Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Murphy's Revenge

Yesterday was the longest day of my life. It didn't have to be that way. All that was on the agenda was waking up, getting ready, checking out of our hotel, grabbing a cab to the airport, and catching a flight back to Minneapolis. Piece of cake, right? Of course it is, unless you're dealing with a nasty bout of food poisoning.

Monday in San Diego began innocuously enough. It was a warm pleasant morning and we caught a ferry out to Coronado. We walked across the "island", spent a little time on the beach, and had lunch at the stately Hotel del Coronado. I had an Ahi tuna salad, a beer, and water. My wife a veggie wrap, a mango smoothie, and water. The food was good and the view spectacular.

After lunch we walked to the ferry landing and headed back downtown. The ferry made an unexpected stop at the Naval Air Station, North Island (Coronado), which gave us an up close and personal glimpse of the carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68). For security reasons we were not allowed to take any pictures.

Next it was a tour of San Diego's Aircraft Carrier Museum: The USS Midway. This is a stop not to be missed if you're in San Diego. We spent almost two hours aboard, but I could have easily used a couple more.

My wife started feeling a bit queasy on the ship and by the time we arrived back at the hotel, she was illin'. We had planned on enjoying a seafood feast that evening, but that was obviously not going to happen now. I was doing just fine at that point, and so, after ensuring that my wife didn't need anything, I went out to grab a bite.

When I came back, she was still hurting. My turn to ride the food poisoning pony started at about 10pm. For the rest of the night, and a good part of the next morning, we took turns shuttling in and out of the bathroom to perform various bodily functions. Neither one of us was able to catch more than a few moments of sleep. It was miserable.

The worst part of vomiting is not the actual regurgitation itself, but rather the in-between phase. You've just spilled your guts into the toilet. Now you pause for a moment, grasping the side of the bowl, and gasping for breathe. Your nose is running, your eyes are tearing up, and your whole body is shaking. You can see and smell the product of your previous work. You know that your reprieve will be short lived and that there's more where that came from. And here it comes...

The law of diminishing returns also comes into play while calling Ralph on the big white phone. While the first round is not a walk in the park, it's much less painful than those that follow. You get a lot of bang for your buck and when you're done you actually feel much better and begin to believe that you're out of the woods. Until your next little circle of nausea hell starts to kick in...

Tuesday was terrible. My head hurt, my body ached, and I was alternating between spells of fever and chills. I felt like I had been run over by light-rail transit. My wife was in much the same state.

Little things like packing bags, taking showers, and checking out of hotels become monumental tasks when you're in the condition we were in. Don't even get me started on the travails of brushing my teeth yesterday. Once we got on the plane I zoned. I tried to do a little reading, but my body and mind just weren't up for it. It was a LONG plane ride. We got in about 8pm last night and both crashed shortly after getting home. No bags were unpacked. No mail was opened. No cats were fed. Okay, I guess we did feed the cats.

All in all, (despite that whole food poisoning thing) our trip to San Diego was excellent. And we learned one important thing about "America's finest city": it's a great place to visit, just don't drink the water.

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