Poorly in Pasadena


Leaving home makes me sick … Literally. I’ve snuffled/spewed my way through Koh Samui, Singapore, South Carolina, Fiji … and now Pasadena. Yep, I am poorly. Woozy in prone postion on hotel bed unable to speak beyond a croak poorly. Totally freaking inconvenient when I am supposed to be hugging men in sloth suits and doing my first-ever video interview (more about those little gems at a later date …) I should be making the most of my flying visit to the home of the Rose Bowl but all I can do is moan quietly to myself and hope the paracetamol performs some miracle that allows me to be upright for a media dinner in two hours.
My holiday sickness jinx kicked in many moons ago when I started dating Husband. (Ooooh, maybe I should blame him!) In those first giddy weeks of lurve, we decided to travel to Thailand together. I succumbed to flu and slumped in the hotel restaurant sipping tom yum soup while he went scuba diving in Koh Samui. And THEN I got Bangkok belly … not the most romantic thing while sharing a small hotel room with a new bloke. But somehow the relationship survived.
I continued to get sick on future getaways. When I wasn’t sick, I was making misguided destination choices, such as booking us into the “Wheels Resort”, a hotel designed for less-able travellers. Nice, big bathrooms though. And a lovely, convenient ramp into the swimming pool.
Finally, after 10 years of blighted holidays, we got married. Let’s not talk about the honeymoon.
Three years later, I got pregnant with Sprog 1. Under the false impression that morning sickness only lasted 12 weeks, I booked two round-the-world-last-hurrah tickets for Husband and I on week 13. Husband found my retching a real downer on the road trip from LA to Las Vegas. It wasn’t much fun in New York either. By the time we got to London I had my obligatory flu and was confined to bed in Richmond. As husband hunched in the bathroom, scrubbing blood-orange-juice vomit out of the hotel’s white Egyptian cotton doona, I lay pathetically on the sheets channelling Virginia Woolf: “If it’s a choice between death and Richmond, I choose death!”
So we booked two early flights home, and in the ultimate romantic gesture, he used all his frequent flyer points to upgrade me to business class. There weren’t enough points for him to join me, but I rallied enough to visit him in economy at regular intervals with giddy updates: ”They just grilled chicken satay sticks for us!”, “The ice-cream is so delicious up there!”
Still, the trip doesn’t win the award for Worst. Holiday. Ever. That belongs to Folly Beach (the name should have been a dead giveaway). I’d just settled into my plane seat to watch the safety demonstration when I started feeling woozy. Husband was NOT amused when I suggested there may be a slight problem with my health AGAIN.
By the time I wobbled through Charleston airport, I was a goner. We’d booked a little holiday cottage near Folly Beach. I never saw the water. On day two, both the kids succumbed. Husband was kept awake each night by his family coughing their lungs up. Inevitably, he caught it too. Instead of sight-seeing, we toured chemists for regular top-ups of cough-mixture, tissues, headache tablets and flu remedies.
Determined to see a Southern plantation, we dragged the kids to the nearest one, as they sobbed and begged to go back to bed. “Buck up,” I hissed, ”the drugs will kick in soon.”
Then again, there WAS Spain, where the eldest became a vomit fountain and started pissing blood in a town where approximately 2 people spoke English, neither of them doctors.
Fortunately, her pink urine sample did the talking – UTI.
Moral to the longwinded story – don’t go on holidays with me, who knows what you might catch?

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