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Laundry On Sundaes

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

Tag Archives: nashville

So last Thursday was the last day of my summer internship; all the interns were back in Nashville for the final presentations and a few last meals together, and then everyone was off again.

I probably won’t realize the full significance of this summer until I look backon it much later, but I have to say that I really did have a great time and that I’m very happy that I got to experience everything I did. Although this internship wasn’t my first choice for the summer, and Nashville was in the bottom half of my location preference list, I think it worked out for the best. Life works in a funny way sometimes; you may not always get what you want in life, but what you need.

After I said my goodbyes, I was on my way to San Francisco. I was super excited because I was just happy to be back on the west coast and SF is an awesome city and I get to spend time with Yufei. And the night I arrived we ordered Thai food and I had my first pad kee mao in months! Yum! This was off to a good start.

The next morning I had a mission: to get a haircut. I’m someone who gets tired of her hair very easily, and I’d been very agitated with my hairstyle the whole summer. So I opted to get it cut short, which I hadn’t done since about the ninth grade. I think it turned out pretty good, yeah?

Then that afternoon I walked over to Twitter, where Yufei is working this summer, and we walked around Union Square for a bit, before stopping for dinner at Sanraku. Delicious Japanese food… mmm oh yeah San Francisco is shaping up very well food-wise. After dinner we went to see the last Harry Potter movie – finally. I’ve already written extensively about the profound influence Harry Potter has had on my life, so I won’t say much now, besides that yes, I did shed tears at some parts of the movie and that I now have the urge to re-read all the books again.

So my stay in SF was off to a good start! Despite the cold weather and all the hills I’m subjected to climb every day, I still love this city.

Weekend adventures coming soon!


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We did stuff other than eat! I swear! Stuff like…

… Seeing the 42 feet tall statue of Athena inside the Parthenon in Centennial Park

… Admiring the Tennessee State Capitol

… Pondering the questions of the universe in front of these tomes by the Nashville Public Library

… Visiting the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

… Drinking a lot of free Dr. Pepper (wait… does that count as eating?)

… Making friends with Shrek

… Watching an awesome fireworks show

… And wishing that the lovely Belmont Mansion was our own!

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My first ever 4th of July spent in the US was amazing! Yufei came to visit for a few days and we had such a great weekend here in Nashville, which, of course, included lots of awesome food.

On Saturday night Yufei treated me to a delicious dinner at Sunset Grill, a neighbourhood restaurant not far from where I live. I think it was the best meal I’ve had – and probably will have – in Nashville yet! We started off by sharing the Sweet and Sour Smoked Duck, which came in a scallion pancake and was served with creme fraiche:

For our main courses, Yufei had the Angus New York Strip:

And I ordered the Shrimp and Grits because I was seriously craving seafood:

The dish was so so good! The shrimps were perfectly seasoned and the grits were so delicious and buttery. Even then I still couldn’t finish it since the serving was huge, and because I needed to save room for dessert! We opted for the Small Trio, which included 3 half portions of desserts. We chose a Rhubarb Crisp with vanilla ice cream, the Butterscotch-Habanero Bread Pudding, and the Death by Chocolate Cake:

They were all very yummy and we definitely stuffed ourselves that night. I really liked the restaurant a lot: the atmosphere was great, at least where we sat in the airy open area with glass windows and ceiling, our server was great as well, and the food was heavenly. I’m going to try and go back before I leave Nashville!

Then on Sunday, for lunch we picked up food from Panera and had a nice picnic lunch in Centennial Park. The frozen strawberry lemonade was so good and I’m obsessed with their potato chips. We also got ice cream and sweet tea – Yufei’s first ever! – at McDonald’s after. Then for dinner we went to P. F. Chang’s. We don’t often to go big chain restaurants but I wanted nice Asian food and that was a scarcity in the area around Vanderbilt. We had the prix-fixe four course dinner for 2. We each had a hot and sour soup and shared the lettuce wrap appetizer, which was really good, but I found the soup a bit salty.

Then for entrees we had pretty standard fare, sweet and sour pork for Yufei and sesame chicken for me. My chicken was actually very good, it had a nice ginger kick to it and I really liked it.

Then for dessert we had 2 of the mini desserts – the Great Wall of chocolate and the red velvet cake – which came in little glasses and were the perfect size after a pretty big meal.

Then came Monday, the 4th of July, and we headed downtown for the festivities. We had lunch at Jack’s Bar-B-Que which was yummy as always, and then bought ice cream before getting more free ice cream samples, free Cherry Dr. Pepper (Yufei was very very happy about that) and free McDonald mango smoothies. Dinner was the unhealthiest combination ever: sweet potato ribbon fries, nachos, and fried chicken on a stick, with a huge lemonade made from real lemons (pathetically the healthiest part of the meal). But to be fair, healthy options were pretty much nonexistent among the food stands in the park. Ah – gotta love America.

Tuesday was Yufei’s last day here in Nashville, and we had to go to The Pancake Pantry before he left.

It’s a so-called “Nashville Tradition” and I’d heard enough about the place that I was pretty curious about it myself. We went at around 11:45 am, and there was a line out the door. I was warned about this so it wasn’t so unexpected. We waited about half an hour before we got seated – in one of the booth seats by the window – score! After looking at the menu, Yufei decided to get the sweet potato pancakes and I got the Swiss chocolate chips pancakes, and we also got the Cook’s Medley to share.

The pancakes were fluffy and warm and scrumptious as expected, but I also seriously loved the Cook’s Medley – crispy hash browns with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and ham, with melted cheese on top and 2 fried eggs, served with spicy salsa – so so good. I was a lot of food for the 2 of us, and we wished that we’d only gotten 1 pancake serving to share, but oh well, everything was delicious!

And that about wraps up our food adventures this weekend in Nashville! Ahh… it was divine.

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Centennial Park,that is. Situated right next to Vanderbilt, I decided to pay the park a visit last Sunday. It turns out that I came on a good day, as the Annual American Artisan Festival was happening that weekend.

Rows and rows of white tents with artists and craftsmen selling their work, live music in the air, food stands clustered in a corner… this was just my type of thing! So I dove right in and saw some awesome (hey that rhymes!) work:

After I got my share of artsiness for the day, I headed towards the massive, columned structure not too far away. The only full-scale replica of the Parthenon in the world – right here in Nashville, Tennessee.

An art museum is inside, but I didn’t go in since I was planning to take Yufei there when he comes to visit next week. So just walked around the park some more. It’s quite a lovely place, actually, with a little lake, lots of porch swing type things around it, and plenty of trees and flowers.

Than after my little walk, on my way back, I decided to stop by a McDonald’s to get an ice cream cone. If you didn’t know already, McDonald’s has the creamiest, most delicious vanilla ice cream cones ever, and for cheap too, at little over a dollar, the price I was used to in New York and Canada. But I found out that it only cost 55 cents here. 55 cents!! Oh, Nashville, you are full of pleasant surprises.

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I hadn’t planned on doing any shopping in Nashville, but who knew this place had an amazing designer discount store and a lovely little consignment boutique right near Vanderbilt? I may have a shopping problem but I just can’t help it when the deals are so good! I bought 4 things already (spent under $100 total) but I think I need to stop now; it’ll be hard though!

The designer discount store, UAL, is a treasure trove of goods from various designers at steep discounts. The store is a little crammed and it takes some time to find things that you like and fit you, but I like the hunting process and the people who work there are great. I found it by chance when doing some grocery shopping earlier this week and found these Trina Turk capri pants, originally priced at $216, for $16.99!

(Top from Tilly’s, shoes from Lulu’s, Bag from eBay.)

Then I just had to go back because I didn’t have time to look through everything, and I just had to get more stuff because I can’t help it. So today I bought a pair of $19.99 Serfontaine jeans that were originally $220 (my search for black denim that fits finally ends here) and a t-bags top that was marked down from $175 to $29.99.

Then today on my way to the post office, I passed by Clothing Xchnage, a little consignment boutique. I decided to take a look, and of course I had to find the prettiest pink floral dress from Ann Taylor LOFT that looks almost new and fits me perfectly for only $13. And so I bought it.

I’m very happy now because of my new clothes, but the ever shrinking room in my suitcase size and my bank account sure aren’t. So this is it for shopping in Nashville! Deep breath… it’ll be okay.

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After orientation, camp, and moving in, it was finally time to get serious. On Monday I got all my paperwork approved and got my ID badge, and on Tuesday I began my official internship at VUMC!

Basically what I’ve been doing is just shadowing my host doctor, Dr. Langone, a transplant nephrologist, and sometimes other doctors, residents, and fellows. I get to the Vanderbilt Hospital at 8 am every day and go on rounds with Dr. Langone’s team as they check on patients in both nephrology and the surgical ICU. After that, I go to clinic with a doctor or fellow and observe outpatient clinic visits for various reasons such as post-transplant follow-up, pre-operation check-up, kidney donation, etc. Then at around noon almost every day there is some sort of meeting of conference going on so I go to that, which usually includes free lunch (yay).

On the first day I realized that I’d be free after about 1 pm every day, and I wanted to make the most of this internship so I asked one of the fellows to help me make some connections in the neurology department since I’m a neuroscience major and I’m really interested inneurology. This was successful and for the last 2 afternoons I’ve been shadowing on the neurology consult team, which gets called to check on in-patients in various departments who need to be checked for neurological issues. This has been really interesting and I’ve met some current medical students on rotation who have been great to talk to.

I’ve also tried to contact some more doctors in neurology and psychiatry, and hopefully next week I will be able to branch out even more. I think it’d be so cool to go on psych consults. Also I tried to contact a dentist (since I’m also considering dentistry) here but she’s away until next Monday so I’ll have to wait to see if she’ll let me shadow. And I’m in the process of being approved for the OR so I’m hoping to see a surgery soon!

Everyone I’ve met here – doctors, residents, fellows, medical students – have been really nice and receptive so far, and it’s great. I was a little nervous at the beginning that since I’m only an undergrad, people wouldn’t even bother with me or would be too busy to make time for me; after all, they’ve all got very important jobs to do. But everybody have been amazing at taking my questions, explaining things to me, and just being generally supportive. I was pleasantly surprised and this has definitely been a big part of me enjoying this experience.

In other exciting news, I got my lab coat today! Now I will feel much more legit walking around the hospital :D

Can’t wait for week 2!

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As we made our way back from camp Friday morning, we stopped by an Applebee’s for lunch. After a week of eating cafeteria food on meal trays, my Cajun shrimp pasta tasted like heaven. Even the restaurant’s bathroom was a nice change from the shower curtained stalls at camp. After lunch we proceeded to our new hotel for the next 2 nights, a Hampton Inn and Suites near the airport. My room was actually ready when I got there and as soon as my body hit the bed, I took the most-needed nap I’ve ever had in my life. Then for dinner we were treated, once again, to pizza at Pie in the Sky. And after dinner, a much needed shower and laundry run.

Then Saturday was the the last day of orientation, where we had a camp overview, a talk by Dr. Langone (whom I am shadowing), a panel by past interns, and a review of some medical terminology. Then the interns went our separate ways to travel to their host sites all over the country.

I moved into my new home for the summer on Sunday, and it is awesome. It’s a dorm at one of the resident halls at Vanderbilt, but it’s really more like a one-bedroom apartment than anything else. I’ve got a living room:

A kitchen:

A bedroom (the bunk bed is the only thing that reminds me that it’s a dorm):

An in-suite bathroom:

And a pantry (which I will never use) and a walk-in closet. I wish I could live here longer than just a month and a half so that I can buy more stuff to decorate it and make it cozy and homey because this is probably the best living condition I’ve ever had on and probably will have my own for the next few years. Sigh…

So after I unpacked and got settled in a bit, I decided to go out and get some food and other supplies. A trip to CVS with 4 things on my list turned into a shopping spree of 3 heavy bags of stuff (you don’t even realize the things you’re missing until you see them!). By then it was hot and I was tired and I really craved some type of Asian food or at least something other than sandwiches, so imagine my delight when I ran into an Indian restaurant that had a lunch buffet! It was almost 3pm by then and I was starving so I just had to go in. The food was great, the selection was pretty good even though they were nearing the end of lunch hour, and the meal only cost me $11.50 including tax and tip. The name of the restaurant was Sitar and I will definitely make my way back there during my stay.

After an unsuccessful attempt at finding a Citibank branch (turns out there are none in Nashville), I made my way back hauling all my stuff. I made another trip out later that day to get some groceries at a store about 10 minutes away. It was much bigger and the selection much wider than I was made to believe from the Yelp reviews I’d read; maybe that’s just the New Yorker in me again expecting every neighborhood establishment to be tiny. The cashier was very nice and friendly and called me New York when I told him that I go to school there, hahah.

So I pretty much looooove my new home for the next 7 weeks! Man why do my summer living conditions always beat Columbia housing? I’m never going to want to go back now…

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