Sarah’s first course of antibiotics didn’t wipe out her strep. She started feeling ill again as her New York weekend wrapped up, and it was clear as we began driving north that she was going to need to see another doctor. After doing a bit of smartphone research, we found an urgent care outside Albany and stopped there on our way to Vermont to meet the Redmonds. (Our road trip, it turns out, was sponsored by urgent care—this was our third visit since leaving Minnesota.)
Strep test came back positive again, and Sarah got another, different, course of antibiotics. She was in pretty bad shape, so we postponed Vermont and found a hotel for the night.
Unfortunately, I booked us at a pretty vile hotel—a musty “Best Western” that was undergoing renovations. It wasn’t truly terrible, but had lots of minor issues that grated—doors that wouldn’t close right, loose faucets, slow-as-molasses internet, etc. We dubbed it the “Worst Western” because that’s the kind of mood we were in. Note to self: next time someone is so sick that we need to recuperate in a hotel, aim for a few more stars.
Despite this, there were a few highlights:
When I asked Griffin what he liked about staying in Albany, he said, without hesitation, “The pool the pool the pool!” I remember it with less fondness, but I did take the kids down to the pool before dinner to burn off some energy and give Sarah some quiet time. Griffin practiced diving for plastic sharks while Maggie practiced drowning. To be fair, she didn’t know that that’s what she was doing, but she was so bloody fearless that she scared me out of my wits. As I was helping Griffin with his goggles, she walked down the stairs until the water was over her head. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her flailing around underwater. I dove for her and pulled her out, expecting her to come up scared and possibly spitting up water, trying to remember my water first aid (which adds up to finding someone who actually knows something). Instead, she laughed and shouted, “I was under water!” Uh huh. Definitely time for swimming lessons.
Another highlight was a great bar, City Line, not far from the hotel. I took the kids there for dinner and brought food back for Sarah, who was dozing off with Seinfeld. A modern, industrial sports bar, it was not the sort of place we usually attend, especially with kids, but we had an excellent dinner and the kids were mesmerized by the dim lights, big TVs, and pyramids of glowing liquor. Seriously, I’ve rarely had a meal out with less kid drama. And the mango jalapeno (!) cocktail I ordered didn’t hurt either.