Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The saga: Installment Three

So, on Monday, January 7th, when most kids were headed back to school after the holiday break, mine were loaded into a mini van to head home. In the rain. Does it rain in AZ? YES it does. It rained. It was raining when we left. It was raining when we got on the wrong part of the 101 loop in Phoenix and ended up going almost an HOUR out of our way. And it finally stopped raining just as we were getting out of the metro Phoenix area. Now, if you recall, I mentioned not driving too slowly in the HOV lane during rush hour in Phoenix. Something we learned on the way down. Well, the lesson learned on the way home is that Phoenicians can't drive in the rain. At all. I don't know why this is, but they all freak out and drive really slowly, or WAY too fast. VERY scary.

But the most scary thing is that we were delayed just enough to hit rush hour in Las Vegas. UGH. So on we drove. And we stopped in Wickenburg to eat lunch. Again. At the same exact place as last time. I don't know about the wisdom of this looking back on it, but we did. And the same child who treated us to an emergency stop in Phoenix on the way down with diarrhea and a clothing change struck fear into our hearts by uttering this one phrase:

"I feel like I'm going to throw up."

Nothing like driving 70 miles per hour on a two lane highway and having a schedule to keep to get to a hotel in Cedar City, (You didn't honestly thing we would be staying in Vegas again, did you??????) and having a kid say these ever so dreaded words to you. Thankfully, he wasn't feeling great when we stopped for fuel in Kingman, so I had the forethought to ask for some extra plastic bags at the gas station (whose restrooms were "out of order" when we went, so we had to go across the street to the Subway to use the bathroom). So, I passed a bag back to the dear boy and told him, "if you have to throw up, try and get it all in this bag." I then turned to my husband and gave him the memorable quote from Wayne's World: "if you're gonna spew, spew into this."

Ok, maybe I didn't say that to him, but I sure thought it. I can't remember anymore, it was two weeks ago. It was all I could do not to say it to the kid I handed the bag to. Anyway... So, we travelled like that, and it appeared as though tragedy might be averted, until we were armpit deep in Las Vegas' six lanes of I215 eastbound at what was the start of their rush hour (meaning a ton of traffic, but all of it travelling at high rates of speed), and I am trying to give directions to the captain for the merge onto I15 northbound when we hear the unmistakable sounds of the upheaval of gastric contents.

Now, I am a sympathy puker. I can handle blood, guts, poop, pee, saliva, and a host of other bodily fluids. I do NOT, however, do vomit. I never have been able to. So, I am sitting up front praying that this new perfumed event, placed into a plastic bag by the child sitting in the middle seat of the very back seat, did NOT reach my olfactory nerve. EVER. So, when he was done emptying the contents of his stomach, and we asked him if he was all done, and he said he thought so, I passed back and second bag and gave him instructions to tie the first bag off, place it in the second bag, and tie IT off and pass it back up. After the instructions had been given, dh decided to give me something to ponder by saying, "he is NEVER eating at a Jack in the Box again" because, apparently, I needed to think about what regurgitated lunch was now in the bag that was about to be passed up for placement by my feet.

Thankfully, however, that sweet little man got EVERY single drop of throw up IN THE BAG!!! and got it tied tight, placed it in the second bag, got that bag tied tight, and it began it's journey to the front of our vehicle. When it reached me, I held it up for a minute, inspecting the bags for any defects in workmanship. In other words, I wanted to make sure the damn thing wasn't going to leak. Well, this was a BAD BAD idea. Because I almost needed a bag myself. I have a dear friend who once told me she found it helpful to think about what she had eaten to deter her from throwing up. This NEVER worked for me, in fact, it made me want to throw up more... LOL But anyway... The bags seemed to be holding the contents securely, so I put it as far forward as it would go on the floor in front of me, and proceeded to pull my legs into the "criss cross applesauce" position on my seat. And I got out my iPod and started playing solitaire on it while listening to soothing music. On to Cedar City with a bag full of vomit at my feet. Did I mention that it takes a little over 2 hours to get to Cedar City from Vegas?

So, with nothing more to eat or drink, our little puker didn't have any more incidents in the van. But we were all getting very tired, and the kids were hungry, and they were starting to have to go to the bathroom. This was the longest we had gone without a potty break, and it was starting to show. But we kept on until we reached the turn off for the hotel we were supposed to stay at. At least, the turn off according to MapQuest. I have had MapQuest be mildly in error for a few things, but nothing major. That is, until this time. WRONG. MILES off. So, we are driving down the road, and there is NOTHING. A few houses in the small town where we got off the freeway, but other than that... NOTHING. SO we keep driving toward the general direction of where the hotel is supposed to be. And the road keeps going, until suddenly, it is an ON RAMP back on to the freeway. I called the hotel and asked them for simple directions to their location from the freeway and which direction we were coming from. Thankfully, we were not too much farther. The happy little package at my feet was starting to stink. At least, I thought I could smell it. So, when we got to the hotel, I told my dh not so sweetly to take that damn minivan bomb with him when he went to check in. He wasn't happy about it, but seeing that I was fairly green, he took it anyway, and did NOT have it with him when he came back. And, not a moment too soon, since the smell of partially digested french toast sticks and strawberry fanta is NOT going to be on my top ten list of car air fresheners.

At this point, it's late. It's dark. And there is a foot or so of snow on the ground from the day before. And it's icy. So we park outside our assigned room. And we go in.

It's DIRTY. There is food on the floor. There are soda cans all over the place. The beds are in disarray. And my kids are trying to lie on them. I am yelling at them not to touch ANYTHING and not to put their stuff down (have I mentioned yet that I am a germophobe?) as dh calls the front desk. So, they put us in another room. This one is clean. Well, except for the stench. It smelled like someone hid used maxi pads somewhere and they were never found. It was just this nasty, lingering odor. I apologize for my description, but this is what the smell reminded me of. Like the bathroom of a women's dorm that hasn't had the trash taken out in a while... THIS was where we got to bed for the night....

To be continued...

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