Wednesday morning, I am attempting one of the most dangerous activities I engage in, usually about once every couple of years. I am going on vacation — and to a tropical location, no less. For those of you who know my track record, wish me luck.
For those who don’t, a bit of background …
* I believe my (bad) luck started in middle school. I was in seventh grade, and the first Spring Break I remember caring about was approaching. My cousins from Ohio flew down to hang at the beach and I was so excited. But on day one, I came down with the worst case of strep throat I’ve had in my life. I tried to ignore it, went to the beach and came home with a sunburn. That evening, my parents found me, feverish and shaking, in my bed. Before rushing me to the ER, my dad threw me in the pool to break the fever. I still blame him for my hatred of cold water.
** The summer after my senior year, I went to Cancun on our class trip. I’d saved up for four years to go on this trip, was a member of the planning committee and could not wait to spend my days playing in the sun and my nights dancing till dawn. (Funny, those are still two of my favorite ways to spend time.) The day we arrived, I was sitting on the floor of the hotel lobby with my legs outstretched, waiting for the guides to issue our room keys … when a giant ceramic painting fell from the ceiling and onto my left foot. I will spare you the gory details and just say I ended up in a Mexican hospital with my BFF Ashley, a few broken bones, no big toenail and several stitches. So much for the dancing. (Oh, and I missed the premature birth of my niece Karlee while I was there, too. She was five days old when we finally met.)
*** When I was a junior at UF, I took a trip to the Bahamas with my cheerleading team and a bunch of cheerleaders from around the southern region who taught for CTC, the cheerleading company my coaches owned. I remember spending the weeks leading up to the trip shopping for new bathing suits and outfits with my friend Casie. Midway through the trip, our friend and roommate Jen fell asleep after turning on the bath, flooded our room and destroyed most of the new clothes in our suitcases.
**** Two years ago, for our birthdays, my friend Michelle and I planned a group trip to Puerto Rico. I took my sister for her 30th birthday and my friends Mike and Lindsay came, too. It was so much fun. Until day three, when I was giving a surf lesson to my friends, stepped on fire coral and, once again, landed in a scary emergency room. I wrote about that experience, and my incredible swelling fire foot in this blog entry. I still believe this is my most painful injury of all time.
***** Last summer, I spent eight days in Dominical, Costa Rica, for my friends Gretchen and Chris’ wedding. It was easily my favorite of my three trips to CR. Until day five, when my entire purse — which, unfortunately, contained my wallet, ID, credit cards, cash, passport, blackberry, camera, iPhone, rental car key and hotel room key — was stolen from a restaurant. Then, while walking home in the dark, I fell about eight feet into a sink hole, ripped up my hands and legs, banged my noggin and bashed the heck out of my right knee. (Editor’s note: Several details have been omitted from this story, in order to hinder its retelling by anyone other than the writer and those present at the time of the event. And because my mom reads this blog.) No ER this time, but a lot of Advil, ice and rest. So much for surfing and tennis the next day.
****** Add to this the three times I was pick-pocketed in Italy during the 2006 Winter Olympics, the time my favorite leather jacket was stolen right out from under my nose in the Milan airport and the pair of Bose headphones I forgot under my seat on my flight to Sydney – and another pair on a flight to Florida – and you get the picture.
But this trip will be different. I swear! (Editor’s note: I arrive in Rio on April 1.)