Another Journey In The Books

Well everyone….here it is — my final post.

Where. Has. The. Time. Gone!?

I sit here in my apartment with my bags packed, room cleaned, mentally preparing for the long overnight travel home, and am reflecting on the 3 months spent here in San Diego.

I am unsure where to begin. As I think back to the person I was on May 20 when I first arrived here, up till now with today being my final day here in San Diego. WOW! Talk about personal growth! I learned so many valuable life lessons, both for the professional field and for my personal life. I met hundreds of inspiring people, saw beautiful sights, and learned what it is truly like to live on your own. Yes I was able to talk with friends and family back home on a regular basis, but in reality it was still just me, myself, and I.

I learned how to put myself out there more than I was previously comfortable with. I learned that things are only weird if you make them weird, like going out to a restaurant by yourself, or going to a movie alone, etc. Things you normally wouldn’t think about being that big of a deal.

I also learned how to be bold when it comes to dealing with the true professionals. I learned how to be confident in myself, not doubt my own skills, and really show how I can benefit others. I previously would simply assume I either could or could not be of benefit and would not bother trying to prove my point. Now….I feel more empowered than ever and know that I can achieve my dreams if I simply believe.

I did have some not-so-positive times while here. I found myself lonely, isolated, and cut off from everyone and everything that I was accustomed to back home. It caused me to really get down on myself, affect my attitude, and I sometimes let it rub off onto others around me. It was a harsh reality check but it really kicked my butt into gear and led me to discover a new level of boldness I did not know I possessed. Do not get me wrong though, I am BEYOND excited to be home and reunited with my girlfriend, my parents, and of course the Dutch fam back in Pella!

I will truly miss San Diego, though, and the people I was fortunate enough to meet. I will miss having endless Italian food at my disposal not far from my apartment, I will miss walking along the harbor and people-watching for hours on end, I will miss my daily chats with the apartment staff, I will miss (hard to believe) the sometimes agonizingly long bus rides to and from work, and of course I will miss my new friends from Profil!

I also need to thank many people. Thank you, first of all, to my parents for assisting me in the moving process, supporting me every step of the way, and helping make this opportunity a reality. We will celebrate soon enough with steak and Iowa sweet corn 🙂

Thank you to Profil and its employees. I said it once and I’ll say it again. The lessons I learned over the past three months are ones I will carry forever. I will miss all of your smiling faces, your warm hospitality, and the fun memories we made together. An even further thank you to those of you who took time out of their day and their outside-of-work schedules to extend invitations to extracurricular events and activities. I loved getting to know the REAL you, and not just the ‘work’ you.

Thank you to Miss Nicole Johnson. Thank you for being such a passionate and inspiring woman with all that you do. The opportunities you have opened my eyes to over the past two years have been truly unforgettable. Without you, I would never have discovered my true inner boldness. I would never have thought that a small town Iowa boy would find internship opportunities in such amazing cities, nor at such amazing organizations. I owe you indefinitely.

Thank you to Sarah Rodriguez. It was absolutely wonderful being able to reconnect once again after we first met at the Students With Diabetes Conference in 2015. I loved the memories we made, the laughs we shared, meeting Brennan, and little Bernie 🙂 I will miss you greatly, but I am hopeful and optimistic that our paths will cross again.

It has not truly set in yet that it is all over. It doesn’t feel like it was my last day of work on Wednesday nor does it feel like today is my very last day here in San Diego. I’m sure it will sink in soon enough, but until then, I have to make the very most of it and cherish the remaining hours I have here in this beautiful city.

The next 48 hours are going to be absolute madness to say the least. I have a red-eye flight that leaves between 10 and 10:30 this evening. I arrive in Cedar Rapids around 8:30am-9:00am. I go home, unpack, and then REPACK for Central, enjoy an evening at home and sleeping in my own bed, and then move back to Central on Sunday morning. Then it is the start of senior year! BOOM BOOM BOOM!

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I do not want this last blog to be super soppy or unnecessarily long, so I think it is time to call it complete.

As I’ve said before – it is not the end of the story, simply the end of a chapter; all one has to do is simply turn the page and continue reading to see what happens next.

Iowa – I’m coming for you! I’ll be home soon. Fingers crossed for no airport issues tonight, for a smooth flight home, with no delays, and that my bags arrive with me.

For the final time.

Signing off,

Logan

AADE16 – The Final Weekend

Hello everyone!

The week has finally come – the last one. Holy cow! Has it really been 3 months? Wasn’t I just a junior in college; having plenty of time before true ‘adulting’ became reality?! Now I will be starting my final year of school in a mere week from tomorrow.

My final REAL summer is officially coming to an end. With only today and tomorrow left at Profil, and only 3 more days left here in San Diego…there is a lot to recap. But because this is not the final post, I want to focus on all the events of this past weekend at AADE16.

I had no idea just how many people I would meet, how much I would learn about T1D, nor how positively exhausting the conference would be. Well….I am definitely feeling it today and glad to have a normal routine of a schedule before heading home.

The conference (for me) spanned from Friday morning until Monday afternoon. I am going to recap bits and pieces from each day, in chronological order. Here we go!

FRIDAY

My day began shortly before 7am. Showered, fancy clothes, and gelled hair – I departed for downtown San Diego. I was set to take part in a breakfast on behalf of the College Diabetes Network (CDN) at the Marriott. I finally was able to put faces to those I have digitally interacted with for the past year. I met founder and CEO of CDN, Christina Roth, who is a total sweetheart with a true passion for helping build student communities and build relationships from T1D. I also met several other student chapter leaders from around the US (Katelyn, Stacy, and Kristen).

As we sat and indulged in delicious food, we learned a little about everyone sitting at the table. We were also privileged to have several other professionals join us from varying aspects of the diabetes world.

Finally, it was time to head over to the Convention Center, get registered, and attempt to get my bearings as to how this weekend was going to turn out. I arrived, got my name badge, and entered the exhibit hall. Rows upon rows upon rows of diabetes companies, vendors, and healthcare professionals.

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It was incredible. I had never seen anything like it before. I didn’t really know where to start either….YIKES! I figured I was better off starting at booths I knew or with people I knew, and then make my rounds. I was able to reconnect with the always amazing Nicole Johnson, who was there on behalf of the Diabetes Empowerment Foundation which puts on Students With Diabetes. I also reconnected with some friends who work for companies like Dexcom, including Sarah Rodriguez who I connected with several weeks ago for an afternoon of frisbee golf and Mexican food 🙂

I reconnected with celebrity actor, comedian, and fellow type one Jim Turner. He is also from Iowa, and I soon learned that his brother John runs a coal-fire pizza place at the Iowa State Fair, which Jim often helps with during the summer. Things were already off to a wonderful start with seeing so many familiar faces.

I also helped out with CDN’s booth here and there and got to interact more with the student leaders. They were all super cool and passionate about T1D and getting involved whether through healthcare, advocacy, etc.

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I continued browsing the exhibit hall, meeting numerous professionals from varying companies. It was fascinating (understatement of the century) to learn all about the new drugs and technologies currently in the works, learn about peoples roles in their companies, and simply digest the conference along the way.

After a much needed lunch break, the afternoon was spent attending several sessions where topics such as mobile health apps or the treatment of hypoglycemia were discussed.

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Day one finally came to an end and it was time to partake in the evening festivities. I attended a reception titled Sex, Insulin, and Rock N’ Roll. Along with wine and appetizers, I was able to enjoy endless laughter with other healthcare professionals as we listened to Nicole, Jim, and two other diabetes experts discuss sex with diabetes, funny experiences they all have had, and answering questions from the audience. When this reception concluded, everyone flocked to a nearby night club called Fluxx where every conference attendee had VIP access for 3 hours. It was a great way to kick off the conference weekend. I did not return to my apartment until a little after midnight and was utterly exhausted.

Saturday

Another early morning. I arrived to the Convention Center shortly before 8am. I had some down time before my first session began, so I continued my personal networking. Soon enough, I was off to the first session of the day. The days seemed to be flying by and I was constantly on the go.

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Each session was highly informative, especially for me being someone who is seeking a career in the healthcare field. I learned more about mobile technology when it comes to healthcare, as well as spoke with executives from varying companies about their products.

During my down time, I assisted Nicole Johnson in running the DEF booth.Also, let me point out that anything you could possibly need, you could find there at the Convention Center. Food services all over the places, not to mention the hundreds of vendors with free samples of food and drinks. If I were to have a diabetic emergency, I was surrounded by hundreds of doctors, nurses, and others who knew the disease. Legs sore? Neck stiff? At least 10 vendors were promoting massage chairs (I took advantage of that demo of course), pulsating massage patches, and more. Or, at the very least, if you ever needed an energy boost, there was infinite number of Starbucks throughout the center.

Saturday afternoon, I attended two sessions. One being again about ‘diabetes tech’ and the other being the Off To College session, put on by CDN.

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At the CDN session, I, along with the other student leaders, spoke to those in attendance about how CDN has benefited me as a college student, what my personal struggles were moving to college as a freshly diagnosed type one, and more. It was great getting to share our personal stories and have people talk to us after the presentation concluded.

When sessions were finished for the day, I headed off to the Stone Brewing Company for another evening party. Here, I met up with both of my supervisors Carmen and Denon, along with Carmen’s husband, and another Profil employee Karen!  We indulged in delicious beverages, shared stories, and enjoyed soothing tunes from the musician in house.

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As time went on, more people began to show up. I continued networking and meeting professionals. I was even able to reconnect with Aaron Kowalski, the Chief Mission Officer and Vice President at JDRF. I worked with him last summer in New York City. He remembered me from then, as well as from the SWD Conference this past May. It was great catching up!

The night continued. Before we knew it, it was 11pm and everyone was utterly exhausted. Another full day in the books. I took an Uber back to my apartment, indulged in a cold shower, and was out like a light all within a span of 20 minutes.

Sunday

The busyness of the conference was starting to set in and my feet and calves were begging for a slightly slower pace. Nonetheless, I continued and returned again to the Convention Center early Sunday morning. I was set to meet with a worker from Tandem who is the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at 10am. Until then, I assisted at the DEF booth once again, and continued browsing other booths. Shortly before 10am, I made my way over to the Tandem booth and met with Eric Shearin. We had communicated via email for the past couple weeks but had never met in person. We connected through a mutual friend who is a territory manager for Tandem working in the Des Moines area. Eric is an awesome guy with a great passion for the work that he does. We had an hour long conversation over coffee about Tandem, my career interests, our connections to T1D and more. He then proceeded to introduce me to several other members of Tandem’s team. Needless to say, I was not expecting to connect with so many amazing individuals. This took up a solid portion of my morning and finally it was time to break for lunch, which included fresh nitrogen-based ice cream.

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Sunday afternoon was filled with a few other presentations, more coffee, and increased leg and feet soreness. I was informed by Nicole, and her friend Lorraine (whom I had dinner with her and her husband Chris a couple weeks ago) that there was a beach barbecue being held at La Jolla Shores that evening. Beings as I had a little downtime before I would need to head up to the beach. I took a lovely afternoon nap with the breeze floating in from my window. When I awoke, I texted Sarah to see about getting a lift up to the beach. I had only been to La Jolla once before, so I did not really know what to expect or where we were headed.

Soon enough (meaning we got lost several times and walked roughly a mile carrying beach chairs, backpacks, and sweatshirts) we found the area and got our feet in the sand. I took the role of grill master and began to cooking the meat.

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The beach was packed with people, but nonetheless it was a wonderful time, with some stunning views.

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Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the food, the sand, and getting their feet wet in the ocean. I can now officially say I have set foot in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. As the sun was setting, we continued enjoying each other’s company. I even played badminton in the dark with Nicole’s daughter Ava! While neither of us was stellar at playing, it was loads of fun.

Finally it was time to return home and call it an evening once again. Truly the perfect way to close out my final weekend here in San Diego.

Monday

I awoke around 6:30am, got showered and dressed, and headed down to the Gaslamp Quarter for a breakfast/educational session combo to learn about glucagon and new developments potentially hitting the market here in the coming months.

The food was delicious – the conversation was even better. I learned all about new developments when it comes to glucagon. Now, for those of you who do not know, glucagon is a hormone that people WITHOUT diabetes produce normally on their own. It prevents hypoglycemic episodes. However, people with type one must sometimes use an injectable version when experiencing severe hypoglycemia to bring their blood sugar back up to/above normal range. I got to look at demos of new glucagon kits and even a nasal glucagon. SUPER COOL!

When this concluded, I headed back to the convention center with two other CDN students where we waited for Christina to pick us up. Here is some irony for all of you reading. Remember how Saturday I met with a bunch of people from Tandem and had great conversation? Well, Christina set up a tour of the entire headquarters for all of us students. So….I got to meet once again all of the awesome people from Tandem. One crazy part of the day was getting to reconnect with Kyle Cochran. He was on America Ninja Warrior a couple seasons ago and was a speaker at LAST year’s SWD Conference. We got to chat briefly and catch up.

During the tour, we got to learn all about how Tandem started, how they expanded, how their pumps are made (literally from start to finish which was unbelievable), and meet with several employees and talk about our personal interests. I again got to reconnect with Eric, as well as the other employees I had met just the day before. We indulged in a delicious lunch on behalf of Tandem, and discussed the partnership between them and CDN.

I could not have asked for a better way to conclude the AADE weekend. I learned so much information and met so many incredible people in just a few short days.

We returned to downtown San Diego and each went our separate ways. I returned to my apartment, and after being in dress clothes all weekend and all that morning, I was ready to lay in bed and relax. The remainder of my Monday was spent working remotely, while listening to the Olympics from my TV.

Later that evening, I was able to FaceTime several friends from back home, as well as a friend from study abroad. By the time 10:30pm rolled around, I was struggling to keep my eyes open for very long and decided to call it a night.


Now here we are, my final two days at Profil Institute. It seems like only a couple weeks ago I was doing new hire training and learning everything about the company.

I was truly blessed to be able to attend the 2016 AADE Conference and meet so many incredible people and make many new friends.

I now find myself in a a bind of not wanting it all to be over, but also being super anxious to be home and see friends and family.

This week is going to be a little emotional, extremely hectic (aka the idea of me having to clean and pack everything has been looming overhead for a while now), but I know this is not the end of the story, but simply the final paragraph of a chapter. All one has to do, is turn the page and continue reading to see what happens next!

Stay tuned, as their will be one concluding post later this week!

The countdown is on!!! T-minus 3.5 days until I am back in Iowa!

Until next time,

Logan

Blending In

Good morning everyone,

It seems like forever since I last published a post, even though in reality it has only been a week. The last seven days have been jam packed with work and adventures and it is hard to believe it all happened within the span of seven days. I’m gonna try and keep everything concise and not drag on; but hey some things simply require more words to express 🙂

Last week (and this previous weekend) was my last regular work week. I say this because this week consists of: my final presentation (happening tomorrow, wish me luck), my exit interview with my supervisors, and the AADE Conference kicks off on Friday, going through until Monday afternoon. This week will also consist of some goodbyes with both of my supervisors, who are both going to be out of the office all of next week traveling. Therefore, my final week will be spent wrapping up everything I have done over the last three and a half months and writing reports. CRAZY! I am super anxious to be home, but it does not at all feel like it has been over three months since I moved out here.

Anyways….now back to recapping the past seven days. For the most part, last week was spent practicing my presentation with my supervisors, making small revisions, and some touch up work on the database guide. I also was presented with the opportunity to attend a lacrosse game with another friend from work, Johannes. I met him on my very first day here at Profil, but because he works on another level, I really only interacted with him during lunch and company events. I reached out to him about connecting sometime outside of work, and he suggested attending his summer lacrosse league, followed by some tours of the La Jolla area.

So, Wednesday afternoon came, and Johannes and I departed for La Jolla (about a 30min drive from the office), discussing this, that, and the other. He moved here only a few years ago from Germany and explained all about how he and his wife met, his education background, etc. I told him all about being type one, the internship program, and some of my aspirations for careers come next May. Soon enough, we reached the field where the games were being played. I have never really followed lacrosse by any means, but needless to say, it is far more intense than most people think. Johannes and his team won their game, and shortly thereafter, we departed to explore the coastline.

Johannes drove us to a place called Glider Point, famous for hang gliders and parasailors. It was one of the most beautiful views I have ever witnessed. These pictures do SOME justice, but it was breathtaking.

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The sunset view was gorgeous, but soon enough it was time for Johannes to head home, and for me to begin the trek back towards the downtown area. I was a little skeptical of taking a new bus route, but I figured I would make it back home one way or another. One perk of this bus route was that it covered from La Jolla to downtown San Diego, meaning more driving and less stopping. Because of this, I was able to see LOTS of varying communities and structures along the way. When I finally made it back to my apartment, I was beat and ready for bed.

Another fun experience from last week was the Profil4Fun Kickoff event. This is a major fundraiser the company hosts every year, but with this year falling under the same time as the Olympics, the theme was spiced up a bit! As part of the fundraiser, a big ‘go-to’ for the departments are food events. So – last week I got to indulge in authentic Mexican tostadas, and also a loaded baked potato bar! YUMMMM! What a way to close out the work week with food that ISN’T a lunch-meat sandwich or soup 🙂

Continuing on with the Olympics; they  have provided me with consistent entertainment when I am not out and about exploring. The summer Olympics are by far my favorite, being a big track fanatic.

One final happening from Friday afternoon, and after three long months (literally) of my hair growing out, was that I decided it was time to freshen things up with a new haircut! I made an appointment at a place just down from my apartment, and the lady who gave me the cut was super chill. She hooked me up with a fresh look, a single-blade shave on the neck, gel, and more. I left feeling more refreshed than ever, now that I was able to actually see my ears again 🙂 Things were looking good headed into the weekend!

Now on to Saturday. I had been told by a buddy from back home to try and attend a preseason game of the San Diego Chargers. When I looked up the schedule, the first home preseason game is the same night as when I leave to head back to Iowa…so I had to find another way. I saw that their annual FanFest was being held Saturday mid-morning and was free to the public. Being the major NFL fanatic that I am, and even though I am a die-hard fan of the New England Patriots, I figured it would still be super cool to see an NFL stadium, see all of the players, and watch a practice.

I showed up at Qualcomm Stadium bright and early, even though the event did not start until 10:30am. I wasn’t the only one with this idea, and already found myself in a decently long line to start the day.

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I also was one of very few people NOT in Chargers attire. Let me point out though, that I know all of the players names, where they went to college, who the stars are, etc. but I still stuck out like a sore thumb as far as who the REAL fans were. Ah well, still worth it!

Finally, they began opening the gates and I made a mad dash inside to snag pictures and get a good seat (or so I thought). Here as some of the shots I was able to snag, as well as where my initial seat was.

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I was 3rd row, at the 50 yard line! Excellent seats right? Well, soon enough they began bringing loads of security guards, team managers, and others to the sidelines, making the view not so great. I decided I would have better luck (and views) elsewhere, and moved to one of the endzones instead.

I found a spot just right of the field goal post, with nobody able to block my view, and I had a shot at catching any shanked kicks and punts!

Soon enough, some of the players began making their way onto the field. First was the special teams unit, followed by offensive speed players, then defensive speedsters, and finally the offensive and defensive lines.

I was able to spot my ‘favorite’ (meaning well known, or most liked) players pretty easily. Here are some shots of individuals, and units.

 (left: newly drafted punter John Kaser out of Texas A&M / right: #17 QB Phillip Rivers, and #39 RB Danny Woodhead)

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(pictured above are pretty much every defensive back and linebacker on the Chargers)

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(all-team stretch session)

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(pictured above is #13, my favorite Chargers player, WR Keenan Allen; one of the top receivers in the NFL)

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(the PAT unit kicking the extra point after the offense scored a TD)

I unfortunately did not have any luck of getting player autographs, catching a shanked kick, or having a player toss me a football after scoring a touchdown, but it was a super cool experience and I can now say I have officially been inside an NFL stadium (considering Iowa has no pro teams so there is nothing reasonably close to consider going to, and beings as my favorite NFL is located out in Boston).

After the practice session concluded, I began the trek back towards the downtown area but knew there was a popular shopping mall on the way. I hopped off the trolley and began exploring the massive shopping center, which just so happens to be called Fashion Valley.

I was a good boyfriend and thought ahead to when I am back home in Iowa. My girlfriend, Arissa, and I have already planned out a formal date for the first weekend back at Central. The kicker is that I’M the one in charge of planning it all this time (normally we just wing it and see where life takes us OR it is whatever she prefers). Sorry, but I am not spoiling anything because I know she reads my blogs too. But, I will say (and she is also aware of this) that I decided I would shop for a fancy outfit to break out for this special date. For someone who absolutely HATES shopping, I enjoyed the ‘pressure’ of finding an outfit that she can match with. Soon enough, I landed on the perfect outfit, made the purchase, and began the journey home. I spent the remainder of the afternoon/evening indulging in the Olympics.

Sunday, I awoke bright and early, knocked out another large load of laundry that had been brewing for a little over a week. I attended my last church service here in San Diego (considering this next Sunday I will be attending the conference all day and will be unableto attend, and the following Sunday I will be home and moving back to Central!). The weather outside was gorgeous, so I decided I would take a long walk around the harbor area, and try some new foods. One of the places I ended up in was called iDessert. It is a customizable-dessert venue where customers can literally design every aspect of their dessert. You choose the base of your cake, the outer shell, the ice cream center, the fillings, toppings, EVERYTHING!

Well….being the chocolate fanatic that I am, I indulged in an Oreo-based, chocolate cake infused with coffee, filled with brownie bites, and covered in Oreo’s and a caramel drip.

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I had never tasted anything like it before, and it was definitely sweet! Another discovery I made, which I will definitely have to make a return visit for supper sometime in the next 1.5 weeks, is a place called Under Belly. They specialize in ramen-based dishes. Anyone who knows me super well (particularly my college friends), knows that I absolutely LOVE ramen. When I placed my order, I was too excited to actually check to make sure that what I ordered came in ramen…..oops. I ended up with a still-delicious Chinese-fried shrimp dish but no ramen. This means I must return to truly indulge in my love of Ramen!

*(yes I am highly aware of the high sodium and how bad store Ramen is for you)*

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I walked around the harbor area to walk off the sweets and fried food previously consumed, and to continue enjoying the bright and sunny weather. Finally, I returned to my apartment and took a perfect Sunday afternoon nap.

One major downside, at least to me, of Sunday was that after waiting over six months for NFL football to return to TV, the first game of the year was set for last night (Sunday). However; it was announced that apparently the field was deemed ‘unsafe’ for players even though there was no weather-related factors, or damage to the field….needless to say I, along with everyone who loves football, and those who bought tickets to see the game in person were highly irritated.

To counteract my frustration, I indulged in Domino’s pizza on Sunday evening for supper. I found a stellar coupon online for two pizzas, Parmesan bites, cinnamon sticks, and more for only $19.99! I now have plenty of leftovers to use for lunch and supper all of this week, as well as snacks 🙂 I was one happy (and full) camper as I headed to bed Sunday evening,

Now here we are, my final regular Monday of the summer! As stated earlier, my final presentation is tomorrow morning. I am a little nervous, but that is perfectly normal! I am anxious for the conference to start and catch up with old friends, meet many new friends, and simply enjoy the conference.

Be sure to stay tuned for next week’s recap post of the conference. Only one or two posts left :/ I am still shocked by how fast the time has gone.

T-minus 11 days till I am Iowa bound!!!

Well, back to work I go! Happy Monday everyone!

Best,

Logan

Baseball, Brews, & More

Good morning and Happy Monday everyone!

Hoping you each had a fun-filled weekend. For everyone in Iowa, just know that I am extremely jealous of those who were able to participate or help with RAGBRAI, especially considering it passed right by where I live 🙂

Last week was crazy busy (in a very good way), as was this past weekend. Last week was filled with meetings, kickoff events for fundraisers, continuing work on projects, and more.

Last Wednesday, I reconnected with a good friend from Students With Diabetes (SWD), and a major diabetes advocate, Lorraine Steihl and her husband Chris. We set up a dinner date for that evening in Little Italy. It was wonderful reconnecting with them since the SWD Conference back in May. They actually live here in San Diego but travel pretty frequently for their work. We ate at a delicious Italian restaurant not far from my apartment. We talked about anything and everything: my internship, upcoming diabetes events, my plans after school, updates in research, and more. It was quite a relaxing evening. Later in the evening, Chris brought up the topic of what I enjoy doing in my free time here. I explained how public transportation can be quite limiting and inconvenient so I take full advantage of my legs and usually explore the downtown and harbor areas. He pointed out he had tickets to Friday’s SD Padres game versus the Cincinnati Reds and asked if I would like to have them. I was shocked! I had been meaning to go to a game sometime while here, but a majority of them take place during the week so it is not the most convenient with my work and sleep schedules. I gratefully accepted! 🙂

Moving to Friday now, Profil had a JDRF OneWalk event kickoff. We hosted people from JDRF to come and speak to members of Profil about participating in an upcoming walk and on fundraising. One of the speakers, Gloria, talked about her personal connection to Type One because of her son Joseph. Gloria heard me bolusing for a snack and we instantly connected and talked all about Type One, the struggles of school, my experiences vs. Joseph’s and more. She is an incredible woman with a true passion to advocate and raise funds to fight Type One. Needless to say, it was a great way to finish out the work week.

That evening, I returned home from work, and relaxed for a short bit before getting dressed and headed off to Petco Park, home of the Padres. It was not hard to figure out where to go considering practically everyone on the trolley was headed to the game, so I just blended in and followed them to the correct entrance. The stadium is humongous to say the least. It is very eye-appealing as far as design and structure go.

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It is designed so that with each following level, the stadium widens all around, which in the few ball parks I have seen, that is not the case. I may just be a novice when it comes to baseball stadiums, but Petco Park was pretty neat 🙂

I had some time to kill before the game started, so I began wandering all over through the varying shops, scouting any eye-catching food carts or vendors, and simply taking in the views of the city and the field. Finally, I made my way up to my seat on the 3rd level in the upper right of the infield, directly up from the pitchers mound.

Before players took the field, the San Diego Police Department honored recently fallen officers from a shooting that took place earlier in the week. The crowd was on its feet and roaring as officers took the field with flags in hands to honor their fallen brother. It was a very heartwarming sight, amidst the mixed emotions of the officers. After that, it was time for the first pitch.

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The game went on, and unfortunately for the Padres, it was ugly from the get go. The Reds put up four runs in the first inning, a Padres player left the game with an injury after colliding with a teammate during the first inning, and that was a good representation of how the remainder of the game went. Siri knew how well the game went too..

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Unlike last year at the Mets game in New York, this was NOT a no hitter, and I didn’t have the luck of catching a foul ball. All in all though, it was a super fun evening and a good way to enter the weekend.

Saturday was full of even more adventures. I had planned to meet up with my friend from work, Jaymee, her boyfriend, and some of their friends for an afternoon in the Gaslamp Quarter. We met up an an old-fashioned saloon-style venue shortly after lunchtime. We made new friends, shared funny stories, and enjoyed our beverages. Not much later into the afternoon, my buddy Andrew, who lives in Bakersfield and was visiting his buddy in the city, arrived to join us. Andrew and I studied abroad in Merida, Mexico together last spring. He graduated this past May so this was the first time I had seen him in several months.

The afternoon continued. We walked all over the downtown area, tried numerous local brews, delicious flatbreads, and the traditional greasy pub food 🙂 The perfect Saturday in my opinion!

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It was quite the afternoon, and before we knew it, is was almost 7pm. We all ended up going our separate ways and returned home. It was great being able to connect with Andrew while out here.

Another exciting part of the weekend, at least in my opinion, is that it was Harry Potter’s birthday on Sunday. So…..my inner HP nerd indulged in the continual marathon on TV. That was how a majority of my Sunday was spent, but I was also able to FaceTime with my girlfriend, parents, and another friend from school. I also slept like a baby after all of the festivities and walking of Saturday so I was very well rested heading into Monday.

Now here we are again; Monday. Only two Mondays remain (19 days left total), and only one week left before I give my final presentations and then attend the AADE conference. This week will mainly consist of putting the final touches on each of my projects and prepping for next week.

I am becoming very anxious for AADE. I lucked out with the conference being held not far from where I live, so it means a much shorter commute in the mornings and NO BUSSES! I will get to reconnect with other friends in the diabetes field, meet hundreds of professionals, and indulge in numerous sessions and events both at the conference and outside.

Well, time to get underway with my projects again! Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

Until next time,

Logan

 

Racking Up The Miles

Hello all and happy Monday!

This weekend was PACKED with many miles walked, many sights seen, and many memories made. I finished out the previous week making great progress on each of my projects. I have started the preparation process for my presentations – getting notes drafted, running through my slides, etc. Our business development (BD) team has been collaborating over the company database guidebook and that will undergo further revisions and additions throughout this week. After work Friday, I quickly returned home and changed and took off for Balboa Park where I was set to meet Jaymee, a friend who also works here at Profil, and some of her friends for a big loop through the park and some PokemonGO. Her friends were super cool, laid back, and made it a memorable time.

In total, our group easily covered around 4-6 miles total within Balboa Park. I saw lots of beautiful structures, flowers, and some ‘interesting’ people throughout.

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We ventured over to the rose gardens at the opposite side from where our adventure began. Needless to say, the park was FILLED with people also playing PokemonGo (I’m sure anyone reading this has heard and/or seen the hype around this mobile game and just how many people play it). However, despite the huge crowd of people, the flowers were gorgeous.

After walking for miles and miles, and after roughly three hours, our legs were aching and our stomachs were growling. We each went our separate ways and I returned home just in time to hydrate, eat, and call it a night.

Saturday morning I slept in (only a little) and remembered the large pile of dirty laundry needing attended to. By the time this was done, I had already tidied up my room a bit and it was time to whip up some breakfast. Because I have entered the final few weeks before I return home, I have cut back on how much and the type of groceries that I buy. I have resorted to limited breakfast foods (eggs, bacon, and sausage) and also a pasta and chicken soup heavy dinner routine. I am trying to end with as few leftover food items as possible 🙂 I can do it!

Shortly after lunchtime, I began my trek downtown (via foot) towards Horton Plaza. I had intended on seeing a movie while out here, and decided I would brave a horror movie alone (Lights Out). Because this past weekend was also Comic Con weekend here in San Diego, the city was PACKED with people from all over the world. It was insane! Public transportation was an absolute nightmare, as the trolleys were jam-packed at every time of day. Hence why I settled on walking. I arrived at Horton Plaza shortly after 12:30pm and struggled for the first 30 minutes trying to find the movie theater (the plaza is 5 stories and a circular design so stores are EVERYWHERE). I bought my ticket, found some yummy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream where I devoured two scoops of The Tonight Dough in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone (reminiscing of NYC), and FaceTimed my girlfriend while I waited till an appropriate time to enter the theater. When I finally entered, I was in shock at how the theater was structured. Upon entering, you show your ticket stub, and then ascend roughly two stories via escalator where all of the theaters are located. Beings as it was just me, and it IS the movie theater, I decided to treat myself to a large popcorn to help calm my nerves during the movie.

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As you can probably imagine, it was devoured before the movie ended 🙂 The movie was super intense; I only jumped maybe twenty to thirty times….and MAY have covered my eyes a couple of times. Regardless, the movie was great and I would recommend it to any scary movie lovers.

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Afterwards, I began the walk back towards my apartment and was ready for some supper. I had PLANNED to venture out to a pub-style restaurant that evening for some old-fashioned burger and fries and drinks. Unfortunately, comic con people either found their way over to Little Italy, or forced everyone NOT attending over to that area, because every restaurant and bar was packed full. I decided I did not want to deal with large crowds that night so I returned home and had a meal prepared by yours truly.

Sunday morning I slept in once again, headed to church shortly before 9am; another good service. The church always seems to have an event going on every hour of the day on the weekends. I have seen anything from mass, weddings, choir practice, rosary services, funerals, and more. I guess I lucked out living so close!

I spent the remainder of my morning (and a little of the afternoon) FaceTiming with my girlfriend Arissa. We had planned to have a virtual movie date, but unfortunately technology was not cooperating properly so we had to take a rain check. Regardless, it was great getting to talk to her and she always brightens my day! We have both realized that we have only another 3.5 weeks left of summer before returning to reality and school. Where has 2016 gone!?! Time is flying by!

When it was time for her to head to bed; I set out for another adventure towards the downtown area. A friend from home told me about this place called The Cat Cafe. Basically, it is a cafe for people to go and have coffee, all while being surrounded by adorable and adoptable cats! 🙂 Who doesn’t need some good pet therapy while drinking coffee! When I finally arrived outside the door, I was greeted by…..”SORRY WE ARE CLOSED!” Shucks….guess that just means a return trip is required. I realized they are only open roughly four to five hours each day. Nonetheless, I did some basic sight seeing and took in all the amazing architecture of the downtown area.

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During the aimless wandering, I just so happened to stumble upon an Irish pub. I stopped in and enjoyed a cool beverage. I noticed that I was easily the youngest person in the bar by about 10-15 years. I continued enjoyed my drink and watching sports on the big screen TVs. The bartender, once a larger group of customers had left, came over to my area and began asking me about Iowa and what brought me out here. I explained my internship, school, etc. Out of nowhere he says “Well hey, Iowa, this guy right here is from Mason City!” The guy he was referring to, David, was just a couple seats down from me. His ears perked up and you could see the excitement in his face that he now had a new friend to talk with. He began telling me all about himself, some intriguing facts about Iowa, and even an in-depth conversation about me being a type one diabetic. The most interesting, and memorable part of the conversation, though, was when he noticed my Saint Christopher necklace. His tone of voice suddenly changed from casual to serious and direct. He said, “You know, I always tell myself that when I feel worthless, or feel like life sucks, I’ve screwed up, or whatever it might be, I always know that God will send me a sign showing that things always get better. I think he sent you here today to do just that!”

I was SHOCKED! I had not expected the conversation to be anything like what it turned out to be. Yes, it might seem like an odd situation at first, but wow! I will definitely remember that! It is crazy how people’s paths cross in the most coincidental yet unexpected ways.

We exchanged closing words, shook hands, and I headed out. I returned to my apartment early evening, made supper, and spent the remainder of my evening reflecting on the sights, sounds, and stories I experienced over the weekend. Finally, it was time to call it a night and wrap up another weekend in San Diego.

Now here we are, Monday! I will be continuing revisions on each of my projects, attending meetings with the team, and more. Fun fact for the day; for the first time since I arrived in San Diego, it actually rained. It just so happened to also be the ONE TIME I leave my umbrella at my apartment. Oh well! That doesn’t mean I can’t still make it a great Monday!

Time to get the work week fully underway!

Until next time,

Logan

Entering The Final Stretch

Hello all,

For all you Washington Iowans, IT IS FAIR WEEK!!! Sadly this will be my second straight year missing the annual Washington County Fair. Best of luck to all exhibitors, and parents of exhibitors. Make the most of each and every day – the final year as a 4H-er comes way top fast!

Well….another week/weekend is under wraps, and as of midnight tonight, I will be exactly one month away from returning home to Iowa and preparing to start my final year of school at Central. It is crazy how fast time goes in regards to upcoming “lasts”. My last month before I return home, my last summer as a student, and soon to be my final year of school. HOLY COW!

This weekend I was both adventurous, ambitious, and a little lethargic. This past Friday, I cranked out a LOT of progress on each of my projects. I revised, renamed, and rearranged my PowerPoint presentation for one of my bigger projects. I also made lots of progress on the employee guide regarding the company’s database. It was a highly productive day, and a good way to close out the work week. When the clock hit 3pm, I was set to meet up with my friend Carmen. She had suggested earlier in the week that we visit Point Loma after work and do some sight-seeing and grab a bite to eat. We drove around the San Diego harbor area, passing both Harbor Island and Shelter Island. We started ascending more and more with every turn in the road. Soon enough, we were high above San Diego and all surrounding areas. We stopped once before our ‘final destination’ for a quick photo shoot.

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The pictures may not do much justice, but the view was breathtaking. Nothing but ocean for as far as the eye could see going West. We continued onward and upward until we finally reached the Cabrillo National Monument. Juan Cabrillo was a famous explorer who ultimately led to the discovery and settlement of San Diego. The monument was incredible, and with a view of San Diego, both islands, Coronado, and the ocean, what more could you ask from a famous landmark.

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I had not realized the amount of history behind the settling of San Diego, and learned lots of interesting facts about the explorers responsible, their journey, and the people they met along the way. Truly amazing!

After taking in the sights and the cool breeze for a bit, we began our descent back towards Harbor Island to grab some delicious Mexican/seafood. Carmen knew of a place with plentiful dishes, and a stunning skyline view of San Diego. The restaurant, Coasterra, was already pretty busy when we arrived, but soon enough we were seated and began browsing our options. I settled upon on a delicious Mexican bistec, chicken, and shrimp dish.

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Then to top it all off, a molten potted brownie served as dessert 🙂 talk about sugar overload!

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It was a very relaxing afternoon. I returned to my apartment early evening and spent the rest of my night enjoying Netflix and catching up with some friends from home.

Saturday morning I could not seem to sleep in past 6am, so I was up and at it pretty early and went on a morning walk around the neighborhood. My girlfriend, Arissa, finally arrived in Bangor, Wales where she will stay for the next five weeks. After two weeks of heavy traveling and sight-seeing, and little access to wifi (preventing any opportunity to really converse), we were finally able to have our first official FaceTime date 🙂 I learned about all the people she met, the places she went, and received a personal tour of her flat. She is on more of a routine now that she is in Wales, although the eight hour time difference is still a bit of a struggle at times.

Saturday afternoon I ventured to the grocery store to grab ingredients needed to make a true ‘American’ dish (aka hamburgers). The community kitchen in my apartment recently experienced water issues, but was fixed prior to this past weekend. I whipped up several burgers, and even some marinated meatballs to snack on! I am slowly expanding my personal menu from just chicken, beans, and zucchini! Saturday evening was spent FaceTiming with several other friends from back home and a little more Netflix watching….oops!

Now on to Sunday! After what seems like forever ago, I was finally able to sleep in until around 8:30ish. I woke up, showered, and headed to church at 9am; another great service. I returned to my apartment and shortly thereafter, I FaceTimed with my parents, sister Lauren, and brother-in-law Joe. It was great catching up with them all together before some returned home, and others returned to helping set up at the fair.

Don’t forget, though, that Sunday was also National Ice Cream Day, and I had yet to celebrate. I ventured down the street to the cafe/gelato shop and settles upon a yummy waffle cone with two scoops of gelato.

When evening came, I developed yet ANOTHER plumbing issue. Before, it was multiple issues with my toilet. Now it is my sink and shower combined. Because the pipes are connected, odd drainage can occur at times. Let’s just say there was a LOT of ‘odd drainage’ that suddenly emerged in my shower…..gross! A repair man came and fixed it in no time, but fingers crossed for no issues from here on out.

I finished out Sunday night watching one of my favorite shows, enjoying the cool San Diego breeze, and snacking on my meatballs.

It is Monday once again, which means it is time to crank out more progress on my projects. As of today, this week should not be super busy as far as meetings go, but there is always work to be done  🙂 I will continue plugging away at the database ‘how-to’ document. Only several sections remain before it will be considered finished. I will also continue reviewing and revising my presentation for the executives. One final exciting note is that in just a few short weeks will be the AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators) Conference here in San Diego. I am super thrilled to be able to attend and network with thousands of diabetes professionals. Okay, time to get back to work and start the week strong!

Wishing everyone a great week. Be sure to visit the fair and eat something fried for me!!!

Until next time,

Logan

 

*Reunited*

Good morning all,

Happy Monday! Another week down, and another has just begun. It is crazy to think that I have six weeks left here in San Diego. Time has started to really slip away.

I came into this past weekend again with no definitive plans but rather a confident mindset that I would make my own adventures. Saturday morning, I awoke bright and early and had to tackle a large load of laundry I had been putting off for a while. Another misfortune of the weekend was that the community kitchen was ‘closed for repairs’ due to water damage and plumbing issues….so I lived off soup and/or pasta from Friday morning to Sunday noon. I made it though 🙂

Saturday afternoon I decided to get in some good exercise, so I went on a 5+ mile walk around the harbor, Little Italy, Convention Center area, and more. I witnessed some of the MLB All Star Weekend festivities taking place, heard multiple street performers, and took in all of the smells of anything from Italian pizza, Mexican tortillas, and Chinese dumplings in the varying neighborhoods. When my legs asked for a break, I returned to my apartment and spent the evening relaxing and talking with friends back home.

Sunday morning I attended mass again at the Catholic church just down the street from my apartment. Again, a great service and message from the priest. As I left church, I noticed I had an unread text from my friend Sarah Rodriguez, a good friend I met at my first Students With Diabetes (SWD) Conference two years ago. She lives here in San Diego and works at Dexcom, but we had been unable to coordinate our schedules to meet up yet. She asked what my plans were for the day – my response was simple – “Nothing :)”. Sarah suggested we meet up in Old Town for lunch and then spend the afternoon together with her and her boyfriend Brennan. I quickly threw on some casual clothes, whipped together a drawstring bag, and was on my way towards the trolley in no time at all.

I met Sarah and Brennan in the Old Town Historic Park. It was great to be reunited with Sarah after two years apart (she was unable to attend this year’s conference due to work) and catch up! Hugs were exchanged, laughs were had, and MANY stories were exchanged.

We found a beautiful outdoor restaurant, Casa Guadalajara, and were told we would have a short wait. In the meantime we explored the surrounding shops. We ooh-ed and ahh-ed at hand-crafted tiles, tin paintings, and even a fresh chocolate store where we got plenty of free samples.

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(the absolutely MASSIVE burrito at Casa Guadalajara in Old Town)

I had never met her boyfriend Brennan before, and he was super cool! He is a big rugby guy working at a law firm in the downtown area. I learned all about how they both ended up out here after moving from the East Coast, the type of work they do, and of course exchange the joys and pains of having type one! Sarah has been type one since she was a little kid. Brennan is not a type one, but being with Sarah, he has learned his fair share of the ups and downs of having T1D.

When our bellies were full, we all returned to Sarah and Brennan’s apartment, where I was introduced to their absolutely ADORABLE labradoodle Bernie! And yes, he is named after Bernie Sanders 🙂 He also will eventually become a diabetes-alert dog after properly trained. He was super excited to meet a new friend!

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I had mentioned to Sarah over lunch that there was a disc golf field very close to where she lived, and we all decided we would play a round of frolf while enjoying the beautiful weather.

It was a PERFECT afternoon of frolfing, wild disc throws, wandering through timber, and more! My disc from home, Skeeter, led me to victory! Here are some snapshots of Morley Field!

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Around 5:30, we finished our 18-hole adventure, returned to their apartment to rest our legs and cool off, and eventually it was time to call it a night. Sarah and Brennan were nice enough to drive me back to my apartment and I was able to show them some of my neighborhoods hidden gems.

All in all, this was by far the most adventurous weekend so far since arriving in San Diego, and only the third straight weekend I have returned home with a bad sunburn…oops

Now it’s time for another full week of work, meetings, and project updates.I will be continuing work on my How-To guide for the company’s internal database, updating my supervisors on project statuses, and more.

Hopefully this week is filled with many more new and exciting adventures!

Until next time,

– Logan

Celebrating America!

Hello again,

I hope everyone had a safe and exciting Fourth of July weekend! I did not have any definitive plans set for this weekend so I enjoyed the long holiday weekend and got lots of sleep, lots of delicious food in my belly, and a fireworks show enjoyed by myself and thousands of others crammed into the San Diego harbor.

Recently, I have been making a point to keep in touch with lots of people whether from college, high school, SWD, or friends and family. I spent Friday evening catching up with friends, whipping up some DELICIOUS bacon-wrapped, oven roasted chicken breasts, and some other fine culinary creations by yours truly 🙂

Saturday was even more laid back. I slept in somewhat, but was awoken by some construction vehicles outside the complex, so I channel surfed for a bit, all while doing some tidying up of the place. I again ventured down to the market; however, this time my eyes were set on any tasty treats being sold. While there again were hundreds of people and lots of options, nothing particularly caught my eye while browsing. I returned home and made lunch while enjoying a good movie. Saturday afternoon, I set out on a casual walk around the neighborhood again; being sure to get my steps in for the day. When my legs were tired, and my stomach growling, I returned home to make supper and had a nice evening indoors.

Sunday morning, I was up at the crack up dawn and could not seem to fall back asleep. Around 8am, I finally got up out of bed, showered and dressed, and was finally able to check out the Catholic church just across the street. They were closed last weekend and the weekend before that, there were several funeral services so I did not feel like it was my place to intrude on a family-dedicated service. The inside of the church was extraordinary. Literally hundreds of hand-carved figurines of different saints, prophets, and others. The walls of the church are lined with beautiful stained-glass windows, each dedicated to a member (I assume previous and now passed on) from the church and their families. I arrived at about five till 9, and the place was packed. I found a seat and enjoyed the service.

When the service had concluded, I decided I was in the mood for some pizza and began searching the nearby area. Beings as I am living in Little Italy, pizza is not that hard to come by 🙂

I found a lovely place just a block or two away from my apartment, and indulged in a (translated) “spicy pastrami” pizza and a glass of wine!

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I chatted with the bartender about things to do in the nearby area. We each explained how we ended up here, what we study, etc. After I had devoured my tasty wood-fire pizza, I spotted a gelato menu and could not resist. I indulged in a double chocolate – pistachio gelato mix.

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I returned to my apartment with a full belly and settled down for a little nap. Later that afternoon, I FaceTimed with my parents for a while and filled them in on the week’s details. Shortly thereafter, it was dinner time and I was now in the mood for some good greasy pub food. I found a place not far away, and indulged in a HUGE appetizer plate.

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I returned to my apartment and spent the evening FaceTiming with some more friends from home and from SWD. I also was FINALLY able to FaceTime with my girlfriend, Arissa, after about a week and a half of little communication as she is overseas studying abroad in Wales, but first is traveling all around Europe. This means constant time zone changes, and big ones at that. Currently she is 9 hours ahead of PST, so my mornings are her evenings and my evenings are her mornings. Coordinating times to talk has been extremely challenging. She has roughly another week of major traveling before settling down in Wales for the remainder of her time, so communication will become much more manageable and far easier to schedule. After catching up her with for a bit, it was time for me to head to bed and time for her to set out on another day full of sightseeing.

Because the 4th was on a Monday, and that meant no work, I took FULL advantage of having a day off and simply lounged. I know, I’m in San Diego and there’s always so much to do right?. Well hey, not everything is free, although that would help tremendously. Also, because I am basically right outside the heart of the city and just off the harbor, there were no major festivals or parades in my area. It was always a ritual back home that we attended a nearby parade in Wellman. I was a little sad I was going to be missing the small town Iowa parades and familiar faces on the Fourth of July – the nail driving contests, the pies in the face, the garden-tractor pulls, everything. Unfortunately, those kinds of things are not super popular here in California.

I did some walking around, like normal, but ended up back at my apartment and just relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon. Before I knew it, it was 7:30pm and fireworks were set to start at 9pm sharp. I showered and got dressed, and shortly after 8:15 I set off towards the harbor/pier area. It was like being a part of a herd of sheep – hundreds of people on every street corner, parents and their kids hustling towards the parks. Everywhere you looked, a place was packed full of people. Thank goodness I am a fast walker and I began cruising through the crowds of people to secure a good spot. I found a perfect area just back from one of the piers and settled in. The city kept their word and at 9pm on the dot, the fireworks began.

What was even more fascinating than the fireworks themselves was that there were actually three different fireworks shows perfectly in sync. One further inland by Coronado, and one over by Ocean Beach. I was able to collect a decent montage of pictures and videos. However, the show only lasted probably 20-25 minutes total. Here is a collection of some of the pictures I was able to snag:

 

When the show had ended, I had to quickly navigate the crowds once more as I made my way back to my apartment. I was out just after my head hit the pillow.

Now here we are; Tuesday morning and a shortened week. This means a lot more to be done in a lot less time. This week I will be continuing work on the internal database, setting up several meetings with supervisors to discuss project progress, and also continue work on a recruiting project still in the early development phase.

I again do not have any big plans for the week, just to simply enjoy work and enjoy being here in San Diego. I have learned that just because you are a tourist doesn’t mean you always have to act like one. I have come to simply enjoy BEING in San Diego, and do not always feel obligated to have a “GO GO GO!” mindset. Last summer was my first time in a truly ‘big city’. NYC had all the glitz and glam one could ask for – Broadway, Times Square, almost every morning news and talk show you could think of, Central Park, etc. I felt like I had to do everything under the sun every single day; which was good and I wouldn’t change any of it. But here in San Diego, the culture is far more laid back and relaxed. People here just enjoy the views, the food, and the hip feeling the city possesses. I think I came into San Diego with the same expectations of NYC. I expected to meet celebrities, go to LA, end up on a game show and go down as one of the luckiest men from my generation. Not having known anything about the city and obviously having never been, I started forming all of these extracurricular goals to be met. However, I have come to learn that the little things often trump the glamorous things. I have learned that a simple walk around the harbor, or to a nearby plaza can end up being more memorable than trying to travel to every famous landmark within a 50 mile radius.

The last couple of weeks were a true struggle for me – I felt lonely, bored out of my mind, and frankly I didn’t know what I was going to do for my remaining two months. Like the saying goes though, “everything happens for a reason” and I was determined to find out the reason why I felt this way. Well….I think this summer is meant to be all about true inner growth, both as a worker and as a person. NYC was amazing in every aspect, but boy was I a hardcore tourist. After being in San Diego for a little over a month now, I am becoming far more appreciative of simply soaking in the city in a relaxed form. I don’t feel obligated to have to document every single thing that I do, don’t feel glued to my phone when out in public; I simply enjoy the idea of an unplanned adventure and am perfectly content with that.

I have learned to simply trust God and have faith that even though I may be completely by myself out here, that this experience as a whole will make me a much better worker, student, boyfriend, son, friend, and overall person than I ever was before. Life is all about changes and how you respond to them, and it is all a learning experience. I am blessed to be in this amazing city, and even though I, along with others may feel like there is always more to be done and more to be seen, I am learning that sometimes despite all of the business in my life, taking time to just relax and be at peace is more satisfying than being a fancy tourist.

[Isaiah 26:3-4 You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you. So, trust the Lord always, because he is our Rock forever.]

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and will tune in for my next post later in the week!

Blessing from San Diego,

Logan

Memories Forever

Good morning everyone,

IT’S FRIDAY!!! What’s even better than a Friday? Knowing it’s a long holiday weekend! It is not quite America’s birthday yet but hey, who says you can’t celebrate a little early right? I’m greatly looking forward to a relaxing, yet hopefully eventful weekend of exploring, trying more delicious foods, and capping it all off with a fireworks extravaganza all across the San Diego Harbor.

Work this week was, again, super busy with lots of projects being balanced, lots of meetings, and much work still to do. I have been continuing to work with Profil’s internal database of vendors and accounts. I FINALLY finished all of the geographical info updates to all accounts. I also recently began developing an employee ‘How-To’ guide for the program, so that when I return to Iowa in mid-August, both future and current employees can utilize this guide to better understand the program and how numerous features and tools work.

Another project I was given was to take ALL business cards obtained from the huge ADA conference (roughly 100), which a majority of the executive team attended a couple weeks ago, and categorize/enter them into the internal database as well. Personally, I think it is pretty cool to see how the company starts from square one and then develops these ‘leads’ into new or continual business.

One final recent development, as far as work goes, is that I found out that I will officially be attending the AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators) Conference, which just so happens to be held right here in San Diego this year. The conference starts the second week in August, so it will be my ‘last hurrah’ for Profil before I pack up and head home to Iowa.

So, another week is about to wrap up, but I haven’t even discussed the most exciting part of my week! I FINALLY ATTENDED A HINDER CONCERT!

Roughly two weeks ago, I saw from a promotional Facebook ad that Hinder would be performing here in SD at the House of Blues (a very famous venue, keep in mind). I knew this would be my one golden opportunity to attend, as they are not a super famous group compared to other performers, so Iowa is hardly ever on their tour radar. Well….finally it was concert day (this past Wednesday), and I was WAY too excited, but also nervous. I was attending this concert by myself. I started thinking to myself: Would it be super crowded? Would there be a mosh pit? Will the crowd be super rowdy? How late will it go? I’m still stuck on public transportation, what if I can’t get home? My mind was racing as I returned home from work and was getting changed to leave, as doors opened at 6:30pm.

I arrived at the House of Blues (HOB), shortly after 6:30 and the line was already pretty long but not awful.IMG_5787

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As I made my way inside and down to the general admission area, I made sure to pick up a couple band souvenirs before finding my spot. Because the show was not supposed to start until 7:30ish, the crowd was still pretty small and I snagged a spot right up front along the barricade between the crowd and the stage. Finally, the first group (Like A Storm) came out and began to play several of their songs. For having never heard of them before, they put on a good show and had some super catchy songs. As they wrapped up, HOB was starting to get packed (I unfortunately did not capture a PICTURE of the crowd through the concert, and instead had videos which unfortunately cannot be added into the blog post…)!

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At long last, when the stage was set (and a personal 10 years of waiting) Hinder came on stage and began their selection of songs! You could feel the energy building within everyone with each song they played! Hinder, since they first formed, has produced roughly six or seven albums, each highly well-received with tours all over the country. They played songs from every single album and NAILED IT!

The crowd was loud, the venue was packed, and the band just fed off of our energy! It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m no concert guru, but from all of the concerts I’ve been to, this was by far the best, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

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(Group picture – from L to R, top to bottom -> Blower, Marshal, Mark, Mike, and Cody)

Before I knew it, they were wrapping up and leaving the stage. Well….the crowd wasn’t quite yet satisfied and we all began chanting “ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE!”. We got them to come back out and serenade away the night with their most famous hit ‘Lips of An Angel’. Lead singer Marshal came out into the crowd and passing around HOB while performing. I caught a super cool video of him and I singing as he came literally RIGHT NEXT to me during the song (see on my Facebook page). My mind was blown!

Finally, and sadly, the show had come to an end and Hinder departed from the stage. I managed to CATCH a signed guitar pick from Marshal, which he threw into the crowd midway through the show. All in all, it was one HECK of a night and one I will always cherish. After having stood inside HOB for over five hours, having to stand and wait for the last trolley home, walking the six blocks to my apartment, and not having gone to bed until a little after 1am, then waking up at 6am to go to work….I. Was. EXHAUSTED! With sore legs and slight bags under my eyes, I still was energetic from the concert as I headed to work Thursday morning. Totally worth it 🙂

Overall, this week was memorable in numerous ways and I am beyond ready for this long holiday weekend! My goal is to explore some new restaurants, possibly go ‘frolfing’ (frisbee golfing), and simply enjoy catching up on some missed sleep and enjoying a few good movies!

Wishing everyone a safe, but exciting Fourth of July weekend!

Until next time,

Logan

 

Catching Up With Friends

Good morning everyone!

Hope you all had a pleasant weekend! I know I sure did! Last week was crazy busy at work, with lots of meetings, lots of projects, and lots of preparations for things yet to come; so I was pretty exhausted come Friday evening.

I returned home shortly after 5pm and decided I did not feel like cooking that night, so instead…I FINALLY got to go and enjoy some delicious sushi! It was fantastic. The roll I ordered contained anything from tuna, to salmon, to shrimp, to octopus!

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I’ll admit, it was a little bit of a splurge but the food was delicious and it was a good getaway from the busyness and noise level of my community kitchen back at my apartment. The rest of the evening was spent FaceTiming several of my friends from back home. It always puts a smile on my face getting to catch up with old friends. I’ll admit, it is getting close to those times of summer in Iowa that I miss the most (first being the Washington County Fair). Even though I am no longer in 4-H, it was a tradition for SO many years, it just seems odd to be missing again this summer. I’ve also been MAJORLY craving some Iowa sweet corn (Cali sweet corn just does not make the cut).

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Saturday morning, I was up early and more productive than I had anticipated. I got through a heaping pile of laundry I had been putting off for several days, I cleaned up my apartment, and made a delicious bacon-infused egg pancake. After a busy morning, I settled on a few movies to watch. I had to choose a theme (I’m weird like that with movies), so…..what’s more fitting than what I am this summer — The Intern! It was a very relaxing afternoon. Now to the highlight of the day and my weekend!

I knew that one of my supervisors from Central, Matt Diehl, was staying in SD for a brief period while on a Mission Trip with his church back home. We had planned (before I even left Iowa) to meet up whenever he came out. Well….Matt had reached out to me last weekend and said to call him Saturday around 3pm and he would come and meet me. So….I called promptly at 3pm, but got nothing. I tried once more but still nothing. I suddenly began to think that I had misheard the time to call, and Matt was already on his way back to Iowa. I moped around, a little frustrated thinking that I had blown the chance to see him. Well around 6:15pm my phone rings….

“Logan, Matt Diehl here! Wanna grab some dinner with us?”

“YESS!!!” I exclaimed with true excitement!

I met Matt at an Italian restaurant just one block from my apartment complex and was introduced to the other 6-8 people in his group; one of which (and to my surprise) was another Central supervisor of mine, George Clark. Hugs were exchanged, laughs were shared, calzones were split, and I got to hear all about the adventures of their Mission Trip. It was exactly the ‘getaway’ I needed after a very busy and hectic week of work.

After dinner was finished, I showed the group around my neighborhood as well as the harbor area, where we walked along a pier and just sat in awe of the beautiful sunset in the distance.

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(from L to R-Matt Diehl (SSS Supervisor), myself, George Clark (Peer Educator Supervisor))

The group began making their way back toward the hotel, which just so happened to be a mere two blocks from my apartment. Some returned to get some rest, or to catch the shuttle to the airport for their red-eye flight. However, I threw out the idea of gelato to which several people in the group immediately jumped on and were in favor of 🙂

Four of us ordered gelato and simply sat and talked about anything and everything! I learned about them, their family, their ties to Central, and I explained about the type of work I do at Profil and everything pertaining to my internship. Finally, around 9:30pm, we called it a night and went our separate ways. While it was sad to leave such wonderful company, I knew my heart was full! GOD IS TRULY GREAT!

Now….after that long ramble, onto Sunday!

Sunday, I slept in, wandered around the Seaport Village area, where I indulged in a delicious philly steak sandwich:

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I found my usual spot on a nearby pier and sat and people-watched for a couple hours. I even made a feathery friend.

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When I was satisfied, it was time for some more ‘adulting’ AKA grocery shopping!

I arrived at the grocery store, found some excellent deals on meats and produce, and returned home just as the heat was really starting to settle in. A recent discovery was the delicious Slurpee’s at the 7/11 down the street, so I decided it was perfect weather to have one. Not long after, I FaceTimed with my parents as they made there way home from a family get-together to celebrate the 70th Jubilee of my great aunt, Sister Marie. When we finished our conversation, it was time to prepare supper!

SO, with my belly filled shortly thereafter, and an exciting and adventurous weekend under my belt, I was ready for bed!

Now here I am – Monday morning – a fresh week ahead. This week will consist of LOTS of meeting scheduling, continual work on my current projects, and the beginning stages to some new projects!

One exciting side note to this week is that on Wednesday evening, I will (after almost 10 years of waiting and hoping) FINALLY get to see my favorite music group, Hinder! I am super excited and fingers crossed that maybe my luck with celebrities is still intact from last summer and maybe I will get to meet them or something along those lines!

Wishing you all a wonderful week as well!

Until next time,

Logan