Stasha’s sixth travel nursing assignment was a lesson learned that we hope anyone new to traveling or considering traveling will learn from. To fully understand the scenario, here is a little backstory. Stasha and I had just had our first child, a baby boy we gave the name Carter James Crawford, in April. We were hoping to find a job in Ohio to be around family but nothing came open so we headed south and spent a very hot and uncomfortable spring/summer in Florida instead.
The same thing happened at the end of the Florida assignment. No jobs in Ohio. Not only no jobs in Ohio, but no jobs in Pennsylvania, North Carolina or Massachusetts. None of the states Stasha had a license for and no walk-through states on the East Coast had any jobs. After driving north and visiting family for a week, a job finally opened up in California.
It wasn’t the best situation. We were excited to be around family with our new son but instead drove four days to the other side of the country. And where Northern California lacked in Florida’s humidity, it made up for with temperatures in the triple digits. But Stasha had a job and we were grateful for it.
Sometimes with travel nursing you have to make sacrifices. You can’t always get the hospital, state, region, or sometimes even side of the country you desire. But if you are willing to travel (it is called ‘travel nursing’ after all), you’ll almost always have a job. You just have to make the best of those situations and enjoy your experience. And that’s exactly what we did in Sacramento.
Other than the extreme summer heat when we first arrived, we really enjoyed Sacramento and the surrounding area. It’s a very clean city with lots of options for eating, shopping and fun things to do. But the highlight of our trip was by far Lake Tahoe. It was about a two-hour drive from our apartment straight up the Sierra-Nevada Mountains and totally worth it. The water was crystal clear (although freezing cold) and the air was crisp and piney. If you are an outdoor/nature person, it won’t disappoint.
Stasha and I had already been to San Francisco once a year earlier but this time we took my mom who flew in for a visit. Traffic was HORRIBLE there and back, but the trip was great. We started off with a trolley ride to Peir 39, checked out the famous seals on the docks, did some shopping and dining, and then took the trolley back to our parking garage just before dusk. On our way home we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and turned off into Sausalito for some amazing nighttime shots of the city and Bay Bridge.
Folsom Lake is a pretty popular recreational lake north east of Sacramento. Unfortunately the winter drought from the year before left the lake very low for the summer. It was still a fun trip and worth the visit. The video above gives you a very good idea of what most of Sacramento looks like during the summer months: dry, hot and dead brown grass as far as the eyes can see. If it wasn’t irrigated or watered through a sprinkling system, it pretty much looked like desert. We were promised it would turn green in the winter but the rainy season never came and it looked just as dead the day we left.
That pretty much wraps up our trip to Sacramento. We actually stayed in a suburb called Roseville just north of the city and Stasha worked at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital in Auburn, CA right at the foothills of the Sierra-Nevadas. We had originally thought we would come back to the East Coast or maybe up to Washington after this six-month assignment but a unique opportunity presented itself and we ended up in a cabin in the mountains. More on that in our next post. I’ll leave you with our Google Winter Wonderlab video. Google set up high-speed camera igloos in a handful of malls across the country with fake snow and props. Here’s our video from that: