Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom or: How Sickening (literally) Vacations Can Be!

Posted on December 1, 2008

 

As the sun went down, and the lanterns around the park came to life, I should have realized that the soothing Florida heat would not last forever. Still, I planned to be back in my room before the worst of the night’s cold, and so I ventured out, clad only in a green polo shirt and cargo pants – a cap my only defense against the cold.

As you can probably guess from the photograph, I ended up staying a bit later than I expected; the nine-year-old in me just had to stay for the Magic Kingdom’s SpectroMagic parade. Make no mistake, I was glad to have enjoyed it once again, but there was a price to be paid, and the collection started as soon as I stepped foot in my room.

I brewed tea, took a shower, dove under my blankets – none of it could drive away the chill that had made its home in my very bones. I went to bed, my nose a faucet, praying for my immune system to win the battle. Alas, ’twas not to be! The next day was very long indeed:

9:00 AM – I rise. My throat is burning, and every swallow feels like an ingot of lead in my throat. Figuring it will pass, I hit the shower and grab breakfast, pretending that nothing is happening to me.

10:00 AM – Still in my room. Plans were to do something interesting in downtown Orlando but as the minutes pass by, Newton’s first law asserts itself – the inertia is all but possible to overcome. I switch the television to TCM.

12:00 PM – I’m watching a delightfully campy fantasy film titled (appropriately enough) The Magic Sword. By this time, I’m feeling moderately fatigued. The sunny terrace outside beckons, but in my degenerating state, I’m afraid of even setting foot outside. I retreat to the comfort of my sheets. I can see my T-cells are in for a siege to rival Helm’s Deep.

6:00 PM – My body has melted into a puddle of shivers. My every movement sends shivers up my spine and sets my teeth knocking; I nearly collapse on my way to the bathroom. Somewhere along the way, I watch Along Came Polly. A gnawing hunger is my only visitor at my bedside – I dream of chocolate cakes and Reuben sandwiches.

11:35 PMLegend of the Seeker is on. My hypothalamus has switched gears, and now I’m burning hotter than Wizard’s Fire. Is it “Feed a cold/starve a fever” or the other way around? Too famished to decide, I gather all my strength and head for the kitchen, where I devour half a box of Cheerios.

1:35 AM – My stamina is all but gone. After attempting to read a few pages of my book in vain, I turn off the light. My sleep is feverish, and filled with fragments of dreams and half-formed thoughts of an anguished mind.

8:00 AM – Somehow, I’ve made it through the night. My throat still hurts something awful, but the rest of me is starting to feel better.

I loved this vacation, sickness and all, but I can’t wait to get back to New York, with a renewed sense of purpose.

» Filed Under Everything and Nothing

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