Early on a Saturday late in May, Michael and I left the pup with the ‘rents, and drove from Cleveland to Madison (a drive we would mimic a little over a week later, but with a moving truck instead). Our friends Erin and Annie were getting married that day.
It was a beautiful ceremony on a ridiculously hot day, but the heat didn’t keep us from dancing the night away. The next morning, we were able to say goodbye to Erin and Annie as well as our friends Neima and Jackie, all headed to Boston; and our friend Jordan, who’s doing his surgical residency in Philadelphia.
Because we had all moved out of the Shaker house early, our housemates the Hedges invited us to go on a camping trip with them– one that would take us from the wedding in Madison to our next destination: Molly’s wedding in Traverse City, Michigan the following weekend.
The tent on the left was one we inherited from Mom and Dad H. It had a very short life with us; it poured that evening and the tent flooded before we even got a chance to sleep in it.
The next day, we drove into Michigan via the Upper Peninsula, where we hiked for a few hours along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore before finding our next campsite.
We loved our campsite that night so much, we ended up staying there for the remainder of our trip. If you ever go to the UP, look for Twelvemile Beach Campground.
During the days, we took little trips out– one was an ill-fated kayaking excursion on Lake Superior during which most of us got seasick. BUT we also went to a part of the shore that’s lined with steep sand dunes– this specific one is locally famous; called the log slide.
Then we trekked on down to the big house we were renting in Traverse City, big enough to hold five medwives and their husbands. After five days of camping, a shower has never felt so good.
Our time at the house in Traverse City and during Molly and Josh’s wedding was exactly what we’d hoped– my dearest friends all running around, borrowing each other’s curling irons and jewelry, cooking together, playing games and talking late into the night. Not to mention the main event:
And when the last song played, and the lights came up, the evening found us like this:
Except despite our smiles, we were all actually crying. In fact, I’ve never sobbed so much in my life. Saying goodbye to good friends is hard enough, but this was different. I might not have survived medical school without these girls to lean on, and we left each other that night knowing exactly what we were facing: several years of residency, the most difficult time in a medical family’s life, without our friends by our side. It was the loveliest last hurrah, but the saddest farewell.
To NOT end on that note, though, I also remember this: later, driving back to Cleveland with Michael, and thinking that even though this new step is scary, at least I get to do it with him.
Next up: Our move across the country to Seattle!