Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ft. Myers: Initial Thoughts

So with each new rotation, I like to think of some goals for myself in that area.  They might be recreational, occupational, spiritual, friends, or something crazy.  Here are the goals I've come up with so far for being in Ft. Myers.

1. learn to stand up paddleboard (SUP)
2. become better at vestibular rehab (it seems like the doctors are referring a lot of dizzy patients to me!)
3. learn to cook seafood as it is fresh and plentiful here!
4. start swimming more again so I can sign up for a tri again later this year
5. continue memorizing Romans 8 (I'd like to have memorized up to about verse 12 by the time I'm done here)
6. eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies since Florida has a long growing season and it's readily available
7. see a MANATEE!!!

Saturday I picked fresh blueberries at English Lake farm and had a nice talk with the owner about how things grow in Florida.  I thought it was really interesting how some fruit trees actually need cold to grow - such as peaches.  The hybrids that the University of Florida are growing only need 100 hours of 40 deg weather a year, but most peaches need much more than that (200-400 hours/year).  Also, there are only about 3 apple trees that will grow in FL, one of which comes from Israel called the Anna apple.  Who knew?!  He also said his wife grows large long avocados (he held his hands about a foot apart) over in Ft. Lauderdale and they'll be ready in a month or so.  If you know me, you know I love avocados.  I MUST try one of these!!!

Today I'm going to go by a fish market for the first time and try to get something...I'm hoping scallops and some type of fish, maybe Mahi Mahi?  We'll see what they have and if I can do anything with it!!

If you know of anything else I should try while in the Gulf Coast area, let me know!!!  :)

Cool Things in Tucson: a small summary of AWESOMENESS...

So just to wrap up some thoughts about Tucson, because it is extremely awesome...if I were to give someone an idea of what to do for a week or a month there, here's the highlights.
1. Hiking: there are tons of options...  If you want tall peaks (9000+ ft), you can do that with Mt. Lemmon or Mt. Wrightson fairly easily (north and south respectively).  You can add in a little camping along with way if you want, too!  For the easier half day stuff, 7 Falls in Sabino Canyon is great, there's a pool to wade in that is ICE cold and refreshing.  A personal favorite is Tucson Mountain Park on the west side of town.  You can explore to your heart's content in cactus covered hillsides only a couple miles west of town.  The fitness buffs often use Tumamoc Hill and 'A' Mountain for hill workouts.

2. Food: Tucson has lots of great places to eat.  Must tries:  Tucson Tamale Company (Wisconsin Grilled Cheese tamale), Cafe Poca Cosa (a little pricier, but awesome!), Wisdom's Cafe down by Tumacacori - try a fruit burrito, El Guerro Canelo - you have to try a Sonoran hot dog somewhere and El Guerro is classic Tucson.  Indian tacos/fry bread - you can get this at multiple places, the fry bread/popover itself is abotu $2, or you can get it topped with red/green chili, cheese, lettuce and tomato to make an Indian taco which is quite tasty and filling and fattening.  These are easily bought at Mission San Xavier del Bac (just of I-19 south) which is a beautiful old mission.

3. Sunsets: Gate's Pass, Signal Hill in Saguara Nat'l Park (west), basically anywhere you can see an awesome sunset.

4. Airplanes: (in case you have a boyfriend like mine that is fairly enthralled by them...)  Pima Air and Space Museum, Titan Missile Museum, Pinal (graveyard of airplanes).  With Davis-Monthan Air Force base located in Tucson, you get to see plenty of "cool" airplanes in the sky as well.  I heard multiple (sometimes scary) sonic booms when I was out on the reservation.

5. Biking: road biking, mountain biking, they have it both.  Though mountain biking I would be very careful due to the cacti - I once saw a woman picking the cactus spines out of her husband's (?) butt in the middle of a trail.  Tucson mountain park is a great place for mountain biking, and road biking is excellent on the west and east sides near either Saguaro as well as there is a 22 mile loop along the 'river' and downtown simply known as "The Loop". (I did get lost on a small part of it so I might have made it 23-24 miles.)  They are working on even more biking paths for the future.

6. Artsy stuff: Tucson is home to a plethora of galleries as well as has craft shows often.  The 4th Avenue street fair happens in December and March each year and is an excellent showing for crafts, photography and you name it odds and ends.  There are many other small fairs throughout the year in various places.

That's just a little taste of some of my favorite things experienced in my 6 months in Tucson.  Now the rest of AZ lies out there waiting to be explored, too, so I won't even start on that or I could write for a really, really long time...  :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

So here goes nothing - I am creating a blog.  This could be dangerous as I tend to ramble when I type...

My hope is that through technology God's world will see even more connected - I think as you travel you realize that, but with traveling to different places sometimes it takes a while to be connected.  Maybe this will help me connect better with those people I love but am not currently in the same location. 

Speaking of which, I'm currently in Florida - Ft. Myers area on the Gulf Coast.  I moved here after an amazing 6 months in Tucson working on the Tohono O'odham reservation providing physical therapy.  I thoroughly enjoyed the plethora of mountains and possibility for outdoorsy activity in Tucson.  It was all made even better by getting to be part of a thriving church called Second Mile and a small group - one of whom's members suggested the name for this blog.  I think he has a think for alliteration because of his own name...