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Hey, I went on vacation

Let's... change the subject, shall we? I mean, I suppose we still have to talk about how Mia went from a runny nose to a hospital admission in 12 hours, but I am still in knots about how I screwed that one up, so we'll do it later. Besides, I decided this morning that she was breathing "differently" and dragged her to the after-hours pediatrician with the $50 co-pay, so I've reached my medical drama limit for today. (She's perfectly fine, thanks, I was just being insane.) And we could always talk about how a fucking wasp stung me in the face on Friday and how I've been unable to open my left eye for two days, because really that was just the icing on my week. I even took a picture to show you, but it is far too hideous to share.

So instead, let's talk about how I went on my first real vacation in nearly five years a week and a half ago. It was marvelous. We handed the kids off to my parents on Thursday morning, hopped on a train, and three hours later we were in New York. Where it was raining buckets and freezing cold and there were a hundred people in the cab line at Penn Station. Which, fuck that shit, we decided to walk a block or two north and get a cab there. Which somehow lead to walking 20 blocks north to our hotel at Times Square. We dropped off our bags and headed out to enjoy the city a bit, which sucked. We returned shortly thereafter, cold and soaked, changed into dry clothes and headed to the hotel bar for a much-needed drink.

Then we wisely grabbed a cab and went to meet our friend /boss/token famous author pal Marshall and his lovely and charming wife Emily at Beyoglu, which was delicious and loud and I ate until I was very nearly ill and had a massive fight heated discussion with Marshall in the middle of dinner while Chris and Emily pretended they didn't know either of us, which is hard to do while sharing a small table. After dinner, we got to visit their dog, Kylie, about which Mia is deeply jealous.

Friday saw a break in the weather, so we walked Manhattan. Really. We started at our hotel on 46th, walked to Central Park, walked through Central Park to the Met, walked up to the Guggenheim at 80-something, walked back down to 31st before realizing our destination was still nine thousand blocks away and hopping a cab to Houston. Then is was through Soho, Chinatown, the Financial District, all along the Esplanade (totally cool, must be nice when you aren't freezing your ears off), to Battery Park, where we planned to cab it back to the hotel. Ah, it is to laugh. We walked up through Wall Street and all those little rabbit-warren streets where the sun never seems to shine, hiked north on Church and finally spent four months trying to hail a cab on 6th before deciding to suck it up and pay through the nose for a gypsy cab back to the hotel.

We had show tickets, sore feet, empty stomachs, and two hours to get presentable, find somewhere to eat, eat, and make it to the theater. Emily (see two paragraphs above) to the rescue with her recommendation of Zen Palate, which was close to the hotel and featured Buddhist monastery-inspired vegetarian Asian fare that was surprisingly delicious, to the point that I was jealous of every dish that came out of the kitchen. The only hitch was that they poured alcohol but did not serve it, we had neglected to bring our own stash, and both really needed a drink to counteract our stint on 6th Avenue. Luckily, there was a bar between the restaurant and the theater and just enough time to cram some alcohol before partaking in a highly depressing musical about various psychoses.

The musical received mixed reviews (I liked it, Chris was less impressed) and reached a surreal high note when there was a medical emergency six rows away from us halfway through the first act which included the at-the-time seemingly-reliable report that someone had just died in the audience. She walked out of the theater a few minutes later, so reports of her demise, etc. After that we took a brief stroll through Times Square and climbed the inexplicable staircase that makes up the back of the new TKTS booth, just because everyone else was doing it so why not us? The appeal continued to escape us, so it was back to the hotel to [redacted].

Saturday morning we walked over to MOMA and saw a strange music + image exhibit, a really good photograpy exhibit, and a design exhibit that forced me to agree with Chris when he said he felt was had just accidentally stumbled into IKEA. Then it was onto our quest to find a doll with red hair and blue eyes that looked like Ariel but was not Ariel. I will allow you to guess whose fondest wish that particular item was. We were met with total failure. We fortified ourselves with lunch, back to the hotel to change, and then went to see a really hilarious play that culminated with the audience being snowed upon with actual snow. We followed that with our second trip to Toys R Us in search of a consolation prize for Mia, and got a Dorothy (as in Wizard of Oz) Barbie, which proved to be a massive hit, so yay us.

Back to the hotel again so I could change for dinner and Chris could watch CNN, and then off to Becco, which we stumbled into by chance on our honeymoon and have deeply loved ever since. We ate pasta until we could no longer walk, scrapped our comedy club plans on the grounds that they start at 10:30 and we are old, wandered around considering sidewalk purses for a while before ultimately deciding against them, and then back to the hotel.

Sunday morning, we walked down a couple of blocks to indulge my geekiness at the Discovery Times Square Exhibition, where I overruled Chris's Titanic fetish with my physical anthropology fetish and we saw Lucy's Legacy. It was actually pretty awesome. The exhibits about Ethiopia were informative, the anthropology was presented in a way that was clear without being insulting to those of us who fancy we have a bit of rudimentary knowledge, and Lucy herself was lovely and doesn't look a day over two million. Yeah, I was sort of geeking out, so sue me.

And then we collected our bags, I spent the return train ride the same way I spent the ride up, with my Pretend Public Radio Boyfriend, Ira Glass. My in-laws collected us at the station, my parents were home with the kids, who were charming and desperately missed, and we had a lovely evening of take-out pizza and hugs and kisses and presents and I felt so refreshed and invigorated and ready to be a really excellent parent.

And then, well the rest is history. Mia had a runny nose, which turned into a mild cough, which turned into a major cough, which turned into difficulty breathing which turned into a pulse ox of 72 and 48 hours in the hospital strapped to an oxygen mask and we are never going on vacation again. So I am glad that this one was so lovely and will give us something to remember.

Comments (21)

There there, Beth. It's not the very last. Just until she is 32!

With the wasp sting and Mia's surprise hospital visit, I'm going to suggest that you ban not vacations but the month of October from your life from now on.

Wow.
Your vacation really DOES sound incredibly lovely. I have never been to NYC and I am jealous. However, I would settle for the roundtrip train ride with Ira Glass. I mean, 12 hours of uninterrupted public radio?! And no goldfish crackers or barbie shoes or itsy bitsy spiders?! Heaven.
As for Mia, I am so glad for you all that she is back home and on the mend. I especially appreciate your post on gratitude. It is amazing how all things come together when it is needed the very most, and how little all else seems to matter, don't you think?

Oh we are well versed in pulse ox levels and OMG 72=SCARY YOU POOR THING.

And if you do or don't want to get into the whole runny nose turned into a hospital stay, then remind me to share my story of how I dragged Lady around town once when she had a low grade fever so that I could get my errands done, only to witness her have a full on seizure on our couch upon our arrival home.

Don't beat yourself up, is what I'm saying.

Sounds like a great vacation. There's something about hotel redacted that so much more . . . I don't know, fun.

Wow, I am thoroughly impressed with all you fit into your time away! I have this fear that *if* I DID get a "real vacation" I would spend the first 2 days sleeping and the next two days ordering room service. And then I would go home weeping b/c I didn't DO anything on my vacation.

What a lovely trip. I am so glad you had such a good time. I am curious about the subject of the heated discussion with said boss/friend/famous pal.

I read graditute last night and didn't post then because I did not want to deal with the whole typing on a phone game.

What a lovely post it was. I am so glad for your family. Even though, we have never met, I feel emotionally invested in the cactus-fish family and children. I was very worried about you all and had only wished I was closer in order to help relieve some of the burden.

I know when tas was in the hospital for a week, I only left her side to shower (twice) all the rest of the time, I was right beside her. My lovely neighbors did our laundry and were so helpful. My parents and sisters were amazing as well.

Have a great day!

What a lovely trip. I am so glad you had such a good time. I am curious about the subject of the heated discussion with said boss/friend/famous pal.

I read graditute last night and didn't post then because I did not want to deal with the whole typing on a phone game.

What a lovely post it was. I am so glad for your family. Even though, we have never met, I feel emotionally invested in the cactus-fish family and children. I was very worried about you all and had only wished I was closer in order to help relieve some of the burden.

I know when tas was in the hospital for a week, I only left her side to shower (twice) all the rest of the time, I was right beside her. My lovely neighbors did our laundry and were so helpful. My parents and sisters were amazing as well.

Have a great day!

What a lovely trip. I am so glad you had such a good time. I am curious about the subject of the heated discussion with said boss/friend/famous pal.

I read graditute last night and didn't post then because I did not want to deal with the whole typing on a phone game.

What a lovely post it was. I am so glad for your family. Even though, we have never met, I feel emotionally invested in the cactus-fish family and children. I was very worried about you all and had only wished I was closer in order to help relieve some of the burden.

I know when tas was in the hospital for a week, I only left her side to shower (twice) all the rest of the time, I was right beside her. My lovely neighbors did our laundry and were so helpful. My parents and sisters were amazing as well.

Have a great day!

I have no idea how I posted that 3 times. I am so sorrrrry.

Sounds like a well needed vacation!

Definitely sounds like quite the weekend!! I have a bunch more reasons to want to go to NYC now ;)

I envy you your weekend, and I think I'm really going to have to talk to you on the phone about this pulse ox thing. I've held off as long as I am capable of.

Just posted to Chris - but I am so sorry she (and you guys) had to go through all that.

Glad Mia is feeling better :)

It's funny - Ira Glass is my NPR boyfriend too.

So jealous! You make NYC sound even more exotic than I imagine it to be. For years it seemed that whenever I went out of town my children would decide to have either a)horrible illnesses, b) gashes in their heads which SHOULD have required stitches (note: it's MUCH better to get a dr.'s opinion about whether a child needs stitches than to ask said child!), or c)broken arms (alright--it was just one broken arm, but still...)! I'm glad you got to go on a real vacation and that Mia had the courtesy to not become deathly ill while you were gone. BTW, I thought Ira Glass was MY pretend NPR boyfriend!

Oh, Beth. I know my words won't really help, but I'll try anyhow.

I know you feel horrible about Mia's illness, but you really had no way of knowing.

When Max was 4 months old, he contracted a very sudden & strange illness that led to a HUGE drop in his weight (He went from 14 lbs to his birth weight in a week) and during that week he was happy and bubbly and the pediatrician told me he was just growing longer and some "thinning out" was to be expected.

By the end of the week we were in the ER with ALL of his stats out of whack (BP, Pulse, Temp, PS02) and a very solemn doctor telling me he was "thiiiis close".

Turned out to be a very odd systems freak-out, but not before *I* was investigated (they took one look at my other two kids & dropped it), my son spent 2 weeks including Thanksgiving hooked up to tubes, wires, monitors, etc.

I spent a very long time beating myself up over it, but once I was clear-headed, I realized there was just no way I could have known.

I'm glad you guys got a nice vacation. They are few & far between with kids, but it's good to get out & about.

Hugs to you & yours. I'm glad Mia is feeling better. Try not to be too hard on yourself, okay?

Holy crap - pulse ox of 72? We've dipped into the 80's once or twice but anything below 95 and the docs send us to the hospital. You and Mia were fortunate to come through this. I spent one long night in a recliner holding my boy upright so he could breathe and taking the advice of my then-ignorant husband about how "we'll just take him to the ped in the morning." Never again. Now I know any squeak, choke or whistle that cannot be contained or controlled means we go to the doc NOW. You're not crazy. Just aware. Glad the vacation was awesome. Too bad you already need another one!

I'm so happy you had such a nice last vacation. We love to go to NYC and haven't been since our last run of pregnancies, more than two years ago. I'm so SO glad Mia is better.

I'm glad Mia is better! Don't beat yourself up over what you did/didn't do, in each moment we can only do our best with the knowledge we have.

Um, Penn Station to Times Square is 8 blocks. Takes about 12 minutes to walk. Oh, rain. Right. One stop on the subway, a 30 sec ride.

I'm glad you had fun, you deserve a break. But use the subway next time and forget about cabs. Especially forget about gypsy cabs.

Glad you and Chris had a great vacation before Mia was ill. So glad that Mia is on the mend.

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So the Fish Said...

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