Tag Archives: road trip

Hives and hot wives

We have been so lucky to have such an unbelievably healthy baby; not having had to take him to daycare has made all the difference in Paolo’s health.  And I am incredibly grateful for this because the past couple of weeks have not been fun.  This ear infection has wreaked havoc on our lives.  First, the ear infection tortured my poor baby.  Then, the Tylenol and antibiotics helped, and seemed to clear up the infection. But the antibiotics.

Oh, the antibiotics.

Paolo’s digestive system did not agree with the antibiotics.  We got the full spectrum in the dirty diapers. One extreme to the other and then back again. Poor lil’ guy.  Then he got a rash all over his body. At first I thought it was a heat rash or possibly a reaction to his first time wearing sunscreen.  So I asked the doctor.  And I was told that it was what they call an “ammoxocilian rash.”  While it was a bit unsightly, it didn’t seem to bother him one bit.

Then the hives came.  Two days after his antibiotics regime was over, we were driving home from Northern Minnesota.  About five hours into our eight-hour trip home, Paolo started shouting.  And crying a little bit, mostly just shouting and squirming.  I thought that he was just sick of being in the car, so I did everything I could to make his trip easier. I sat in the back with him and read him stories, sang songs, played with his toys. When that didn’t work, we would stop so I could hold him for a little while every 40 minutes or so.

We finally made it home. And Paolo was exhausted and uncomfortable. Then, I noticed what I thought were a few mosquito bites on his thigh, which was weird, because I was so diligent in protecting him from the bugs.  I put him to bed in the hope they would go away without bothering him too much.

The next morning, I noticed more little ‘bites’ on his other thigh.  And no, I still didn’t think they were hives.  (I know, I know. I feel like a horrible mother.) Later that day, I noticed that he had developed more ‘bites’ on his forehead and shoulder. I watched as they swelled up and then went away.  Which made me finally realize that my little guy had hives.  As it was Memorial Day, urgent care and the doctor’s office were closed.  (Of course.) So we went to the ER.  After only a few hours and couple hundred dollars later, the doctor told us that Paolo had hives as a reaction from the antibiotics and gave him some Benadryl.

The Benadryl has helped the hives, but makes him CRAZY. Yes, CRAZY.  I think that the stuff makes my baby high.  After his dosage of the antihistamine, Paolo goes a little nuts. With lots of shouting, arching, and just basic irritability. Then, he’ll sleep a little, which is nice for me.

And Giuseppe. And Zack.

Did I mention that my little brother Zack has been a godsend the past few days? He has been so amazing and helpful to me.  Most of this has been going on while we were either up in Minnesota without Giuseppe or when he was working at the hospital.  I don’t know how I would have made it through the week alone, much less come home, unpack from Minnesota, do laundry and then pack again for our trip to Hawaii.

But I realized it was a bit much for his 21-year-old self when he announced last night that he “is trying to find a hot wife.  And then spay her.”

Okay, I know that sounds kind of crass. But you have to remember that my husband is a veterinarian.  You can call it ‘vet humor.’ It must have rubbed off on Zack.  And Paolo has not been making a good name for babies everywhere.

So, here’s to ear infections and the drama they bring. I hope my little one starts feeling all the way better soon.

(Side note: As I write this, we are on the first leg of our trip to Hawaii, and Paolo is sleeping like an angel in his car seat! Oh how I pray our trip continues peacefully!)


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Day Six: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

We opted to stay in Omaha for one more day.  We spent the day at the Omaha Zoo, which was amazing.  While it is more compact than the San Diego Zoo, there is an incredible amount of animals there.  Because of the Midwest weather, the majority of the animals are kept in indoor, man-made environments. Which were awesome. The Desert Dome and Lied Jungle were amazing, especially the Jungle.  Right as we walked in, there were these itty-bitty little orange monkeys that had come down from the trees to greet their “guests.” I’m sure they were just looking for food, but it was incredible: they were playing only mere inches from us humans.  We also visited the gorillas, bears, big cats, aquarium, and aviary.  Giuseppe visited the Creatures of the Night exhibit, but Paolo and I skipped that one. For obvious reasons. Who wants to see snakes and bats?

And since our camera is broken, we only took video today.  Maybe I should post some of it to YouTube.

It’s been a great day. And it’s IOWA for sure tomorrow!  Here we come.

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Days Four & Five: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

The past two days have been quite driving-intensive.  On Easter, we spent the morning in Santa Fe, as planned.  For our holiday breakfast we dined on capuccinos and crepes from a busy French creperie/bakery nestled in the plaza of the historic district.  It was delicious.  We then strolled around and eventually made our way back to the car.

I, sadly, do not have any photographs from the past two days. While we were in Santa Fe, our camera was dropped and broken.  (And NOT by me! I cannot express how happy that my hubby did the damage and not me. If it were me, he would never let me forget it.)  So, instead of taking photos, we fired up the videocamera.  Which has been fun, as we rarely use it. I have decided that we must be better about taking videos; they are so much fun.

Not that there was too much to photograph over the past few days. The drive through northeastern New Mexico was pretty bleak; the scenery improved as we crossed into the Colorado state line, but turned pretty bland again as we headed east out of Denver.

In Denver, we stayed with my lovely Auntie Patti for the evening. It was so great to see her and one of my cousins whom I rarely see; I hadn’t seen Aunt Patti since she came out for a visit in Newport last summer. She was, of course, excited to meet the baby.  It turned into a little party when an old friend from college came out for a few hours. I hadn’t seen Tiffany since our wedding back in 2007, so it was a treat to see her!

We headed out of Denver toward Omaha midmorning for what turned out to be the most boring drive EVER.  Eastern Colorado and the state of Nebraska are not exactly majestic.  I must say, however, that we have been quite lucky with the wildlife. In the past few days we have seen deer, elk, antelope, prairie dogs, a fox, mustangs, cattle, horses, pheasants, wild turkeys, raccoons…I think Giuseppe  pees his pants a little with excitement every time we spot wild animals.

So here we are in Omaha, all snuggled up at our dear friends’, Lisa and Rob, home.  I cannot believe this trip is coming to an end.  We will decide in the morning if we are going to stay in Omaha and maybe visit the zoo or if we will head straight to IOWA tomorrow. My vote is to stay one more day and go to the zoo, but we’ll see how we all feel in the morning…

We may be moving into our new place in IOWA tomorrow!

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Happy Easter

Buona pasqua a tutti!

I love Easter. Everything about it from Mass to coloring Easter eggs and decorating the house.  It has been a bit of a bummer for me that we are on the road this year, but, at the same time, being on this trip has made it very special.  I knew that today was not going to be very Easter-y, so I took Paolo see the Easter Bunny last week at South Coast Plaza. He loved it, and I think the Bunny liked him back.


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Day Three: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

Today we arrived to New Mexico.  It is gorgeous here. As we drove through western Arizona, the landscape grew more and more desolate; as we traveled further into New Mexico, it improved.

As we drove east, we drove through the Navajo Nation, Apache Country, and countless Indian reservations and pueblos. It was very interesting. Did I mention the landscape was beautiful?

We passed the Continental Divide today, too. We stopped at a little gas station/convenience store/souvenir shop. It was filled with American Indian crafts, petrified woods, Route 66 souvenirs, and, of course, Continental Divide souvenirs. I almost bought the most adorable set of mugs with the vintage-y ‘Route 66’ logo on them, but refrained. If I published how expensive it was to move our household goods to IOWA, your jaw would hit your keyboard.  So I refrained.  And bought a magnet instead.  I have started thinking in terms of cost per pound…I mean we will eventually have to move everything back to the West Coast again. And this time I plan to downsize even more and/or find a job that will pay for moving expenses.  But I digress.

So, from Flagstaff, we drove through the Painted Desert to Albuquerque and then north to Santa Fe.  Along the way, Paolo had his first drive-in experience. He wanted some Diet Coke and made chewing movements with his mouth as we ate. It is hilarious how he acts around grown-up food.

Santa Fe is amazing. Absolutely adorable.  I am in love.  We are staying right in the historic district.  Even the hotel is a historic building.  I think it reminds me Europe, with the old buildings and central square surrounded by shops and restaurants. And everything is decorated in a Western style, but very tastefully. After we checked in, we took a stroll around the downtown and stopped in at a ‘New Mexican Diner.’  Then we strolled around a bit more to stretch our legs before calling it a night.

Tomorrow morning is Paolo’s first Easter. And we will be celebrating very unconventionally, without Easter baskets and candy at home. Instead, I think we will sleep in here at the Hilton, then walk to downtown Santa Fe and have coffee and pastries in the plaza. Next stop: Denver.


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Day Two: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

Today started off to a leisurely pace, which was lovely.  We enjoyed (well, we ate) the hotel breakfast before heading off to the Grand Canyon.  The scenery was gorgeous, but it was cold outside!  I never associated Arizona with cold weather, but it is rather chilly here.  By the time we got to the Grand Canyon, it was in the 40s!  Paolo prefers to be nakie, so you can imagine how he felt about being all bundled up.  But we got a smile out of him. I think he was just so happy to be outside and not in the car.

We stopped for lunch at a little town just south of the Grand Canyon National Park.  Giuseppe wanted a steak since we are in the Far West.  (Which can only be said if it is followed with a little Western-sounding theme song; you know the one when the bad guys face the good guys in a crowded parlor.)  There were a few a funny things at this restaurant:

No firearms allowed in by order of the Sheriff! Really? People have to be told where they can and cannot bring their personal firearms?  And if that wasn’t strange enough, the first thing I saw on the menu was an appetizer of RATTLESNAKE meat? People eat that?  I suggested we order it just to see what it looks like, but Giuseppe wasn’t up to spend the extra money for that.  And no, I am not brave enough to try snake meat. I draw the line at escargot.

The Grand Canyon was more beautiful than I remembered.  It wasn’t sunny, which was a bummer, but it was breathtaking.

Oh, and we saw elk! I thought Giuseppe was going to pee his pants, he was so excited.

Again, I never really associate Arizona with cold weather, but the drive to Flagstaff was beautiful and snowy.  Snowy Arizona.  We had to stop and get out warmer clothes.  From our backpack on top of the SUV. It was totally worth the hassle. My Uggs have never felt so great.

So, once we got to Flagstaff, we stayed in and ordered room service. I mean, there is snow outside. Reason enough to stay in and snuggle with my chub-a-lub. Tomorrow: Santa Fe.


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Day One: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

I am happy to report that Day One of our cross-country adventure was a complete success.  We left Orange County all packed and ready with our baby, dog, suitcase, stroller, diaper bag, car seat, baby bag, dog kennel, dog food container, nav system, ipod, camera, video camera, the list goes on… Did I mention we have a ‘backpack’ for our SUV? That is where we put the suitcase… We left after stopping for, of course, a scrumptious little lunch at In-N-Out.   (We are leaving the West Coast; we have to up on our In-N-Out intake while we can.)  Lucky for us, Paolo also fell asleep pretty much the same minute that we turned on the car.  He slept pretty soundly for the first half of the trip, which made the driving very easy.

We made our first pit stop not too far from the Arizona border at a gas station/Dairy Queen.  We were excited about the Dairy Queen part.  This ad made us laugh. It was actually an anti-advertisement, really:

I mean how gross is that? A giant close-up of fried food.  Really?  (Notice the three lighting fixtures to illuminate this mural by night.) Nice.  Although it didn’t stop us from going in to order some ice cream.   (We were totally on a roll today. In-N-Out and ice cream.   Delicious ways to hold on to my baby weight a little longer.  The good news is that we already have a gym membership in Iowa.)

I had forgotten how gorgeous the drive east really is.  As we left the Los Angeles area, the desert scenery grew increasingly beautiful.  We only scheduled about six hours of road time today, but it went by quite quickly!  Giuseppe loved the scenery; he has wanted to make this drive since we moved to California.  He was so excited to be on the Mojave Highway, and even more excited to see signs for the ‘Historic Route 66.’  I took a million photographs, but taking them from the car didn’t really help my already mediocre photography skills.  I wish the photos really showed the amazing beauty of this place.

Now we are all snuggled in our king size bed at our dog friendly hotel resting up for tomorrow’s trip to the Grand Canyon.


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Today is our last day in California. When we made the move here from Italy, I had not really planned on moving away, especially this quickly. And especially to the Midwest.   This move has been incredibly sudden, which has made it a bit more stressful that I had hoped it would be.  The past week has been a whirlwind of frantic activity, with ending my job, moving our household goods, and just basically taking care of business and tying up loose ends. Giuseppe has been great, running endless errands to get everything squared away.

After the movers came and went on Monday, we drove out to Huntington Beach to stay until Thursday.  I have had a few “California” days, strolling through Huntington with friends and family, going out on the pier, taking a quick shopping trip/visit to the Easter Bunny at South Coast Plaza.   It feels surreal to be leaving; I can’t really wrap my head around how quickly it is happening.

It has been very nice staying here, and I do not feel totally ready to leave. But tomorrow it is.  We are first driving down to San Diego to visit Zack and have brunch.  Then we will drive out to Arizona, where we will visit the Grand Canyon. Giuseppe is pretty excited to see it, and I am very glad to be revisiting. I think it  has been about 15 years since I was out there as a child.  The next stop will be Santa Fe, then Denver, Omaha, and finally Ames.   This road trip should actually be very beautiful and great time for us as a family.  We don’t really plan to drive more than 7 or so hours per day, and do plan to take longish breaks to let the baby stretch out and play.

Here’s to our new adventure.


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