Back in the USA

Published on 21 April 2024 at 16:02

Ok, so it has been really hard keeping up with the blog on this trip. For our Africa trip, we had spent most of the summer making all the hotel and flight arrangements ahead of time. With our South America trip, we have just been flying by the seat of our pants and booking the hotels and flights as we go. I am hoping to write updates and all now that we are back but here is a quick run-down of where we have been.

So after we left Argentina we decided to go to Peru to check out Machu Picchu. We flew from Mendoza, Argentina over the Andes Mountains (Finn and Nash always joke about how they don't see any toys on Andes Mountain- Toy Story reference) with a stop-over in Santiago, Chile- then finally landing in Cusco, Peru. After a week in Peru and everyone getting some type of food related stomach bug (aka explosive diarrhea), we flew from Cusco back to Santiago. We spent a few days recovering in Santiago and then flew directly to Sydney, Australia. From Sydney we rented a car and drove up along the Gold Coast of Australia and ended in Brisbane. 

From Brisbane we flew directly to Tokyo, Japan and spent about 9 days in Japan checking out Tokyo and Kyoto, and of course, making a pit stop at Tokyo Disneyland! 

After Tokyo we flew directly to Honolulu, we had a 2 hour layover in Honolulu and then a quick flight over to Kauai. We are now in Princeville, Kauai and are super excited to explore the island with the boys. This is where Paul proposed to me and we spent a lot of time here before kids and then again when Finn was little. Nash took his first steps here on the beach of Kauai but hasn't been back since that trip! The boys don't have any memories of Kauai! 

We will spend the next 2 weeks here before flying back home to PA. 

Now that our travel plans are updated, I have a really funny story about us finally getting back to the USA. On our last night in Tokyo, Finn started to complain that his throat was sore. He woke up in the middle of the night not feeling well and his voice was really scratchy. The next morning he didn't feel great, but felt better after having some tea with honey. We have a red-eye that night from Tokyo to Honolulu and we really didn't want to miss our flight. Finn seemed to be getting better throughout the day so we we didn't think much about it. The rest of us felt 100% normal - except for Paul's stomach but that seems to be the normal with him while eating in foreign countries. All is well at the airport, we eat dinner before boarding our overnight flight. Finn eats a giant bowl of Japanese noodles and soup. He loved the food in Japan. At some point during the middle of the flight, Finn started crying because his throat was hurting. Poor little guy, he gets some water and Tylenol then finally falls back to sleep. Once we land and are getting off the plane, he looks super pale, feels sweaty and will just randomly scream out "ahhh" in pain. When we asked him whats wrong, he just says my throat hurts and my head hurts. Ok, little buddy, we know you aren't feeling well, but we have to make it off the plane and then through immigration. As we are walking through, Finn would still randomly scream out in pain- again his only complaint was his throat hurts. As we are standing in a really long line to get through immigration and passport control, Finn continues to do this while sort of crying. Paul and I are like "bud, we know you don't feel well, but we can't go back on the plane and literally there is no where else to go". We just have to make it through and then you can lay down and relax. Finn continues to scream out and cry, Paul finally says to him "Bud, I know you don't feel good, but you have got to stop screaming and crying, they are going to think we have kidnapped you". We finally get up to the immigration officer and I am handing him all of our passports and boarding passes from the flight. I turn back and Finn is throwing up all over the carpet floor directly in front of the officer. He clearly does not have children because he stands up and yells at the other female officer "what do we do, he's throwing up?" She looks confused and yells to another officer. I'm pretty sure we held up the immigration line for a good 10-15 minutes. Finally she yells to get the EMT from the first aid area. Paul looks at the officer and says, 'I'm sure this happens a lot". He replies "No, this is the first time". Now the EMT guy comes over and is trying to talk to Finn as he is still vomiting, but by this time we at least have the puke bag out for him. The EMT says why don't you come over here and sit down. But then the immigration officer asks us how old is Finn? I say he is 7 - so that means he has to come back to the line so the officer can take a picture of him with vomit on his face while holding his puke bag. The officer takes my picture and then Finn and I are able to walk into the back area where he can at least sit down. Paul and Nash are still standing by the puke in the carpet while finishing up passport control/etc. The super nice EMT guy starts to ask me several questions like: 

"Where all have you traveled in the past 30 days?"- Hmm, let me think, Japan, Australia, Chile, maybe Peru but that might have been more than 30 days? Argentina too? 

"Have you been around anyone with COVID" - dude, we were at Tokyo Disneyland with thousands of people, I'm sure someone had covid there. 

"Have you been around any farmyard animals" - I'm pretty sure Nash got bit by a kangaroo in Australia and I got clawed by a koala there too, does that count? Also, they were hand feeding wallabies and I'm pretty sure stepped in a ton of wallaby and kangaroo poop. We also were petting llamas and alpacas in Peru but I'm not sure if they count as farmyard animals? We also hand fed some monkeys in Kyoto, Japan but at least we didn't get bit by one like this other kid did. 

"What other symptoms does your son have?" - The only complaint he told us was a sore throat and headache. 

"When did these symptoms start?"

"Has he had a fever?"

"Is he prone to motion sickness?"

"Does he have stomach issues?'

"Does he have any other medical issues?"

"Has he had any rashes recently?"

At this point I'm like, dude, do you really want to go down this rabbit hole? He's a kid, he threw up and now he is totally fine. Kids do this all the time but for some reason my kids are NEVER able to tell us that they are about to vomit. It's like they have never had that sensation before.

I then get slightly concerned that maybe this guy isn't going to let us back into the US because he thinks Finn has some weird foreign virus. So I finally say to him, "You know, I'm sure it was just the turbulence from the plane that got his stomach upset". Finn looks so much better, the color is back in his face, he is actually smiling. The EMT then hands us an extra vomit bag and some water and finally lets us leave. 

Paul and Nash meet back up with us. As I'm talking to Paul, he tells me the officer says to him "I'm so sorry bro, that was me yesterday". Paul responds with "ah, that's terrible. Are you feeling better?"  The officer says "yeah, I just had a late night partying so I'm all good today".

Paul then asks if he can put a cone or something over the vomit so people don't step on it and the officer replies with "if they don't see it they deserve to step in it'. 

Cool, welcome back to America. 

By the way, Finn is totally fine. We stopped at Costco, he swam in the pool and got a good nights rest. I think he just got some random 24 hour bug. Hopefully the rest of us don't get it but at least if we do, we are not going to be standing in line for passport or immigration control! 

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