Colorado April 2017

With my clinical curriculum requirements done, I was able to snag my fiancée away for a birthday weekend to Colorado to hike through Rocky Mountain National Park. We had 3 days of great hiking and bouldering.

Friday hike

Day of of hiking – 11.1 miles with plenty of bouldering and hiking to get to Bear lake and back to the starting trailhead (Tuxedo area). We were pretty spent.

We hiked through a good variety of terrain on day 1, including streams and boulders and culminating in passing the snow line and trekking through 4-foot snow. Fortunately, the bulk of it had been compacted by previous hikers, so it wasn’t dangerous to get through. I think we started out that day around 8-9a and ended around 5p.

After the first day, we needed a recovery and we got a lazy start on day 2 around 10-11a or so. After some debate, we found an awesome waterfall trail that we scampered up, slowly bouldering and climbing during the day. The trail was the initial portion of the Lawn Lake trail, and we essentially stayed on the river portion of it – the Roaring River. Ultimately we climbed up the elevation and made our way up to the trail to follow it down to its trailhead. During the day we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some bighorn sheep! We concluded around 6p.

On day 3 we had a late evening flight and the whole day to hike. Amanda and I hiked on a wonderful trail that led us to Gem Lake and ultimately to Standing Rock.

AAD Standing Rock

Both of us climbed up that bad boy

On this last hike we tried out our bluetooth portable speakers and made good time to the Moana soundtrack. I also figured out that the Alltrails app is great for tracking your hikes and giving you an idea on your distance and path. It allowed me to easily find our way and get this data:

Day 3 Data

Alltrails – very solid to track a hike and prevent getting lost. Had my phone on a portable charger, though.

One especially memorable experience occurred on our descent while we were resting at Gem Lake. We sat basking in the sun and eating jelly beans. Another couple had been similarly sitting a little farther on the same rock. After some time, they stood up to leave and as they left, one of them bent to tie her shoe. As she stood up, she hit her head on a jutting rock, causing a 2-inch laceration. She then fell backwards and tripped on a root.

As observers, we were 20+ feet away, and we both got up and helped. As we were in the middle of the wilderness, there wasn’t much to do other than to clean her wound and dress it. We stressed to them the importance of getting sutures, and slowly followed them down and saw them off. It was a telling moment because, outside of a healthcare setting, I felt like a competent provider. I knew their day had been ruined, but I think the pair of us budding young docs gave them some mental relief and first aid.

Cancun – Imperial Maya Valentin

The latter portion of December 2016 was reserved for a family vacation with my future wife, her parents, and her siblings. After a mild travel ordeal, we flew from Omaha, NE to Cancun, Mexico to enjoy seven days in paradise – the best pre-honeymoon we could ever have. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort – Imperial Maya Valentin – and had a truly memorable week.

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We took photos with our wedding photographer, played many beach and pool sports, worked out, and ate extraordinarily delicious food. Many drinks and stories were had, and on one of our days we went ziplining, ATV driving, underwater cave snorkeling, and cannonballing.

Thanksgiving 2016

This Thanksgiving was a true merging of families. It was at the comfortable abode of the Krantz Krewe in Cortlandt Manor, NY. As Amanda and I are getting married next year, I was grateful to see my parents and her parents at the same table during this time of year.

atman-amanda-thanksgiving-2016

We all shared much love, and the memories we took away will be cherished.

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NYC: a memorable weekend

I’ve started my clinical rotations, and this weekend I was able to take a break and travel to NYC. I saw Amanda and her parents as well as my cousin, Manish, who is a Heme/Onc fellow at Albert Einstein. I also caught up with my med school buddy Neil.

Manish, AMK, and AAD enjoying the perfect weather that weekend

Manish, AMK, and AAD enjoying the perfect weather that weekend

:D

😀

Toured the entireity of Manhattan. One of the best weekends I’ve had, ever.

With Amanda's parents at the Modern, MOMA's restaurant

With Amanda’s parents at the Modern, MOMA’s restaurant

I places I went during the weekend:

  • Chinatown
  • SoHo
  • The Museum of Modern Art’s Sculpture Garden
  • The Modern, MOMA’s restaurant (with AMK’s parents)
  • Maison Kayser (with Neil and Manish)
  • The full loop of Central Park, on bicycles, as well as a few hidden gems of the park
  • The 9/11 memorial and new tower
  • Saffron, an neat little Indian restaurant
  • Washington Heights – La Marina (lol)
  • The Highline
  • The Artichoke (with Amanda’s friend Allie)
  • The Frying Pan, a cool place on the Hudson

AMK 2015 Birthday Surprise

Amanda’s birthday just passed, and it was the first time in years we were together for such an occasion. Because it had been so long, I decided to make this one particularly special for her. After my USMLE exam, I relaxed by working on my paper and, more relevantly, crafting a glass tile mosaic art piece for Amanda with the help of my mom.

The fun part was assembling the tiles, and the hard part was the grouting process.

The fun part was assembling the tiles, and the hard part was the grouting process.

I also managed to surprise her twice.

Upstream Brewery - Flight of 12

Upstream Brewery – Flight of 12

  1. I brought the mosaic and gifts with me from Louisiana for her, and devised a cute scavenger hunt for her a few days before her actual birthday to throw her expectations off.
  2. With the help of her friends, we threw a full surprise party on the real date. A rough start to the day went initially downhill as I had to delay and stall stuff for her to be on time with the surprise. She had not the faintest idea as she walk into her own living room and a flurry of balloons rushed towards her. It went better than planned.
Great surprise, along with  an inflatable tiara that clearly fits on AMK's head

Great surprise, along with an inflatable tiara that clearly fits on AMK’s head

AAD in Ann Arbor: A Critical Juncture

I visited my close friend Arman last month in Ann Arbor and got a good sense of the city. It’s got a very ‘college-town’ atmosphere, and pretty much everything is within walking distance. The architecture of the buildings on campus is awe-inspiring, and the law library is particularly robust.

While the cold was biting, Arman and I still got out and about. I wanted to try the local fare and get an idea of how law school felt. I attended one of his classes – Corruption – and its dynamic was markedly different from my ‘comfort zone’ of medical school lectures. The students talked, and discussed hard money, soft money, and campaign financing.

We also attended a joint History-Law seminar about a landmark constitutional case – Gibbons v. Odgen (the steamboat case, as the lecturer summarized), and it went mostly above my head. Pretty dry stuff, but hey.

UMich Crew dock

While I said the weather was cold, we weren’t deterred; we strolled around Bandemer Park.

Other than that, good drinks, good food, and a good chest workout were experienced. The best part of the trip, of course, were the discussions Arman and I had. It’s always always great talking with him at length.

Eateries and pubs sampled:

  • Hopcat – Happy house was amazing. Many, many premium beers and ales
  • La Marsa – Great Persian food. The pita was fresh, and constant
  • Red Hawk – Cool place to sit, have a cocktail, and talk about life
  • Good Time Charley’s – Burger joint, at Arman’s suggestion
  • NYPD Pizza – I’m not a pizza connoisseur, but this place was pretty much like what I had in NY with AMK
  • Ashley’s – Pesto fries and a remarkable drink selection (with an annoyingly complex menu)
  • Zingerman’s – Easily the best deli I’ve been to in my life, very cool atmosphere. Pick up apricot rugelach for AMK
  • Slurping Turtle – Asian fusion cuisine, which is something I tried on Arman’s behest. Was not dissapointed.
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Castles and classrooms – it felt like I was in a storied part of Europe when we were near buildings like this one – the law library