nurses don't normally do here) and they were like, "Woah, so youget to wear your own stethoscope around your neck?!" and I said, "Yes." They were like, "COOL!!! It's like ER! And Scrubs!")
-One day, one of the ladies I have grown close with at the hospital, said something, then stopped and said, "Oh, your American accent is catching on!" Then she wanted me to try a Yorkshire accent....ha ha!
- One of my favorite patients (the one that calls me Pepper) said one day, "I'm sure going to miss you when you're gone. Can't you just take me with you?" :D

Oh, there are so many other stories, but I won't bore you...
These are just some pictures from the hospital:
Align Center(you're not allowed to wear long-sleeves - as a healthcare professional, anything below the elbow is prohibited)

and this one....well, its very motivational
They are obsessed with infection control here...this is our favorite hospital sign:
and this one....well, too late! ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

the sun DOES shine in England!

(Disclaimer: So this post is going to have a lot of was already hard to narrow it down. Sorry! But they're AWESOME!)

So we had the best weekend yet! After that fun hike with Candice the day before, it only got better when we went to Lyme Park and Chatsworth House in Derbyshire on Saturday. The best part of the day was that the sun was shining!!! Blue skies, yellow sunshine, and pure joy! It really is amazing how much sunshine can do for the soul. :)

Our good friend, Phil, drove us once again. I think that was another reason it was such a great day - no public transportation! We got driven straight to Lyme Park, got picked up and driven straight to Chatsworth House, and taken straight home. It was bliss! Let me tell you!

So this post may speak a little better to those of you who are Jane Austen fans, but I hope the rest of you still enjoy it, because these places are beautiful! We first went to Lyme Park, which is an old English manor on extensive grounds, with exquisite gardens you can roam. This was where they filmed the Pemberley (Mr. Darcy's home) in the old Pride & Prejudice (A&E).

Michelle and I climbing the wall to Mr. Darcy ;)

I was really there!

This was where he ran out of the house buttoning his jacket to catch Elizabeth before she leaves with her aunt and uncle!

And these are the stairs they walk up together

Just a beautiful side view of the house

Lyme Park was nice because most people don't know about it so there was hardly anyone there. The grounds were smaller (ha ha - it's all relative) but very beautiful!

Next, Phil drove us to Chatsworth House, the Pemberley of the new Pride & Prejudice. Now this place was HUGE! - the grounds, the gardens, the house, everything! -

Can you see Keira Knightley - she pulls up in the carriage, looks at the house, and laughs at herself as she steps out.

The statue room...yes, all those statues were really there! It was super cool!

The doors were humongous!

The Mr. Darcy bust, and my favorite statue in the whole movie (on the right)!

Haven't you always wanted to dress like this? :)

An awesome book about elderly people we found in the gift shop

In the gardens, there is a massive waterfall and everyone had their shoes off, playing in it. Do you think I was just going to sit there and watch?! ;)

We bought these AMAZINGLY tasty ice cream cones and discovered that Michelle inhales ice cream and I'm apparently the only person in the whole world that licks my ice cream cone so it lasts longer. :) Boy, was it yummy!

While exploring the gardens, I found my perfect reading spot (isn't this tree awesome?!)

There was also a really cool maze we went through, but I don't have a good picture since we couldn't get above it. Just imagine a really cool corn maze at Halloween, but made out of hedges and in a beautiful garden!

I kept saying how much I would love to have grounds/gardens like that, but I would just put a little cottage on it. I don't need the big house, but I would take the land!! :) It was heavenly!

Oh, to be mistress of all this!

(if you can believe it - and would like to see more - there'll be more pictures on facebook!)

the perfect adventure

On Friday, Candice and I were looking for an adventure and everyone else wanted to stay home and "get things done." I figured, I'm in England! I can get things done later! ;)
So Candice and I took a train ride to Hebden Bridge (free since it was close enough to be on our metro passes) and walked through town (which was very little) to the trailhead for Hardcastle Crags. We started out on a trail along a river in the woods. It was gorgeous!
And of course, I had to get in... :D
It was so beautiful; it was good for the soul...
It was a little cloudy, and misty on and off (but it wasn't cold). The droplets on the flowers and plants made everything look so cool!
One of the bridges we crossed
We found a sweet tree that I couldn't resist climbing!Then the trail turned up a hill and headed back the direction we came from, but ON TOP of the hill! We were walking amongst quaint little farms and sheep fields, on a road in what felt like the middle of nowhere, not sure exactly where we were going (but that was half the fun!), and had a view of the same on other hills around us! It was so awesome! I just kept saying to Candice, "I can't believe we're really here!" It was so cool; I can't even explain it! Man, Dad, you should have been raised on a farm here! ;)At one point I started talking to the sheep (yes, I was "baa"-ing) and one of the little lambs started talking back! ...or more like yelling back. :) Every time I would start walking away, he would look straight at me and yell over and over. It was so funny!We kept passing all these "public footpath" signs and would take one, just for kicks, but it would just go from the main road down to somebody's much for a public footpath! :)

It was just such a great day! 1) It was just Candice and I, 2) we didn't know really where we were going most of the time, and 3) we got to see some of the most beautiful countryside ever! - yeah, you're never going to stop hearing about it ;)

It was quite the adventure! Probably the best one so far!