Thursday, May 3, 2007

Tiptoe-ing off to Ottawa

Well, we're going to brave another family holiday, folks... We're packing up the kids and heading to Ottawa to see the Tulip Festival this weekend.

Anyone out there who has ever travelled with small children knows that vacations are not exactly RESTFUL for the adults of the group... but that is certainly not to say that, overall, it is not an enjoyable experience. That is, for NORMAL families.

Our family holidays are never "normal". They are, to put it mildly and politely, slightly more challenging than the average. In fact, I am absolutely dumbfounded that I am feeling brave enough to embark on this trip, after what happened last time...

In my family, it seems that it is impossible for us to go away for a "vacation" without something going terribly, horribly wrong while we are gone. Usually the wrong has to do with health... In March, we attempted to go to Florida for ten days, where, on the second day, my husband suffered an acute kidney stone attack (actually, there is no such thing as a NON-acute kidney stone attack, as it turns out). After $5000 worth of treatment, he was discharged from hospital. The pain he endured made it necesary for him to be looped on Vicodin for the entire trip, and he recovered just in time for the plane ride home. After nine days of nursing the invalid, while at the same time single-handedly steering my kids through every major attraction, Disney and otherwise, it was ME who needed the narcotics, let me assure you.

The "holiday" before that, we stayed at a swanky resort in Northern Ontario, where the entire family succumbed to a gastrointestinal bug that made the Norwalk Virus look like mild indigestion. We suffered four days, saw a brief window in the barfing, loaded everyone into the car, and shot for home. It took nearly three weeks to get over the bug entirely. Naturally, WHO do you think wound up being sickest... luckily, after everyone else had recovered enough to get up off of the bathroom floor?! The Goddess Was DOWN, people, and it wasn't pretty, let me tell you...

I won't go on about our family holiday history, you wouldn't believe it if I told you. Suffice it to say, if there are germs, we get them. If there are riots, we land right in the middle of them. We've been through almost every possible disastrous situation you can imagine... and actually, I am hard pressed to anticipate any new possibilities... I could write one of those "How To Survive" manuals, and instruct people how to do it all, WITH KIDS.

I'm scared, friends... terrified of what this little jaunt to the Nation's Capital will bring... Will it be an asthma attack of epic proportions, brought on by the tulip pollen? Will we be stampeded by anti-Harper demonstrations? Will the hotel have burned to the ground by the time we enter the city limits?? Will we even MAKE IT to the city limits??!!

And yet, I continue to Hope For The Best, whilst Bracing For The Worst... I find it nearly impossible to believe that the weather forecast is perfect, the hotel reservations are confirmed, the bags are nearly packed, and my husband has just gone out to clean the van and fill it with gasoline... We should be ready to leave as soon as we have sprung the kids from school at lunchtime.

Oh, Canada... I sure hope Ottawa will be able to handle us...

1 comment:

rev. shawn said...

Best wishes for the jaunt ...

My only advice to you is this:

be positive ... think positive ... believe the trip will be good and it will be ...

... visualize NO illness, NO bugs, nothing but laughter and fun ... and it WILL be so!!!

Just in case - I'll say a prayer and send you positive energy.
Have fun ... I'm SSSSSOOOOO jealous ... Ottawa in the spring ... aaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!

Enjoy, and stop carping ... ;)


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