Vancouver: Day 01

November, 17, 2013

After a long flight and losing feeling in my butt more than 6 hours before we arrived, we finally met up with my sister in Vancouver! Thanks for picking us up sis!

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For those who don’t know, Jenni moved to Vancouver in August for graduate studies (Master of Occupational Therapy) at UBC – her dream school. Her blog HERE.

She lives in a cute and bright basement apartment with her wonderful housemate, Erin. Little things they had that brightened up the home!

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And look what we had pre-purchased – tickets to the Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars hockey game that night. I am not a fan of hockey, but how can I say no when both Jenni and Mike are such huge fans?

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After dropping off our stuff and seeing my sisters place, we headed out for a walk and a little bit of sight seeing.

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Oh, I haven’t mentioned it was gloomy and rainy. Yes, it was depressing weather. But what could you do?

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We just missed the autumn colours!

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We passed by a cupcake store (Cupcakes by Heather & Lori)… need I say more? The shop was oh-so-cute, as you can see in the photos below.

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The selection of cupcakes was great and I loved their names!

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Loved that they offered both regular and mini sized cupcakes of most of their selection.

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The cakes were tasty! Nice and moist yet light. Unfortunately, although the consistency of the icing was awesome, we found it to be lacking in flavour!

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In the afternoon, we met up with Di Thanh (Aunt Thanh) and her daughter Hayley. Di Thanh is my mom’s cousin on her dad’s side – her dad is my grandpa’s younger brother. My first time meeting her, she’s such a beautiful person, inside and out! She took us to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant and for dessert, took us to La Casa Gelato!

This wasn’t an ordinary gelato shop, they have 218 flavours of gelato onsite at all times! You prepay for your ice cream (we all got single scoop cones) and get a chip to trade in once you make up your mind. And you can have as many samples as you want!

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They had all the traditional flavours plus others that were… perhaps less appealing? Haha, interested in trying seaweed, garlic, or curry flavoured ice cream? What about wasabi, vegemite, or porcini mushroom?

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Family photo!

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Soon it was time to head to the hockey game! We met my sister’s friend Alison, who joined us for the game as well.

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With a much better view than anticipated, we enjoyed the game even more. But unfortunately, Vancouver lost 😦 Still a good time though!

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Ended the night with pizza on the way home at Uncle Fatih’s! Yum yum 🙂

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And that’s it for Day 01! 🙂

Post-Medicine rotation gathering!

November 15, 2013

(I know, I’m now writing out of order too, sorry! :P)

In celebration of our time together throughout our Medicine rotation AND the fact that we finished our last exams of third year – we had to celebrate… with food, of course!

Very happy that most of us were able to meet for dinner Friday evening, hurray!

After some discussion, we decided on New Shanghai as they have many yummy and generous sized dishes to share. In particular, dumplings. Need I say more?

Credit to Sarah for the photos!

The ones who couldn’t make it: Clarence, Yung Howe, Tomas, Joseph, Mustak, Manisha, and Sunny

Adi, Kee Ping, Sarah & Daniel

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Me, Mike, Xuan & Christine

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Sarah & Daniel

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Mike & Xuan

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Daniel & I

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Love this picture 🙂

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For dessert, it didn’t take much convincing for everyone to join for some frozen yoghurt, yum!

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Thanks for the good times guys, have a great holiday!

Last night in Brisbane: Eat Street Markets!

November 16, 2013

Continuing on with my previous post!

I know, I’m so behind.

After Kristen’s baby shower earlier in the day, we decided to meet up at Eat Street Markets later for dinner – also a last chance for me to hang out with everyone before going home to Canada!

Unfortunately, Michael wasn’t a part of this gathering because he had to stay home to sell his iPad, and the girl never showed up! How annoying! At least Yoni was over so he didn’t have to spend his night in Brisbane alone, haha.

Christine picked me up at 6pm and we got there in time to meet Kristen, Matt, Fiona and her friend Amy for dinner – yum!

What is Eat Street Markets? I didn’t know either!

It’s a newly opened (and hopefully permanent) night market at the old decommissioned Hamilton Wharf. Around 80 shipping containers, although I suspect more will be added as time goes by, have been transformed to bright and alluring stalls selling food from all over the world, textiles, art, fresh produce, jewellery, and more!

You can read more about it at The Weekend Edition and at Must Do Brisbane.

One of the entrances to the market

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Two huge ‘starry night’ tents lined entirely with amazing food stalls. Very reasonable prices too!

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Yum, food and friends 🙂

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And plenty other stalls!

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Chitty Banh Banh stall by Jake and Elle from My Kitchen Rules

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Sending our love to a friend who wasn’t able to make it.

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Lovely atmosphere and as with any market, plenty of unique things to see!

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There were even fireworks at the end of the night, although I’m pretty sure they were unrelated to Eat Street Markets.

Had a great night, especially hanging out with everyone! Hopefully Mike will have a chance to go when we are back in Brisbane!

Kristen’s Baby Shower!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It was a beautiful day to celebrate such a special event with Kristen! 🙂

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We were invited to join her for a delicious high tea that was held at Spicers Balfour Hotel, a lovely boutique hotel hidden away from the business of the city.

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Not only were the venue and food beautiful, but more importantly, the mum-to-be looked gorgeous and glowing! Her white dress, swept back hair and of course, those beautiful blue eyes and smile really exuded happiness and excitement. Or was it because school was finally over? Haha, I’m sure that played a small role too! 😉

I apologize for all the stuff in people’s faces in the next few photos…

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For her gift, Fiona, Christine and I agreed that our present would revolve around pampering for Kristen, especially after just completing the most difficult rotation (Medicine) of year 3! Baby presents can come later! 😉 We decided on a pregnancy massage at Rainesforest Massage & Day Spa, as well as a candle and a bottle of bubble bath. You’ll have to let us know how you enjoyed it Kristen!

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Presents from other guests all had one thing in common: ADORABLE!

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Very lovely to meet her friends, and especially her mom

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Girlies!

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I am so excited for the arrival of their bub, I know her and Matt will be wonderful parents! The gender of the baby will be a surprise, which only adds more to the excitement! The only sad thing: she is due next month, and I’m in Canada! But that’s okay, because Mike and I are visiting her family first when we’re back in Brisbane! 😀

Back home in Ottawa!

Hello friends!

I just wanted to check in to say I have safely been back home, in Ottawa, since early Wednesday morning! 😀

Please be patient with my lack of blogging, I have been terrible, I know. But I assure you once I’m a little less busy and also not using my free time during the day to nap, I will update you on lots!

Love!

The end of third year medical school!

Yes yes, that day has finally come!

Yesterday marked the end of my third year in medical school, woo hoo! I had two clinical exams for my final rotation (Medicine), both of which I left with mixed feelings…

The first exam was a long case – 1 hour with a patient during which we must get a full history and do a full examination. Followed by 20 minutes with two examiners where we present our case and get grilled with lots of questions. My patient’s presenting complaint was post-fall following possible syncope, with digoxin toxicity on a background of atrial fibrillation as well as chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and reflux disease.

The second exam was a short case – a focused examination completed within 8-10 minutes, also followed by a brief summary/presentation to the examiners and being questioned. Our short case was a cardiovascular examination on a patient who presented with shortness of breath. We later mostly agreed on the significant findings of murmurs and other signs of biventricular heart failure.

Hopefully I passed! But it’s so easy to look back and think, “I could’ve said this” or “I should’ve asked that.” Only time will tell now, our marks should be released in a few weeks!

Finished up packing this morning. Just need to pick up a couple last things but so ready to hop on a plane back home! Hopefully Mike and I can hit the beach tomorrow for some last minute relaxation (and tanning ;)) before heading back to Canada early Sunday morning.

Will be staying over in Vancouver for a couple of days to visit my sister. I’ve never been before so pretty excited! Here’s our flight itinerary:

Itinerary

Random recent moments

As I mentioned in the last post, I haven’t done much in the last 3 weeks but there are a few things to share!

My dear friend Amanda gifted me with lovely chocolate covered sultanas by Melba’s and a bottle of Chenin Blanc (Coriole Vineyards), both presents from South Australia. The chocolates are rich, smooth and delicious and of the course, the wine was very tasty. She even wrote a really touching note… just because she’s an awesome friend and is always thinking of other people. 🙂

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Having some of the chocolates and salted cashews = winning snack.

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Craving for Korean food led us back to our usual spot – Madtongsan II for dinner on Oct 16!

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Oct 19 – Could not resist the great lunch specials at Wagaya. Went for my new favourite dish, tonkotsu ramen, so delicious! Even comes with dumplings and an amazing bowl of fried rice!

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For dessert, we chose to share the green tea cheese cake with green tea ice cream. Have been wanting to try this for a while but probably not worth getting again.

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Mike’s squishing me! Long but fun and extremely worthwhile days in hospital this rotation. But sooo tired when we finally get home, not much studying gets done.

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Yoni was in town from Nambour and staying with us Oct 19-20. We went to see Gravity which was good, although I was glad we didn’t see the 3D version because I think I would’ve gotten motion sickness. And we never go without food! My favourite wedges from Beastie Burgers and burritos from Guzman y Gomez, yummy picnic!

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I ordered a few BB Cream replacements recently, and look at all the amazing samples I received! All well known Korean brands too… can’t wait to try some of these out, especially the Ice Mask!

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Boiled quail eggs with some salt and pepper – delicious snack!

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How do you cut a pineapple? This is how I learned from my mom, least amount of pineapple wastage!

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Yummy! Honeydew melon with pineapple and lychee – can’t go wrong!

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Tried frozen yoghurt for the first time not too long ago – how delicious! Biscotti and coconut pandan flavour with fruits – yum!

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A new favourite in our house, basil & blueberry gin and tonic – try it! Very tasty 🙂

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Home made food update? Here are a few things!

Crispy oven baked sweet potato fries

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Creamy mushroom soup – delightful!

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More mango sticky rice with coconut cream, mmm

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Vegetarian pasta salad with Greek yoghurt based dressing

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Pear cupcakes with passionfruit icing for the students in my group

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Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing and carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing as thank you gifts for my med team.

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3 weeks since I last posted!

Unbelievable how fast this rotation has gone by… tomorrow is already my last day in hospital… of the year. Then final exams next week!

I haven’t blogged in over three weeks, ashamed! No excuses! Although getting home late most days leaves me completely exhausted, especially after dinner when I still have to study 😦 That, and I have not done anything interesting during this rotation! Mostly focused on school, I haven’t even been taking photos regularly! Oopsies.

I’m very excited to be approaching the end of third year, which has been fantastic. I love being in the hospital, being part of a team, and the opportunity for hands on learning. Definitely excited to be finishing up this year, but a little apprehensive about next year as well, ah!

Here are a few updates:

  • So fortunate to have been a part of such an awesome medical team for this rotation. We are having a farewell lunch tomorrow… I’ll definitely be a little sad but it will be nice to see their faces next year as well 🙂
  • Final exams next Wednesday morning! It will consist of a long case and a short case. For the long case, we get 1 hour with a patient and during that hour, we must get a full history and do a full examination. This is followed by 20 minutes with two examiners where we present our case and get grilled. The short case will be a focused examination completed within 8-10 minutes, also followed by a brief summary/presentation to the examiners and being questioned. Sounds nerve wracking? It is!
  • Because real patients are used for our exams, we are banned from the hospital as of Friday. That way, newly admitted patients are kept secret 😉 And so, I’ve decided to go to the beach this weekend. Relax and do some reading under the sun… lots of reading to get through in preparation for my exams next week!
  • Will be going to my first baby shower! Mum-to-be is my lovely friend Kristen, who makes pregnancy look absolutely beautiful!
  • Then Mike and I are flying home on Sunday, November 17th at 7:45 am! We’ll be heading to the airport quite early, will we be up all night doing last minute packing? Mike will for sure. I’ll be doing my packing while procrastinating studying for exams.
  • We’ll be arriving in Vancouver on November 17th at 7:25 am and will spend a couple of days visiting my sister (studying OT at UBC) before going back to Ottawa, arriving at 11:40 pm on November 19th!
  • Yay, I’ll be home for my grandpa’s 80th birthday!
  • After many weeks of snail mail, I have finally completed my registration to write the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE)! This will be the first of 4 Canadian exams I will have to complete should I wish to train in Canada. My exam will be on February 28th in Melbourne!
  • I have a lot of studying to do… for the rest of my life.
  • But yay, home soon! And for Christmas!