Thursday, July 18, 2013

When Life Calls

Wow! I can't believe the last time I blogged was on June 1st. That day seems like a lifetime ago but at the same time, just yesterday. Since moving here to the midwest, everything is happening on overdrive for me (can't speak for Gary on that one...). I am no longer training in pediatrics, I've cross-trained to NICU and have had several solo shifts there already, and on my days off we explore our surrounding areas or lounge at the pool soaking in gorgeous 90 degree heat and glorious humidity. Just yesterday, we drove over an hour to Norfolk, Nebraska to play at the AquaVenture water park. It's a smaller park made for a small town but it was perfect for our little guy and he enjoyed it immensely! As did we!

Even though we live near the city, it's still a small town life we now lead; finding things to do for fun takes a little bit of creativity and more than likely, a little bit of driving too. Fortunately, the two bigger cities that have more things to do than our own new home are only 1.5 hours away from us in either direction.

Actually, it's more than just fun and games that we look for in these two cities. Omaha, Nebraska, is an easy 1.5 hour drive from here and has the closest accredited, free-standing birth center to us. After having Daniel I knew I would not want a hospital birth for our #2 and as we talk about our plan for a second child, I'm relieved that I won't be forced to deliver at the hospital where I work! Now, whether my insurance will cover any part of an out-of-network birth in another state is an entirely different issue... but this is such an important aspect of our family planning that I'm willing to pay the out of pocket expenses.

When my parents come to visit us on September, we will probably plan days of play in Omaha and our other "big city", Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I also want to visit the Ingalls Homestead in Desmet, South Dakota. My mom grew up watching Little House on the Prairie as a child in Japan, while I voraciously read the series front to back when I was a kid. Visiting one of the many places Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up would be so interesting for us! Weather in September should be comfortable enough to spend some good time outdoors.

In the spirit of exploring our new surroundings, Gary and I finally braved eating at our first sushi restaurant here in Iowa and boy were we disappointed. I really, REALLY wanted to like this place - the service, albeit slow, was very friendly and the atmosphere was fine. The fish was good too... but the rice. Oh, the rice. The MOST important thing about sushi is the rice. It is the one constant throughout the world as modern sushi takes on its own face and flavor apart from traditional sushi. It should be firm but soft, not mushy, sticky yet not clumped together, and have the slight taste of seasoned rice vinegar. This cooking and seasoning of the rice should complement the fish and when it's not there in any way, well, you've failed at sushi making my friend.

This restaurant's rice was everything sushi rice SHOULDN'T be. It was cooked to death and lacked flavor. It did such a disservice to the quality of the fish that it was almost painful to eat. In hindsight, we should have ordered much less than we did (at a painful $70 tab, I felt robbed) and gotten McDonalds on the way home. I enjoy their $1.29 hamburgers a hundred times more than I enjoyed this sushi experience. But I am not deterred. There has to be good sushi here in the Midwest! And I will find it...