Travel Thursday: Part 1 Netherlands and Iceland

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Hi everyone! This is a lengthy post so I will split it into a Part 1 and Part 2.

I have been MIA for a while. After my exam, I escaped to the Netherlands to join my husband on his PhD conference as he was one of the presenters. We spent about 5 days in the Netherlands. While traveling back to Pittsburgh at the end of our visit, we had a 12+ hour stopover in Iceland.

Netherlands

Cities visited: Eindhoven, The Hague, Giethoorn, Zaandam

Hotels: The Student Hotel, Hampton by Hilton

We spent most of our days in The Student Hotel. I give this place 4/5 stars! It was cute, quirky, free laundry. We played table tennis while we did our laundry. Our last night there they had a pool party for the students. It was wild….we didn’t attend it though as we were our with our cousins having a wonderful time! I deducted a star because the bathroom was open-concept….take a shower and the water was everywhere!

Vegan Eats:

  • The Student Hotel, Eindhoven had a budget-friendly restaurant below hotel, it was a hit and miss though. Depended on the chef working in the kitchen. The first day the service was quick, I had a wonderful cheeseless mushroom garlic pizza and huge salad with peanut sauce. The second day I waited for over 45 minutes, ended up getting squid soup (yikes), and then after they apologized for the mistake, they gave me pizza with cheese. By this point I was hangry and walked out of there. At least they got my husband’s order right 😉
  • Falafel Masters, Eindhoven really awesome food and many vegan-friendly options on the menu,
  • Happy Italy,  Eindhoven once again loved their option of pasta and pizzas (just order without the cheese, large pizzas and loved the flavour!
  • FOAM, Den Haag, their dessert was so yummy!
  • I packed some instant rice packets, Larabars and Cliffbars to keep me from getting hangry
  • A Subway had newly opened up and was right across from our hotel, so that was helpful as well
  • Schipol airport/train station has a grocery store with vegan/veggie wraps and other items

Travels:

I was tired from finishing up the exam and flew directly to Toronto. Hubby (from Pittsburgh) would meet me at my parents house in Toronto and then we flew together to Amsterdam airport. We landed and met up with my cousin and her husband that night for dinner. They got married just a few months ago so it was wonderful catching up on our lives over food and drinks!

The next day while Hubby was at his conference, I slept. It was glorious! I don’t sleep at all during flights, so when I got the hotel room all to myself I caught up on my sleep.

The people of Netherlands are BIG on biking. It is very cheap to rent a bike and travel to wherever you want. Also, their train/bus services are great and on time! There was not a problem with language, everyone we met spoke English. If there was something we came across written in Dutch, Google translate was very helpful.

With the remaining time we had, we walked around Eindhoven. I love the canals in just about every place we visited. Next day, took the train and visited The Hague. Walked around the city, the architecture was beautiful! Ate at FOAM. Visited The Peace Palace in the Hague. I left a note on the Peace tree outside the Peace Palace. Walked around the World Peace Flame.

Walked through a beautiful park to reach Madurodam!! The intricate details on the miniature buildings and mini trains running through the park are just adorable! Hubby and I spent the rest of the day there.

By the time we caught the train to our hotel in Amsterdam (Hampton by Hilton near the Amsterdam airport) it was late in the evening. Touring Amsterdam was definitely on the list of to-dos but we had to keep in mind that we had something else planned for the next day early in the morning – Giethoorn, the Venice of the Netherlands! So sadly we had to skip Amsterdam tour for another visit in the future. I had planned to visit the Ann Frank museum in Amsterdam but tickets were sold out!! A word of advice: book early!

More on the next post!!!

Cookie monster

I become a cookie monster when I study. My CAP exam is a few days away and I have been cramming as much info as I can into my head. I also got in some practice sessions with the family medicine resident who is working with me. SO THANKFUL that he could spare some time for me! Got some good feedback about what I need to improve on! Confidence was the main thing!

High yield topics that I could be tested on (history taking, physical and tests, mx, tx, counseling): DM, HTN, headache, chest pain, SOB, abdominal pain, vaginal bleed, back pain, fatigue, dementia and delirium.  Sigh. Will the studying ever stop? 🙂 Well yes, when I bake cookies! A few ingredients, very simple and hits the spot.

Choco Chip Pretzel Cookies (vegan)

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Turn oven on to 350-375 degrees.

  • 1 cup white flour + 1/4 teaspoon baking power and 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • maple syrup (I only added 2-3 tablespoons, but feel free to add more for something sweeter)
  • Almond milk (I didn’t measure this, poured a little at a time until the batter was thick enough consistency)
  • Lots of crunched up pretzels and vegan chocochips
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vanilla essence (half teaspoon)

In one bowl I mixed it all together. Greased the baking tray with some vegan butter. Plopped some of the cookie dough on there (once again I was not particular on the shape because I just wanted some COOKIES) 🙂 Baked for a good 20-25 mins, checking to make sure it didn’t burn.

It was not too sweet and I got the crunch from the pretzel pieces and sweetness from the chocolate chips. Yummy!!

I haven’t forgotten to put up the popsicle recipe. Will do it next 😀

 

 

First hike in Whistler, BC

Hope you’re having a happy Saturday!

I dropped my Hubby off at the airport this morning. He was over for a week and we had fun just spending some quality time together at home, watched Netflix, ate at new places and hiked. One of the positive things about a long-distance relationship is that I feel like I am dating my husband and the honeymoon feeling doesn’t go away 🙂

We visited Cheakamus Lake (in Whistler, B.C.) for a day. It was a relatively easy hike, a few elevations but mostly flat, 6 hours in total. We started our hike a bit later in the day though so we only hiked for 4 hours. It was meh….ok I guess? We have been to other places before: Washington State (Hoh Rainforest), Ontario (Algonquin Provincial Park, Rattlesnake Point, Tobermory), Florida (Blue Spring State Park)…..so the walk along the way was kind of boring. Some melting snow so it got very slushy and muddy…..but when we stopped and rested for lunch:

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Cheakamus Lake

Totally worth it! We also stopped by Shannon Falls and Tantalus lookout on our way back from Whistler to Vancouver.

We also got the chance to visit a nearby park called Blackie Spit Park. It was a gorgeous afternoon and low tide. There were kids from school doing some sort of beach “treasure hunt” with their teachers. They found starfish and crabs. After the kids left, I and Hubby walked over and enjoyed watching these beautiful creatures! Here are some pics from the park!

All in all awesome week!

On a side note, some must-watch comedies on Netflix Canada: Master of None and Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King

Three-ingredient vegan popsicle recipe on my next post!

 

 

 

 

Breaking bad news to a patient

As I study for this Clinical Skills exam, I am definite one of the cases I will be tested on is how I break bad news to patients. I came across a few videos that is helping me prepare for this…

SPIKES:

S: Setting up (calm setting, establishing rapport)

P: Patient’s perception (find out what the patient knows)

I: Invitation (what does the patient want to know, how much does she/he want to know)

K: Knowledge (delivery of news in a sensitive, informative, honest way)

E: Emotions and empathy (what concerns does the patient have? acknowledge emotions. Be supportive.)

S: Strategy and summary (get pt’s input. support system? find out what can I do for him/her? offer to help talk to the family. assure patient I am here to answer any questions..)

 

Coffee date post

I came across the idea of a coffee date post from Fitnessita and Fairyburger. I thought I’d do it too because there is so much to catch up on….

Let us sit on a comfy couch at a coffee shop, while it is raining outside and catch up on our lives. Your coffee/tea/hot chocolate is on me!

As we sip on our drinks, I tell you….. 

…….that I had a wonderful time with my brother this past week. We spent some quality sister-brother bonding time (and bickering time!), toured Vancouver and went to the tulip festival. Here are some pictures: 

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I convinced my brother to do something silly with me! ❤

I blink back some tears as I tell you that I am starting to feel homesick. I have been so busy with things these past few months that I didn’t realize how much I missed my family until I saw my brother….

I am stressing about my exam and my future feels so uncertain. At this moment I want my husband with me because I miss him more than ever but I will have to be happy with our online conversations until I see him again…

I tell you about my friend from medical school who is so amazingly beautiful and talented! I think about the fun times back in medical school, oh so many years ago! She is now practicing in Ireland has started up her own business! She bakes lactation cookies for new Moms that help increase breastmilk production. A doctor, a wife and a new Mom who now also runs a business (she also blogs)! So proud of her! 

–> The Milk Booster

I share my obsession with purchasing vegan lipsticks from Colourpop! I have to stop buying them when they have all these crazy promotions on their site! I’ll show you my mug-filled collection another day….how do you like the new colour I am wearing now? (mix of Poison lippie-stix with Beeper liquid lipstick). I love playing with the colours!

One thing is for sure, coffee and conversation makes me feel better.  I smile and tell you that I am thankful for the opportunities I have in front of me. The new adventures, experiences, and challenges. This is just another transition in my life. Things will be ok. 

Typical me, I always talk about myself first….so what have you been up to? 

 

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