22 August 2013

Boston 2013

My penultimate vacation of the Summer has just concluded. Last week I went to Boston for a family camping trip, but ended up staying nine days. Here's the good and the bad of it:

  • My girlfriend came for four days, which was AWESOME!
  • I got mono and had to go to the hospital.
  • We traveled to beautiful New Hampshire for the camping!
  • It rained so hard we never even unpacked our stuff- just turned around and went home after lunch at a diner.
  • We got to spend quality time together as a family!
  • The majority of that quality time was spent crammed in a minivan with two crying children and me on my deathbed.
  • It was so great to be in Massachusetts at my childhood home!
  • I had to sleep on a borrowed blow-up bed in the basement office; a room normally inhabited by spiders and storage.
All in all, things evened out and it was a great trip. It started terribly but then things started looking up. The first three days of the trip I was very sick and in pain. I had a sore throat like no other. My lymph nodes were so swollen they covered the majority of the air canal down my throat and were covered in white puss. They protruded on the outside of my throat, which turned out to be a good thing because then I could massage them easier (which felt moderately good). Every time I swallowed it felt like a white-hot dagger was being dragged down my throat. It hurt so much my body refused to swallow naturally. I could only sleep for an hour at a time because my body just refused to swallow. I woke up in the night 7-8 times, sat up, and manually swallowed before going back to sleep for 45 minutes. I couldn't eat, and was losing a pound a day. After three days of not getting any better I finally decided to intervene. I have never once been to the hospital for an illness, but that streak was about to end. So off to the ER I went. I was told my throat looked 'very angry' and was diagnosed with Strep by the RN. Things got really awkward when I thought she had said "Strip!" when actually she said "Strep!" Under most circumstances I never would have stripped down, but at the doctor's office it didn't seem too unreasonable. I had my shirt off and pants unbuttoned by the time she asked me what on Earth I was doing. Even when the Strep test came back negative, the doctor told me he was pretty sure it was a bad case of Strep, and gave me some Vicadin and penicillin and sent me on my way. On the car ride home the same doctor called me to inform me he ran my blood sample through some tests, and it was determined that I did not in fact have Strep- I had.... Mono! So now I have a wicked sore throat and I'm super tired! I took some Vicadin, and it pretty much acts as chloroform on me. As in I have to take a pill while I'm already in bed because I pass out for many hours immediately, no matter where I am. I didn't know this at first, and took the pill in the mall. At the exact time that I passed out my sister noticed I had some frosting on my lip and bent over to wipe it off with a napkin for me. It looked exactly like she was putting a wet cloth over my mouth as I passed out... Two people called the cops and I guess it took a long time to sort out. I don't really know though, I was fast asleep. For the next two days it was a trade off- lose the pain but be incapacitated by sleep, or have the pain but be awake. I usually chose the sleep.
Walden Pond.

By the fifth day of the vacation my girlfriend showed up and I began feeling better. It also meant no bed for me. I was banished to the basement, a full two floors away from the next closest human in the house. I was on a borrowed blow-up bed in the computer tech room. The first night I slept down there I had to kill a spider on my pillow. My pillow, of course, being a coach pillow from Turkey that was quite small and meant more as a decorative piece than a comfort inducer. The floor in the basement is also uneven, making my feet rise above my noggin. But, it was a small sacrifice in order to make sure everyone else got a bed. I did think it was a little rude of my mother to let our dog Gracie have the spare Queen bed though. It's like, C'mon Mom, at least let me share the bed with Gracie. But no, the basement it was for me.
Mount Auburn Cemetery
With Caity, my brother and his wife, and my sister and her two kids all in town, we did a lot of great activities. Friday we went to the aquarium and Walden Pond, Saturday we drove up to Maine for a seafood lunch and walk along the rocky coastline, Sunday we went to Church, took illustrious naps, and went to a spacious and beautiful cemetery, and on Monday we did the Freedom Trail through Boston. They were all delightful.
There's one last thing I haven't mentioned yet- the camping trip. Sort of the whole point of this trip was for my family to gather home for a camping trip (except my sister in LA couldn't come). We have a favorite campsite on the Appalachian trail that we used to go to every year when we were growing up. On Tuesday we loaded up two cars and headed off. It's no small ordeal camping with eight people, two of whom are actually under the age of 3, and five who act like they're under the age of 3. We folded down the backseats of our van and loaded it up like a Hawai'ian haystack. We had two tents, eight camping chairs, enough food to feed eight for 3 meals, an ax, luggage, pillows, sleeping bags, a pack-and play, kiddie backpacks, and my brother's desktop which he refuses to leave the house without. It's like, C'mon Thomas, bring your laptop! But no, he wants the computer aptly named "Big Blue."
Waiting for our boat to the aquarium.
For the entire ride up to New Hampshire (100 miles to Laconia) it rained. At times it poured and at times it drizzled, but it rained the whole way. We ate lunch at a diner, went for a brief hike under canopy of trees, then had a family pow wow. The conclusion was that a wet camping trip is not fun like a dry camping trip. So we turned around and came home. Four hours and 200 miles of driving per car, and not even a campfire to show for it. Aww, the pain. My mother was so fed up with camping when we got home that she threw all our gear away. But like I said earlier, it was awesome being with the family all week.
On the rocky Maine coastline.