As predicted after we hit about 2PM yesterday things just went as they went and it was all fine, mostly. Z convinced me to book a hotel in Lincoln at the last minute so we could be closer to our Eclipse destination and NOT have to stay in a tent. They (both kids) threatened mutiny if I made them sleep in a tent again after their long Yellowstone vacation with their dad where they tented most nights. I’m actually OK with it too because sleeping on the ground is not appealing to me anymore. I’m not sure if it ever was. As it turns out, the hotel option turned out to be the very worst thing ever for me, but I will get to that.
Actually booking the hotel alleviated several of my concerns and came with a few added bonuses. First and foremost, actually committing to something helped all by itself for some reason. Like just pulling the trigger on it made a little of my anxiety about the uncertainty of the day melt away. Like I stated, we will be closer to our destination and avoid some traffic traveling there late in the day. In the AM, the kids will get to swim and they have free breakfast so those are both marks in the “win” column.
Our guests arrived shortly after 3, I think, and then we did the complimentary tour of our castle. The kids played a little while we unloaded the bikes from the car and then there was about 45 minutes of fidgeting with tires and seats and brakes and such to get people ready to go. I was worried about the ride because of C. He does not ride his bike and he hates it. Every time he rides, he’s unsteady and crashes. He just has never gotten enough practice to really gain skill and confidence and then is quick to quit when he takes a fall.
My concerns were warranted. About 3/4 the way to the trail he faltered navigating some planters on the downtown Papillion sidewalk and completely kinked his back break line and got a nasty cut down his leg. After that he wanted to quit, but the rest of the crew was already ahead and the trail. We walked the bike that distance and then our new friends helped fix the bike at least enough to continue on. We did just a short distance on the trail, 84th street to 72nd, and then turned back because we needed to be back to the house by 6:15 to greet someone picking up his car for use these next couple of days. It took C and I a bit to get back, and they were all onto something else by the time we arrived home. My conclusion there was that C needs a bigger bike that fits him better and more time riding to really get the hang of it. After today, it will probably take some serious incentives to pull off though.
After that, I cooked dinner and the kids played some more and everything went off pretty much as expected. I never really got rid of all my angst. I was very guarded the entire time and felt very much like I was trying really hard to be engaged in the conversation while appearing to effortlessly put on this fabulous meal AND be a good parent. I’m noticing a pattern of behavior with my interactions with this person and I’m still trying to figure that out, but it’s probably deserving of a blog all of its own.
The time ticked away and past 8PM I started to think we need to be getting them back home (because now they were without a car), which was a good 40 to 45 minute round trip through the heart of the city. When I arrived back home it was just about 10PM and the kids were pretty much ready to jump in the car to drive to Lincoln. The drive from Omaha was quick and there was thankfully not a lot of traffic, which was of course part of the bonus of staying in a hotel there. What I did not count on, however, was arriving at the hotel only to be greeted by the very worst thing ever (for me), as soon as we walked into our room.
As I opened the door to room 116 of this very average Quality Inn my olfactory sense was immediately hit with a burst of sickly floral perfume. It was if someone over-did some terrible air freshener to cover up what was undoubtable another horrible smell. As soon as took a few breaths, my headache was triggered. I get migraines from the smell of certain things like cigarette smoke or the scent of baby powder or perfume. For this reason, I avoid walking through that section of any department store and never go into a bath and body works. Having had this my whole entire adult life, I know what scents are OK and what scents cause an issue and it is typically the more floral ones that trigger my headache.
I was tired and the kids were tired, so I thought I would just try and get right to sleep and sleep typically is the magic trick that makes the migraine disappear. At home, I have meds that make me sleepy and alleviate my nausea but I didn’t even think to bring any of that because we would not even be gone a whole day. Plus, I’ve only had one migraine in the last year, so the chances of that seemed very unlikely. But I wasn’t counting on what was behind door number 116.
I could not sleep. I laid in the bed breathing in that terrible smell and tried to make my mind calm and not focus on the pain. I was sick to my stomach and the song “Sucker for Pain” from the movie Suicide squad was on repeat in my brain. It was terrible. I knew I couldn’t ask for a different room because we arrived so late and the hotel was completely booked. In fact the lady on the phone earlier in the day said we got the very last room.
At 3AM I got up to ask the front desk if they had pain meds. They didn’t (that does not sound like a Quality hotel to me). The nice lady at the front desk told me there was a gas station just down the block so I grabbed my keys and went to get some Tylenol. Typically I would take Excedrin, but they didn’t have any. I had caffeine in my car so the acetaminophen plus caffeine would have to do.
When I got back to the room, I vomited. Then I took the meds on an empty stomach and went back to bed. I laid there for another few hours and slowly got to the point where my head was feeling a little better, but sleep never came. I was breathing through my mouth the entire time and at one point rolled over and had a deep breath through my nose, and it was like it triggered my headache all over again. Damn.
At 5:30 I looked at the clock and my brain started doing math on how long I would have to wait to take more tylenol. Two hours. Damn.
At 6:00 I gave up trying to sleep and opened my phone. The light on the screen didn’t make me wince (which typically happens with a migraine), so I knew at that point the worst was over and all that was left was to deal with a lingering headache, and the fact that I had no sleep and still need to get the crew to Beatrice by 11AM.
At 6:30 I got my laptop out and started to write. That pretty much takes me to right up to the present moment. It is 7:30 and I just took my second round of Tylenol with a cup of coffee. It’s going to be a long day today. It’s already been a long day and now I’m getting ready to start round 2. Hopefully, the Migraine and sleepless night really are the worst thing that will happen. I’m sure there are much worse things that could happen which is me just trying to look on the bright side of things.
Speaking of bright sides. The sky is sunny and mostly clear now and I am hoping it will stay that way for the eclipse today at 1PM.
Happy Total Eclipse Day,