Our dream vacation

Boxer puppy with a thermometer in its mouth.

I don’t feel so great today.

It hasn’t been a great week on the illness front. Let’s just say my body has failed me. My very old hematoma on my knee, the hanger-on, got unwieldy last week, prompting a fairly sadistic visit with my family doctor (she was just trying to help), followed by a weekend of “Darn, that didn’t work.” Then I came down with a completely unrelated fever. The fever I expect every 4 months or so–I was due for one–but the hematoma uprising was poorly timed. It’s now Wednesday, and I’m still a mess.

Man putting bagels in oven at Montreal bagel bakery.

I’ll finally understand all the fuss.

Remember that last vacation where J. and I almost flew home early? After a week of limping through Vancouver with my gouty foot, I came down with my last fever. This time, my body started balking a week before our upcoming week in Montréal and Québec. That’s the revised trip: first it was Prague sounds beautiful, followed a few months later by how about continental U.S., and finally, last month, why rule out our lovely homeland? This morning, J. cancelled this shrunken version of our original trip, when I reluctantly admitted that my limpy, achy body had won. We started with the multi-course gourmet tasting menu and finally, after many parings down, we’ve cancelled the dinner reservation altogether.

J. and I spent last weekend, between my naps, discussing whether or not we would be going anywhere at all. I remained hopeful. I figured I was wisely getting all my aches and pains out of the way before the trip, and I’d be fine to travel. J. was a bit more wary, with reason. She didn’t want to drag a sick, limping person around with her in an unfamiliar city. She’s been there, done that. (Imagine a 136-step walk up to a beautiful apartment on the Amalfi coast. Now imagine climbing those stairs with gout.) Plus I’m supposed to be our translator.

Despite feeling crummy all weekend, I didn’t envision cancelling the trip. Why would we? I knew I’d have a few more appointments with doctors this week, but I keenly visualized the green light.

This whole are-we-on-or-are-we-off thing has got to be especially stressful for J., who could really use a break from work and from taking care of me. I’m not surprised that now she seems to have fallen ill herself. Many times I’ve encouraged her to go somewhere without me so she can have a week of indulging herself, but she’s never gone for that.

Big serving of poutine covered in lots of gravy.

Do I really have to try this fried fatty mess?

In fact, we’ve been together long enough that I can tell you exactly what she’d say: “Alas, my beloved, I’d be miserable and lonely if you weren’t with me. Without your diligent study of the guidebooks, I’d have no idea where to go and what to eat, except for Montreal smoked meat and poutine of course. And think of all the weight I’d gain without you to share all that fatty, salty Québecois food with. And without you, I won’t get to enjoy all the perfectly bilingual locals laughing at your high-school French. Why go at all? [Heavy sigh.]”

Well, I guess I need to sort this body out so we can rebook pronto. Sacré bleu! Vive la poutine!

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