Traveling - the Grand Canyon

Today we were at the Grand canyon. Honestly we were not impressed since they were having controlled ecological burns. It was terrible, smug hung in the canyons and you couldn't really see the deepness. It ruined our pictures! We also find Bryce canyon much more impressive and much more beautiful. And the place was crowded with Japanese and french people. But also Dutch people. Why are Dutch people everywhere? They are like Chinese.. Okay I'm complaining to much.. Haha one of those moments. Anyhow, we spend a full day in the G Canyon, it was fun though.
And now we are in Barstow, Ca. I have no clue where it is, never heard of it.
But here are some pictures of the Grand Canyon.

 I look so fat
  Stupid smog

 I don't know what this is but I like the picture
 We ate green stuff without dressing
Can you see the fire/smoke?
 I think I look cute on this picture

Road trip through USA

Okay, some might be interested. But currently I am doing a road trip through a more western, lower-middle part of the USA.
We flew to San Francisco, stayed there for 3 days, then drove down through Yosemite park, to Las Vegas. We stayed a couple of days in Las Vegas and then further drove to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Antelope canyon and the Grand Canyon. At this moment we are lodging in the Grand Canyon in a rather luxurious place.
Here are some photos to start with. My story will be continued.

 Zion NP
 Zion NP
 Zion NP
 Zion NP
 Zion NP
 Bryce Canyon
  Bryce Canyon
  Bryce Canyon
  Bryce Canyon
  Bryce Canyon
  Bryce Canyon (swag)
  Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon (Click on it)
 Antelope canyon
 Antelope canyon
 Antelope canyon, do you see the bear?
 Antelope canyon
 Antelope canyon, do you see the heart?
 My traveling partner
 Horseshoe bend
 On top of the horseshoe bend
awesomeness (horseshoe bend)

1,5 month!

I can't believe I'm in the US for 1.5 month already.
I will say it again I really love it here and I am slowly falling in love with Chi-town! It's such a big city and so much to do. I made a new friends, lots of them..
I joined a social club, meetup, to get to know woman new in Chi-town. I went 1 time and I've already met people who I would like to hang out with. Since one of the woman is German, we went football watching on Sunday. I was staring at the Netherlands-Portugal screen and the rest of the group to the Germany-Denmark screen. It was fun, but after the games was even more fun. We went to the Navy pier and rent a 4 persons bike and biked along the lake. Wow it was such a tough job! It was seriously a 1 hour workout. But we had soooo much fun, you should have seen us! Haha, I would definitely recommend doing that, wherever you are. Biking makes a city so much fun!
One, she is from Italy, doing a post doc at Loyola, dragged me to a house party on Sunday night. Yeay! it was my first house experience in the city, with amazing European Dj's shaking up the dance floor. I loved it! Although so controversy that I smelled weed everywhere. And the weed did not smell good, it smelled like cheap stuff (at least not like the dutch weed). Disgusting! But I did enjoy the party, and everyone in the club was excited and dancing. So here I am really groggy writing a report (and this in between). And I have a lot to do, so I will probably be here till late, sleeping in front of the computer or just hating my life.

Some of you I told before, but I am trying to lose 5 kilogrammes. This is hard! Omg, I still haven't lost anything. That's one thing I hate about the/my body, I don't gain or lose weight, doesn't matter how hard I try.. Pff.. So I am living on 3 meals per day and no snacks, and I took 1/4th off of my meals. And I work out 2 days a week and bike from time to time half way to work (45 minutes biking). I am so hungry... I don't know for how long I will survive. I'll keep trying another 2 weeks or so and if I still don't lose anything I'll just go back to my normal diet. What's the use cutting of calories if you're not losing weight, right?

And another thing, they offered me a PhD program to finish my research project! Yeay!! I am so happy.. It looks like I am going to be doing a specialisation after all and live in the US for a long time.. Which I don't mind at all. I just hope I can combine PhD with working as a pharmacist, cause the PhD salary is kind of poor.
Alright I am going back to work now. I'll post some pictures later. Or tomorrow.. I need sleep!!!


Madison, Wisconsin

Hey all,

Right now I am writing from Madison, a town up north from Chicago. Madison is really pretty, it's so small but still very beautiful. The city has a capitol located between two lakes, actually it has multiple lakes. But Madison has a lot of farming, and that's probably why they have so many lakes.. Madison also has a university which seems to be very good in research and medicine. Today the weather is perfect to go swimming; clear blue sky, good temperature.
But yeah, why am I in Madison. I have told you before I am in Chicago for a research project. Research is all about conferences, talking to people, networking and listening to stories from others about their research project. We'll that's what I am doing in Madison. There is yearly conference about cardiac dysfunction so we have 3 full days of oral presentations and posters about the heart. It's really fun though, but does get kind of boring after a while. In the mean time we are drinking a lot of beer (after the conference of course) and getting a lot of free food and making fun of each other! What bring me to this point, Americans really love talking behind one's back. Yeah, it's really funny though, but it's also weird. I don't know if it's per se worse than in the Netherlands, but it's just that I know so much about everyone, but I don't actually know them. You know what I mean? I know stories about colleagues I actually only know from a "Hi" and a "Bye"!
But whatever, stories are always fun to hear... Today we are having diner at a fancy restaurant somewhere near the capitol and tomorrow we're heading back. I am absent at today's morning session, but I had to finish something before wednesday and now I am going for some breakfast and a t-shirt to wear under my shirt. They have a gap around the block.
It's funny how America is build. Everything is so far from each other. To go grocery shopping you just need a car, to go clothing shopping you need a car (because most malls are far). They have public transportation all over the place, but no one uses it. The buses are always empty (Except for in Chicago, but that's because it's a big city). But seriously I live in downtown Chicago and I still need a car to do grocery shopping. Sigh..
But I have to go now.

Here are some pictures of Madison.

 What is this huge thing doing in such a small town.

 My funny colleague Dave presenting his poster.
 My funny colleagues Brian (Chinese guy) and Jason (guy with glasses in the back) presenting their posters.
 There was a 5 miles bike tour. Looked like fun! Even little children were biking.

 Taya on the right.
 What I ordered.

 Taya's steak
Dave's burger and Alex and Taya as background

Chicago architecture!

I am still exploring this wonderful city.. The more I get to know it, the better I realize what an exclusive city Chicago is. Chicago has got everything, except for a River Island :(
I think it's really exclusive that a city as big as Chicago has both skyscrapers ordinated tightly and a beach. There are not a lot of big cities which have that. Its like, you look left and see Miami beach, look right you see New York. And apparently Chicago has 3 of the highest buildings in America. The top 5: first is Willis tower, second is Trump tower, number 3 and 4 is dedicated to NY and number 5 is the Aon tower. Look it up on Wikipedia (Tallest buildings in the US). Chicago is also known for their architecture. I love France, I love France for it's food, it's charms and especially its architecture. And what I love even more about Chicago is that they also have french architecture. The french Parisian buildings, but 5 stories higher. It's really cool to see.

 The building on the right is my favorite. And the one with the gold statue is also cool
Focussing on the river. 

Also I started jogging systematically again, really weird but I still am in good shape. I can still hit the track for 1 hour straight :) I guess I am a natural sportswoman. I run on the lake shore, that's a long street alongside the lake. A lot of people run alongside lake shore, there's a park, the beach and sports clubs where they play al different kinds of sports. Again you have left Miami and right New York. I really love running that track.

Michigan avenue is the best street for label lovers, like me. With major department stores like Bloomingdale, Nordstrom, Saks fifth avenue, Neiman Marcus and Barneys the famous Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Jimmy Choo are just the start of what you are looking for and I didn't mention the label stores yet which are just a block away. Slowly but easily I am falling in love with Chi-town.

As you can see in my picture, Chi-town also has a river! During St. Patricks day, I don't know who; colours the river green. But it's really cool to see. I'll add a picture to this blog soon.

I love the food in Chicago. Like I've said before, I have been vegetarian the past view weeks. But Chi-town has the best vegetarian food. And starting today I am eating meat again and I swear I just love chicken... I wish I could eat chicken everyday. But I might go back to being vegetarian pretty soon...

 I love these parking lots, some of them go 20 stories high! Imagine the road to the top floor could be 4 miles.

 ING Bank in Chitown!! Too bad I have ABN Amro

 Eating Pasta at Lake view! 10 minutes walking from my apartment...