Monday, June 20, 2011

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth

The start of my nursing career
Well...I'm somewhat settled in Portsmouth, Virginia now. As we speak, I'm washing some clothes in nothing but water at the hotel where I'll be staying for the next thirty days or so. The detergent dispenser is out and it's too late to go to the exchange to get more. I guess washing them in only water is better than not washing them at all. I'll plan better next time. Fortunately, there is wireless internet in the hotel and coffee machine in the lobby. And...the washers and dryers are free.

One way trip to VA
So...1,303 miles of driving in two days is a super long way to go. Although I wouldn't change having my Jeep Wrangler for another other vehicle in the world, 1,303 miles is a long way to ride...especially by yourself. One of the best decisions I've made recently was getting the XM radio put in it. Having to listen to regular radio would have been pretty terrible for that long of a drive.

Naval Shipyard
The hotel where I'm staying is only a few miles from the hospital where I'll be working. That's really good since I don't really know where much else is around here. The hospital gate is at the very end of the same street that the hotel is on. Traffic is pretty rough here. There are a few tunnels apparently. I've only experienced one of the tunnels, but it's pretty congested around the clock. Hopefully I can figure out things around here by the middle of next month. The hotel room is a suite which seems to be an old barracks building that was turned into a hotel. It's pretty nice. Living room, bedroom, queen-sized bed, two bathrooms, two TVs with two DVD players, and the best part...a Keurig Coffee Maker.

Hospital departments
I checked in to the hospital on Friday. All they did was stamp my orders and tell me to come back on Monday. So hopefully, tomorrow will be much more eventful. I was pretty nervous about checking in for some reason. I'm not really sure why. Fortunately, a boot camp friend of mine met me at the hospital and showed me around a little. The size of the hospital is quite overwhelming, and I feel like it's going to take me a really long time to learn my way around. As of right now, I know where the quarterdeck and the parking garage. My friend showed me some other places, but I really wasn't focused on much besides how overwhelming it was. I felt nervous and quite unsure of myself as I walked around and noticed how everyone else looked like they knew exactly what they were doing. Will I ever know??

Before going into the hospital for the first time, I received my first salute that wasn't a ceremonial salute. Fortunately, I had been thinking about the inevitable from the moment I put on my uniform that day, so I was ready for it. It still felt awkward, but at least I didn't miss it. I don't think it will take long to be on the receiving end of salutes, but it will definitely be strange for a while. For seven years, I've been on the giving end.

Scott Annex (hotel location)
Tomorrow's priority is to get a new ID card and base stickers. There are a tons of little bases and annexes around here. When you don't have base vehicle tags though, you have to get a temporary tag. The problem?? The temporary tag is only good for that base. You have to show then your ID, license, registration, and insurance at each individual base to get a temporary tag. Once you get DoD stickers, you can get on anywhere with just your ID card. So...until I get an ID card, I can't get base tags. I've already done some recon on the base, and the ID card places opens at 0730 tomorrow. Guess who will be first in line. This guy...

Another priority is to see if if Christy can come for the 4th of July weekend. I think she'll be able to because they probably won't have me doing very much. I miss her. :( I hope the answer is yes.

Yesterday, I spent the majority of the day just driving around without the GPS on. I stopped at a few gas stations to get newspapers and rental ads to see what's available in the area. It's MUCH more expensive to live here than in Nac. That's not really a problem since BAH is based on where you live. However, there are an incredible amount of town homes and apartments in this area. We would rather live in a house that has a fenced in backyard. Something tells me that's going to be hard to find though because there are so many people and this area is so full all the time. Hopefully, the Navy housing office will offer some guidance. I also got to see a ton of Navy ships

Posing frogs
I went to a yoga studio in Virginia Beach called Studio Bamboo. I went to my first hot yoga class here. It was 104 degrees for the whole practice, and it was amazing!! There were a few times when coming out of eagle pose that I felt really dizzy and had to steady myself for a second before continuing. But overall, I really loved how incredibly stretched I felt at the end of the class. I've never sweat so much. It was really great. The studio also offers instructor training which I've already been invited to. The instructor who taught on Friday also teaches yoga to the wounded warriors at the base hospital. Somehow, I need to get into that. The training is one weekend a month for ten months. I'm hoping that I can put a volunteer spin on it if I can help with the wounded warrior aspect of it in order to get them to work with my schedule for attending the training. I still have to check out The Space Above Yoga Center where I have a gift certificate from Katy. :)

Stay tuned...


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