Thursday, January 10, 2008

Life in La Crosse

I'm curled up on the couch in my new apartment, sitting here with a cup of tea, music on in the background, and my friends on the computer in front of me. I thought I'd share a little of my life so far here in La Crosse. Grab your own cup of tea and enjoy the tour!

On Saturday we loaded up my car and my parent's pickup truck. Since we had plenty of space to just throw stuff in, it didn't take long at all. In fact, I wanted to be on the road by 9:00 am and I was pulling out of the driveway at 9:02 am. Pretty good in my world! It took about two hours and 10 minutes and I was getting off on the exit for my apartment. The drive to Rochester is one I've done before, but from Rochester to La Crosse is a stretch of road I've only done once, in the dark, a few years ago. It had quite the view! Many people have told me about the bluffs I'd see in La Crosse, and that translates into lots of big hills leading down to the Mississippi River. Coming from the mountains and Puget Sound, it was a nice reminder!

My apartment complex hasn't been quite what I thought it would be, in that it feels pretty old. But, as the days have gone on and I've become settled in, it's starting to feel like home. This complex furnishes their apartments with more than just the basic furniture, but I also brought a lot of my own stuff since it was easy to do that.

This picture is taken from the front door, and I snapped it even before moving things in so all of what you see was here when I arrived. I've added some prints I bought at Pike Place over the couch.

By the TV looking back towards the kitchen. It now looks more settled in with my own kitchen things around.

The door on the left is my bedroom, and straight ahead is the bathroom.

My bedroom. I don't like the bedroom set as much as the one in WA, but the bed's comfortable.

The bathroom is smaller than in WA, but I like it more since it has a much better set up and lots more storage.

On Saturday I was able to get mostly settled in, and also drove around a little. I only went a mile or so in each direction, and to be honest, wasn't really sure what I had gotten myself into! Now, though, I can see that I just happen to live in an older part of town, known as North La Crosse, that has a lot of businesses and not many shops or restaurants.

On Sunday morning I went to Bethany Evangelical Free Church. I had looked around online to see what church might be the best fit for me and I narrowed it down to two options. Then, after calling my friend Eric Uggerud who used to live here, picked one! I was happy to hear him say that either of my two options were places he felt comfortable and was really blessed by the one he said to try first. You can find their website at This was one of the most friendly churches I've ever been to, I really enjoyed the worship and the sermon, and was so in awe at how God met me there that morning. Thank you, Lord! After being a little discouraged on Saturday, I left church on Sunday morning and couldn't get the huge smile off my face. I was REALLY blessed at church! I'm not sure how often I'll be there on Sunday's, as I plan on going home during my weekends off, but this church is maybe even reason enough to stick around on a weekend! I'm really looking forward to getting involved with a Bible Study, and those are starting up again in another few weeks.

After church I was able to drive around a little more and was happy to find lots of good restaurants, shops, and staples like Target, Kohl's and Old Navy. I also went to the hospital to make sure I could find the right place on Monday morning. I had such a good feeling about work even from those few minutes!

On Monday morning I had my first shift, and it went GREAT! People were extremly helpful and friendly. The hospital seems to have the same philosophy of patient care that I do, and there's something about a midwest work ethic that I really enjoy. It's only been a few days at work so far, but I think this is going to be a great fit for me. Yea!

After work I drove around and found a huge nature reserve right across the river (which happens to be in MN). I also found La Crosse's historic downtown and wandered into a terrific antique store. I spent over an hour there, fell in love with lots of stuff but only spent $3.00!

I know this sounds weird, but I was even blessed at the grocery store on Tuesday! People were genuinely friendly there as well! It was fun to realize how much I think I'll like living here!

Hoped you enjoyed the little tour of La Crosse. I'll be sure to share some more pictures of the town once I remember to bring my camera along and take them!


Anonymous said...

Hooray! I've been anxiously awaiting an update on LaCrosse! I'm so glad you are enjoying it so far. I've always thought Bethany was a really friendly & genuine church too.

Anonymous said...

Glad you have found a place with such a great fit!! PTL Love, Penny

Ross & Beth said...

Hi Kari,
I am so glad you are so happy. It is a big difference in freindliness from here to there, isn't it. I love midwest hospitality! I wish everyone would be so nice!! We miss you.....

Chris and Gina said...

It sounds like you are really settling into life there. That is great! What a blessing that God gives you such a comfort there. It was so good to see you over Christmas and visit!
Take Care!

Anonymous said...

Yeah! I've been waiting to hear how your life in LaCrosse has been going. So glad to hear that you've found a good fit both in the hospital and church people. Even if it is for a short time. Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Glad that you are settling in and that you like the area that you are in! I'm thinking of you.....hoping that it all turns okay!

Brooke said...

I'm glad that it has turned out to be more than you expected! It will be fun to hear about all that you get to experience in this new place, while being able to be close to home!

Jim and Marilyn said...

You always manage to make a place look comfortable and homey! We are glad that you can be close to "home" and your family and also that you are happy with your newest job. We are looking forward to each news item!

Leingang Family said...

Sounds like a great place. I am glad you like the hospital. And you're close to home, too!

By the way, I love your shower curtain.