April 19, 2011

Frostburg - Where Roadtrips Go To Die

I've got nothing against Frostburg, Maryland. It's a quaint college town located in the western part of Maryland, close to the West Virginia line. The college looks nice, parts of the town seem lovely, and there is a wealth of auto parts stores with a corresponding number of pizza joints. But before I slip the surly bonds of this mortal earth, I will erect a plaque somewhere in the town which states:

In April 2011, the famed Cactus-Fish family departed Washington, D.C. for a family roadtrip. That dream died on this site.

Frostburg is precisely 158 miles from our home and 234 miles from our intended destination, my parents' hometown in Ohio. Frostburg is as far as we got. Those 158 miles took nearly five hours and were punctuated by screaming and vomiting. See, neither Beth nor I thought of the implications of driving a double ear-infected boy through the mountainous passes standing between us and the Somewhat Average State of Ohio. Immediate and severe motion sickness. We'll be accepting Parents of the Year nominations shortly.

Frostburg was the last stop on the westward line. We saw the nice college, the pizza joints and even explored the bathroom of an auto-parts store for the better part of half an hour. Then we made the call. We threw our hands in the air, admitted defeat and turned around, heading for home. Eight hours after we'd begun, we returned to our starting point, unloaded the car, took care of the sick, worn-out boy, and tried our best to forget that the day had ever happened.

We were hoping to return with stories of small towns, family, kids' hotel exploits and the many wonders of day-long car trips. We've got one covered.

So, what did you do with your weekend?

On a side note, we deserve a break. More specifically, my kids deserve a break. A healthy break. March and April notwithstanding, my kids are never sick and they can't handle being sick anymore. And frankly, we can't handle them not handle being sick anymore.

Posted by Chris at April 19, 2011 6:48 AM

WOW! That sucks! Poor Owen and poor all of you. I hope he feels better soon and I hope you all recover from that traumatic trip! Yikes.

Posted by: NancyB at April 19, 2011 7:29 AM

Oh Chris, I am so sorry to hear about this. Having raised two girls, (one an asthmatic) I can relate!
I am sending healing wishes to you all, and may spring and a return to health, arrive soon!

Posted by: Maribeth at April 19, 2011 8:08 AM

So sorry! They will get better soon. We took many a road trip that ended up with a hose spraying out vomit from a car seat. Not some of my fonder memories....

Posted by: Debbie at April 19, 2011 8:19 AM

I think we've all been there. I know I have. Hope their siege is over - at least for now.

Posted by: Ann Elizabeth Adams at April 19, 2011 9:27 AM

Poor babies and poor mom and dad. Sorry there is so much sickness going on around your house lately. Here's hoping it will all get better real real soon. Raining cats and dogs here in Indy this a.m. Get ready as you'll probably be getting this weather in the next couple of days.

Posted by: Trish V at April 19, 2011 9:55 AM

Oh my, roadtrip from hell indeed. Sorry it didn't work out for you and I hope your kids recover soon!!

When my mom lived in VT it was a 10 hour drive to go see her. I swear, everytime I decided to do the trip sans husband, someone would have explosive diarrhea and/or projectile vomiting. Kids and cars frequently don't mix!

Posted by: Elizabeth at April 19, 2011 9:56 AM

Sending get well wishes to the entire Cactus family.

Posted by: Heather at April 19, 2011 11:40 AM

Poor Owen. I never looked at it from my parent point of view but trips w/me must've been hell. I was car sick all the time.

I really hoPe yyour family gets healthy soon.

Posted by: debb at April 19, 2011 12:03 PM

Oh my, I hope Owen is better soon and the kids stay well for the next few months at least. I hope Owen doesn't associate getting sick with road trips.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at April 19, 2011 1:14 PM

Oh, Chris. That sucks. That TOTALLY sucks. I am so sorry for all 4 of you. I hope O is recovering. And I hope nobody gets anything else.

My weekend was hit and miss. The dog, at 15.5, is on a downward spiral. And making the decision to kill your beloved pet really sucks balls. The weather was beautiful, and lots of fun time was spent outside with my love, and there was a plethora of yummy food and good friends. That part rocked my socks.

Posted by: Mindy at April 19, 2011 1:20 PM

Oh no :( Poor little man! I hope everyone stays healthy!!!

Posted by: Heather at April 19, 2011 3:12 PM

Aww poor Owen. I hope he feels better soon.

Posted by: Deirdre at April 19, 2011 8:28 PM

It was flipping HOT out here in CA. We jumped in the pool, it was flipping freezing so once we were able to breathe after having the oxygen sucked out of us due to the ice water, we climbed out and just settled for the air conditioner. We go from 90 to 65 and back to 90, so confusing......Sunday I forced my family to go to an antiques road show, that they all liked and ended the day with bike riding at the lake, it was a fabulous weekend (no vomiting sick children) (knocking on wood)

Posted by: Shannon at April 19, 2011 8:59 PM

I used to get carsick as a kid so feel for Owen (and you guys) ... on a brighter note, appreciate the "surly bonds" wordsmithing

Posted by: azita at April 20, 2011 8:14 AM

Once upon a time my parents and little brother road tripped to visit family in Memphis. Somewhere in Louisiana, little bro sprouts itchy red spots. By the time they hit Memphis, he had full-blown chicken pox. Unfortunately, none of the teen male cousins had been exposed to the pox and they all became infected. Chicken pox is much more serious for teen males than for children. My parents have long since passed and my brother is now 40, but there's still some residual animosity over the chicken pox incident.

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