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GB River Trail

We went for a walk over the weekend on the Greenbrier River Trail. Why are you so beautiful!?


it’s april

It’s supposedly April.

And yet this happened on Thursday.

What is the meaning of this madness?

And…two days later, this is how it looked:

My friend/adopted-mentor and I were going to go biking yesterday, but on account of the wonderful snow we got hit with on Thursday (and the fact that I don’t have a bike rack/he accidentally locked his keys in his car), we ended up taking his dog out to the Greenbrier River trail. I thinkkk we walked 7 miles or so. Winston had a hell of a lot of fun finding gigantic sticks to run around with, chasing squirrels, romping around and exploring the world. I wish I’d taken a picture of him! He was the poster child for happiness, and we were happy to just have sunlight in our lives again. It was such a beautiful day!

I’m doing a happy dance on the inside. Limbs crossed for this weather to stay.

Afterward, I went off to my neighbor’s place since he was having a spontaneous cookout and we hung out for a while. Dustin and Adam act kinda like my two additional older brothers, so when they found out that I’d spent half the day with aforementioned friend, the conversation went something like this:
A: Oh, new boyfriend, huh?
F: What? No.
D: Really now. Do we know this guy?
A: Do we need to give him the safe talk?
D: Because we’ll do it.
E: Safe talk?
F: Just ignore them and they’ll go away. :[

They also gave me all kinds of shit for bringing over mini marshmallows and chocolate chips to make s’mores (I had chocolate chips already so I figured I’d get little marshmallows to go with them; in short, I wasn’t thinking), but they turned out fine!


Warning: This is a freakishly long post because I’m in this whole super-grateful-happy-peaceful mood right now.

We finished our first course in medical school yesterday. It’s been a little difficult to describe to people what classes I’m taking when they ask, because officially, I only really had 3 courses: “Foundations,” “Clinical Skills Lab” + “OPP Lab.” But Foundations covered everything under the sun, including, but not limited to physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, fungi, bacteria, viruses, immunology, communications, etc. My short answer when people asked was, “Everything.” Suffice to say, all of us have been blowing off steam since we finished the test. A lot of people went down to the pub to get drunk last night, and our dean made it a point to tell us to be careful when celebrating. I opted instead to go cat-shopping for Kitler, clean my apartment, and to put my pole together, because it’s finally here! My neighbor was going to take it in for me because it looked like it was going to rain, but it’s probably a good thing that he did not. :P

It’s in my bedroom for the time being because my front door opens to my living room and I am still slightly iffy about letting people know about my freakishly awesome but often wildly judged hobby. The living room has a lot more space though, so I may eventually decide that I don’t give a shit and move it over there.I saw a supah cute lionhead bunny (shown above), a sugar glider, a blue & gold macaw that kept saying “Hello,” tiny hamsters, spotted guinea pigs and 2 ferrets at the pet store (shopping for Kitler). :O

I feel like I’ve been incredibly lucky with how everything has turned out here; I think God’s been looking out for me every step of the way (throughout my life too, but for our purposes, I’m talking about my life here right now), since before I even moved in. I love the place I live in. It’s a little farther away from where most students live, so I’m slightly worried about ice and snow on the giant hill in the winter, but my neighbors are both from here (well, central WV) and have been great about giving me advice and basically taking care of me, in a sense. If I were an arachnophobe or just afraid of bugs in general, I would probably be having some terrible times over here, because where I live is akin to being on an extended camping trip (with all the amenities I want/need), but since I don’t give a crap and don’t mind the random woodland creatures we happen upon (Adam found a tree frog in his bathroom the other day and we also have a pet skunk), it is a-okay.

My landlord is super nice and fixes stuff practically instantaneously if anything goes wrong (I had a problem with turning off the bathroom sink and shower faucets because it just stayed…on…; they like to joke that it’s because I’m too strong). Although he had initial reservations when I asked if he allowed pets (I wanted to get a cat), he actually okayed me to get one (more on him later! <3 he arrives at the end of this month + I’m super excited! :] ). He calls me every now and then to make sure I’m doing okay, and came to our White Coat Ceremony to stand in as my family since I told mine not to come (too expensive/inconvenient).

Although I live alone, I don’t actually feel like I’m living alone. This is probably due to the fact that my neighbors are so amazing. One of them is my landlord’s grandson and the other two are fellow first years and both of them are full of all kinds of awesome (understatement of the year). We frequently accidentally refer to each other as our roommates, even though we all live alone. This is likely due to the fact that both of them have an open-door policy, as in, they keep their doors unlocked in case any of us ever need anything. For the most part, I leave mine unlocked whenever I’m home unless I’m sleeping, partly because it’s a force of habit (but mostly because I’ve re-adopted 6F policies in terms of how much I wear when I’m at my own place).

I’ve already mentioned here that people are incredibly nice here. I honestly feel like this is a cross-section of a different world/universe that I’m living in, and when I describe it to my friends back home/in NJ, they wonder how it’s possible. Case in point: my neighbors. I study with one of them almost every day, and came upon the realization a couple days ago that I actually spend a crap ton more time in his apartment than I do in my own place. On Wednesday, I was there from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. (let’s not forget the fact that both of us had also been studying on our own throughout the day). I’ve been treating school like it’s my job and then some, because it basically is. Other than the fact that I’m paying them, but anyway. Granted, not every second is spent studying since we inadvertently end up talking about everything under the sun, but those are treated as our study breaks.

Adam cooked us omelets stuffed with all kinds of veggies the other night while we were studying, and I dumped some sundried tomato sauce that he made over em’. This is the good life. *-*

Our other neighbor (Dustin) cooked dinner a couple nights ago and brought it over for us. Although he’s on the paleo diet, he knew that I was a fan of rice (how can I not be when I’m Asian, right?), so he actually made me some and brought that over too. They were telling me about their hometowns the other day and from what I heard, I’ve deemed the mystery of the day to be this:  how my neighbors turned out to be such amazingly nice people despite everything I’ve heard about what they’ve grown up with. It’s mystifying. My parents met one of my neighbors (the one I study with who lives downstairs) while they were here and apparently, before my dad left, he asked him to “make sure that I don’t die.” (I didn’t hear my dad say this, but my neighbor told me, haha.) I guess he indeed agreed to look out for me, because he’s been making good on this by way of feeding me (yes, my neighbors seriously cook me dinner, and they’re both hella good at making food), picking up stuff for me or for my future cat whenever he goes to the grocery store, knocking on his ceiling/my floor to wake me up on test days (or when I am likely to oversleep). Sometimes, I come home to small bags of candy or other treats on my porch. :O At one point in time, I would never have believed that it’s possible for people to be this nice, but apparently, I was all kinds of wrong.

One of my friends won a free shuttle down to the Greenbrier River Trail (which I’ve posted about before). It basically stretches 70-80 miles down, so she asked me and a couple other friends if we’d be interested in biking it, and seeing as how we have an ongoing “Adventure Time” thread on places to explore/things to do, who were we to turn that down? We figured, what better day to go than after our test? Blow off steam, get fresh air + exercise, rid ourselves of vitamin D deficiency, explore WV…win-win, basically.

I rented a bike from Merrick at Hill & Holler again. (That bike shop is awesome. :D I still wish I were hardcore enough to ride to/from school. I do not know how my neighbor does it.

We opted for the 20 mile bike ride, so Merrick drove us out to Renick and we started at roughly mile marker 23 (a little before that) and went on our way to meet him at mile marker 3. There was basically on phone reception for almost the entirety of the ride, but I brought mine along to take pictures. :D

We ate lunch at the first swimming hole we stopped at. The water was chilly, but our days to keep swimming are somewhat numbered because it’s probably gonna get kinda cold soon (it’s worse January through March, but I can’t imagine the water being very forgiving/us being free to swim in it for too much longer).

So pretty. :D I’m still in continual awe over how gorgeous it is out here.

We’re going apple-picking tomorrow!

greenbrier river trail

Soooo…a group of us decided to go swimming. The staff mentioned that although they used to actually have a pool on campus years and years ago, it died and was replaced by a library. :O There are rivers everywhere though, so it is a-okay.

After learning how to use the testing software/finishing a bunch of quizzes during orientation, obtaining a bunch of free things at the resource fair and stopping for bubble tea (!!! it opened in June :O!!! they are Taiwanese; I won’t be quite so deprived after all!), we drove down to the Greenbrier River Trail, parked off the road and trekked a couple miles down to the mile 5 marker to go swimming in the Greenbrier river.

This was my first view of the river (aside from the stretch I pass by every day while driving home).

However, that was where people went fishing or took their boats out, so we went a little further in.

From what I hear, the Greenbrier River Trail used to be where the train tracks would run, so it is, in essence, the flattest part of this area (in other words, if you have weaksauce endurance like me, you won’t die while running/biking it, unless you try to do the whole thing, which is approximately 70 miles). I probably haven’t mentioned yet that on Sunday, I had the bright idea of attempting to see how realistic it would be for me to bike to and from school instead of driving. Let’s just say that 8 miles of back-road steep hills where I pedal like no other and seem to go nowhere is pretty depressing. I made it home, but I am not cool enough to be able to do this on a daily basis, particularly if I still want to have friends, because I was a pretty sweaty mess by the time I got home. There would be the option of showering at the gym, but that’d essentially mean that I’d have to get up before the buttcrack of dawn, and we all know how much of a morning person I am. :/

That said, downhill is super fun. :X I loved every second of that. The bike I rented is from Hill and Holler. Merrick helped me out in finding a bike that’d suit my needs (tis a GT Transeo hybrid bike; I love it to death, but it was a struggle trying to fit it into Cordelia’s trunk). I’d probably need to get a bike rack, and that’s…even more money. :[ I reallyyyy want it, but it’s definitely a want and not a need. :/ (By the way, is it terrible that I may sign up for accounts with two banks here because I’d make $150? >_>)

Anyway, this is where we went swimming!

It’s so, so beautiful here. When I came home last night and looked up at the sky, I was pretty amazed. The last time I saw so many stars in the sky was probably in May of 2010, when I went camping at the California/Oregon border. Watching the meteor shower here is gonna be pretty awesome.

Entirely unrelated (alright, maybe 0.1% related since it has to do with…the sun, which loosely translates to nature…), but after my epic bike ride (sigh), I stopped over at my neighbor’s place to say an official hello (because it’s kinda hilariously sad that I met him at a BBQ at someone else’s house even though we’ve been living in the same complex for…2 weeks now?). He had this awesome sun tea jar that he got at Krogers for “dirt cheap.” Inspired (since I first learned of sun tea from Rachel and it’s really hot these days so I don’t exactly want hot tea :O ), I decided to stop by at Krogers and get my own. (Also because while I was over, I drank everything. He wanted it to be finished off and told me I should finish it. But still.)

But here it is! With my favorite color and favorite flowers along with 4 plastic cups…for $2.63. I kid you not. :O