Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bryant Family Reunion Part C

This reunion can be summed up in one word: memorable. Please note there are no frilly adjectives included. Tuesday (July 22) begins the snowball. I hadn’t felt well all through work, and as the day progressed, the worse it got. I decided I didn’t want to “mess around” with the situation and went to our trusty Dr. Duke. Bless his heart –after telling him I wasn’t going to listen to him tell me it was something serious (since I leave on vacation tomorrow), so he said he’d sum it up as some kind of “reflux” situation, and gave me a massive shot and renewed some meds, and sent me on my way. My stomach was cramping, I was puking, and it was an all-over ugly situation. I went home and slept. Now, this was the night that I was supposed to be organizing and preparing to leave for California –so believe me- from my little OCD perspective, it was a LOT of control to let go of and actually allow myself to rest. You know what they say; no rest for the weary. I got up only a few hours later (the shot should have put me out for the night, but that wasn’t in the plan) and started messing with all the work Lance did. *Sorry hunny*. After a lot of stress and even arguing, Lance and I decided to put it behind us and have an amazing trip. There are so many signs along the way here that were foreboding what kind of trip this was going to be…

We made it to Mesquite the next day after Lance started to get sick and we popped multiple anti-diarrheal pills. I felt like total crap, so I stayed in the room. We stayed at the Eureka –in the Bryce Canyon Suite –which was totally unnecessary, since there was 0 room for romance!!! Lance perked up and got to spend some time with his brother John

–who stays in Mesquite as much as he stays in Price. His kids Dekker & Caitlin came and played with Ella and Chaedon. It was fantastic to get rid of everyone! (Am I horrible?). I stayed in the room with Mia and we got some rest. After swimming, Ella wound up with a headache,so she rested with me. Chaedon stayed at John’s house and we picked him up on the way out the next morning.We traveled on, thinking we were much closer than we were. NOT SO MUCH! Lance became a bit frustrated with the length of the drive, and when Mia started with her diarrhea, we were in for some rocky times. She had 2 massive blow-outs in the car (not good for traveling in stinky-hot CA with flies who like to see what’s up when you open the doors for a pit-stop), and then on the last stretch into King’s Canyon, started throwing-up. NO bueno.

I will say this, we camped in heaven. The massive trees towered above us, the area was expansive and clean with dusty dirt across the ground. There were picnic tables, cemented raised fire pits (2) and we even had auto-flushing toilets in bathrooms that were part of our camp. We also had multiple “bear boxes” which were huge metal cupboards that all food items had to be kept in to keep bears away. We wound up in group site “B” as it was much better than “A” shade-wise, and the ranger told us it was more of a first-come first-serve basis in this respect. We all set up camp, and had an evening around the campfire as lots of relatives showed up to say hello! Lance was introduced to them mostly in the dark, but did well with names.
Friday morning I made pancakes. They turned out pretty good! It was Grandmother’s birthday. We all had a big breakfast. The family went for a drive to see some of the sights, but Lance and I decided we wanted to stay at the camp –as this is what our family enjoys the most. We love to just chill out and be together in nature. Mia took a nap, and Lance put together a bbq for Seuao –who showed up late, but better than never!

I got to go shopping at the gift shop and we put the dutch-oven potatoes together for the big dinner that evening. When everyone came back, Mia started to really display some of the sickness that I’d been experiencing. As the night went on, Ella slowed WAY down, and began to get sick too.

Dad and Dave gave the girls each a blessing, but that night was one of the WORST nights that Lance and I have ever spent as parents. Here is Mia after throwing up and ruining ANOTHER outfit (thanks Mom for picking up the extra 5 onesies that were ALL used and stained) taking a public bath.In the tent, Lance took the spot next to Ella, holding the huge bowl as she proceeded to throw-up at least ever hour. Around 3 AM, Mia lost it. I know she was starving from not having anything left in her tiny body, and being outside on an air mattress didn’t help matters. I had to climb out of the tent and scrounge in the bear boxes to find her bottle, and get some crackers. After I spilled the cooler and let out a few choice words, Lexie mentioned from her tent that she’d clean up the mess and I could get back to my screaming baby. Mia was grateful to have something to eat, but it wasn’t easy to get her to settle down. I spent a long time just sitting with her. Finally I spent the rest of the night (what, a few hours?) with the bottom half of my body on the hard ground, laying up against the mattress just holding Mia and hoping she wouldn’t wake and cry again.
The next morning was rough. I did manage to make sausage gravy for my contribution for breakfast, but I never tasted it. It was a queasy morning, but it seemed that people were kind-of on the mend. Ella sat in different people’s arms, and gradually perked up as time went on. Chaedon seemed to be doing well through most of this, but I guess he threw up a few times too. Early afternoon came around, and we got word that Dad was throwing up all night, and my older sister Rachael (camping at 8 months pregnant -unbelievable) was sick too. This is when the folks who reserved site “B” had us booted. Lance and I were flirting with the idea of leaving that night to save another night o’ misery in the tent, only to travel all day, and this sealed the deal. We all packed up the grounds, and moved to the other site. My siblings were left surveying the damage. During this time, baby Noah was puking, Mia was screaming, Lily had a blow-out, Benny started puking, all the adults were sweaty and hot and disoriented at moving an entire camp set-up, Seuao got miffed about something or another and left Rachael there alone, and then the tears fell. I lost it, and I know I wasn’t the only one. After some time, Dave offered a word of prayer and we all settled down a bit. We trickled into the pizza place and joined the rest of the family to share the status of our lives and where we’re all headed.
We then headed out in to the sunset. We said our good-byes, as it truly was good to see everyone, but in this case, it was just the un-controllable factor that called the shots. We needed to leave. Lance and I decided to make what we could out of the time we had left of our “vacation”… We stayed at Whisky Pete’s (it’s so fun to say!) for the night. It was good to be clean! Everyone seemed to be on the mend. The next day we shopped a little, and headed only to Mesquite. We had an ugly run-in with the Virgin River Motel (eew!) and rebooked a suite with the Oasis. It was fabulous!

Lance took the kids go-carting, everyone got baths, I was able to get some groceries and get a little better organized, and we all got to chill out! Lance and I really got to spend some good together-time, and we said over and over that it was the BEST possible decision we could have made to change hotels.

Yesterday, we headed home. We were late in returning the Expedition (black sexy beast we rented for the drive), but Lance will hopefully schmooze us out of having to pay for an extra day of rental. I started up the laundry, but lost all ambition. We put the kids to bed; I did my nails, and drifted off to sleep.
Vacations are great, and like I said, this one was definitely memorable. Hopefully, the next reunion will be a bit easier –and from a positive perspective, it can’t possibly be worse!!! I love my family so much, and it was a sincere pleasure to see all of them. 2 more years to plan something new and the idea of not changing diapers on the road already smells like a beautiful thing….


Rachael said...

Phew! Can you believe we lived to tell the tale??? Great recap - I'm still in "recovery-mode" and haven't had the chance to put mine up yet!

Kate said...

Oh my. Ohhhhhhh my. Becca! You survived! I can't believe what you went through. Good job with the survival tactics.

matt&meg said...

Glad you made it. And so so glad everyone is back to their good ol selves. Being sick matter which end its coming from :)

Joni said...

A wise woman once said, "Chaos + Time = humor". You are going to be laughing about this experience for years to come! You gave me the best laugh of the day, I love this story!

Unknown said...

Man oh man! You're not kidding! That reunion was rough. Glad the trip home was better than the trip there, eh?

skipper said...

Is it just the pictures or do Mia and Lily look alot alike? I can't believe you all survived; I don't think I would have!

Teri said...

Holy Cow! I'm so glad you all survived! Here's to a less stressful reunion next time.