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Old 09-16-2019, 07:48 PM
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Well, that was that! --aborted vacation


Seven days ago, Mrs R and I boarded the Amtrak Empire Builder for Milwaukee. In Milwaukee we planned to rent a car and see the major East Coast historical sites: The Henry Ford museum, Independence Hall, Gettysburg, Washington, DC, and some others I can't remember right now.

We got the car okay (Enterprise in downtown Milwaukee were great) and headed for Fish Creek, WI, where we planned to visit some historical stuff associated with her mother's family. That evening, she began to complain that she wasn't feeling too good, and by the next morning it was pretty obvious that she had the flu. She was completely prostrated.

We thought it over, and since it was obvious that I was going to catch it from her, we decided to pull the plug. Several phone calls later, we had cancelled our hotel (and SS Badger) reservations, had arranged to stay another day in Fish Creek, and changed our airline tickets to fly home out of Madison the day after that. Everybody I spoke to was very sympathetic, and the airline (Delta) even waived the ticket change fee; and the Fish Creek hotel (the Cedar Court Inn, nice little place) was very accommodating about keeping us another day.

Mrs R spent the whole next day in bed. Fortunately, by Travel Day, she was feeling good enough to poke around Fish Creek and see the family stuff she wanted to, and to endure a 3 1/2 hour drive to Madison. (Observations: 1. Door County is lovely country, and 2. Wisconsin drivers are tailgating jerks.)

We flew home, with the usual mishaps of delayed flights, missed connections, and frantic runs from gate to gate (in other words, the normal airline experience in these days of the American Collapse). We got home at midnight, fell into bed, and sure enough the next day I got the flu. We had fortunately managed to travel on the only good day between her illness and mine. I'm finally starting to feel better, and, on the good side, have lost eight pounds.

Too bad we had to cancel, but at least it was a good dry run. We'll try again in the spring, perhaps; fly into Detroit this time, and head east from there. I think we'll also cut down on the amount of driving we plan to do each day.

Last edited by Rocketeer; 09-16-2019 at 07:49 PM.
  #2  
Old 09-16-2019, 08:06 PM
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If you went north to Door County on I-43, you passed within sight of my farm. Thanks for not stopping and infecting us.

But I feel your pain. Ages ago, while visiting Harbor Springs, MI the wife and two kids fell sick with a terrible viral syndrome, hitting the GI system. The next day I loaded them into the car, headed north across the Mackinac Bridge, and set sights on home. But 2 hours into the 8 hour trip, the illness hit me. Yet the Mrs. was in no shape to take over. Iron will and antinauseants and far too much ibuprofen allowed me to finish the drive home, where I went to bed and stayed there for 4 days.

Travel while sick is hell.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:21 PM
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Went to our place at Garden City Beach, SC the Friday before Labor Day for my last vacation before the permanent vacation begins Jan. 1. Monday, the Governor tells us we have to evacuate for Dorian. My sister who lives at the beach was in Boston. We get her two dogs from the kennel, and head back to Columbia. We arrive just in time to greet our daughter, her husband, one month old baby, and two more dogs who have evacuated from Savannah. No problems from the storm, just a very crowded house for the rest of the week.

Not the worst vacation ever, that will always be the one that I spent painting the house. At least next year Iíll be able to go to the beach whenever I want.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
If you went north to Door County on I-43, you passed within sight of my farm...
Well, now I'm jealous. We took my mom (mid-90s, and a lifelong Packer fan who'd never been to Lambeau Field) "up the coast" to Green Bay, then up to Door County. It's just beautiful, and we kept saying "I can't believe we're in the midwest!" It was so... Cape Coddy. Wife's from Seattle, and it reminded us of the trips we've taken around Puget Sound and to the San Juan Islands.

Quote:
Travel while sick is hell.
Yeah, you were smart to abort.

Although... I spent a pleasant week in a little fishing village in Mexico recovering from an infection. While my friends were off scuba diving, I sat in a chaise on our hotel's balcony, overlooking the dirt "main" street. The hotelier's grade school son brought me drinks, and the local mariachis took pity on me and serenaded me. I certainly had a restful trip, and when I'm stressed, I still think of my little chaise and having no obligations to even move at all.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:09 PM
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I think you may have been better off with the outcome. Milwaukee is a +/- 11 hour drive to Gettysburg. Then 2+ to Philadelphia. I'm not sure how Milwaukee lead to East coast...
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:40 PM
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My mother broke her ankle on vacation in Hawaii, and spent the rest of her dream trip having my father wheel her from the hotel room to the dining room and back; and trying to take a shower with her cast dangling outside the bathtub.

Then came word that her brother died, and she couldn't get back to the Missouri Ozarks in time for the funeral.

I don't know whether she didn't get a chance to take any photos on that trip, or simply destroyed all reminders when she and my father finally got home.

Last edited by Kent Clark; 09-16-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:42 PM
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I'm sorry illness interrupted the trip, but the trip sounds like a great plan. What did you think of the train?
  #8  
Old 09-17-2019, 12:13 AM
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...What did you think of the train?
We've travelled by train on several extended trips, and had a fine time. We usually get a "roomette", which is a little compartment with two seats facing each other. At night, the two seats sort of slump down to form a bed, and a second bed hinges down from the ceiling.

The roomette ticket includes meals in the dining car, which has a limited menu but quite acceptable food. There's an airplane-style toilet on the upper level at the center of the car, and in the lower level of the car there are a couple more toilets and a shower. And all day you can just sit in your room, reading or napping or just watching the scenery go by. It's quite a relaxing way to travel, and when you consider that you're getting two days' lodging and food, the price is competitive with air travel.

We had a layover of several hours in Chicago once, waiting for the train to New Orleans, and discovered to our delight that our sleeper tickets entitled us to hang out in the very nice first-class lounge at the Chicago train station. (We did get out of the building to try a Chicago-style hot dog, though (having checked our baggage at the lounge)).

The coach cars ("coach" cars have seats only, and no rooms; the cars with rooms are "sleeper" cars) have airplane-style seats, except much roomier. Much much roomier.

There are downsides, though; the ride can be rough (this last trip, I dreamt that I was at home and a delivery truck had run into our house, complete with sound effects), and you get there when the train gets there, and for some stops that's in the middle of the night.

And Mrs R and I are getting a bit too old to clamber up into that top bunk; she said that she thought this was going to be our last train trip.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:36 AM
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My daughter and her boyfriend came up this past weekend for a wedding and to go to the Renaissance Festival. On the way up, they stopped for dinner at Chipotle.
Friday night all was well. Saturday morning, her boyfriend went to the range with his best friend. Around noon, my daughter received a text: "I threw up".
He made it back here, only vomiting once in the car. Vomited a few times here, almost passed out.
Got him some Pedialyte and crackers.
What did you have at Chipotle? The chicken. I guess there's an issue with the chicken - food poisoning is pretty common. Never knew.
So instead of attending the wedding, he was curled up in bed, sleeping and hurling for about 8 hours. Poor kid.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:48 AM
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Wow, bad luck!

That happened to me just once. I decided to fly to the Dallas area for spring break while in college and I was perfectly normal all the way there. While waiting for my flight, I started to get really hot and sweaty. By the time I boarded, I was downright ill and arrived that way. After being picked up and driven to my uncle's place, I went to bed and stayed there until the following evening. When a haggard and dehydrated Jasmine finally emerged from her cave, my uncle looked at me with a straight face and said, "I was wondering if, much like the elephants of lore, you just journeyed here to die." Wise ass! LOL
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:58 AM
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I can't recall ever getting sick on a vacation (at least to the extent of the above posters), but I'll never forget a business trip when I got an intestinal flu (the kind when anything that goes in is immediately coming out one end or the other) the day before I was due to travel St. Louis-San Diego-Manila (Philippines)-Hawaii (business)-St. Louis.

Saw the doc and he prescribed some pills, to be taken...rectally...and kept chilled. Didn't eat for the first two days of the trip, but managed to get through it (and the pills) without to much trouble.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:18 AM
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I travel for work and getting sick is just not an option. Having flights booked weeks in advance that the client is paying for, well, you just make sure you are on that flight. Missing a flight like that really screws things up. If you are lucky, the illness will hit during the days while you are at the client site and you can hole up in the hotel (still really awful - before the days of doordash sometimes there was no way to get food).

Once I was in the throes of intestinal flu where I could barely move but I had to get to the airport and on the plane. I really just wanted to lay on the bathroom floor and moan. It was not pretty. I had memorized where all of the trash cans were in the airport terminal, in case I needed to spew along the way. I did make it onto the plane with no incident. On the plane I had to beg the flight attendant for a cup of water to sip, they were not in their regular service rotation at that point and not willing to be helpful. That experience contributed to my low opinion of flight attendants in general. I actually got to use those air sickness bags in the seat pocket (filled up a few of them), yay me!
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:10 AM
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Short version of very convoluted story: I spent most of a day puking in a bucket on the porch of Amy Grant's family farm.

Longer version (not all that interesting):
Invited by a friend of a friend who had a friend who was a friend of Amy's family, and he was hosting a huge BBQ at their farm. Well, that sounded sketchy, but I was young and footloose, taking a side trip from traveling companions in Tennessee, so I figured why not? He gave me directions, I borrowed a car for a long drive through some beautiful but desolate country...

...and got hit hard with a killer flu about a mile from the farm. Middle of nowhere, puking out the car window, I thought "Don't let me die alone... one more mile." I was picturing some Farm Mom sitting with me on a porch swing, wiping my brow with a cool cloth. Came over a rise, and... there's the farm! Only, it's quiet. No grills, no music, no voices, no Farm Mom.

Made it onto the porch, pounded on the door (silence, of course), then noticed... ahhh... there was the porch swing I'd dreamt of. And a bucket right next to it. So there I was for the next six hours, filling the bucket and drifting in and out of dreams of bluegrass mandolins.

Just after sunset, I woke and suddenly realized "Hey, I'm all better". It left me as immediately as it had come on. The farm was dark and silent, so I found a hose, washed out the bucket, and drove away.


Hmm, forty years later and I just now realized... the directions I got were sketchy, from a guy who'd gotten them third-hand. I really have no idea whose farm that was.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocketeer View Post
We've travelled by train on several extended trips, and had a fine time. {...}
And Mrs R and I are getting a bit too old to clamber up into that top bunk; she said that she thought this was going to be our last train trip.
I like the roomette option too. I know that some couples will reserve 2, next to each other, so no one has to climb up to the top bunk. There are also the larger "bedrooms". They're easier to deal with.

I know what you mean about trains being unpredictable. I've had incidents like avalanches on the tracks, engine failures, and ice building up on the train during a blizzard. They had to stop and chip it off key components.

I love train travel anyway. It's a relaxing way to see the country.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
I like the roomette option too. I know that some couples will reserve 2, next to each other, so no one has to climb up to the top bunk. There are also the larger "bedrooms". They're easier to deal with.

I know what you mean about trains being unpredictable. I've had incidents like avalanches on the tracks, engine failures, and ice building up on the train during a blizzard. They had to stop and chip it off key components.

I love train travel anyway. It's a relaxing way to see the country.
I love train travel, too. I've taken the Empire Builder twice, most recently from Seattle to Chicago for the first Women's March in DC.. I couldn't afford a roomette so had a coach ticket both times, which meant sleeping in a reclining seat and taking sponge baths instead of showers. Still, I'd do it again. I met many interesting, enjoyable people in the dining car, as the dining car practice is to fill seats and tell people to get to know each other. And no internet on the EB meant more reading and writing time.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:59 PM
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Reminds me of my one and only trip to Amsterdam. Got sick the first day, and didn't get better until the last. It was also cloudy or rainy all week. Had sort of a great time nevertheless.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:29 AM
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I suddenly remember a river cruise we took on the Danube one holiday season when Little R and Littlest R were still kids. The trip was interesting, but due to the usual airline foulups we missed the boat and even after we caught up with it we didn't get our luggage for three days; then I got the flu and had to keep to our cabin for two days, then the trip home was the most horrendously stressful airline-related nightmare imaginable (and they lost our luggage again). Mrs R, on the other hand, remembers that trip fondly. I think she must be out of her mind.
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