The “Not So” Great Break

It’s been a rough past few weeks. We had our two week winter break and had really, really great plans and excitement. Josh was able to go back to the States and suprise students at NCA and relax visiting his family in Illinois. Although the purpose of the trip wasn’t to see everyone, it does make you feel bad when you don’t get to see everyone! However, he was able to make some special Polish chocolate deliveries, so hopefully all is well in the world for many of my former colleagues and friends!

The girls and I on the other hand only had two goals over break: 1) have fun with family in Switzerland and 2) relax in Malenovice, Czech Republic at the ski retreat with PROeM.

Funny how plans can quickly change and nothing is as it was suppose to be!

Not only did I come down with a bad case of the flu at the beginning of the break, the fever lingered so many days that I had to delay our flight out to Switzerland. I have not been that sick in years. Lauren played nurse and enjoyed doing so…. for the first two days… then that got old. I remember laying in bed wondering if we should even go. I feared taking the virus to our cousins in Switzerland. However, we have been looking forward to going to Switzerland for so long and didn’t want to not only disappoint our family there, but ourselves as well! So we went. I was still congested, but without the fever, chills and achiness.

I’m not even sure where to go with the story from this point. Do I start with the fact that we made a dream come true skiing and snowboarding in the Swiss Alps, although it was short lived (for two of the three of us)? Or do I start with how beautiful Switzerland is once you get out of the blanket of clouds that hangs over Geneva? Or how I never knew Switzerland doesn’t export their wine from the innumerable vineyards that lay scattered all over the Geneva area? Or do I start with how my fever came back two days after arriving, which completely and 100% ruined the rest of our plans while there and not to mention the rest of our break?

Hmm.. well, I guess we’ll start with Kaylor. This part of our break is the highlight and lowpoint. Dream. Come. True. Skiing/snowboarding in the Swiss Alps. It was everything I thought it would be…. everything but that it was extremely short lived. We rode the gondola up to the top of the mountains where there is a restaurant for those who didn’t want to ski or just to grab some food or drinks. We left one of our party there since she wasn’t going to be skiing. The rest of us clamped down our equipment and set off. I remember thinking how I really wanted to take a picture of all of us, but knowing how eager everyone was to get skiing, I didn’t make us all stop, pause and take it in. I remember thinking, “Wow, I’m really here… these mountains are gorgeous!” It was so bright and clear and being that we were so far up the mountain, there were no trees on the slopes where we were at.

It went so fast, I can hardly even remember it….but we were quickly back at the top and this time the very tip top of the mountain. The slopes weren’t extremely steep… the snow was well groomed and the runs very wide. I didn’t feel worried about others around me. What I did feel was the sun’s heat and I was baking.

The group pushed off not long after getting to the top, so I came down behind them. We got half way down I think before Kaylor had taken her fall. She was sitting on the ground and I remember looking at her with her hand out of her glove. She wasn’t crying, just sitting and putting snow on her hand. She said her hand really hurt, but I was like “You just gotta get that glove on and keep going… it’s fine.” Well, she didn’t put the glove on, but she carried on and once down at the bottom we had to take this special lift called the “button lift”… which is common here in Europe, but in the resorts I’ve skiied at in the States, I’ve never seen them.

I stayed behind Kaylor and good thing I did, because she couldn’t grasp to hold on to the lift. After around the 5th attempt, we decided we should have someone take a look at her hand. At this point, I was still unconvinced someting was “wrong”, but wanted to appease her. Fifteen minutes later after a quick examination at the aid station, we were taking the train back down the mountain into the town where the doctor was expecting us. I snapped some pictures from inside the train thinking this might be the last I see of the slopes.

What more do I say? Two runs and our dream of skiing/snowboarding in the Alps came to and end for Kaylor and me. Thankfully Lauren got to continue skiing with our cousins and had a delightful day. Down in the clinic in town, the x-rays showed three different fractures on her right wrist. Cast goes on and we go on our way. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed back to pick up the rest of the crew. It was late afternoon and everyone was ready to head back to home.

The evening was spent relaxing and enjoying one another’s company. However, it wasn’t long before I started feeling achy and feverish and thus the rest of my time spent there was in bed. Not exactly how I expected that to go down… nevermind that Kaylor was laying around with a cast on her arm.

What are the odds? I get sick prior to leaving and had to delay our departure and then because a fever returned, we had to delay our departure again and scrap the rest of our plans for break. We may have made more of an effort had Kaylor not had a cast on her arm. No relaxing down in Malenovice, Czech Republic… back home to Poland we went.

There are times when disappointments occur and you just go with it… when the disappointments are crammed in a short time span it doesn’t take much for one to feel overwhelemed and dare I admit a little depressed. When you are physically healthy, I think it’s ten times easier to deal with disappointments and rebound mentally. When your body is fighting some type of virus or infection, it seriously impedes your ability to do so.

My vacation was two solid weeks of fighting “something”. I’ve been trying to focus on the positive experiences and things we saw and did do, yet it’s hard to not to feel very, very disapppointed.

Tis is life. It’s clearly not what I hoped or expected our break to be like!

I finally went and saw a doctor this past Monday morning as my body was clearly not able to kick this virus without some help. After a third round of a low grade temperature accompanied with chills and the aches over the weekend, it was time. The antibiotics have helped and I feel the infection is gone, however I’m still trying to kick the what’s left in my respiratory system.

Well, this wasn’t necessarily a fun blog to write nor for you to read… but this is the life as we know it at the moment! Many have asked how our break was, so now you have the details of it all. You get the ups and the downs following this with us!

It just wasn’t such a great “break”.

Pictures below:16402582_10154916135083428_1267674464956745806_o

Playing with our cousins who have been living in Switzerland for almost two years was for a highlight.  Fun to spend time with them outside of the borders of Illinois.  We usually only saw them during the holidays or summer, so this was pretty special that we could spend time with them at their home.


Friday morning we went snowshoeing.  That’s a tough work-out!



Us Moms had to snap a picture since we were relishing the sun!



The girls, on the other hand, had had enough.


Just another “break”.


After snowshoeing we did some sledding… Kaylor is waiting her turn.


Before going back down the mountains, we stopped to snap this picture because it’s not a lake nor snow that you see in the background, but clouds.  During the winter months, there is a blanket of clouds that hang over the Geneva area.  In order to get some good sunshine, one must go above the clouds!


After standing in a long line to get lift tickets, we rode a gondola up to the top.  Thank goodness we had left early in the morning when we did.  We had to drive about an hour to an hour and a half to get to Villars, this one particular resort ski town in the Swiss Alps.


Looking back down at Villars from the gondola.


Had to snap some pictures of the six of us heading up the mountain!



A beautiful sight at the top… but note that this picture was taken while Kaylor was having her wrist checked out.  I wish we had a picture of all us with this background!



Realizing that our dream of skiing in the Swiss Alps could come to an end after two runs, I snapped pictures from the train which was taking us down the mountain.  You can see the button lift in the mid-left part of the picture.  The first-aid station is the small building in the upper right and the train station at the top.  I was exhausted after trekking from the button lift to the first-aid station… snow boots and carrying equipment didn’t help!


Don’t think this was a slope I’d go down!


The train slowly made it’s way down the mountain.


After they brought me back to Kaylor’s room following her x-rays, I still didn’t know the results, but Kaylor told me that they had put all that stuff on the cart before they left to get me.  This is the moment that I realized she truly might be hurt!


How a 13 year old doesn’t cry after three fractures, I’ll never know.  Kaylor never cried once… not when she fell, not after all her attempts and falls trying to get on the button lift, and not even it hurt really bad during her x-rays.  Yep, all that stuff on that cart was for her cast.


After we finished with the doctor, we were famished and grabbed some lunch.  Note that we ate outside.  The sun is so intense that as long as you sit in the sun, you can stay quite warm.  We, however, did have to battle some shade from the trees.


View from our restaurant.  Notice how we were above the clouds.


Meanwhile these three were enjoying their own lunch on the top of the mountain and


enjoying more skiing.


Everybody was exhausted and ready to head back home.  We wound our way down through the mountains.


This was looking back at the town of Villars.


And finally, I snapped this picture of my antibiotics and probiotics.  Health care in Poland is different in the States with plusses and minuses of course.  A huge plus is that my dr visit cost us less than $20… $17.50 to be exact.  The medicine cost less than $10.  I even picked up a box of Vitamin C and it cost only $1.50.  Yeah, I’d say that’s a perk to living in Poland!

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