Oh my goodness, what a fun vacation we had! Oh, y'all do know that we took that picture at one of those "Old Timey Picture" places, right? (Momma insists I point that out to everyone!) But if having fun, laughing, and making the most of a few days away were a crime, we would have plead GUILTY as charged, accepted a LIFE sentence in the Smokey's, and they could have thrown away the key!
Yes, that is me holding the Jack Daniel's bottle and yes, it is empty. They handed it to me that way--really. Standing in the middle is my friend, former boss, and the woman who made my life as a long-term care consultant possible, Martha Workman. Kneeling in front of her is Momma, who raised me to believe I could do anything I put my mind too! The other lady standing is my friend, Kim Steen, relator extraordinaire, who made both our move to Vicksburg and our feeling at home here possible! More than that, however...
Kim also basically single-handedly made my vacation a success! I cannot thank her enough for doing all the driving from Vicksburg to the Smokey's and back! If I had been clear-headed enough to be safe behind the wheel that long, I would not have been able to move the next day, or maybe even the next! I may have not recovered sufficiently until it was literally time to drive back! I certainly owe the success of this trip to her! She is such a good friend, she even let me sleep and did not tease me about my snoring and moaning in pain...very much anyway. We stopped as often as needed, just as I wrote about before. We remained hydrated, kept our muscles stretched, and utilized the heated seats. We also laughed a great deal which probably helped as much if not more than the other things combined!
While in the Smokey's, Martha was kind enough to do the driving, giving Kim a much needed break. Again, we did "all the right things", including the laughing, and managed to do a lot of the things we were hoping to do.
When walking around, touring, etc. we also heeded commonsense. One tour involved a trek up a third flight of stairs. A few of us--I will let you figure out which ones-- knew we needed to skip that, and so we did. One garden we were touring had areas that were not really much to see the time of year we were there, so we skipped them. One location had several parts to it, so we prioritized and used our energy for the parts we most wanted to see. No one pressured anyone to do more than they could or should, there was no criticism or shaming, and we all felt entirely comfortable communicating our needs to one another. By being honest up front about what to expect from one another, our trip was very pleasant, relaxing, calming, and fun!
For those of you who are still skeptical about vacationing, I want to let you know that I have gone on trips very much like this one when I was much worse. I visited Gettysburg and went into such a flare that I had to remain in the car while the others took a closer look at tourist sites. I have agreed to being in a wheelchair on trips to avoid fatiguing myself beyond the point of being able to stay with those who were vacationing with me. I have gone to my room many times to rest, catching up with my group later. Cruises make this especially convenient and doable. So, please know, if you will communicate up front, openly and honestly with who you are going to travel with, plan well including the time and opportunities to rest, and commit to being flexible as well as agreeable with one another, vacationing really is possible, even if you end up in a flare.
I hope some of you will share your vacationing experiences with us here, including your tips, lessons learned, future goals, and lots of pictures! I am very anxious to read about them and see them, and with your permission, share them with our readers! Also, if you want to plan a trip but are having some problems, contact me and I will try to help you figure it out! I love planning--and taking--vacations! I want you to feel the same way about them, in spite of LIVING a fibroLIFE!
I am going to close with more pictures from our trip. I call this grouping "Mountains, Bigfoot, and Bears, Oh My!"