September is almost over! It’s hard to believe – the California sunshine is still shining bright on most days.
This month has been filled with some wonderful adventures. From weekend trips to revelations and accomplishments, it’s been an eventful beginning to the autumn.
trips & adventures
On the first weekend of the month, I took yet another trip to SF. The Saturday farmers’ market on the Ferry Plaza was a feast for the senses. Flowers, exotic mushrooms and weird granolas all around.
We walked around the Mission District and had some really delicious Mexican food. The district is filled with intricate and colourful murals!
Watching the sunset at Crissy Field was super memorable. We caught it at just the right time, entirely by accident.
Later in the month, I had a work trip to Chicago planned with my supervisor. I only had an afternoon to myself and decided to enjoy a little salad from Davanti Enoteca, take an uber to the Sears Tower, walk over to the Art Institute and order a delicious coffee from Intelligentsia before heading back to my hotel.
The height of the skyscrapers made me shed a tear. It was overwhelming and amazing all at once. I’m always so amazed at how far we’ve come as a species! I really loved Chicago, and I vowed it wouldn’t be my last time.
I also experienced the first of ‘east is the beast’, as they say. Flying west is easy, but flying east – less so. The time difference between Chicago and Sacramento was only 2 hours, but I felt it for a good 3 days!
Our trip to Yosemite was the most amazing experience. A three-day adventure I will never forget! Incredible sunsets, crystal clear lakes and unbelievable views from mountains and domes. Our first night took us to June lake, where we stayed in a quaint little lodge.
We left early Saturday for Mammoth lakes and the Tuolomne Meadows, hiked up Lembert Dome and finished the night on Tenaya Lake. We woke up in Lee Vining, where the sweetest little coffeeshop provided the comfort of home and the best sunrise views.
No trip to Yosemite is complete without heading to the valley and Glacier Point, which offers priceless views of Half Dome and the village down below. The height, the space and the size of these mountains are just astounding and left us all speechless!
I finished my dissertation! What a relief. It was a great experience – I learned so much about my field and feel so lucky I was able to contribute to an underserved area.
I won’t bore you with the details, but my supervisor and I looked at the cost-effectiveness of two newly approved drugs for an ultra-rare condition. I was taken along to the public meeting in Chicago, where our model was presented and voted on by a panel. I met some incredibly sharp minds; it was undoubtedly a week to remember.
Later in the month, I presented my topic at a lunchtime seminar my supervisor organised. It was a small, smart crowd, with lots of informed questions and great feedback. I’ve come to really embrace the power and joys of public speaking, despite feeling a little nervous right before starting! Becoming skilled at something requires practice and being open to feedback, both of which I feel I gained from this exercise.
I faced my fear of heights by using the local climbing gym (Pipeworks) more often – I have terrible childhood memories of climbing walls and top-roping, feeling stuck and freezing up at the top. I’ll never be an expert climber, and I don’t care. I’m facing my fears and I’m super happy with my small steps!