Helping women with chronic illnesses

Chronic Travel: Planning And Implementation

I have written previously about a camping trip we recently took (see here and here). While I had concerns for how my body would handle such a trip (particularly how I would fare regarding fibromyalgia pain), I decided to go and hoped that my body would tolerate a trip of this nature and length. Since my interstitial cystitis can make it challenging to ride in a car for long stretches, I was sure to do a bladder instillation shortly before we left the house. This was very helpful in reducing the number of times we need to stop to find a rest room.

Planning phase: more complex with chronic illness…

While we chose camping over a hotel/motel (or a Bed & Breakfast) due to previous severely negative experiences with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) reactions, I was certainly aware that camping could present its own MCS challenges. Camping is most definitely not for all MCS patients. However, I felt that I was in a position to give it a try with the hope that I would not have any nasty reactions. We knew going in that I might have to bail out if anything were to make this necessary.

Yes, there was a bailout plan.

We decided we were willing to take the risks involved with this trip. Granted, this was a bit scary for me and I had to have faith that my husband would assist me in bailing out if that were to become necessary. Obviously, I would not have been happy if we had to cut our trip short due to my illnesses but it was important to know that bailing out would be an option. Had we done so, we would only have been out a couple of nights worth of campground fees (which wasn’t very much). We wouldn’t have been out the sort of money involved in cutting a hotel stay short. So, the stress of changing our plans and the fact that we would have lost the time we invested would have been the major losses if I had found myself unable to complete what we’d planned.

By the way, did I mention that we discovered on the first day that we had to turn roaming off on our cell phones because we were so close to Canada? Yes, it could have gotten very expensive if we had not turned off the roaming. It was very cool to put the canoe in (not far from our tent) and reach Canadian waters in no time, though. We also enjoyed our visit to the 1000 Islands Skydeck (mentioned in a previous post and located in Canada). We hadn’t been to Canada in quite awhile so this was the first time we needed to show enhanced drivers licenses (a less expensive alternative to passports). Having grown up never having to show anything to get into Canada or back into the United States, it felt odd having to produce enhanced drivers licenses and have them scanned. It was the most thorough border crossing I’ve ever experienced.

We purchased the tent about 4-5 months in advance so that we could air it out before the trip. It can be difficult to predict what I might react to and we needed to be sure we had ventilated it well enough before traveling so that I wouldn’t have an MCS reaction to it. Thankfully, the tent had no smell (that I could notice, anyway) when we first opened the box.

The tent, van, and canoe.

This was a pleasant surprise compared to what I was expecting. The tent worked very well throughout the trip. We were very careful getting in and out of the tent (trying not to let any bugs inside). Would you believe that we didn’t have a single bug in the tent in the 5 days we used it? It was well ventilated with plenty of windows. I was very pleased with it.

In addition to all of the normal things one does to plan for a trip, we had to evaluate whether the transportation we had could safely handle such a trip. My van (pictured above) was in and out of the auto shop a couple of times right before the trip.

Something that worried me pre-trip…

The pesky light above kept appearing on my dashboard. Needless to say, we needed to get to the bottom of why this light kept appearing since we didn’t want to be stranded somewhere far away from home with a broken-down car. Taking my husband’s car for the trip was out of the question for several reasons. For one, his car is too small and we wouldn’t have had enough space for what we were taking with us. For another, his car has slightly more miles than mine does (which is saying a lot considering the mileage on my van).

My odometer…

Finally, the seats in his car are far less comfortable than the ones in mine. So, from a fibromyalgia standpoint, taking his car for a trip like that was out of the question. Having been reassured by our trusted mechanic that the cause for the engine light was not something that was a safety issue (and was a repair he even said could wait to be fixed), we decided that the van was safe to drive. As I touched on previously, my husband was the primary packer. He organized our belongings well and got them to fit nicely inside of the van. We had reserved our campsite online.

Rest room access is always a top priority with my illnesses.

It goes without saying that the first criteria I had for choosing a campsite was proximity to the rest rooms. Our site ended up being about 500 feet from them. This distance to the rest room was workable for me… even if I accidentally wandered slightly off track on the way back to the tent in the middle of the night. (Note to self: don’t forget to wear your glasses when traipsing through the campground to the rest room in the middle of the night with it very dark). We were very fortunate in that we had no one next to us on one side for the entire time and we only had people next to us the first night on the other side.

This can’t be explained simply by the fact that we camped Monday through Friday (though I’m sure bypassing the weekend helped) because there were many, many areas of the state park that were packed like sardines. I am very grateful that we had no neighbors on either side for nearly the entire trip and that we were near a rest room. We could even see the lake from our campsite!

The last thing I wanted was to be crammed alongside lots of other campers in close proximity. We got lucky!

Before the trip was over, I had not-so-lovely visits from both endometriosis and migraine pain. Having lived with endometriosis since I was 13 years old, I have become accustomed to it acting up anytime I travel. So I wasn’t surprised. (It’s not something I can plan around either. That’s not how my body is wired). As for the migraine pain, I was thankful that it was short-lived. Neither “took over” the trip.

What was the biggest challenge/risk that surfaced during the trip? That would have to be when one of our neighbors burned something very nasty in the campground (seemingly from the row of campsites right behind ours). This campfire most definitely did not contain just wood burning in it (and I’m fully aware that some MCS patients wouldn’t be able to tolerate any campfire at all). To me, it smelled like burning plastic. That’s right. Burning. Plastic. The smell was so strong that I couldn’t imagine how it would dissipate anytime soon. We were just heading out for the day when this happened. I was afraid to leave our tent in that air but knew that taking the tent down would mean that we were going home. (There is no way my husband would go through the hassle of taking the tent down unless we were leaving).

Why people burn toxic items, I have no idea!

At this point, my husband (who isn’t always fond of what he tends to consider “making a scene” in regard to me having an MCS reaction)… made me incredibly proud. He stopped in at the registration desk and told them about the problem with someone burning far more than firewood. It was so incredibly hot that day that I stayed in the van with the air conditioning running when he went in. So, I don’t know precisely what he said or how he said it. All I know is that I was scared to return to our tent because if whatever was generating that smell didn’t get terminated very quickly, I knew we’d have to pack up and go home halfway through our trip. When we returned to our campsite later, there was NO smell. None. The park rangers must have taken very swift action because there wasn’t a trace of the smell when we got back. I was so happy that my husband spoke up and that the park’s staff was so responsive. Go New York State park rangers!

Also, I was pleasantly stunned to discover that the state park uses no toxic “air fresheners” in the campground rest rooms! (See this link for more information about Anne C. Steinemann, Ph.D., who has done research on “air fresheners” and other toxic products). I even had a brief chat with a manager up at the registration desk and it turns out they clean their lodges with green cleaning products. I didn’t enter any lodges and don’t know what products they use – but I was pleased to see them making an effort to select healthier products and to avoid unnecessarily exposing people to toxic chemicals. I was impressed!

This new store was a really good find:

One brutally hot (100+ Fahrenheit) day, we had gone into one of the towns (Clayton, NY) in the 1000 islands to eat and I spotted an adorable shop across the road from where we had parked. I was incredibly hot and I suggested we check out this shop not only because it looked cute but because I knew it would be air conditioned. (At that point, I was too impatient for cool air to even wait for the van’s air conditioning to kick in). So, we went and checked out the shop. It was like an oasis! Walking into the shop, we were immediately greeted by a very welcome wall of cold air. Inside, there were many beautiful items of clothing, hats, etc.

I found a warm hat for winter there…

Every winter, I’m always searching around the house for a good hat. With my short hair, my ears get cold. This shop had a snuggly, warm hat that will be great this winter. I know, I know… Who buys a winter hat on a 100+ degree day, right? Well, it was so nice and cool in the store that I wasn’t deterred from planning ahead for winter. We had a very nice chat with the store owner. As it turns out, the store is quite new. So new, in fact, that the website for it is not yet active.

However, I am linking to it anyway. I figure that way once the site is up and running anyone who reads this and goes on to travel in the 1000 islands may consider looking paca up. The name of the shop refers to the alpaca fibers that are used to make many of the items in the shop (including my hat). For those who may never travel to the 1000 islands, once that site is up and running it will give people a chance to shop online.

“In recent years, interest in alpaca fiber clothing has surged, perhaps partly because alpaca ranching has a reasonably low impact on the environment”.

Unfortunately, the crisp, clean bag it was packaged in got crunched in the car (thus no photos of that).

The owner of the shop was extremely friendly. She wrapped my purchase up in pretty turquoise tissue paper (sealed with the paca logo) and placed it in a white bag. She was the kind of person with whom you could just have a good, long chat. I’m not normally very chatty when I am shopping. So, it’s a bit unusual for me to be quite so chatty in anyplace that sells things. (Generally, I like to be in and out to dodge sales pitches and such). This shopkeeper, though, was totally non-pushy and let us browse around without making us feel pressured, rushed, or hovered over in any way.

Everything in the store was truly pretty and I felt like I was leaving the store with a special memento of our trip… in part because she took the time to wrap the package up and make it look so pretty. The whole shop was just gorgeous. I look forward to this shop going online because there were some very nice, reasonably priced items that would make nice gifts. Since I don’t step foot in malls due to my MCS, it’s always nice to discover new online shops. This shop really stood out and had some gorgeous merchandise. I told the owner when we were there that I might mention her shop online. Above is her business card. After discussing it with the owner, I decided not to display the phone number listed on her card (since she is still in the process of getting the shop set up… and unsure she wants that to be the number displayed on the Internet for her shop). So, I blocked out the phone number but the rest of the information you need to find her shop is there.

Finally… dessert. Are you a fudge fan?

Quite possibly the best, freshest fudge I have ever had was here: Lil’ River Fudge Co. If you’re ever in the area, I cannot over-emphasize how delicious this fudge was. They had locations in both Alexandria Bay, NY and Clayton, NY.

Well, I think it’s time for me to wrap up this 3 part series on traveling while chronically ill. Obviously, what works for one patient may not work for another. Let me try to wrap all of the loose ends up with a bow, so to speak.

Wrapping up…

The trip presented its challenges and not-so-relaxing moments. (That’s code for my husband and I found ourselves arguing a few times and that wasn’t fun). The way I look at it, the stakes were high for this trip. We invested money, time, and effort into making this trip happen. I risked increased pain and MCS reactions by trying such travel. When the stakes are high (and when pain levels are higher than they would be at home… in my case) and the temperatures outdoors are high, tempers will often flare. Was the trip perfect? No. Would I do a trip like it again? Yes. Will I be doing so anytime soon? No. It will be some time before we recover financially from this adventure and it will be some time for my body to recover as well.

All in all, though, I’m glad we took some chances and tried something we hadn’t done before. Now we know that, with some planning and effort, it IS possible for me to travel despite not being able to stay in hotels, motels, and/or Bed & Breakfast establishments. That knowledge is freeing for me. Now, all I have to do is recover from the trip. Thanks to a decent air mattress, the fibromyalgia pain wasn’t too out of control while we were camping. It was worse than at home (especially with the stairs at the castle and the walking around we did in town). However, I’ve had worse.

Finally… my 5 tips for traveling when one is chronically ill:

  • Know your limitations. Try to find ways to creatively work within those limitations.

  • If possible, have someone traveling with you to assist you with tasks you can’t (and/or shouldn’t) do.

  • Be flexible. Be open to adjusting your plans as needed. Weather, unexpected factors, and illness flare-ups can throw plans off.

  • Listen to your body and respond accordingly. Tweak plans if needed. The risk of burnout is not worth it. Rest as needed.

  • Enjoy what you can and focus on it and what you can do. Try not to get fixated on what you can’t do.

    I am acutely aware that some of my readers are housebound and that these last 3 posts on travel are not helpful in the aspect that one who is housebound can’t take the sort of chances I did with this trip. My hope is that maybe seeing the pictures (especially from the post about the castle) might still be worth a read for those unable to travel. Obviously different people are at different levels as far as what they are able to do and I don’t mean to suggest in any of these posts that anyone should take unsafe risks. The risks I took with this trip were ones I felt comfortable taking but I know that there are people who wouldn’t be able to take the same risks. Everyone is in a unique living situation. What works for one person may not work at all for another. Hopefully, these posts may provide some helpful tips, ideas, and even hope for those who are able to do limited travel. For those who are not in that position, my hope is that by sharing photos from my trip (along with a narrative on what it was like to prepare and carry out this travel) that you might get some enjoyment out of learning a bit about an area you may never have visited. For those of you who stuck with me through all 3 posts about my camping trip (from the bird’s “gift” to the lovely shop we discovered), thank you for your patience.

    We packed a great deal into a week and I really haven’t even scratched the surface but I tried to do the best overview I could. If you are chronically ill and wish to travel but are afraid to do so because of limitations imposed by your illness(es), it’s possible that travel is not a good idea for you at this time or it’s possible that you may be able to do so with sufficient planning and and a dose of courage. I wasn’t at all sure I’d make it through this trip but I did it and I’m glad I did. Everyone is different, though, and each person needs to evaluate his/her own situation to determine whether it is wise to travel. I just thought I’d share my experience in case it gives anyone ideas. I really think it’s important to stay safe and evaluate one’s own situation to ascertain whether traveling is advisable.

    This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright Β© Jeanne β€” All rights reserved.

    New to blog commenting? Just click “comments” below post. (If you set up a Gravatar, your picture will show when you comment).

    Reading: Chronic Travel: Planning And Implementation

    1 AnnieNo Gravatar { 08.12.11 at 11:59 pm }

    I think bickering with one’s spouse is an unavoidable part of vacation! Despite that, I’m so glad you were able to have such a nice trip. I’m always impressed with how thoughtful you are in trying to use your experiences to help others who are struggling with chronic health issues.

    2 K__No Gravatar { 08.13.11 at 2:26 pm }

    My partner wants to go camping with me some time in the future. But I’ve been having some issues with frequent urination lately & I’m worried about both the car drive & the camp site we wind up using.

    I’m thinking about getting a FUD (female urinary device) for a camping trip & some other potentially long car rides. Have you ever used something like the shewee or pstyle on trips?

    3 JeanneNo Gravatar { 08.14.11 at 12:31 pm }


    Yes, I think some bickering is part of the deal. I’m glad the trip worked out (overall) too. Thank you for your kind words, Annie.


    I certainly understand the prospect of traveling can be concerning when frequent urination is an issue. No, I haven’t tried any of the devices you mentioned. I searched online for information about them after I read your comment and then I found some happy customers talking about them on Amazon. I don’t know if you’ve read the reviews there but many people have taken the time to post detailed reviews about such products. If you haven’t seen those product reviews, you might find them helpful.

    One thing I did discover recently, though, that has been helpful to me is the have2p application for smartphones. It not only helps one to find rest rooms but people even post mini-reviews about whether given rest rooms are clean/not clean and such. So, people who use the application actually help others by posting such helpful info.

    Since I have multiple chemical sensitivity, if I find a rest room that is especially toxic (one that reeks of bleach or that has “air fresheners” that assault people by spraying on them), I post such information on that location’s rest room entry on the app. That way, fellow MCS patients may choose to avoid that rest room (no matter how badly they need a rest room) if they see the comments I posted about it. (There is quite an overlap between MCS patients and IC patients. So, I figure taking a moment to post “MCS warnings” on the phone application may well benefit fellow patients). Some IC patients actually get IC symptom flare-ups after exposure to toxic chemicals.

    Good luck with your trip if you decide to go.



    4 K__No Gravatar { 08.14.11 at 3:32 pm }

    Thanks Jeanne – I have 2 of those restroom finder apps on my mobile device, they’ve come in handy a few times already. Plus there’s the peace of mind factor.

    I’ve been reading the reviews of different FUDs, there’s only a couple of short videos about them on youtube as well. On the + side, a lot of them are affordable to me so if one doesn’t work out well I can try another.

    5 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 08.17.11 at 4:07 pm }

    Am I a fudge fan???????? Are you freaking kidding?????!!!!!

    I LOVE fudge with a passion that knows no bounds. I WANT some L’il River fudge SO RIGHT NOW!!!

    But enough of that.

    Did you know the alpaca is the official wool of the Canadian Funster knitting club? Yes, it even tops kelp knitting.

    Okay, did you climb all those stairs at the look-out to see the islands?? I went up a similar look-out in the south of Germany and it was a great view.

    Wow, lots of miles on your van. You must be great with oil changes.

    So smart, of course to air out your tent first, to let any toxic fumes escape.

    What only “a few” altercations with your hubby? How’d you arrange that? We try to have many daily. πŸ™‚

    I just LOVE camping. As you know we’ve gone 2x yearly to our Pedernales Falls area. And even tho Kelly has officially graduated from the school, we’ll continue to go to the camp-outs.

    Did you air out your air mattress first too? Those can sure smell of chemicals, rubber etc.

    Did you cook on a portable stove? I love that part, especially the coffee. But I know you are not a coffee imbiber.

    100F, oooof. Yuck! What were the night temps?

    Funny, my experience is coming back to the U.S. they are very concerned with you you ARE, but going to Canada they are usually more concerned with WHAT you’re bringing in with you. Did you find that too?

    Well, my dear, I have already talked you ear off enough with this comment.

    Wishing you happiness and LOTS more fudge!! I’ll have to stop at the store on the way home for a few almond joys. I love putting them in the freezer.

    Thanks for a nice little “trip” today.


    6 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 08.17.11 at 4:09 pm }

    Oh, and I’ve seen portable toilet tents some people use, a kind privacy place. Saves some walking.

    xo again from me and Blue Bunny

    7 JeanneNo Gravatar { 08.17.11 at 11:34 pm }


    Yes, those restroom finder smartphone applications can make it far easier to locate rest rooms in unfamiliar areas.

    Hopefully you’ll find something that works well for you. I was amazed at how many options there are (when I looked around online after you’d left your previous comment). There obviously must be a demand for these products if so many different brands/types are popping up.


    So, you too are a fudge fan, huh? Well, I have to say this place had some unbelievable fudge! It was definitely the best commercial fudge I’ve ever had anywhere. The only fudge that might tie it for first place would be the kind my mom made when I was growing up. She didn’t make it often and sometimes it didn’t turn out (mostly the texture wasn’t as hard as it should have been). It was very, very good fudge!

    This place had a flavor I’d never had before. I think it was called something like “salted nut roll”. If you’ve ever had a Payday candy bar, it reminded me of that a bit. Only the nuts were embedded in the most awesome fudge. Had I known it would be so good, I would have gotten more of that flavor and skipped another flavor. It was really, really, really good!

    What flavor fudge do you like best? Normally I rank penuche #1 and maple (without nuts) at #2. Both are hard to find, though. (My mom used to make penuche). The kind they had at this place is now tied for #1 with penuche. It was too good for words to even describe it. Absolutely unbelievable! (If I wrote about the fudge in my blog post, you know it must have been good. I never imagined I’d be blogging about fudge but it was that good)!

    When we went to the Skydeck, I bought a Crispy Crunch candy bar too. I can’t imagine a trip to Canada (even for just a couple of hours, like this was) without hunting down a Crispy Crunch candy bar. Thankfully the Skydeck gift shop had them. I love those things. I hadn’t had one in years.

    I did not know that alpaca is the official Canadian Funster knitting fiber. I’ll bet your many years of experience with Canadian winters give you a true appreciation for my new hat-that-covers-the ears, eh?

    Part of it was by elevator and part of it was by stairs. I was a bit worried about what the situation would be with the stairs but it really wasn’t that bad. With the elevator helping take care of a good part of the trip up to the top, I made it OK. (I actually had a harder time with the stairs at the castle than at the Skydeck). Yes, it was a lovely view from the top.

    Many, many miles. Yes, we’ve gotten very diligent about the oil changes since we feel we’re on “borrowed time”, (so to speak) with the van. The least we can do for our hard-working van is give it oil changes as often as we’re supposed to. We don’t need to push our luck and it’s far cheaper to change the oil frequently than to suffer the consequences of not doing so.

    Yes, we knew we needed to out-gas the tent well in advance. That worked out well.

    Well, a “few” might have been an understatement… now that I think of it. Or maybe I blocked some of them out? πŸ˜‰ It makes me feel better to know I’m not alone on the arguing-with-spouse-on-a-trip front. I think a trip like this is bound to spark some of that.

    That’s great that you love camping so much. I’m not sure I’ll ever LOVE it quite the way you do but it’s a means for traveling overnight for me and that’s huge since so many other ways have been ruled out. So, I’m grateful that it worked out for us on this trip and I’m hopeful that we’ll find a way of pulling it off in the future again. (As I mentioned in the post, there were many things we got lucky on. So, I’m all-too-aware that it could have gone differently).

    The air mattress is several years old. So, it had plenty of time to have out-gassed. You’re right, though, that air mattresses definitely need out-gassing as well. Back when we had gotten the air mattress, I had to sniff the box in the store before we bought it because I can’t handle anything that smells rubbery at all. (I am allergic to latex and goodness knows what other chemicals I’m sensitive to on some of those sorts of things).

    You should see me in a bike shop. I don’t last long. I can’t go into our auto shop because they sell tires right next to the checkout register. So, my husband has to go in to pay because the one time I tried to go in there I didn’t last more than a few seconds. I had to turn around and leave because I felt faint before I even reached the register. I’m fine with the air mattress we have, though.

    No, I doubt I could handle a portable stove with my MCS. No, I don’t drink coffee. I never did (even before my interstitial cystitis was diagnosed). So, I guess I was fortunate not to have to give coffee up upon diagnosis – since I had never developed a taste for it to begin with. (IC and coffee are not a good match).

    It was my job on this trip to hunt for inexpensive restaurants online. I used my smartphone to find restaurants, read customer reviews, get a handle on the price ranges, and get directions to places. Thanks to my smartphone, this worked out very well! I was amazed at how many customer reviews were available online for a wide variety of restaurants. The reviews were right on the money and this helped us avoid places that were too expensive or that had other drawbacks. We had really good luck with restaurants. There was one that we went to for breakfast every morning. It was very reasonable and they had the BEST English muffins.

    One night it was about 90 degrees F. Way too hot! The good news is that I didn’t faint once. I’m not quite sure how I managed that feat given my history of dysautonomia (that is triggered by heat)… but I am very grateful.

    Yes, going into Canada they generally are more concerned about what you’re bring in and returning to the U.S. they are usually more concerned with who you are… That’s true.

    On this particular trip, it was a little different for us from what I’m accustomed to. Entering Canada was very quick and simple this time. They weren’t too terribly preoccupied with what we were bringing in (just a basic question or two but nothing major). They did scan our enhanced driver licenses (which, of course, told them who we were and where we were from). Once we told them where we were going (which you could see from their booths), they let us through quickly.

    Returning to the U.S. this time, we were asked more questions than I am accustomed to. They asked about where we’d been, where we were going, where we live, stared at our canoe (atop the van), asked a few more questions, scanned our licenses, stared at our canoe some more, etc. They were more serious and less conversational. It was nothing too major. It was just a more “intense” questioning than what I’m used to (which is usually a question or two, a smile and a wave to go ahead). Of course, it had been awhile since we’d crossed the border and I’ve never crossed that particular border crossing.

    It was nice to hear from you, Jannie. I haven’t been able to do any blog comments in quite awhile and I miss talking with so many people… including you, of course!

    Thank you for the good wishes. Enjoy your Almond Joys. Get it? Enjoy? LOL

    I’m glad you enjoyed the “trip”.


    P.S. Regarding your second comment… Really? I’ve never seen anything like that. I guess they have them at some outdoor music festivals or something? It’s nice to hear from Blue Bunny. It had been awhile. xo

    8 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 08.26.11 at 8:41 pm }

    Hi again Dear Jeanne,

    My dad is actually the best fudge maker in our family. Like your mom’s confection, mine was more often than not something you either had to eat with a spoon or take a hammer to get a snippet of. πŸ™‚ Really!

    Whole Foods offers some incredible chocolate fudge. Funny, but I’ve not been in WF for months.

    Old general stores still have some great creamy fudge, some better than others.

    I LOVE maple walnut, chocolate with walnuts, chocolate with pecans, peanut butter. My faves.

    I can eat 1/2 lb of fudge, and possibly not get a headache. SO GOOD.

    Currently I’m enjoying a Snickers Ice Cream Bar, but you don’t really need to know that. πŸ™‚

    Penuche, is that like divinity?

    Halloween night was so great growing up, that’s when a lot of ladies made their own fudge. But that art has mostly died out, as have most of those ladies now. Bet they’re up there making fudge in heaven now, tho. And old fashioned sugar donuts. Yum, yum, yum.

    Oh. My. Good. Crispy Crunch bars. I KNOW!! I always used to think growing up that you guys had the BEST candy, but when I go home I gorge on our bars. My favorite is Sweet Marie, holy COW, those are THE BEST candy bars ever. Next summer I’ll probably eat 1 a day.

    Do you like our Coffee Crisp bars? Freaking great too!! I like to eat all around, saving that creamy centre for last — not the easiest feat, but I manage well. I freeze my bars first, of course.

    Oh, that’s great there was an elevator for part of the trip! I remember feeling a bit (or a lot) shaky at the top of that outlook tower, geez. me and height do not mix so well. I guess most of us are like that — and for good reason.

    Hey, your van could go 100,000 more. You never know!

    Yes, traveling and all the little details and pressure to remember everything is prime time for bickering.

    Well, maybe I don’t LOVE camping as much as I say, but The Child does, so I make the best of it usually.

    Ooo, Smartphone sounds good. I like Jimmy Johns and Pizza Huts.

    Supposed to be 110 here Sunday. Sheesh. Oh well, that’s life until it cools off.

    How ’bout Irene baring down eh? Hope people get out now.

    So glad you didn’t faint, yay! You are a real trooper.

    Huh, maybe they’re looking for canoe bandits?

    Yes, I’ve seen the portable “pee” tents at a camp site. It was kind of like a tall skinny tent, with a camping potty inside.

    Camping is great but I do prefer creature comforts.

    Been fun!


    Jannie Funster´s last [type] ..If Love Has A Library

    9 JeanneNo Gravatar { 08.27.11 at 3:04 am }


    I’ll bet your dad’s fudge was scrumptious!

    We don’t have Whole Foods in this area. I guess that rules that option out for me. Listen to me talking about fudge like I need a “supplier”. That trip fudge was just SO good! I honestly had forgotten just how good fudge can be. Like you said, fudge varies from place to place. The fudge I’ve had in the last few years is fudge-in-name-only. It is so inferior to the fudge from the Thousand Islands that I have no plans to waste money on it. Not after tasting the difference! I guess we’ll have to make it back to Thousand Islands someday, eh?

    Way back when I still lived at home with my parents (i.e. Ancient Times), I used to eat those Snickers ice cream bars like they were going out of style. I think it was in the high school/college phase because I remember I used to eat them while up late studying. To this day, I don’t buy them because they’re addicting and I don’t want them in the house.

    No, penuche isn’t the same as divinity (which I just had to look up). I’m sure If I were to ask my mom for a penuche recipe, she’d tell me she doesn’t have one written down and can’t remember how she used to make it. I just saw a recipe while Googling the difference between penuche and divinity. Here it is: penuche. My mom didn’t use nuts. My sister is allergic to nuts so my mom always skipped nuts when baking. I liked them better that way anyway.

    Wow… you got homemade fudge for Halloween? Awesome! We used to have neighbors that made homemade doughnuts on Halloween. We were only allowed to go to houses where my parents knew the people well. So, we didn’t have to worry about tampered food and all of that. Times have changed.

    Crispy Crunch! Isn’t it so awesome!? I literally can’t go to Canada without getting Crispy Crunch. It had been so long since I’d had CC. I think I should have consulted with you pre-trip because I’m not familiar with Sweet Marie – but now I’m feeling like I missed out! LOL. I’ll have to remember it next time I go to Canada.

    Coffee Crisp is good too but if I remember correctly it’s a little too coffee-flavor for me. I don’t drink coffee (because I don’t like it but also because it isn’t good for IC). Yet I do like coffee ice cream (which doesn’t seem to set off my IC). I think the candy bar was closer to the coffee (cup) end of the spectrum than the coffee (ice cream) flavor. If I froze candy bars I would break my teeth for sure. I can barely eat candy bars that are room temperature with these teeth that are falling out of my head. (I currently have an abscessed tooth that Endodontist #2 says cannot be saved and I’m going to need to have it extracted). πŸ™

    I know, I know. Why am I eating candy at all, right? Well, I don’t have many vices. I don’t smoke (obviously!) or drink… and I eat far less sugar than I used to – but I do occasionally like something sweet. Sigh. Anyway, I suppose living in Texas you need to freeze candy so it won’t melt, eh? Does that make you long for Canadian living and all the Sweet Marie you can eat? πŸ˜‰

    Yes, I appreciated the elevator. I’m sorry heights bother you. They don’t bother me (amazingly enough with all of my dizziness issues on the ground).

    I hope the van does many more miles like you said!

    Yes, bickering is part of the deal… I think.

    I’m sure you make the best of it. That is your way!

    I miss the days of pizza. My body has informed me loud and clear that I ingest pizza at my own peril. I’ve probably had pizza twice in the last 5 years. It’s just not worth the agony it causes.

    110 is entirely too hot. Stay cool.

    I hope people get out/stay safe too.

    No fainting. Thankfully.

    Haha. Canoe bandits. That’s it. He has this Old Town cedar canoe and I think they might have been staring at it to see if it looked new (since we told them we had nothing to declare). Perhaps they thought we were trying to evade paying a duty? I’m not sure. Or maybe they were trying to see if we were hiding something between it and the top of the van? I don’t know but they weren’t kidding around. The Canoe Caper!

    I’ve never seen those. I must not get out much.

    I prefer creature comforts too. Without a doubt.

    Nice to hear from you, Jannie. I’ve barely been online lately and I miss everyone!



    P. S. My Top Commentator widget broke when I upgraded my plug-ins but I figured out how to fix it tonight and guess who tops the list? That’s right. You do! Also, I fixed the plug-in for CommentLuv. Did you notice it’s finally working again? Yay! Now, if only I could fix a couple of other things (like my contact form which has been broken forever). Oh well. One step at a time!

    10 alohamorakatNo Gravatar { 08.27.11 at 9:29 am }


    NICE HAT!!!! πŸ˜‰


    11 JeanneNo Gravatar { 08.27.11 at 9:32 am }


    Thanks! I’m ready for winter now. πŸ˜‰


    12 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 08.27.11 at 10:41 am }

    Jeanne, yes I did notice your Comment Luv was fixed. Mine’s still defunct. Perhaps I shall leave my guitar alone for a while and go to one of those WordPress Meet-ups here in Austin. Free help with upgrading and such. Great to have a group like that in town.

    Yes, until we meet in the Thousand Islands we’ll just have to dream. And maybe sample a bit of that famous salad dressing.

    Speaking of that guitar, back to it and a new song called “Something Happens When I Put On My Sneakers.” That’s my 10th of these new 12 tunes. Slowly but surely making progress.

    Hope you and yours will have a great Saturday.

    And one of the things that’s great about camping is all that fresh air.

    Jannie Funster´s last [type] ..If Love Has A Library

    13 JeanneNo Gravatar { 08.27.11 at 5:53 pm }


    I know your WordPress and mine aren’t totally alike but they may be similar enough that I can explain to you how I fixed mine (before I forget what I did!) so that you can try the same thing to fix yours. I finally figured it out by looking around for awhile in my dashboard (flipping screens and such). Catch me offline if you want to compare dashboard screens. That’s great that you have local WordPress meet-ups. I’ll bet they have something like that near me and I just haven’t found it because I haven’t looked. Yes, free technical help is always a good thing! Have you ever been to the meet-up in your area?

    Yes, we’ll just dream about the Thousand Islands. πŸ˜‰ I am very picky about salad dressings and I don’t eat ones like that – but I hear lots of talk about Thousand Islands dressing and I know it’s a very popular choice.

    That is extremely awesome that you are working on song 10 out of 12! I can’t wait to hear it!! In the song, are you putting your sneakers on for a walk on that awesome trail you like so much? I’m glad you’re making progress on completing your second CD. I can’t wait to listen to it!

    Same to you, my sweet friend.

    Yes, we got lots of fresh air… whether canoeing, using the hammock, biking, checking out that Skydeck tower, etc. It was a sun-kissed five days.



    14 Perception Deception — { 08.29.11 at 7:33 pm }

    […] active summer for me. The trip alone (written about in three posts you can access via this link) was a massive undertaking. I am still working at recovering from the trip and we got back from it […]

    15 alohamorakatNo Gravatar { 08.30.11 at 10:01 am }


    That Paca place sounds interesting. Is that hat nice and warm? It looks like it is! πŸ™‚


    16 JeanneNo Gravatar { 08.30.11 at 10:43 am }


    Yes, the alpaca hat is nice and warm and that store was lovely. I’m all set for winter. πŸ˜‰


    Leave a Comment

    CommentLuv badge