The Sicky "Ticky" Sticky Start to the Summer (April 27th – June 12th, 2022)
April finished off and no motorhome from the shop yet. It wasn’t until May 6th or so that we got it back – 8 days before Ted was scheduled to leave. We made a packing list, I cleaned it thoroughly and we started to load things up. It wasn’t terrible, we got most of what we needed, only ended up forgetting a few conveniences like my handheld vacuum to quickly get at the crumbs all my boys leave around. We felt confident as Ted knotted up the last strap on the Jeep on the evening of May 13th. Saturday morning he drove off with Apollo, honking his good byes to the neighborhood. We both knew we would miss each other a lot. We hadn’t been apart for more than a few days in several years. It’s hard to imagine we had spent a year at a time away from each other. After I see him off, I go to the studio for my double workout while Azlan plays with a friend. The next stop is the Shark Shack Sweets ice cream shop in Palm City. Azlan’s school was doing a Giveback with Shark Shack and we were also selling school merchandise. A Giveback is a type of fundraiser where a business will give 10-20% of the sales to the school on a specific day during a certain time window. The school promotes the business to all of its students and families. The goal of this type of fundraiser is two-fold. The school generates some funds to enhance student’s educational experiences and the business generates more customers and brand recognition. My friend and I volunteer to manage the Giveback program for Azlan’s school so he and I got to eat ice cream, hang out with friends, and help out the school and an awesome local business. Next stop was home to get ready for the Member Appreciation Party at ZT’s Fitness Studio. WOW! What a fantastic Party! The studio was transformed into a tropical getaway, the food was delicious and plentiful, and the drinks were flowing. We danced and laughed and celebrated all the people that make the studio possible, the phenomenal members! I am certainly going to miss everyone during our travels!
The next few days were spent with friends to say “see you later” (good byes feel too permanent) and making sure I tied up any loose ends before Azlan and I left. On Thursday, May 19th, I went up to Orlando with my friend for the SCW Mania conference while my parents stayed with Azlan. We volunteered as door monitors which got us a great discount on the conference. I was in the Yoga/Pilates/Tai Chi room on Friday and was able to participate in 7 different classes and trainings! The following day we ran around the conference attending different classes that we were interested in, including S.E.A.T. (Supported Exercise for Ageless Training). We enjoyed S.E.A.T. so much that we took the certification course on Sunday. It's the perfect program to offer at the studio to help people that have been sedentary during COVID, have problems moving, or someone that wants to start exercising but aren't sure what they can do. Our goal will be to help them get from their seat to their feet! We had a great weekend at the conference! When I got home Sunday, I quickly unpacked and re-packed and my parents drove Azlan and I to Miami. Monday we spent the day getting my computer fixed, played a little on the beach and in the pool, and had a wonderful evening at my brother's house (with maybe a little too much - ok, a lot too much wine). Azlan and my 6:30am flight the next morning was cancelled and United Airlines re-routed us with 3 flights not arriving in Wichita until 6:30pm. I spent a while on the phone but was able to get us into Oklahoma City by 4:30pm. Why Oklahoma City instead of Wichita? Well, see, what had happened was....
Ted's adventure from Palm City to Stillwater, Oklahoma: I depart Florida with Apollo on Saturday, May 14th with the intention of going to the Georgia Welcome Center on I-75 to Boonedock for the night...it was full...so, I just pushed through to Columbus, GA and our family there. I started feeling the congestion that was going around the house for the week before I departed...it finally caught up to me. I start taking Mucinex Day and Night Cough and Congestion meds. I hadn't been good about taking my Blood Pressure meds because they are in the RV, not with me where Im staying. It was really great to spend time with family and I got to spend a day with a friend who was a Battalion Commander of Infantry One Station Unit Training on Ft Benning. I learned some of the things they are doing differently than when I was there as a Drill Sergeant years ago...it seems like they just built in more time for the things we were trying to cram in because we spent a lot more time on marksmanship...an Infantry Soldier's bread and butter. Great day seeing the differences of Sand Hill and training with a friend who could give me a great perspective. When the visit was over in Columbus with friends and family, I moved just a few hours up the road to see another friend near Birmingham, Alabama on Wednesday. Another great visit, but too short as the next day I got up and drove to Fulton, Mississippi to have lunch with yet another friend. This is where things got dicey....When I arrived, I felt kind of funny. I didn't think much of it, had lunch, where I didnt eat as much as expected. I even commented on my less-than-usual appetite to my friend. We had a great visit and it was so good to see him again, but this train keeps on a rollin'! I felt 'off' all afternoon throughout the drive and after getting into the RV Park in Forrest City, Arkansas, I decided it was best to go to the hospital and get checked out. When I check into the ER, my blood pressure is 199/112. We figure out that Mucinex drives Blood Pressure up and I have been remiss about taking my Blood Pressure meds while I'm stressed from driving the RV across the country by myself. That was scary, however I feel good, I got some resolution. Much to Daisa's joy, I decide to take it easy the next day and rest. I feel better after doing so, and the in the morning I pack up to roll out - by now it's Friday, May 20th. I move close to Ft. Smith, Arkansas and along the way I stop at a rest stop for a "Dad and Doggy" pit stop. Apollo is being a pretty good companion on this trip! All is well, so I continue to Ft. Smith, just another 45 minutes. As soon as I arrive, I stand up and oh shit! I feel funny again. In the previous ER they had given me a double dose of my BP meds and sent me home so I took another pill, then set up the RV, ate lunch and rested. After two hours I was still feeling funny, so I went to another ER, this time by way of ambulance. I was at this ER for over 7 hours and still had several people ahead of me in line, but when they triaged me, my BP was 166/111...after a double dose of BP meds. At midnight, my friend from the area and I decide to call it quits on the ER, get food and go home to sleep as I am feeling better. I can't help but think this is teaching me to ignore my body. The next morning, I get up and take a double dose of meds just to get started...I try to walk Apollo, but the bugs in The Natural State of Arkansas are nuts, so I shower, pack up and hit the road. I felt off all day again, but didn't want my friend in Oklahoma to have to come get me. I stopped for yet another fuel stop and finally make it to their house. After a few hours, we are sitting down to eat and all of a sudden I don't feel right...apparently, I turned stark white and was sweating profusely...so, off we go to YET ANOTHER ER! This time, they give me an anti-anxiety med and tell me they think I'm stressed out from the trip, deadlines, no family, meeting up with friends, etc. I start feeling better for the few days I am in Oklahoma, and at last my beloved family arrives after their own problems in transit. We pick them up in Oklahoma City (not Wichita, KS which is where they were supposed to come into), this is better for us though...#poundwinning Our reunion is wonderful...but strained as they usually are...we spend so much time together so when we aren't together, its weird. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming with Daisa, my Wonderful, Intelligent, Gorgeous Wife, whom I love with all my heart!
(Thanks for the great re-introduction Ted!)
Finally, on May 24th at 4:45pm we were reunited as a family!!! Feeling very grateful to be alive and together. We spent the night at our friend's house and the next morning (after I did a Strong30/Zumba class for a friend in the garage) we rolled out to Wichita, KS. It was a fairly smooth drive with the exception of the cone Ted took out in the construction zone and my yelling at him for doing so. I get so agitated riding shot-gun in the Glamper sometimes - especially when I feel we are going too fast in a much too narrow space! Alas, we make it to the Air Capital RV Park and drive right into our pull-through site. It's my first night in the Glamper, clothes are still in my suitcase, and I'm still not grasping that our summer trip has actually started. We have a restless night's sleep and on the morning of the 26th Azlan, Ted and Apollo go for a walk along the river and I take a fun local Zumba class at the Richard A. DeVore SOUTH YMCA. Turns out the river walk area is really cool with several Veterans Memorials and the Keeper of the Plains statue and memorial to the Plains Indians. That evening we go to my friend's house for dinner. She and I used to play together as kids in the beach town of Juquehy, Brazil. We hadn't seen each other since we were 15 years old and to be honest, I don't think we changed too much! We are both very vivacious and joyful, just happy to hang out and reminisce about our adventures. It was great to see her and meet her wonderful family!
Friday, May 27th, I go explore the river walk area with Apollo before we pack up the Glamper and hit the road towards Milford, Kansas. Shandy's Lakeside RV Park was an interesting spot. At first we couldn't get in touch with the camp host, it's a very small park with no office or anything like that. We stopped in front of the bar and basically blocked all the parking. Fortunately it's a small sleepy town with not a lot of action (or so we thought). Eventually we get in touch with the owner and he remembers us (even though he misplaced our reservation information...something which Ted had already been anticipating). We drop the Jeep, un-hook the trailer from the Glamper, hook the trailer to the Jeep, go park and drop the trailer, then go park the Glamper and then finally park the Jeep - whew! And by 'we' I mean Ted. Our site had some gravel, some shade and some grass. Not too shabby but it definitely was not lakeside. After we are settled, we go to Ft. Riley - the Army Base near by to do some shopping. We roam around the Exchange until Ted comes up to me, stares me dead in the eye and says "I need you to remain calm, don't freak out". Well, WTF?!?!?!?! I freeze and immediately think there is a gunman about to start shooting or there is a deadly poisonous scorpion about to sting my neck or Azlan stole something from the store and the military police are about to escort us off property. Ted continues after he sees that I understand his words and I won't freak out (at least not immediately) "I don't feel right and I think we need to go to the ER". Fuck! It's happening again but at least this time I can help him. We leave - calmly - and I drive him to the ER on the Army Base. They check him in and I decide to go back to the Glamper to put groceries away and get Apollo. The ER visit isn't too long, they can't do much for him as his Blood Pressure got under control. We spend another night without much sleep - that little "sleepy" town we are staying in apparently wakes up around 9pm and the bar gets to poppin' until 2 or 3 am. Saturday we have friends come over for white chicken chili and some corn hole. We drink and hand out and watch the sleepy town wake up and start partying - this time with earlier live music concerts too! Sunday morning, the 29th of May, Ted, Azlan, Apollo and I go for a little walk on the Painted Rock Trail, just up the road from the town of Milford. It was a cool hike but some of it took us through people's campsites which was very awkward. We saw no painted rocks but we got to skip some rocks on the lake. We brought home a ton of ticks! Ugh! Last summer we were introduced to ticks in Virginia - this summer they jumped on in Kansas. I hate those things! We pull off all the ticks we can find, stripping poor Azlan down, then me, the Apollo and then I check Ted. We all shower and we have a chill night. The next morning I start off by joining ZT's Fitness Annual Memorial Day Master Class online, followed by a trip to Ft. Riley to watch the Memorial Day Ceremony at the post cemetery. It was very emotional for me, and even more so for Ted. We will never forget our fallen friends. After the ceremony we went over to our friend's house in Harrisburg. He has a home from the early 1900's that he is remodeling - very neat. We do some laundry, hang out, eat some yummy pulled pork and we wish each other safe travels.
On the 31st, Tuesday, our friends from Amarillo, TX join us in Milford. They got this adorable Airbnb house just a short walk from the Glamper. We originally met them in Mineral Wells, TX, they were staying in the RV next to us and Azlan and their daughter started playing together. On our way back to FL in 2019, we stopped in Amarillo to see them so this was a great reunion after almost 3 years! We drink, eat, hang out and the next day Ted wakes up feeling off again. I go workout on the local park's concrete pad and then I walk the dog. Ted's is blood pressure is high but not crazy. He is now starting to think it could be anxiety. He rolls with it and tries to calm down while I'm up and about. We eat a late breakfast and just chill for a while. He starts to feel better so we go to Ft. Riley with the intention of seeing the US Cavalry Museum but it was closed for renovation. We roam around some old tanks and new memorials and work our way to The Custer House, an old Army Officer family house dating back to the mid-late 1800's (Custer never lived there though). They had a great collection of artifacts and the tour guide was fantastic! Worth a stop in if you are near by. Later we all have dinner and call it an early night as the kids (and lets face it, us adults) are pooped. Thursday, June 2nd is moving day. Our friends give us a hand in getting the rig all back together (motorhome connects to trailer, Jeep loads on trailer and gets strapped down) we say our "see you laters" and I drive off. Yep - my turn to drive. I am also thinking that Ted feeling off may be anxiety related to driving the rig. We are about 60' in length total. I am scared when I drive it, but I stay alert and cautious the entire time. It's exhausting but fortunately it's only a 2-3 hour drive to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, MO! Drive goes pretty smoothly - I hit no cones. The Worlds of Fun Village RV Park was very nice. They had spacious concrete pads, trees between sites for privacy and beautiful lush grass. Just as a side note, Kansas and Missouri have been beautifully lush and green for the most part making for a nice scenic drive. We get set up and swept out and make a plan for the next few days...but wait - what's this?!?! The new hose we just bought in Milford blew open! The hose just tore apart and water was spewing everywhere. Shortly after that the water pump stopped working (OMG, when things like this happen, I start to have less than fuzzy feelings about this contraption). Ted went in search of a new hose with a water pressure reducer valve and succeeds! The next morning, we decide to hike with Apollo and look for a mobile RV service that can fix our water pump. “Happy Campers” Mobile RV Repair responded right away and we booked an appointment for noonish. I'm feeling a little off with some pain in my underarm, a nasty bug bite on my back and some pain in my groin (might be TMI coming up), but none of it is severe and I try not to complain. The River Bluff Trail was overgrown, extremely hard to follow, muddy, and shouldn't really be called a trail. We felt more like trail blazers instead of hikers - Azlan and I got stuck in a ravine and had to climb out, there were lots of prickly vines, and of course loads of ticks! More Ticky parts to this Summer Start still to come! We quit trying to follow the trail and just head back to the car. Ted, Azlan and Apollo romp around in the Walmart parking lot while I run through and stock up on groceries. Back at the RV, we do tick inspections, unload groceries and start prepping for our friends that are coming over while the guy from Happy Campers fixes the water pump #poundwinning. Our friends arrive and we talk about our time stationed in Hawaii together in 2009-2012ish. We have a great time with them and their little girl. But then, THE TOILET BREAKS! This is CATASTROPHIC! Ted, Azlan and I walk Apollo after they leave, so I can breathe, and I am hurting much more than this morning. I develop a fever and take some meds. The next morning I have no fever and I feel ok despite the pain in my armpit and groin. The RV Mechanic calls me, we talk and I start to disassemble the toilet. We think we have the solution and he sends me videos on how to fix it myself...I don't want to fix it, I want it fixed. Ted watches the video, and decides he thinks he can do it...but its Saturday, nothing is open. I have to wait until Monday with a semi-functioning toilet. I AM NOT HAPPY! We stick with the party and get to see some old friends and meet new ones. We eat, drink and connect while Azlan plays with the kids inside as it's kind of rainy. Some of the adults even sit in the rain and they look completely untroubled - you can tell they were infantry. We have a fantastic time closing out yet another great visit with friends. Sunday is recovery cleaning and laundry day. I'm still hurting all day so I decide that Monday morning I am going to Urgent Care. MY TOILET STILL DOESNT WORK! I go to The University of Kansas Health System Urgent Care and get seen almost right away. The doc examined me and said that she thought my lymph nodes were inflamed possibly from the bug bite or from folliculitis, an ingrown hair. I've had lots of folliculitis issues when I was younger so I knew that was totally possible. She confirms it is not a hernia and recommends I use heat compresses and move often despite the pain. It could take 3-4 weeks to pass (Ugh! not only has Ted been having all these issues....now I have crap too). I get on some meds grateful that I don't have to have emergency surgery. It's the Sicky Part of the Start. Ted finds the toilet part and coordinates to pick it up the next day. I CANT BELIEVE HE IS WAITING A DAY! Regardless of how I feel it's Monday Fun Day for Azlan - Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun Day! Ted won't ride roller coasters and I love them. Azlan wants to ride and he is finally tall enough, so I take some pain meds and suck it up to make some family memories. Our first ride is the Mamba roller coaster - Azlan's very first intense roller coaster ride and he is beyond excited! We hardly wait in line, jump on, buckle up and we are off in the slow cranking climb up to the drop off. We come over the hump and out of the corner of my eye I see Azlan slump down into his seat as the pressure of the speed hit his body. He fainted. I grab his arm and start yelling for him to wake up over the roar of the roller coaster, he does and locks eyes with me. His expression said "What the #$%@ is going on?!!? Is the world coming to an end?!?!? I tell him to hold on and it will be over soon. I try to enjoy the rest of the ride but I'm worried about him. We get off and he takes off running, feeling sick and not extremely happy. Poor kid, he did NOT like the roller coaster ride. On the bright side, I'm off the hook to ride any more crazy rides. I make it until about 1:30pm and head back to the Glamper to rest and do heating pads hoping for some relief. Ted and Azlan spend the whole afternoon at the water park and get home around 7pm. The next day after Ted takes Apollo on a hike, we go get the part and plan a visit to the National WWI Museum after we have a picnic on the lawn of the memorial. The museum is fantastic, with excellent information and artifacts of the time. We spend several hours exploring and taking turns watching Azlan. I had booked a belly dance class for that evening but wasn't sure I was going to go because of pain, but I managed and enjoyed dancing after several days of not moving too much. And while I was gone, MY AMAZING, WONDERFUL, SPECTACULAR Husband FIXED MY TOILET! Oh, thank goodness, I am saved! That night a tremendous storm rolled through. It came on so quick that Ted and I jumped out of bed and scurried around to secure the awning and watch the trees do giant windmill movements in the wind while the rain beat down on the RV. The whole rig shook for over an hour!
Wednesday morning arrives and I'm determined to get a workout in - it's been too long. I push through the pain and successfully sweat it out with Strong30 Virtually with the ZT's crew. Ted offers to drive as it's moving day. His blood pressure is good and he hasn't had any issues since last Wednesday, so I let him drive (because - let's face it - I hate driving). We roll out to our pit stop: Diamond, Missouri, the birth place of George Washington Carver and the location of the George Washington Carver National Monument. Azlan had read a book about him and did a presentation in his class. He requested to go there and we happily acquiesced. It was a great museum with excellent information on this inspiring figure. He was born into slavery and despite all the challenges he faced, he still pursued educated and contributed more to our than many of us ever will. I left there feeling inspired and hungry for knowledge. Azlan on the other hand was more ready to play and move on. We arrived at Cook's RV Motor Park just north of Springfield, MO in the evening but with plenty of light to set up and get our MO stickers on our Glamper maps! Only 7 more states to go! By this point I'm feeling better and in less pain so I look for group fitness classes in the area and find a place called The Studio by Jamie Kinkeade. They had some interesting classes and seemed like the kind of place I would love - I book the Hot Seat Class (a chair based, light weight, high rep class - but explicit style) for Thursday evening and that morning we go for another hike with Apollo - Ritter Springs Nature Loop. This is a lovely walk through freshly mowed fields, overgrown woods and packed gravel trails. We saw some little water features, a bridge, a deer, some parks and of course - TICKS! The most we have encountered so far. The tick inspection on Apollo offered up 25 ticks by Ted and an additional 11 ticks by me. That doesn't count what we found on me, Azlan and Ted. I must say, I don't mind the smell of burning ticks any more. I even sing the tick burning song sometimes. Confident that we got them all, we showered and I went to the store to re-stock up on groceries while Ted hung out with his buddy. After shopping I headed off to the Hot Seat - and holy shit was it HOT!!! Physically HOT but also Super Sexy HOT! I had SO much fun in that class - It was a great workout and I also got super sweaty and Sticky (this is the Sticky part of the Summer....and the hot hikes....and Apollo loves sticks) - LOVED IT! Loved it so much I went back the next morning for another Hot Seat Class! I showered real quick after class, picked up Ted, Azlan and Apollo under a train bridge and off we went to the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World to get some hiking boots for Azlan and hiking pants for all of us - we will NOT let those little ticks stop us from exploring nature! We were really impressed with the store, it's huge and has water falls, fish tanks, giant statues and so much more! We eat at the restaurant there, try on loads of stuff check out and head home for a quick nap before heading back out to our friend's house for dinner. We had an amazing prime rib with even better company! It was truly great to catch up with and reminisce with these friends. Saturday morning I go back to The Studio for a Jam Class. This dance class was a lot of fun and had a great mix of music! If I lived in Springfield, I am pretty sure I would be teaching at this place. Great vibes! Next we met up with our friends in the beautiful Springfield Botanical Gardens for a picnic and walk around the park before we headed over to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to see Top Gun Maverick! The Gardens were beautiful, the Alamo was an awesome movie theater with excellent seat service, and the movie...well let's just say it's been a really long time since I have enjoyed a movie so much! Spectacular entertainment! We go back to the Glamper long enough to get ready and meet up with our friends again for a night of Belly Dance, Burlesque, and Drag at Nathan P. Murphy's in downtown Springfield. Red Moon Studio was putting on the show and wow, what a great show! We all had a wonderful time!
Sunday morning we woke up around 8:30am, had a late lazy breakfast and then Ted set off to do laundry and wash the Jeep and I set off to write this blog. Ted came back after he washed the outside of the Jeep, vacuumed and then discovered he could have the laundry done for him and pay the guy by the pound. He smartly opted to leave the laundry, come back and wipe down the inside of the Jeep and then took Azlan to the Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium! I wanted to go as well, but I stayed here to sift through my memory and piece together our Sicky "Ticky" Sticky Start to the Summer. Stay tuned for more adventures coming up as we roll through Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois!
Apollo, Azlan, Daisa and Ted (because Azlan wanted it alphabetically)