Tag Archives: Vacation

Blew it out–figured I would…

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Well, I had a BIG weekend.  Got together with a couple of friends that I hardly ever get to see anymore.  We hit the Gulf Coast with a vengeance!!  Stayed at one of the big casinos and had a blast.  The first day I didn’t do too bad as far as food goes, but, man did we drink!!  When you’re sitting at a slot machine with two good friends at your side, laughing and catching up on old times and new, those drinks just slide right on down without a thought.  And the cocktail waitresses were on top of their game–every time you turned around, there they were.  Needless to say, the next morning, none of us felt so swell.  So you know we needed good old greasy burgers to make us feel better…with fries on the side of course. Then floating around in the pool’s nice cool water was bliss.  On the way home, I really blew it when we stopped at an old fashioned fruit stand for a watermelon.  I noticed that they had honest to god hand dipped ice cream.  Was one dip enough?  Hell, no!!  I had to have two, one of dutch chocolate and one of butter brickle.  Was it pure heaven here on earth?  Hell, yes!!  So, yesterday I ended up sleeping most of the day.  I had every intention of getting up early and taking the kayak out to the rez for an early morning paddle.  Didn’t happen.  I literally did not get out of bed, except to feed Stella, until almost 1:00.  I wanted to stay in bed then, but I really needed to go grocery shopping, so I had to get up.

I’m trying really hard not to beat myself up too bad.  I had a wonderful time, so now I’m just going to put it behind me and climb back on the straight and narrow.  Had watermelon for breakfast and egg salad with tomato for lunch.  Trying to get all my steps in on my Fitbit.  Gonna grill some chicken thighs for dinner.   Just going to keep moving…

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Me, Sciatica??? WTF?!?!?!?!

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Me, Sciatica???  WTF?!?!?!?!

Shortly before Christmas, I was rolling over in my bed when I noticed a little “catch” in my back, just above my left hip.  Not awful, just a nag now and then when I’d turn a certain way.  Then, on Sunday, Jan. 2, pain started shooting down my left leg to my knee whenever I walked.  And when I say pain, I mean PAIN!!!!  It was awful, and I was leaving for vacation in a few days.  Yikes.  Monday I was in the clinic, begging for a magic cure.  Well, the MD said I have sciatica?  Excuse me, what?  Yep, sciatica.  Christ above!!  Last year I had bursitis in my right elbow, and now sciatica.  So, it’s official…I’m old!!  Doc gave me a steroid pack, muscle relaxers and pain meds.  Thank goodness it doesn’t hurt while I’m sitting, because vacation included a drive from Minnesota to Montana, with a side trip to Mt. Rushmore thrown in.

So, off I go, armed with my meds.  I flew to Minneapolis from Memphis, then the next day we headed out for South Dakota.  It was COLD!!!  And I’m okay with that, but there were spots where the road was icy and slick.  Thank goodness the driver knew just what to do.  We spent the night in a very cool “chalet” in Keystone, SD, and drove up the mountain far enough to see the 4 presidents lit up in the night.  Beyond cool!!!  There was a little bar right next door, so I managed to walk that far.  A couple of brews couldn’t help but make me feel better.  When we came out, there stood a deer, just chilling.  He took little notice of us, even when I snapped a couple of pictures.  The next morning, we went up to the monument.  This place is really impressive.  I loved it.  We watched the film, and I limped my way around enough to get some really good photos.  Soon it was time to hit the road.  We went down to Rapid City and found a sports bar so my Minnesota buddies could watch the Vikings game.  Few beers, some appys, nice way to spend an afternoon, even though the Vikes lost.  On the road again, headed to Billings.  Stopped at Wall Drugs on the way…look it up if you’ve never heard of it, it’s pretty cool.

We had reservations at an Econo Lodge, two queens and a rollaway.  My friend insisted that I have my own bed since I had the bum leg.  Well, somehow, the reservation got screwed up.  Side note–while the friends were in the office arguing about the room, I got mooned by some drunk goomba who was wagging his junk in front of the window of the room where his friends were.  Doofus must have frozen his balls off!!!  Anyway, turns out the owner of the Econo Lodge also owned the nearby HoJo, and assured us that he had a room with a rollaway available.  Off we went.  Didn’t see one drunk bare ass there.

Made it to Big Sky the next afternoon.  WOW!!!  Just beautiful.  Leg feeling a little better, enough so that I managed to cook dinner for about 14 people.  The snow-mobile tour of Yellowstone turned into a snow coach tour due to my infirmity, but it was great nonetheless.  Breathtaking views, cool animals, funny guide, what more could you want?

After a few more days in Big Sky, it was time to head back to Minnesota.  The trip back was through North Dakota.  No offense, North Dakota, but that was one more boring drive!!!  Spent the night in Bismarck, then made it to St. Paul the next afternoon.  Dropped my friend’s daughter off at her apartment so she could get her car, then headed to their house in Woodbury.  WOULD YOU BELIEVE…the car broke down!!!  And as luck would have it, right at an exit with a car dealership!!  We quick phoned the daughter and told her to pick us up there.  The dealership had been closed for about 15 minutes, so we just left the car there for the time being.  Thank goodness it waited til we were damn near home, and not out in the middle of nowhere with -12 degree weather!!!  I had to get re-packed and ready to fly out the next morning before the ass crack of dawn.

Got to the airport that morning thinking it would be pretty dead so early, but I was wrong!!  Leg killing me.  So I asked for assistance and was loaded into a wheelchair, then one of the carts, and got to my gate just in time to board.  Tight layover at O’Hare–40 minutes.  I knew my broke down ass would never make it, so I had another wheelchair ride.  Good thing, because we came in at gate K-15 and left from G-18.  That’s a long way for those of you not familiar with O’Hare, which is not my favorite airport, BTW.  Again, made it there just in time to board.  In Memphis, I had parked in the cheap, long term lot, which was farther from the terminal than I remembered.  Not fun limping and lugging my suitcase, which decided it really didn’t like rolling that day.  But I made it, then drove the 3 hours home.  Walked in, dropped my luggage at the door and crawled into bed.  Slept until time to go pick up sweet Stella.

Back to the clinic in a couple of days.  Doc recommended MRI and PT.  I’m all about the PT, I’m a BIG believer in it.  So now, I’ve had 3 sessions, 4th one is this afternoon, and I’m feeling 90% better!!!  Barely any pain, not taking the pain meds except before bed, and have a much improved outlook.  My therapist is great, she deserves a medal!!  I have decided to postpone (cancel?) the MRI.  If the PT works, what the hell do I need the MRI for?  If it doesn’t work, fine, I’ll do it, but I’m hoping I won’t have to.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

 

Sick on Vacation

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So, while on my vacation to the Northland (Minnesota), I came down with a nasty cold.  It sucks to be sick any time at all, but it REALLY sucks to be sick while you’re on vacation.  I tried not to let it get in the way of fun, but I mostly felt like dirty socks for the last few days.  The worst part, though, was getting on the plane, knowing it would play havoc with my ears.  I bought the flight earplugs that are supposed to help equalize the pressure, but they can only do so much.  My left ear is still all stopped up, while the right one gives me occasional relief by popping open randomly, then slowly stopping back up.  I’m also a snot factory, and my throat is as scratchy as an emery board.  Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

The first time I was ever sick on vacation was on my 5th birthday.  We had driven from my home in Mississippi to my uncle’s house in Chicago (in our new Rambler station wagon), and on my big day, we were going to hit the road again to visit my Aunt Gwinney and Uncle Ernie in Detroit.  Well, I woke up puking everything that I even thought about putting in my mouth.  My parents made me a pallet in the back of the Rambler, and off we went to Detroit, with many puke stops along the way.  When we got to my aunt’s house, she had a Mickey Mouse birthday cake for me, but I could barely look at it.  Aunt Gwinney was a nurse, so she took me to the doctor’s office where she worked, and I got a BIG shot, which totally pissed me off.  Quite frankly, here 50 years later, I’m still pretty pissed about it.  On vacation, AND on my birthday, a shot???  Not right, not right at all.  I must admit, however, that I felt much better after a while, and even managed a piece of cake before I went to bed that night.  The next day, I felt well enough to go on the ferry to Windsor, Canada!!  Not bad for a five year old from Mississippi…

 

First Day of Vacation

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In my opinion, there are few things in life better than the first day of vacation. All that wonderful time off stretching ahead of you, with untold adventures awaiting. Later today, I am getting on an airplane and heading North to visit friends in Minnesota. People think I’m nuts for going up there in the winter, but I absolutely love it. The snow, the cold, my nostril hairs freezing when I breathe in and thawing when I breathe out!! I plan to be stress free–I’m not making any of the decisions, I’m not doing any of the driving, I’m just gonna cook, eat, DRINK, and play board games. Oh, and there is a hot tub, even though I really don’t relish the thought of getting into a swimsuit right now. But I’ll be among friends, so I guess I can manage to stifle my embarrassment for the few seconds it takes me to dash from the door to the tub!! I’m hoping that we can work in a trip to the cheese factory in Wisconsin, one of my most favorite things in the world!! All those different delicious cheeses to be sampled, the warm, squeaky curds. Mmmmm…And then, I’ll blink and it’ll be time to come home and face reality again. But I refuse to contemplate that right now!!