Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vacation Elation?

Though this post will talk mostly about our most recent vacation, it's really an ode to my wonderful husband.

This last week Rob and I decided to take a little mini-vacation to Arches National Park in Moab, UT. Though I've been there a couple of times, I think it's been almost 10 years since I was last there, and Rob had never been. So we figured it would be a good place to go, especially this time of year, when it's not deathly hot and there won't be a ton of people. We also decided we'd add to our trip and spend about a day and half in Arches, then drive to 4 corners monument, where neither of us had been before.

In case you've never been either, it's literally a concrete monument in the middle of nowhere marking the borders of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. But it's kinda cool to be in 4 states at one time.

So the plan was to leave Thursday morning and head to Arches, hike as much as we could that day and finish the trails on Friday, from there we'd drive to New Mexico, and head out to 4 corners Saturday morning, then head home.

Of course, things never quite go as planned....

Wednesday night I started feeling less than 100% and felt like I was coming down with something, being infamous for getting sick almost every time I go out of town, this came as no surprise, but knowing that I had two days of driving and hiking ahead of me, I wasn't too thrilled at the thought of being sick in the process. By Thursday morning I was having really mild body aches and a cough accompanied by slight congestion. But, I took some extra strength Tylenol and powered through it. I got packed and a few hours later than planned, we were on our way to Southern Utah.

I was feeling significantly better by the time we got to Moab, but having left later than we hoped, we got there in time to hike to Delicate Arch, one of the longer hikes, and that was the only hike we accomplished that day. I wanted to get some good photos of the arch and if the light was right, maybe some cool pics of Rob and myself while up there, so with some encouragement from my husband, I decided to bring all my camera equipment along with me. That included my 3lb camera, two light stands, a soft box, a tripod, and a flash, not to mention all my gizmos and gadgets.

Hiking a 3 mile trail with a 480 foot elevation change while congested, coughing and nearly 4 months pregnant, became more of a challenge than I anticipated. But, being as wonderful as Rob is, he carried all of my equipment, plus the backpack full of food, water, batteries and hiking essentials all the way up and back. I won't mention that I didn't end up using half of the gear he so lovingly hauled up there for me...

By the end of the day on Thursday we were both so exhausted we went to bed at around 8 pm. I was starting to feel achy again and I think Rob was feeling the affects of the extra weight he'd been hauling around, kicking in, so we called it a day.

The next morning, after taking some more Tylenol, I was up for more hiking. We started on the first, and one of the easier trails on the road, half way through however, I was feeling the effects of pregnancy fatigue and my sickness setting in once again. After taking a short breather, I'm standing there, feeling sweaty, sick and fat, and my sweet husband looks up at me and tells me how good I look. There's nothing better than when the person you love thinks you look good when you feel your worst. :)
By the time we got back from that hike, we ended up heading back towards the entrance to the Visitor's Center to use the restrooms. While we were there, Rob saw an article about Mesa Verde in Colorado, it's a national park that is filled with Anasazi Indian Ruins. I had been there years before with my family and always knew it was something Rob would love. He suddenly lost his interest in Arch and rock formations and grew increasingly intrigued by the ruins. So, we decided that in my condition, we'd bag the remainder of Moab and head 2 hours South to Mesa Verde.

Once we got there we were slightly disappointed to learn that most of the attractions were still closed for the season so we weren't able to actually walk up to a lot of the ruins. But not all was lost, there was a smaller dwelling we were able to walk up to and a scenic loop we took that allowed us to view all of the cliff dwellings and pit houses in the area. It really was incredible and even more amazing than I had remembered. On our way back, though I was achy and uncomfortable, Rob insisted we stop to get all the pics I talked about wanting because knowing me, I'd regret it later. He was being so supportive and so patient with me, despite my constant discomfort and needing to rest at every corner.

The road to the entrance of Mesa Verde

We had previously booked a hotel in the small town of Farmington, New Mexico, about 50 miles outside of 4 corners and literally the closest hotel to it. We had about an hour and a half drive to the hotel form Mesa Verde, as we got about 18 miles outside of Farmington, dusk had set in and as we were driving along a small highway in the middle of nowhere, three deer jumped out in the road right in front of us. At a speed of 65 mph and literally having no time to react, there was nothing Rob could do but hit the first deer. Luckily, it only barely dented the side of his car, took his side view mirror clean off and knocked his turning signal light out of it's casing, considerably less damage than most people experience when hitting a deer on the freeway. We felt worse for the suffering deer that our little sedan probably didn't finish off, than we did for the car.

The remaining 18 miles were driven in silence as we took in what had happened.

At about 5:25 the next morning I awoke with the miserable realization that my illness had won the battle I'd been fighting the last few days. With terrible body aches, a killer headache, chills, a possible fever, and a nose I could no longer breath out of, my cold had turned into the full blown flu and I felt awful. Being pregnant I'm pretty limited to my medicine intake and had to continue to solely rely on my extra strength Tylenol to get me through the day. Being as close as we were, we decided we'd still visit four corners, then it was home to lay me in my Tempurpedic grave.

Once again, being the loving and supportive husband he is, Rob was at my side and every beck and call trying to help me feel better. He didn't mind the 6 hours of complaining, coughing, moaning, stopping, and constant re-situating I had to do just to be able to tolerate the drive home. We arrived back home at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon but by that evening I was so miserable Rob ended up taking me to the ER where I got an IV of fluids, more extra strength Tylenol and two negative results for both influenza A and B. Since then Rob has been extra wonderful, bringing me food, checking on me every so often, telling me how much he loves me and making sure I'm as comfortable as possible at all times. He even offered to take a sick day at work so he could stay home and take care of me yesterday. It's so comforting to know I have someone who loves me unconditionally and will always be there to make me happy, even and especially when I'm miserable.

In a side not, the good part of our $150 ER visit, was that I got an ultrasound just to make sure everything was still ok with the baby. The last ultrasound I received was very early on in my pregnancy and my baby was merely a blob on the screen, with no visible features and only about an inch long. It was so cool to be able to actually make out it's head, spine, hands and feet. I saw it moving for the first time, which was so unbelievable. It was crazy to watch this thing growing and moving inside me but not be able to feel it and I still hardly have any outside visible proof that there's anything in there. Below are the pictures the doctor printed out for me, as well as my most recent "belly" pic.
I'm 4 months pregnant today, with only 5 left to go, it feels both like it's taken forever to get this far, but at the same time it seems like it was just yesterday that Rob and I found out I am pregnant.

Today is also day 5 of this miserable illness I've been suffering through, though I'm starting to feel somewhat better, I'm by no means ready to get out of bed. I think it's taken all my energy just to write this post.

But that updates everyone on our "vacation" and like I said, a little ode to my husband and just how wonderful I think he is. :)