The Vacation from Purgatory

If you don’t have any formal religious education, you may not have a clue what purgatory is. In fact, it wasn’t ever a concept I was taught. But here’s the gist of it: it’s somewhere between heaven and hell. And that pretty much sums up my vacation.

My blog took an unintentional break last week as I traveled to New York for a somewhat annual trip to visit my husband’s family. I knew going into the trip that I would only have access to dial-up internet. Which means no internet. Still, I was hoping to pilfer a little wifi from one of the unsuspecting neighbors.

If only the lack of internet was my biggest problem…

Here is how my vacation went down.

  • Wednesday: Last minute vacation shopping (yeah!); call from my son’s sitter saying he threw up (boo!)
  • Thursday: Son stays home, not feeling well. Husband stays home, not feeling well. Vacation prep continues. Son throws up Thursday night. All over.
  • Friday: Husband returns to work. Friday departure plans scrapped. Son throws up again. Saturday departure plans scrapped.
  • Saturday: No one threw up! Vacation prep continues. Scramble to get necessary prescription before trip around 6:15pm. Find out that pharmacy closes at 6pm and doesn’t re-open until 11am. Sunday morning departure plans scrapped.
  • Sunday: Wait until 11am to get prescription. Mince words with pharmacy tech about the ridiculous hours. (To be fair, she wasn’t very nice to begin with). Arrive in Baltimore for a quick stopover with my family. Back on the road to New York arriving at 1am. Happy to get out of the car. Sons throws up all over the bathroom. Clean up and in bed by 2am. Husband starts coughing and continues all night long.
  • Monday: Son wakes at 6:30am. Get out of bed, manage to eat a bowl of cereal, and fall back asleep. Chills and stomachache ensues. Throw up. Eat saltine crackers and ginger ale. Throw up again. Lay on couch with my son watching Dancing With The Stars. That’s how sick I was. Son develops a cough. Husband continues coughing all night long.
  • Tuesday: Drag myself out of bed, clean myself up, take husband and son to nearest Urgent Care. Both get antibiotics. Spend the rest of the day getting prescriptions filled and buying toys for being a good boy at the doctor. Wait in the car with sick child. A lot. Watch conclusion of Dancing With The Stars. Get into bed and son throws up everywhere. Three room clean up begins.
  • Wednesday: Cool New York air turns into record high temperatures in a house with no air conditioning. Forced to leave and go shopping at Woodbury Commons, the largest outlet mall on the East Coast. Shopping lifts my spirits but only briefly as son continues to cough up a lung. Feeling like the world is staring at me thinking how insensitive I am to be shopping with such a sick child. Put a window air conditioner into my mother-in-law’s bedroom window. Dragged mattress on to her floor and slept for an hour. Dramatically awakened to a smell I’ve never smelled. Did I mention we brought the dog? Using the light of my iPhone, discover a pile of dog diarrhea about 12 inches from my face on the floor beside the mattress. Resembles chocolate pudding. Clean up again and fall asleep in shame. Glad Wednesday is over.
  • Thursday: Son’s coughing is better. Husband’s cough is worse. Exchange items back at Woodbury Commons. Wait in car again for a stop at Home Depot. Everyone else waits in the car while I go into Walmart. My only moment of solitude. Bought a Little Green Machine. Takeout Chinese is ordered. Life gets a touch better.
  • Friday: Spend the morning doing clean-up and repair around the house. Clean carpets. Shower and put on a dress. Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Drive up to visit the Walkway over the Hudson on a beautiful day. Head to sister-in-law’s house for steak, salmon, and birthday cake for mom-in-law. Drink very good Prosecco and gorge on Brie. Play lacrosse and Mario Kart with the two older kids. Play on the seesaw and with bubbles with the two younger kids (and my own). My heart sings as my son LOVES his cousins on their first official meeting.
  • Saturday: Up and out to Connecticut to see brother-in-law and his four kids. Son goes swimming in their pool and latches on to his 5 year old cousin. I cuddle with their 10 month old baby girl. Eat steaks from the grill out on the deck surrounded by cool Moroccan style candles with a cool breeze blowing. Finish the meal with birthday cake for my husband. Head back to New York and collapse in bed.
  • Sunday: Load up the car and head to Baltimore. No traffic to speak of in New Jersey (for once). Meet and greet with my family again and head to a Chinese buffet to celebrate little brother’s birthday. Back on the road at 8:30pm and pull into our driveway at 1:30am.

Yeah, I’m exhausted too. But we made it through. My husband still has a serious cough but other than that, I haven’t had to clean up anything other than a messy kitchen.

Here is what I learned on my vacation, in no particular order.

I don’t have much patience for sickness beyond 7 days (in myself or anyone else). I don’t need to lay in bed for 2 days after a stomach virus, although it would be nice. I can watch Toy Story 2 at least 5 times in a row. I’m fine without internet as long as I have my iPhone. I love New York bakeries. There is no healthy food at a service plaza. I miss my family (my husband’s and mine). And finally, love transcends all vomit and diarrhea.

Walkway over the Hudson

Walkway over the Hudson

Happy Kids

Happy Kids

Bubble Love

Bubble Love

  • Lori Sherrod

    Fadra, Well said…glad everyone is feeling better :-)

  • Citymouse

    My favorite line… “love transcends all vomit and diarrhea”. Kudos for you for keeping your thoughts together to realize that! Glad everyone is feeling better.

  • Nathania Johnson

    you're brave to visit a Chinese buffet after a weak of vomit.

    i recently read that Sambucol, an elderberry extract is better than OTC and possibly prescription medications at helping people overcome the flu. a lot of people swear by it for other things as well. i started taking a small amount daily to boost my immune system. we'll see!

  • Robin

    I leave a week from today for a trip to MA with the boys. Should be an interesting car trip with a 3 month old and a 3 1/2 yr old. I'm glad you are back safe and sound.

    PS Dog diarrhea is so gross!!!

  • Marietta Taylor

    Kudos to you for not ripping out your hair! All I can say is wow! Hey also wanted to tell you I saw one of your tweets printed in the latest edition of Body+Soul. Famous one!!!

  • adventuroo

    Oh sheesh– what a nightmare of a vacay! I agree with Citymouse that my fave line is “love transcends all vomit and diarrhea.” Glad the vacation wrapped up well though!

  • thegrasshoppa

    I must have caught it from you—through blogging osmosis—or something. I was in bed for nearly FOUR days. And yes, you do need to stay in bed 2 days after the Plague—only we can't because someone has to bring home a paycheck.

  • Mommy2brady

    All I have to say is…..OMG!!!! Nice vacation, if you can call it that. I would call it sickation! Ugh, so sorry for all of you, not fun traveling or being in a different place when sick. Absolutely love the commentary though. Thanks for sharing, makes our sickness seem simple!! haha!

  • SaucyB

    oh jesus, I promote your trip to vacation from hell.  Poor kid for being so sick and poor you for being  non stop clean up crews.  agh!
    Congrats on your SITS day. 😉

    • Anonymous

      It was a rough one but one in which we look back and laugh… now.

  • Anonymous

    Hilarious post!  The dog moment would have been the low point for me. . .Congrats on your SITS feature; I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, the dog was pretty much the icing on the cake. And my poor mother-in-law had to put up with it all.

  • Jamie

    LOL!  That’ s a lot of throw-up!  Love that you put an air conditioner in your MIL’s window…gotta do what you gotta do to make things bearable, right?  Thanks for sharing your blog today!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for reading about my horrific vacation that still turned out okay after all. We survived and it gave me great blog fodder!

  • Michele Alfieri

    Poor babies!  It is no fun being so sick especially for little ones :(  Glad there was a super mom around to take care of it all!  Good work, haha!

    • Anonymous

      I would have gladly relinquished that title but we made it through!

  • Christa the BabbyMama

    That chair behind you is amazing!

    And it stinks when everyone is sick :(

    • Anonymous

      So we’re all vomiting and you’re looking at the furniture???


      It was my sister-in-law’s house so I can’t take credit for the chair.

  • Tori Nelson

    God bless you. I can only make it through Toy Story twice before my eye starts twitching!

    • Anonymous

      I’m a veteran at watching bad children’s programs over and over and over….

  • Misssrobin

    Wow.  Glad everyone survived.

    I love blowing bubbles.

  • Nini

    Hahaha I love this post! I love the pics of your boy with the dog. Stopping by from SITS!

  • Nini

    Hahaha I love this post! I love the pics of your boy with the dog. Stopping by from SITS!

  • Anonymous

    The only part of this I don’t get is why your M-I-L would have an issue?

    • Anonymous

      I couldn’t understand it either. I could only guess that she was mortified that people would know my dog pooped on her carpet?? Or that we slept on a mattress on her floor? Desperate times call for desperate measures in my book.

  • Anonymous

    The only part of this I don’t get is why your M-I-L would have an issue?

  • Elena

    You deserve some type of medal for persevering through all of this!  I’m glad it ended well.

    • Anonymous

      Nothing I would EVER wish on anybody. Not even my ex-boss.

  • Caren with a “C”

    Happy SITS Day! Being sick and not in the comforts of your own home is awful. We spent half our family reunion Hawaii trip in a hotel room with sick children. Not fun. Glad you did end up feeling better at the end of your trip and got to enjoy the cousins!

    • Anonymous

      Okay. You made me feel better. I would rather ruin my vacation to my mother-in-law’s house than ruin a vacation in Hawaii!!

  • Pam

    I enjoyed this post!  We took a road trip from Missouri to Connecticut last summer—LONG DRIVE.  We did manage to find occasional fruit at the service plazas.
    Stopped by from SITS–enjoy your SITS day!  (I wish I had your name. I like the way it rolls— FADRA.)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for reading! The one thing I’ve learned is that long trips ALWAYS give you good blog material.

  • The Dutch Girl

    Wow. That is not a fun way to spend your vacation. Be thankful you didn’t travel by plane, I guess…

    Happy SITS Day! Enjoy the comment love today,

    • Anonymous

      Way to find the silver lining! Yes, I would not have wanted to be stuck in a airplane bathroom with ANY of that. Especially the dog.

  • DIY Weddings Magazine

    Here is to the next vacation being a much better one. The poor dog! That was the only way to tell you he wasn’t felling so well either.

    • Anonymous

      This was actually last year. Since then, we went on a lovely Disney vacation. I was deathly sick but not of the vomiting kind. And it’s hard to have a bad time at Disney.

  • Marie Cole

    Been sick on vacay before..It sucks. :(  I am sure you were all over it right?

  • Cheryl

    This is a very familiar story, with a good moral at the end. What we do for love, especially as parents.

    • Anonymous

      The truth is that we never really think about it. We just do it. Parenting really is hard work but I understand it so much more now that I am one.

  • The Lovely One

    You poor thing! You deserve something pretty for surviving a vacation like that! Glad everyone’s feeling better! 

    • Anonymous

      I’m pretty sure I made it up to myself :)

  • Lady Jennie

    Where was the heaven in all that?  :-)  

    Poor thing – what a nightmare.

    • Anonymous

      We ended up with a few nice family visits. But I guess the heaven was in packing the car and finally going home 😉

  • Kallay

    That’s a lot of vomit for not eating a lot. Sounds like the worst start to a vacation, ever. Plus, that dog poo smell? Smelled it! Wouldn’t want to almost cuddle with it, so kudos to you for not vomiting after *that*! 

    • Anonymous

      It was a *very* bad week.

  • Captive Embroidery

    Well, it could have been worse. I can’t think of how just now, but I’m sure it could have been. :) At least you made it out with your good spirits in tact!

    Stopping by from SITS

    • Anonymous

      My husband could have vomited too. Or pooped in the middle of the floor.

      See? There’s always a silver lining.

  • Anonymous

    The beginning of the trip sounds miserable! End sounds ok.

    • Anonymous

      All’s well that ends well, right?

  • Lindsay

    Don’t totally understand the MIL wanting it removed part, but if I had to venture a guess it might have to do with all the poop and vomit talk. I had a grandmother from the south when I was growing up and certain topics were just taboo and she just didn’t get the relaxed speech my sister and I had.  Congrats!  Can’t wait to read more.

    • Anonymous

      She guards her privacy fiercely and I’m sure somehow she saw this as a reflection on her. I did actually take the post down… for a while 😉

  • Juliegsk

    Way to go mama!  Road trips with kids are hard in the best of circumstances!

    • Anonymous

      Ain’t that the truth?

  • Kimberly

    Fantastic image! What type of camera do you use?

    Yep, very familiar with pergatory.  Years and years of Catholic school behind me.  Some days, I’m convinced that our time here on Earth is pergatory.

    • Anonymous

      I use a Canon D80 DSLR although most of the time, you’ll see iPhone pics on my blog.

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