Things Seldom Go As Planned

Two things I know for sure:  Things seldom go as planned and Charleston, South Carolina is a lovely city.

Too bad the only memory Caroline will have of Charleston is of tossing her cookies.  She did have fun at the beach, too.  But that was before the tossing of the cookies.  I’ll get to that part later.

The trip started off well.  After a fluke of a fever on Monday and a recovery day on Tuesday, we set off, as well as well could be, for Charlotte, NC to visit my sister, Laura.  The drive, while long, was uneventful and enjoyable thanks to Edward Herman’s narration of the Geronimo Stilton books.  We arrived in Charlotte in the early afternoon, checked out the farmer’s market (hello $1 bags of produce) and went to the children’s museum.  We dined at Cowfish Sushi and Burger Bar and shared a free piece of Reese’s cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, where Laura works.

We checked out Laura’s apartment’s pool, tossed the ball with her boyfriend’s dog, and played a couple of games of Scrabble.  After a good night of sleep, we headed out on a three-hour drive to Charleston:  carb loaded, fully caffeinated and ready to have a good time.

Once in Charleston, we played in the surf and in the sand and melted in the sun.  We ate crepes from a little Tokyo Crepe shack (spicy corn and cheese for Laura; banana Nutella for Caroline; I tried some of each) near the beach. I fell in love with the lime diet Coke from Sonic (love!)  and then we drove to our hotel to wash the sand from every crack and crevice of our bodies.

Our hotel had the name “Riverview” in its name, but sadly, our only view was of this:

Charming, no?

The river, which was located on the other side of the hotel, was gorgeous.  Guess you have to pay extra for that view.  But, who doesn’t love The Waffle House?

When we were cleaned up and de-sanded, we headed to downtown Charleston to walk around, see the sights and eat some dinner.  We dined at a southern style restaurant and yes, I got some frozen yogurt.

It was late by the time we got back to our hotel.  Late, because we got lost disoriented.  Caroline was not amused, but Laura found my lack of direction charming.  I think.

Caroline was a little stuffy at the hotel, so I gave her an antihistamine so that she’d breathe better while sleeping; I also gave her a Zyrtec, thinking nothing of the combo.  Usually she takes medicine like a trooper, with minimal effect.  This time…not so much.

I don’t know if it was the combo of the two medicines.  Or the massive amounts of junky food we ate throughout the day (hello, cheese fries)?  Or both?  Or nothing?  Whatever it was, she threw up.

And then she slept.

On Friday she woke up, not queasy, but not feeling her best.  We decided to trek on down to the downtown area again to take a carriage ride through Charleston’s historic streets.  But first, we got lost disoriented.  Again.  This time, we went over the Cooper River Bridge, which is quite a lovely structure.  We made it to downtown, but Caroline took a turn for the worse.  Needless to say, after some time in a random hotel restroom, we decided to nix the carriage ride and make our way back to Charlotte.

Thankfully Caroline felt well enough to endure the drive.  By Friday evening, she was in good shape  and I felt hopeful that we’d be able to continue on with our trip’s itinerary and visit my friend in Greensboro the following day.

After a great night of much needed sleep (holla to the Hampton Inn and their incredibly comfy beds) Caroline woke up, feeling not so great.  She just wanted to go home.

I made the painful decision to cancel our plans to visit with Sissy even though it nearly broke my heart in doing so.  I hated to disappoint her; I was pretty disappointed, too. Needless to say, I felt pretty torn.  I didn’t want Caroline to be sick in another unfamiliar place; for that would be unfair.  As sad as it was, I knew I made the right decision to head on home.

The drive was long and painful because in a moment of sick kid pity, I bought the compete first season of Spongebob Squarepants on DVD on our way out of town.  I think Caroline watched six hours of Spongebob.  Six. Hours.  SIX. HOURS.

I’m not sure who felt worse after that drive.

Actually, Caroline was okay on the drive.  Okay, but not great.  That seems to be the theme.

She slept 12 hours on Saturday night and woke up feeling better yesterday.  Still not great, but better than okay.

But today?  Back to square one.

She was supposed to start Spanish camp today with her friend, Rachel.  I hate that she missed the first day, especially since I paid $155 for this camp, but what can you do?

We went to the doctor and, of course, everything checked out.  No fever.  Ears, nose, throat and chest are clear. She had a little cough, but the cough didn’t appear at all during the visit.  We’re still in the okay but not great category.  I fear tomorrow will be another missed day of camp, which, in the grand scheme of things is just fine.  It’s not school; it’s camp and life will go on.

Right now I’m a ball of frenzied worry, which, given my neurotic tendencies, is the only appropriate response.

It seems dumb to worry about a lack of appetite and general feeling of tiredness, but Caroline is always hungry and never tired.  It’s probably a stubborn virus, which we can only wait out, but it’s hard to see your kid under the weather.  She’s a trooper and in good spirits…just not her usual self.

As you can see, all is not well in the Neurotic Household.  Our trip was peppered with moments of great fun, but dotted with some pretty unpleasant moments, as well.  This much I know is true:  travel with kids is always unpredictable.

Here’s hoping the remainder of our summer will be filled with health, fun and, for the love of all things holy, NO more six-hour Spongebob marathons.


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