Friday, February 24, 2012

"It's A Mystery" National Tour!

It's been a slow morning. Out late last night at the Hawaiian Islands Invitational Soccer Tournament, an event sponsored by my husband's company and therefore we were given free tickets which was awesome. I forgot how much I love soccer. I played soccer for years before arthritis took over my knees and wished I could have kept up with it. But alas, my soccer fun is limited to simply watching. But fun nonetheless.

So this morning we slept in a bit, cooked up some bacon and made some smoothies, and took a bit of time to begin nailing down our trip.

What trip you ask?

Well the "It's A Mystery" National Tour, that's what!

Actually, it will simply be a trip of pure personal enjoyment, but quite the trip at that.

The first week of April Mitch's company is sending him on (another) trip for work. This time it's to lovely Pascagoula, Mississippi. Exciting, huh? But what's more exciting? The fact that it's quite close to New Orleans, a place that I've always had a hankering to go to but never the opportunity.

What's happening in New Orleans at the time he'll be there? Jazz Fest.

So, with our third anniversary in mind (Though this will be over a month after the date), we decided for me to tag along and go a few days early to enjoy a new city and a new adventure in the Bayou State.


But since I'll be on the mainland, I thought I'd take advantage of the fact that I will be so much closer to loved ones I haven't seen in a long time. So right after spending a few days in the south, I'll head up to Indiana, where my girl Melissa lives now, and spend a few days with her.

I'm thrilled I get to see her!

After a couple days there, I'll start heading back to Hawaii, but make a stop in my beloved home state of Washington. Again, I am thrilled to be able to see some family and friends. It's been a while and I'm so used to seeing my family on such a regular basis that living this far away has been a bit tough. Plus I think it'll be good for me to get off island for a while. A change of scenery is always good.

It will be a lot of traveling. A lot of time spent on planes. I'm a little nervous to actually book the flights because I'm looking at the amount of time I'll be spending on some of these planes and it's not funny. But I plan to be as prepared as I can for this trip. Booking it enough in advance will help me with that.

So, to any of you who live in Louisiana, Indianapolis, or Washington, I'll be coming your way!

Oh and if any of you have any tips to share on how to travel a lot and keep your sanity, that would be much appreciated.




  1. Hi Lyda,

    I just recently started reading your blog and this is my first time posting, so Hello! I have RA and fibromyalgia, diagnosed in 2008, and do a lot of traveling with my boyfriend for business. Here's a few tips that have helped me:

    1. Planes - a godsend because quicker than cars, but hell if you're not prepared!
    a) Make sure to book an AISLE seat. No matter how much you think you might enjoy looking out the window, this is very important. Having an aisle seat will allow you to get up easily to go to the bathroom or just stretch/move about for a moment, which you MUST do so as not to get too stiff from sitting in one cramped position for too long.
    b) Take any pain/coping medications about a half hour
    BEFORE boarding the plane, to insure that you will be at your
    best once the flight takes off. I have found that the pressure change from take off can wreak havoc on my joints and muscles and this is my way around that.
    c) Travel with a small pillow that you can put behind your neck/lower back/etc to ease the stress of sitting in a cramped
    airplane seat for an extended period of time. I swear by my Total Pillow ( because it can be used in most any position.
    d) Make your carry on as light as possible, but don't forget to keep your meds and any other necessary coping devices with you. This should include snacks with which to take your meds if you usually need them. I also carry a metal travel water bottle, because of dry mouth issues from the disease/meds. You never know when the airline is going to misplace your baggage!

    2. Cars - same tips as above, essentially, but plan to stop AT LEAST every 1 to 2 hrs, whether you think you need to or not. This can make the trip longer, but you will ensure that you
    arrive in a state other than that of complete and total exhaustion.

    3. People - Make it clear to anyone you will be visiting (if it isn't already) what your limitations and needs are. You are on vacation, but unfortunately, your disease is not. If you know that certain times of the day are better or worse, plan around them! If you know that certain activities make you feel worse, don't agree to do them! Or, if you are going to, make sure to follow the tips above, i.e. taking meds on time, having coping devices with you, resting every hour or so. You can have a fantastic time, if you pay attention to what your body/mind needs.

    4. Walking - Make sure to bring with you the most comfortable pair of shoes that you own that you can walk in for extended periods of time. This will help you at the airports, but also on any excursions you take. You may not intend to do a lot of walking, but I have found that I often misjudge the time I will be on my feet during any given activity.
    This will be expecially true in New Orleans. Its a great city and you'll have a really good time, but it isn't an easy city to drive around in/find parking in. If you plan to visit the cemetaries, the French Quarter, the Garden District, the zoo, etc, you WILL do more walking than you might think. The bonus of this is that it is the best way to see the city/interact with the locals, however, if you've worn the wrong shoes/forgotten to take your meds/pushed yourself too far/not taken enough breaks/etc, you will be miserable.

    (continued in next comment...)

    1. 5. Beds that aren't your own - This factor can be the most difficult to work around, but for me, also one that can make any other planning irrelevant. If I've slept in a bad (for me) bed, I'm ruined for at least the day after. If you're booking hotels, ask what type of beds the provide. I prefer the Hilton family of hotels because their beds have firmness controls on the matresses. If you have no control over the beds you will be sleeping in, consider asking for extra pillows to cheat the bed into something more like you're used to at home. Also, some hotels will provide extra comforters (place under you to make the bed softer) or possibly extra mattress toppers/cot beds (to place under you for a firmer mattress feel). Most important tip: Don't be afraid to ask what accommodations can be provided!

      6. Pay attention to your routine over the next few days and jot down anything you can think of that makes your life easier, so that you know what you must take with you/have provided to make the trip more enjoyable. Can't get going without a shower with your favorite body wash, bring it along! Need a bath before bedtime to make sleeping easier, make sure the hotel you stay at has one! Have a favorite snack food that may be hard to find, take it with you!

      7. MUST MUST MUST make sure to have all of your meds refilled to last you the whole trip OR have planned ahead so that you know which pharmacies/where can/will fill your scripts when necessary. ALSO, if you find that you often have to go to the doctor randomly, do a bit of research to find which docs in the places you'll visit take your insurance and/or are low cost and provide the kind of service you may need.

      I hope my (probably overly) wordy response is helpful and best wishes on an enjoyable and stress free trip!


  2. More very helpful travel tips from Emily over at Chronic Curve (


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