Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Traveling, welcome home and sick

I went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for work last week (tough job, but somebody's got to do it) and while the trip itself was lovely, I was worried about my little family (for good reason) while I was gone.

As luck would have it, Audrey started to get sick Saturday night and neither she nor her parents slept much as a result. Having an overnight flight on Sunday night was both a blessing and a curse, I hated to leave poor Ryan with a sick kid all by himself, but I desperately needed the sleep - and you know you are desperate for sleep if sleeping overnight in coach on an international flight sounds like a welcome blessing. That however, did not happen, my flight was delayed/canceled until the next morning, so I had another mediocre/bad night of sleep (trying to let Ryan get a little sleep since he would be handling a sick 3 yr old alone for a week) at home. So, after fighting some good ole DC traffic on the way out, I hit the airport in time to have my ticket changed (and upgraded for free to Economy plus :) - no laughing William). I got to the airport really early, because lets face it, I wasn't sleeping much at home and I really needed to get a little rest on the plane so I was hoping to get a window or an aisle seat.

DC airports have fabulous coffee - Mayorga - so I went, via very slow tram, from one end of Dulles airport to the other to get a delicious cup of heaven and savored every drop of it. As I headed back to the terminal printed on my ticket, I just glanced at the departures screen to make sure my flight was still on schedule.

As an aside, it is never a good sign when there are NO flights to your destination on the departure screens. So I stopped at an information/help booth and they were baffled and seriously looked at me like I was the crazy one just because I was holding a ticket for a flight that left the night before and they had no information on any flights to Rio leaving that day. I went back to my terminal a little bit skeptical which quickly turned to a quick moment of panic when none of the other 12 people I was traveling with were at the gate. However when I heard several small groups of disgruntled travelers mumbling/shouting in Portuguese, I decided to use the ladies room and just sit down and wait - I was at least close to the correct gate.

Then my group came back from the fancy lounge (you million miler fliers know what I am talking about) and all my worries were assuaged for the moment. Then we all sat down to wait. Then they boarded the willing and eager, I was not among them, and so I was one of the lucky people with leg room when they stopped boarding and shut down the gate for a couple of hours. Finally they deboarded the plane, gave us lunch vouchers and told us to come back in 5 hours.

As another aside, I am really fortunate to work with great people. Hanging out at an airport for basically an entire day before heading on a super long flight is taxing on everyone, but I was fortunate enough to be with a very pleasant and, by the end of our wait, jovially tipsy group.

So we eventually made it into the air a day late, which put us into Rio at 6 am about 2 hours before our meetings were scheduled to begin. We postponed the meetings for a few hours to let us check in, shower, rest and eat. The meetings went well, and the next day we finished them up and got to do tours of their submarines and ships, which was really cool.

Thursday, was a holiday in Rio, and the weather cooperated beautifully. It was sunny with a slight breeze and in the mid 70s - perfect really! We went to see the Christ statue in the morning and then we came back to the hotel. I was determined to at least stick my feet in the ocean and feel the sand between my toes, since we were staying right on the Ipanema beach front at the Caesar Park hotel.

As yet another aside, I had the most geourgous view from my room ever!! The first room they gave me was awful. Smoking is alive and well in Brazil and my first room was a cigar box, but that I would have dealt with. However, my one pet peeve in hotels is showers that don't drain. So I got to my room at 6 am on Tuesday morning and hopped right in the shower, a gorgeous marble shower, that did not drain at all and I had to cut my shower short because I was afraid I was going to flood the entire bathroom as the water kept rising. So I ran down to the front desk and asked for a new room, and eventually I got one, a great one, ocean front and side view with windows that opened, so I got the most amazing ocean breezes through my room.

Wow this post is getting long and the point was supposed to be my return.

To sum up the week, I started traveling to Brazil on Sunday night and finally arrived Tuesday morning. Tuesday we had our meetings. Wednesday we had meetings and ship tours. Thursday was a holiday so we saw the famous christ statue and hung out on the beach and eventually left for the airport. Friday morning I arrived home at 8:01 am.

Friday morning at 8:03 Ryan went to a long and well-deserved sleep (being a single parent taking care of a sick 3 yo who won't sleep when she is sick is exhausting). And I began to take care of poor sick Audrey, luckily grandma took her to the doctor the day before (so Ryan could attend a pre-finals study group) and she had her meds working a little by the time I got home. Audrey was thrilled to see me, but, oh so exhausted and sick with double ear infections. Friday afternoon Ryan went to the doctor and got antibiotics too. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that our house is a disaster and now *I* am sick too.

Luckily, I had preplanned to spend the week of Thanksgiving at home to give Ryan some extra study time and Audrey some mama time. I was hoping it would be a little more fun, but sick is sick and there's nothing you can do about it, so I am off to bed...


Sylvan said...

So sorry that you are sick, Madame. There's nothing worse than being very sick and having to care for your family as if you were well. Wish I was there to help you.


Desiree said...

It's no fun going on a trip knowing you have a sick kid at home, harder to get home finally and be sick yourself. Enjoy the extra time to catch up on sleep. Post pictures of your trip if you get time. Missiles and submarines always facinate me! =)

deliberatily said...

I didn't laugh, I chuckled.