A Doctor’s Spouse’s Life: Residency Year Three

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I’m a little late on writing this post as we’re now about to start 5th year in a few days. I did draft it back in August of 2020 so the perspective is a bit different. Here it is:

During the first two year’s of my husband’s residency, I definitely nagged him quite a bit for his lack of presence or assistance around the house. It was a lot of work for one person. My mom literally did almost everything for me before marriage. I know, “what a spoiled brat!” By third year, I became accustomed to my role in our household and it was understood he would always help when he could; he never would take advantage of me. When we were dating and engaged, he was self-sufficient. But with the lack of free time during residency, I had to step in to help. I never felt with him that because I am the woman, I must do these things. If anything, he is a lot better at managing the house than I am.

BUT during third year, I received a lot of on-and-off help because he had more “free” time. More free time also meant more traveling and time we could spend together.

Although this residency life series has been more so about the lack of time with my husband, I think I am now finally satisfied with the quantity and quality of time we have together. I no longer dwell or take up issue with his busyness. I’ve built my own life here in Vermont finally and am busier than ever with family and friends so I don’t feel as lonely.

During the first half of the year, I enjoyed traveling all over the world. I feel grateful for those times especially with the COVID era now upon us.

In July 2019, the husband and I attended our first “non-rushed” wedding together in about 4 years. By “non-rushed” I mean we didn’t have to miss half of the reception to drive back home because of work the next morning.

Also in July, I attended my husband’s cousin’s wedding without him because July is not a month residents can easily take time off. I wanted to get to know his side of the family better since I didn’t get the chance during our own wedding week. I flew to England with my SIL, MIL & FIL. It was an amazing trip despite the heat wave that arrived with us. The wedding was so much fun and I really enjoyed my time with my husband’s cousins. The last night of the trip we went to a bar with a live 80’s band. I absolutely love 80’s music, movies and fashion and feel I should’ve had my teen years during this period of time. I now understand why the older generation thought 90’s music was complete junk.

The amazing 80’s cover band covered songs by Queen that I didn’t even know Queen originally sang. On my return flight, I watched Bohemian Rhapsody which began my obsession with Queen. I have been listening to them nonstop for the last year.

In August 2019, hubs and I hosted a barbecue that was a ton of fun. We invited our coworkers and friends. Food was bomb if I must say so myself.

In September, hubs and I went to Maui, Hawaii and stayed at Andaz. It’s really far from Vermont…and we flew out from Montreal. I highly recommend Andaz if you are going to Maui. We actually walked around all the neighboring hotels and agreed Andaz was the best. I think it was nice to experience the Hawaiian culture (sup Moana!?) and I even got to take a little Hawaiian dance class at our resort while Raj slept in. Yes, he still sleeps a lot during vacations. I think Hawaii is a little overrated for the price of things. I mean a cocktail at our resort was $19. During happy hour, it was $13, but it’s not full-service. Like, come on.

Hawaiian Luau at Andaaz

In November, I went to Tulum with my best friend. This trip was beyond memorable. We didn’t stay at the resorts but we did go to the resort area several times. The resorts are literally on the beach. Between rooms and buildings is sand. It’s amazing. Imagine naturally exfoliating your dry heels! More to come on this because it was a great trip and I definitely recommend going to Tulum over Hawaii any day. I want to go back with my husband once this COVID stuff is over.

Well, with third year of residency came our first Thanksgiving at home during residency ever!!! We were pretty excited about it. Because of our ever expanding family with the engagements of all my husband’s siblings, we decided to host Thanksgiving at home in MA for our clan of 13 people and a few close friends.

We cooked an insane amount of food. Raj cooked whole turkey for the first time in his life and that was an intense project. I put sugar in the stuffing instead of salt so that was fun. Thanks to my future BIL for catching this haha, we were able to undo my error with actual salt but not without those added calories from sugar! We definitely had leftovers for days and probably weeks. Lesson learned on how to cook for a large group.

It’s become our tradition to stay in Vermont for Christmas the last few years so we took a few days off and enjoyed some eggnog and some one-on-one time.

January brought wedding bells for my BIL who was getting married in India. In a 9 day break, Raj crammed a trip to India when the travel time alone each way is about 20 hours. We flew out the morning Raj was post-call from Montreal and almost as soon as we landed in India, the wedding festivities began. We had a great time with family and it’s probably the best wedding I’ve ever attended. I’m not biased, I swear. Just watch their amazing wedding video!

I stuck around in India an additional week after husband left and got my outfits made for the next two weddings in the family.

Oh! And during the winter, two of the resident’s wives and I got together on a weekly basis to host Bachelor viewings and participate in a Bachelor Fantasy League. One of the girls even won from a group of 30 participants. So this kept me busy which was really nice to get through those long and cold Vermont winters. And it really forced myself to not be so clingy to the husband just because he was home on Bachelor’s night. Byeeee boyyyy (as Beyoncé says).

So “The Bachelor” and Fantasy league wrapped up and at the end of the week is when Vermont decided to shut everything down because of COVID.

And now the COVID Era. We have kept our sanity first of all. We are healthy and happy. Vermont *knock on wood* has not been badly hit by COVID. I’m grateful that it started to warm up soon after so if we couldn’t go to the mall, at least we could step out for a walk.

Because the hospital canceled all elective non-urgent cases, there were fewer patients. Usually we hover around 500 patients but during the peak of the pandemic, we probably had 300 patients in house.

Because there were fewer elective cases, Raj was home a lot more often but he used much of this time to read and prepare for his board exam in May that originally was scheduled in March. He took it from home which was an interesting scenario.

I have been working from home remotely on and off depending on my daily assignment. It has been nice but I’ve been pretty busy throughout. Because of the few COVID cases in Vermont and our hospital not being overly burdened, the non-urgent surgical cases resumed and things are back to “normal” but with many precautions and changes in place.

Work is strict about traveling and we can’t visit our favorite spot of Montreal because the Canadians think we have handled the situation poorly, which we obviously have. We also cannot go home to MA until the number of cases is less than 400 per million people.

We have only been spending time with our coworkers as we all are under the same restrictions. We met with two recently at a restaurant with a live one man band and delicious food. I’m glad Vermont is doing so well with COVID but I don’t think things will settle down soon in the USA or Worldwide.

Overall, I think this doctor’s spouse’s third year was pretty good. Hubby is happy and well-fed. He’s not that complicated for a brain surgeon. I still take care of the house but he has more time and has been able to help out a lot more which is such a nice break for me. Our moms cook food for us that freezes well so that has been helpful throughout the year as always.

Let’s see how fourth year unravels itself. We’re one month in and I’m a little afraid because he is home A LOT…Like A LOT, A LOT. Like too much, guys.

Stay tuned for a year 4 post!

San Juan, Puerto Rico: Things to Do

For the most part, hubs and I did a lot of R&R by the pool and on the beach. We didn’t plan a lot of activities but these were a few of the things we did.

And yes, much of Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria. Many of the hotels/resorts remain closed and some may not reopen at all. I had to do a lot of research to make sure places were still open before putting them in our itinerary. On our way from the airport to Condado, you could see many building roofs missing and fallen trees were all over the sides of the roads. I was told Old San Juan did not suffer too much damage as it was built to be sturdy unlike the hotels and homes in different areas.

I think San Juan and its people are definitely ready for tourists. I have never encountered nicer Uber drivers and I feel that is partially because they appreciate the business brought to the island. (FYI PR Uber drivers just got approved for pickup at hotels on May 5th 2018 according to one driver. This was the day we arrived so we didn’t even know it wasn’t allowed before. Now Uber is working towards allowing airport pickup in San Juan. There is a taxi stand at the airport and prices are listed on the paper they give you). Overall, I don’t think I had a single negative experience with any person there (except my husband :p just kidding).

Also, I wanted to note, because you are by the water, it is incredibly windy. The wind and dresses don’t mix. I constantly had to hold down my dress when walking around to make sure there were no incidences. I HIGHLY suggest wearing shorts, rompers or a maxi dress, at least, instead.

If you’re interested in where to eat and drink, take a look at this post: Our Puerto Rican Honeymoon: The Food & Drink Guide.

Old San Juan Walking Tour

Please note the beautiful traffic cones in the background

A self-guided walking tour of San Juan is completely possible in a day. Old San Juan is quite small and very walkable. I used this article to find a few points of interest. Husband then opened it up on his phone and led the way. Looking at the article now, he kind of skipped some things because he doesn’t like looking at historical buildings…but neither do I for the most part.


We went inside El Morro after paying an entry fee. It was interesting but the man wouldn’t let me even read any signs. He wanted to leave as soon as we got in there.

I wasn’t happy about being in the kitchen at El Morro. (It was really windy so my hair looks jank).

Also La Casa Blanca was closed that day (my fault for poor planning) but the gate was open so I wandered in anyway while husband told me not to. I definitely wished we saw more of this when open.

Do I recommend it? Definitely walk around Old San Juan as its very vibrant.

Underwater Sea Trek

We did an underwater sea trek. I cannot swim, BUT I can sink. If you don’t know what this is, here’s a description:

Like in SNUBA, Sea Trek participants have the opportunity to explore the underwater universe but by different means. In Sea trek, participants have the chance to become underwater astronauts thru the use of a helmet that allows underwater walking. The Sea Trek helmet safely delivers air to our participants allowing them to walk freely underneath the waves. It’s the closest sensation to walking on the moon. Any one above 8 years old and weighing more than 80 lbs can participate in Sea Trek, regardless of swimming ability in the water.

Although they have age and weight minimums, I still struggled to take steps forward unless I was holding my husband’s hand. And I was under the impression that we would walk into the water with the helmets on but nope. We walked FAR (or so I felt as a non-swimmer and short person) into the water and the helmets were then placed on us.

I believe the tour company had created a little Atlantis underwater, but I accidentally knocked over one of the small pillars. Oh well. The undertow had me stumbling a bit.

Do I recommend it? Yes, but I suggest going in the morning as the undertow isn’t as strong so the dirt is more settled and the water is clearer. We had gone at 4:30pm. Also, I don’t suggest it for kids as they may freak out.

Bacardi Mixology Class


The tour was kind of short but interesting. At the end of the tour we were led into a room for the mixology class.

Somebody was eager to get started! Just kidding but 1 hour later we were friends 🙂

We were to learn to make 3 cocktails: the Cuba Libre (rum & coke), a mojito and a daiquiri.

The mojito was my favorite

We were told to drink them while mixing the other drinks. I couldn’t keep up so I passed them off to my husband who happily accepted my thoughtful offer.


After the tour, we were led into the gift shop. Hubs bought this special edition rum that isn’t sold anywhere else but this gift shop. He had the option to fill his own bottle or buy it pre-filled. He chose to fill it for the experience.  He then dipped it twice in wax. They then let you label the bottle with your name so that was a nice added touch.


During the mixology class, we made some new friends from Montreal and Arkansas. We all met up several times throughout the rest of our trip as we all wanted to explore similar places and restaurants. Plus, the more the merrier!

Do I recommend it? Yes, it was a fun and different activity. BUT! If you can find another mixology class that doesn’t rush you to make 3 drinks and chug them at the same time, that would be better.

Salsa Class

We went to a salsa class with our new friends from Montreal. It was fun and our instructor was great. The instructor’s husband was late picking up their baby so we got to look at this cute little baby girl on her mom’s hip while she taught us some steps. We had a good time. The only thing that was odd was that the class was in a public park although it was nice being outdoors. (Side note: the site does say the class is in a restaurant but to meet in the park. I don’t know what that’s about.)

Do I recommend it? Yes! I love dancing and this was one way to immerse ourselves into Puerto Rican culture.

La Placita

La Placita is poppin’ Thursday through Saturday (don’t quote me on those days of the week). It’s basically a big block party. This is where open container laws are amazing. We grabbed a mojito and enjoyed some people watching and dancing on the street.

Do I recommend it? Yes, I highly recommend this! Everyone dances so well! Watching people was mesmerizing.

La Fortaleza Street & the Surrounding Area


We ended up on La Fortaleza street even when we weren’t even trying.


Several great restaurants are located on it along with many gift shops. We came back here about 3-4 times just to walk around and take a few pics.


Do I recommend it? Yes, you can’t really not end up here somehow.

Zen Spa

I would say I enjoyed our couples massage in Barcelona (around the same price) more but this was still good. We got a package deal for $200 that included manicures. It was affordable, had good reviews and was right across the street from our hotel.

Do I recommend it? Not this spa specifically, but massages as a vacation activity is baller.

Condado Beach

We spent our beach time on Condado beach. The beach area we were on was shared by our hotel, Condado Vanderbilt and La Concha. I didn’t expect any service on the beach but the hotel employees set up lounge chairs for us and supplied us with towels and water!

Do I recommend it? Go to whichever beach area your hotel owns so you can get the special treatment.

I hope you enjoyed reading more about our trip to Puerto Rico! It is definitely a place I’d like to go back to one day once the rainforest recovers further.