The Trip From You Know Where

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So, we’re back.  My last post was asking for road trip ideas, and thanks so much for those that sent me their greatest ideas, please know, that I implemented almost all of them!  You may have noticed, it’s taken me awhile to blog about the trip.  That’s because I’m trying hard to erase a few of the memories, but those darn things, kind of like the super lice circulating my 8yr old’s classroom, just won’t go away.

This isn’t going to be a long and painful recount of our family vacation, but a quick trip down my faulty memory lane.  It’s funny, a friend recently asked me how our trip was and I told her the story, and her first comment was that my husband had enthusiastically told her when she asked him, “it was amazing”.  From his point of view, I’m sure it was.  Now, here’s the rest of the story…..

We drove to Florida, a 22 hour drive from our house in Ontario, Canada, in April.  The drive down was perfect.  Kids loved the activities, our one overnight stop was great, we continued on Florida, staying one more night prior to our Disney Cruise from Port Canaveral.  We board, we sail away.  The kids are excited, we now have a tweenager who promptly parted from us to hang at the Tween club and our independent then 7yr old took off for The Lab.  This was our third Disney cruise, so the girls were pros and we had purposefully booked a cabin close to the kids club for ease.

Day 2, my oldest daughter comes to me at the end of the day, telling me she’s itchy on her back.  Ugh, I’m getting sympathy itchy just thinking about it.  I lift up her shirt and see a small circle of raised bumps.  I assume she’s reacting to a spider bite or bug bite and give her antihistamine’s and send her on her way.

Day 3, same oldest daughter is still complaining of itchy back, now seems tired and flushed.  I check her back and notice the patch is larger and redder (I think that’s a word) and my mom’s spidey sense starts to kick in.  I don’t relay this to my husband, as after 19 years, I’m starting to learn.  He’s convinced I worry too much about our kids.

Day 4, it’s getting harder to ignore and I add essential oils to my medicinal mix and increase the dose of antihistamines.  Day 5….I think you can see where I’m going with this, I can’t ignore the fact that whatever this is, it’s spreading and making my daughter sick and I suck up the courage to head to the ship’s hospital.  An hour later, we have a confirmed case of shingles.  And the word quarantine comes up.  We’ve still got 3 days onboard to go through, a dream parasailing adventure for my daughter and a hundred other super fun activities to attend to.  Not gonna happen without a few tears.

The ship’s doctor relents and allows her to be monitored as an outpatient, but no pool and fully covered body.  She’s 11 going on 12, a diagnosed anxious child and my vacation is officially over.  Let’s add to that, she needs 3 different medications, given around the clock, for seven days.  I now can also say goodbye to sleep and my child’s sleep.  This became the first vacation I was ever on where I wanted to go home early.

My poor girl suffered through the rest of the trip and then……it was the dreaded 2 day drive home.  Where we were headed right into the emergency room to get myself a second opinion and find out what we needed to know about this illness.

Our disembarkation went super smooth, we catch our shuttle to our port hotel where the car was parked for the week and our travelling companion notices something is very wrong.  True enough, his brand new SUV, has most of it’s windows smashed in and a few items stolen.  The drive home was delayed for a few hours while he sorted his car out with the Sheriff and repair company and then we were off again.

We were determined to get home as quickly as we could.  Minimal stops.  Maximum distance.  Enter flash flooding a good 3 hours before we had anticipated stopping, causing us to bunker down for the night way earlier than we wanted.

5am departure the next day so we could make it home by dinner……5:30am, the dreaded Noro virus hits our car and the littlest Mortimer goes down.  I’m thankful our oldest gets car sick and I had given each child their own lined barf bucket and wipes, but man, the frequency of the pukes nearly killed me.  Then the emergency bathroom stops got added in and we were done for.  She finally settled down and slept off and on, but we were another 3 hours behind thanks to the frequent stops and hit the border at 5pm on a Sunday night.  Stuck in a huuuuuuge line, and the oldest pipes up, “I have to pee real bad mom.”  Will it never end?  Border guards don’t react well to people hopping out of cars while in line and making a run for it.  I’ve never talked to her so much in her young life, but the insane, distracting questions worked.  1.5 hours to move through the border and we were back in Canada and buying what I swore was our last disgustingly unhealthy meal and peeing like banshees!

The puke machine stopped puking, my oldest’s shingles had stopped spreading during the ride home, we were out of the dense fog and torrential rains and our house had never looked so welcoming.  I parked, switched cars, said goodnight to my husband and youngest and threw the oldest in the truck and took off for the hospital where we spent 4 hours trying not to fall asleep and finding out that yes, she did indeed have shingles and no, school wasn’t an option.  Lucky little duck.

The next day brought normalcy and relaxation if you can believe it.  That is the story of my vacation.  I must finish by saying, setting aside my daughter’s illness, Disney cruises are amazing.  We had some much needed electronic free family time and I hadn’t talked to my 11 yr old so much since she was a tiny preemie and I held her and talked to her until we could finally take her home.  I can also firmly say, it will be a long, cold day in hell before we drive those two any farther than across town.  Enjoy these pre-shingles diagnosis pictures. 🙂

Princess Leia napkin buns

Princess Leia napkin buns

Dinner at sunset with my love.

Dinner at sunset with my love.

Arrrr, we be pirates!

Arrrr, we be pirates!

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