Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Memorable Vacation

Last week I was kind of busy doing LOTS of sewing ... (yay!)
(this is my new favorite apron to sew)
and this week I have been a little busy getting my tail kicked by Tony Horton ... (yowch!)
(he's not as nice as he looks)
and my little bloggy has been left all alone for awhile!
Before my break however, I had some great topics suggested and I have been waiting for a nice little breather so I could go back in time and relive a very memorable vacation I took as a child!(Thanks for pulling this one out of your journal jar, Tink.) We went on some fun vacations to some great places, but the one that wins all of the awards in my book is our trip to Canada when I was nine (ten?) years old.
At that time, my dad's kidneys had failed and he was on dialysis. It was a kind of dialysis that he could do from home (or a car), so we packed up for a two week adventure north. It seemed that immediately forces were turned against us, as not more that an hour into our journey, our car broke down. I don't remember all the specifics, but we were stuck for a while and it took several hours for us to get back on the road again.
That was bad in itself, but my sister was abandoned at Bear Lake waiting for us. She had been at Girl's Camp and we were going to pick her up on our way and drop off our cousin who was with her, back to her home in Evanston, Wyoming. Instead, my uncle and grandma met us and we picked the girls up together, much later than we had originally planned.
Our first stop was supposed to be Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Because of the car problems we didn't roll into town until late that night. We drove around looking for a hotel and kept seeing "No Vacancy" signs everywhere. Then we saw a vacancy, but it looked a little seedy and we kept driving. All that driving around got to my poor sister who had been out in the heat waiting for us for hours that day ... and around this time she lost her lunch in the back of the station wagon. Not very pleasant! But, we had to keep driving, and after we had covered every square inch of town with no luck, we returned to the one vacancy we had seen, and of course, it was taken.
That alone had made for a very long first day, and I am pretty sure my mom was stressed to the limit because I remember her getting out of the car and starting to walk home! (This was a pretty big change from all the times we were threatened that if we didn't calm down we would have to get out and walk home.) We can laugh about it now, but it was pretty tense at the time. She was stressed because there was no where to take my dad to be comfortable for his dialysis and she had a lot on her plate, so as she walked along side the car, I kept praying that things would calm down ... and, they did.
We ended up driving up to Yellowstone that night and just sleeping in our car in the parking lot. We were able to hook up my dad's dialysis and he did that right there in the parking lot of Old Faithful. We received more funny looks than I care to remember from people walking by - it's not every day you see a big one or two liter bag of fluid hanging in the window of a car (just like an IV bag - it had to be higher up for it to work right).
With that great start, we did actually have a very fun vacation. We spent some time in Yellowstone and Glacier, then off to Canada with stops in Cardston, Banff, Vancouver and Victoria.
I remember the flowers in Victoria still - what a beautiful day we had there. I also remember swimming in the hotel pool - my dad kept trying to get me to jump in the pool, but I wouldn't - I don't do well with water! And as the ferry took us back to the US, I think it got the better of my mom, she didn't fare so well with the churning of the ocean. I do remember seeing some dolphins and whales along the way, however, and that was pretty cool.
Getting out of Canada was a little scary, with all the dialysis bags in the back of the car. We weren't sure what the border guards would think of it all. We feared they would start to search and try to cut the boxes open with box cutters, in turn, cutting open the bags of dialysis fluid. That had us all stressed out, but thank heavens, we were allowed through the border with all of our medical necessities intact, but it took some serious sweet talking from our mom, and she probably mentioned the name of the lawyer she worked for.
When the ferry landed in Port Angeles, we were again met with the problem of no motels. UGH! We drove around until we found another seedy little motel, it was called the Aggie Inn. For whatever reason, again my age didn't really pay attention to those details, we had to get two rooms. My mom and I were in one room, right by the arcade that was open all night. And can I just say that Asteroids might have been a great game, it's not that fun to listen to ALL night! And my sister and dad had to take a room on the opposite side of the hotel right by the kitchen. And since there was room service, the kitchen was going all night, too. Needless to say, we didn't get much rest.
Then we were off to Seattle, Tacoma, then San Francisco and Sacramento with a final stop at Lake Tahoe. That was when I first fell in love with Seattle and San Francisco - to this day they are still some of my favorite places to go!
Unfortunately, we were still having some eventful things happen. My sister's eye was bothering her, so after a few days of irritation we took her to the ER in Tacoma. She fainted when they put the eye machine up to her eyes, they found that she had scratched her cornea. So, they gave her some medicine and an eye patch to wear for the next few days. I am really hoping to find those pictures (wink wink).
I left my stuffed animal at our hotel in Sacramento and I was a pretty unhappy little gal for the rest of the trip. To clarify a little, I was VERY ATTACHED to this animal and was an emotional wreck without it. But, a letter to the hotel produced the lion and it was returned to me in perfect condition after we arrived home.
Anyhow, despite all the oddities, it was a fun trip, I remember posing for silly photos with my sister, doing lots of dialysis with Dad, seeing some beautiful places, playing lots of card games in hotels and spending some great time with my mom and dad and sister.


Deb F said...

Man what I could add to your memories!It is a trip that I will always remember as well. It really was the last family trip we were able to have (minus Eric as he was at basic training) Good times!

Carri said...

I just got my apron since my mailman stinks and OMG I love love love love it. Thank you so so much I truly cant express how much I love it. It is gorgeous and I want to wear it always.

Deb F said...

Still forgot to add me tossing my chips in the back seat while driving around Jackson Hole. After sitting the in the heat and sun all day waiting I think got sick after we ate. Yes it is a trip full of MANY memories!

Zombette said...

Wow! I love this post. It brought back so many memories I have of you (none to do with this trip, of course) and I can 'hear' this whole thing in your voice, as if you are reading it to me. :-)

You are such a doll and I love you so so much! I'm thankful for you and your friendship and especially that you have put up with me for (gulp) 30 years.

I love you, Jen!

Wharzutility said...

You may want to take the time to read my article about Lake Tahoe Vacations or Lake Havasu Vacation