Five things from last week.

I had a 54 hour work week last week, so apologies for the lack of posts. However, here are five things from last week worth noting.

1.  I spent two days at a Pediatric End of Life Conference early in the week (Yes, I know. Most people read that sentence and immediately begin to cry and wonder how anyone could do anything that depressing. But pediatric palliative and end of life care is a very real part of my job. It is something I take very seriously and consider to be privilege. I jumped at the opportunity to spend two days hearing from experts in the field. You now have the right to go back to not thinking about such sad things hopefully ever again 🙂 ) I work at a hospital in downtown Richmond (due to my fear of HIPPA I will never utter its name, sort of like Voldemort). And there are incredible food carts all around. My normal lunch “break” is 5 minutes downing a Cliff bar and a jug of diet pepsi in the break room while simultaneously fielding phone calls and call bells from patients. So having a whole 45 minute break at the conference was like a little vacation. It meant I actually had time to get food from a cart and sit down while eating it without giving myself heartburn.

There are a million options with the carts, anything from Mexican to sandwiches to Thai to Carribean. But  of course I turned to Christopher’ Runaway Gourmet . I am obsessed with their tuna salad and marinated cucumbers. The best part is you always get a big chunk of crunchy french bread with your order. If you’re looking for a (literal) out of the box lunch I highly recommend heading downtown the next time the weather is nice and perusing the many carts. It always makes me feel like I live in a much bigger city than Richmond.

2. It’s not always doom and gloom working with kids at a hospital (actually it’s very rarely doom and gloom when you work with kids, even the sickest ones). Sometimes my days include complimentary manicures at the nurses’ station 🙂
3. R and I went to Southbound last week. And we absolutely LOVED it. 
I have zero food pictures because I was too busy unhinging my jaw. But we had the tostada appetizer which was super delicious. It reminded me of something my mom used to make with us when I was little. We called it Mexican pizza. We got those flat taco shells and then smothered them with refried beans, cheese, salsa, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, etc, then put them in the oven. This was a fancy version of that more or less with the addition of delicious carnitas. So, SO good. I wanted every appetizer though, especially the Virginia ham plate with buttermilk biscuits! Next time. For my entree I got the local flounder with white beans and broccolini. The flounder was perfectly cooked and so fresh. The white beans were all bacony and salty goodness. And the broccolini was somehow fresh and slightly crunchy while also tasting very drenched in butter. R got the house made fusili with sausage which was also incredible. We both licked our plates. But still managed to have room to walk next door to Gelati Celesti (but really how could you NOT have room for gelati celesti at any time day or night?)
4. We headed up to Wintergreen Saturday to stay with our friends Ross and Laura. So here’s the thing. I have been skiing probably 6 or 7 times. All but one of those times have been to Wintergreen. Now granted those ski trips are usually spaced apart by several years, but in all those visits I have never progressed beyond the beginner slope. I like skiing. But I also have a (what I consider) healthy fear present whenever I ski. I mean it’s ludicrous when you really think about it. We strap wooden sticks to our feet and then shoot down snow covered mountains on them. It’s kind of dumb. I love many kinds of adventure, but have never been an adrenaline junky when it comes to doing things that are speedy or from great heights. However on this occasion I finally made it to the intermediate slopes. I’m glad I did if only for the incredible view of the Blue Ridge that awaits you at the top of the lift (those suckers down on the bunny slope don’t get this kind of view! also they probably wouldn’t enjoy it because as a skiing beginner you spend most of the time horizontal) Even though these slopes are steeper they are made slightly easier by the fact that unlike on the beginner slope you are not constantly avoiding screaming, out of control people crashing all around you (trust me, I say that as someone who has spent most of my ski trips screaming and crashing). I was also comforted/humiliated by the number of teeny tiny (I mean barely out of toddler years) kids also on the intermediate slopes. And of course they shoot straight down the hills without any poles or presumably any fear whatsoever (in my defense my bones are much more brittle in my old age versus their tiny, pliable ones). I got a system down where I took big wide turns the whole way down and made a pie shape with my skis the entire time (I wish someone had gotten a video, because you probably get the mental image of how professional and awesome I must have appeared).

We both made it through the experience without any fractures (something we high fived over beers at the little food cabin at the bottom of the beginner slope) and had a great time watching college basketball and eating delicious chicken pot pie that night in our friends’ condo. Any time I go skiing and don’t die I consider it a momentous victory.

5. And finally, because no weekly wrap up would be complete without a George and Sandy picture.

Sandy, miraculously, has yet to attempt fratricide. 

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