Our First Annual Pilgrimage to Virginia
18 March 2014
So, I disappeared from this-here blahg for a few weeks. Here's a brief timeline:
31 January 2014: We meet with neurosurgeon Dr. Jacques Morcos for the first time and are told that Rob needs immediate brain surgery to remove his cavernoma.
5 February: Thirteen hours of operating later, the cavernous hemangioma, along with a goodly portion of mineralized brain tissue (read: gelatinous goo) are gone from Rob's head.
Remainder of February: Lots of ups and downs in this long road to recovery.
1 & 2 March: Team Odette decides to make a trek up to our former homeland of Hampton Roads, Virginia. We had planned to go in April, to visit the numerous friends we had made over the prior ten years of living there, but a request for Chloë to audition and do a photo shoot prompted us to change the dates quickly and, sadly, ill-advisedly.
Traveling wasn't kind to Rob, who pretty much vomited the entire 20-hour trip up to the Norfolk area. I called Dr. Morcos to explain what was going on, and while he had approved this travel, he also said it might necessitate an emergency room trip. He changed Rob's med dosage over the phone, and that seemed to settle things down. The rest of the trip, Rob did GREAT and even walked on snow and ice without his walker. Maybe not the smartest idea in the world, but you know, he did okay!
That same day, Sunday the 2nd, I went to a big meet-up of lots of friends I met in the six or so months before we moved here to Miami. It was great, and I even made about as much money as I needed to cover gas for our trip!
Afterward, my good friend Lisa and her husband hosted a fantastic cook-out for Team Odette. I met people I'd only known before online, and we hung out for hours with great, great folks. I had a blast and was so grateful Lisa made it happen.
3 March: The day of the supposed audition, our formerly balmy Virginia weather turned vicious. Roads were closed, and the snow and ice prevailed. We skipped the audition entirely and spent the whole day in our hotel room. Big. Huge. Bummer. That night, we were supposed to have lunch with Stephanie, Tim, Luke, and Vinnie, but no sooner did we get on the road and get down to the corner, but the car started spinning and spinning on the ice, out of control. Though I grew up in Syracuse, NY, I never actually drove in that crappilicious weather, so I was ill-equipped to handle it. I really learned how to drive here in Miami while attending college, so I can handle the driving rain, but ice? No way! We turned around (and around and around) and went back to our hotel.
4 March: We drove down to northern North Carolina to hang with my pal Saritah and her family.
Here's Sarah's youngest baby, Charlotte, who is the cutest little Cabbage Patch Kid, right?
That was a fun day, because Team Odette adores Team Branham, and the feelings are mutual. [However, it wasn't all sunshine and puppy kisses, because Sarah filled me in on some un-fun things that I cannot tell you about here...]
5 March: On Wednesday of that week, we went and had lunch with Stephanie and her kids, to make up for the failed dinner attempt on Monday night.
Sophia was so cute. She went out in the backyard with Stims' dogs, Rosie May and Wazowski, and she was dancing with Rosie:
Steph and I took a selfie together while the kids watched Frozen on her iTunes account:
We gathered up our five children and had a photo-op on the couch. Of course, it's hard to get five kids to cooperate for pictures, so this was my best shot:
Vinnie, the little allergy baby, is near and dear to my heart because I knit for him and he has such a great, sweet little attitude despite being physically miserable so much of the time. Steph nursed him to sleep:
and then I held him while she did some things around the house:
After our visit with Stephanie, we had planned to go out to the Virginia Beach Farmer's Market to visit my favorite fishmonger, Uncle Chuck, and get some of his crabcakes. They're the best in the world, and I know, because I'm something of a connoisseur! However, we didn't get a chance, because it was to head to another awesome friend's house for dinner.
Kassandra made spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread, and we brought a salad. Before dinner, her little girl, Ava, played with my kids. Sophia, who never went anywhere without making an instant friend, played with Ava in her room, so sweetly:
And of course, Kassandra and I took a selfie together:
Us and our piercings, lolz...
That night, it was a redeux of Steph and Tim (Stim) and the boys, as they brought bathing suits for Team Odette. We all had a jolly good time at the hotel pool (which was decidedly NOT heated as advertised, but hey, the hot tub was hot enough for both of them!):
Tim with Lucas & Vincent
Rob and Jack in the hot tub
Steph cuddling Jacky
Sophia floating in the brrrrr-cold pool
After we got back to the room, dried off and warmed up, I snapped this photo of Team Goetsch, minus Luke. Luke was SO cute, telling me all kinds of adorbs little four-year-old things, and we had a great time hanging with everyone that day and night.
6 March: I snapped this photo of Jack and his dad in the bed after we went down for breakfast while the girls continued to snooze:
I was supposed to have lunch with a sweet friend at the Olive Garden that day, and then go to Uncle Chuck's before heading back to see Lisa and some more friends that afternoon, but a necessary trip back to North Carolina prompted me to have to cancel the remainder of our plans. I can't say that trip ended well for everyone, but we headed back here Florida on Friday, March 7th, and we arrived back at home in the morning on March 8th. I napped about six times on the way home, since Rob can't drive and I was super tired.
All in all, it was a fun-filled, eventful trip back north, but I probably should have waited and gone in April as planned after all. I do think we were brought there for a very good reason, though, and that will have to speak for itself...
Thanks for stopping by; have a wonderful day!