Since leaving New Orleans after Katrina, I've not kept it secret that I, some day, would like to move back. I understand that it's not reasonable to think we'll do that while the kids are young because nothing sounds more torturous than hurricane evacuations with two small kids, but I kind of assumed maybe we would retire there? Don't ask for specifics of my plan, I really haven't given it much thought.
I was back in New Orleans last week for a gathering of women (essentially a girls' weekend away with 60 people. Which, yes 60 people is a lot of people for me to scare into not liking me but I was up to the task) and I ended up getting super sick. It was definitely allergies and I definitely felt like death was chasing me around the Quarter asking to see my boobs in exchange for a few more minutes of life. Eventually I went to a CVS where I handed the pharmacist my license and said "I don't know what I want but you'll need this for whatever you're about to sell me." I walked out with Mucinex-D, a neti pot, some Benadryll, and Fritos. Unrelated to the story, the pharmacist told me the Mucinex-D was non drowsy so I took a dose before the Friday night party. I then spent that party sitting in a leather chair trying not to drool on myself.
I spent most of the weekend drugged to the point where I thought even having one beer would win me a ride in an ambulance and a pumped stomach but I never once got any relief from the congestion. I slept a total of maybe 6 hours over three nights because when I laid down the pressure built up and I didn't want my face to blow off. By Sunday morning I was texting a friend "I hate everything" because I just honestly did. I wanted to go back to Austin where I still suffer from allergy issues but at least drugs keep everything in check.
I think this trip has really made me reconsider my plans to move us back and now I'm a little sad panda about it. I'm one of those people that abandoned the city when it needed people the most but at least I could justify it in my mind with the thought of "some day I'll be back!" But now? I don't think I can do it. I can't move somewhere knowing how sick I'll be on a daily basis. It hurts my heart to accept it, but I don't think New Orleans is in the cards for us anymore. And it's not that I think the city is awaiting our return with a parade all queued up and Drew Brees waiting to hug us, but ugh, it stills hurts.
So there you have it, I went away for a fun girls' weekend and had my future plans crushed. Wheee, I'm super fun! You totally want to invite me to parties, I'm not at all a Debbie Downer.
(I am, however, very nice. Ask anyone that was part of that weekend, they'll all tell you. I'm totally fucking nice.)
Friday, November 2, 2012
Have you ever gone a vacation that is equal parts relaxing but also equal parts "Thank god I picked up a bottle of Xanax from my doctor before we left home"? Because that is the exact kind of vacation we went on recently and I'm honestly still trying to process the whole experience.
Last Friday we left for Jamaica, which put us flying into south Florida where Hurricane Sandy was sitting off the coast. I'm a nervous flyer to begin with but tell me we're going to be flying into hurricane strength winds and you're going find me shitting my pants while I cry in a corner. I did what any reasonable person would do, I ran directly to my doctor and asked for whatever anxiety medicine she was willing to give me.
I was secretly hoping that our flights would be cancelled and we would have to vacation somewhere else but that wasn't in the cards. One very bumpy flight and a half a Xanax that did nothing for me later, we were in Ft. Lauderdale. I decided I needed to pull out the big guns for our flight out of Florida so I Dramamined myself and drooled my way through the bumps and drops.
We landed in Jamaica and faced an island that was wrecked by Sandy. The road to our hotel was barely one lane wide in spots, covered in downed power lines and trees. Our hotel was running on a generator with limited gas and no idea when a truck would be able to bring more. They had food but were worried about supplies running low. It was an adventure.
Despite all of this, every person we met in Jamaica was amazing, warm, and welcoming. The island was being repaired all around us and everyone seemed to be in good spirits about the situation. How could we not relax and enjoy our trip when everyone around us was so calm? Also, the occasional Red Stripe helped me forgot our lack of wifi and inability to video chat with the kids.
It was a great vacation with more than enough drinks, naps, and meals. I would say we came home refreshed but the trip home was a nightmare of flight changes, hotel changes, and awful car rides. But despite all of that, I would do the trip again in a heartbeat. Jamaica was the perfect combination of just enough things to do so we weren't bored, but not so many options that we felt guilty napping for large parts of the day.