Sunday, June 14, 2015

Westward, Ho! But, first, I need to stop, and here...

  As our adventure in Baltimore last summer wrapped up, the Rickster and I were discussing how much we actually sort of dig each other and rather dislike extended time apart.  We, therefore, decided that we needed to find an assignment in a location he was so excited about that he would actually be there with me start to finish.

The Rickster got a gleam in his pale, blue eyes and said, "Man, I'd love to see Seattle."  I popped off an email to my recruiter that I would be interested in going to the Pacific Northwest on my next assignment and forgot all about it.

Fast forward to March.  My recruiter -- who is the truly, most awesomest travel nurse recruiter on the face of the planet -- got in touch, said, "Hey, you said you wanted to go to the PNW this summer.  I have something in Washington state that's already looking, whadda ya say?"  I said, "Go for it".  I did an online and pre-recorded question phone interview (which was odd) and then I got an offer.

In the interim, I had been doing a TON of research and discovered that if my agency housed me, I'd have a long commute (nope).  So, I scoped it out and found housing that was fairly pricey but is corporate housing that has EVERYTHING provided, so I wouldn't even have to bring my travel kit (kitchen supplies, small vacuum, linens, small TV, etc).  So, I demanded a large amount for housing stipend, got almost what I asked for and made other demands related to pay (I really took it in the shorts, money-wise, to work at Hopkins and I wanted to make a decent wage this time).  I got pretty close to everything I asked for.  I was able to guarantee my housing where I wanted it, so I signed (electronically) on the dotted line.

As soon as I signed, I developed short timers' syndrome in a big way and couldn't WAIT to be done with my work at The Awesome Florida Hospital.

I'd planned to have a week or so of no work to get ready for the road and to get the house ready to be left alone for the summer.

That week blasted by.

Then, I made my way west...via Atlanta, Cincinnati and Cleveland.

I am fortunate enough to have friends in all areas of the country and so planned to see as many of them as I could on a completely self-indulgent road trip extravaganza that included coffee roasting, adorable new baby cuddles, and time with wonderful, amazing friends.  Then I spent time with some of my non-crazy family members and got to visit with a life-long friend.

Then, I went to Cleveland to spend some much needed and much anticipated time with My Girls.  You can read about the highlight of that visit on Jimmie's blog here.

I then really did start west, to Tulsa, OK, and got to meet and visit an old online friend from the old Weight Watchers chat boards (which anyone who care knows is where I  met some of my best friends).

But, then, Erica's mom had contacted me about a race for Ovarian Cancer in Denver and a repeat of the team that Erica had originally organized, so I made my way north for that from Tulsa and got to visit with several of the people whom I've grown to love so much.  Sadly, I missed a couple due to their busy lives.  But, there was fun to be had (see post titled "We're from Connecticut").

FINALLY, I headed to New Mexico, the Rickster and our pups.  We had a couple of idyllic, quiet days at El Farolito and then we began our own little Oregon Trail expedition.

And, I can't wait to tell you all about it.