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Friday, August 5, 2022

Never felt more Positive about being Negative!


Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I both tested NEGATIVE this morning to Covid.  This means we can leave the condo and get out into the world.

We both feel great and are so thankful that we have no after effects.



Monday, August 1, 2022

Health Update and some Fancy Irish Dancing

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a week since I learned that I have Covid.  I am getting better every day.  I am going to get tested on Thursday.  If I test negative then life will be back to normal.  As I feel better, being quarantined is more frustrating.

Here is a short video I made while we were in Dublin.  I hope you enjoy.



Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Maybe kissing that Blarney Stone was not such a Good Idea!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

After returning to Dublin, the best part of our trip was yet to come.  We were able to meet up with our oldest granddaughter, Portia, and her husband Ilir.  They are living a charmed life in Dublin.  It was so good to see them.  This was the first time we were able to see them since Covid.  

When we messaged Portia, at the end of our tour, to schedule a meeting point she warned us that she had been sick but was starting to feel better.  She had tested negative twice for Covid.  We, of course, said no problem we really want to see you two kids.

We had a delightful time with them.  Plans were made to meet Ilir's parents the following evening for dinner.  

Unfortunately the next day I came down with a scratchy throat and chills. We bought a couple of covid test kits from a local pharmacy.  I tested negative to covid.  However, I felt awful so I pulled out of the dinner arrangements.  Chuck, however, was able to join them all for dinner and said that Ilir's parents were delightful.  

The following day, we arrived at the Dublin airport nice and early so we had plenty of time before our flight.  The lines were horrific.  I felt the muscles tighten in the back of my neck and for me that means my blood pressure is low.  

As we were going through security, we had to wait for our bags to get through.  This was taking forever, and I began to look for a place to sit down.  There was no where to sit, so the last thing I remember was thinking I will have to make the best of it.  

The next thing I remember was waking up on the airport floor.  Security people were around me, they had already called the para medics and an ambulance was on it's way.  My protests that I would be fine hit on deaf ears.  I protested that we had a plane to catch in one hour and we needed to get to the gate.

The medics came and confirmed my diagnosis of low blood pressure.  They said they refused to let me fly on that flight.  At this point, I agreed to let them take me to emergency to get checked out.

This was the first time in my life I have ever ridden in an ambulance.  Not a bucket list item that is for sure.  So here we were me, our luggage, Chuck and the attendants on our way to the ER.  I guess the "Prima Dona" in me figured they would get me to the ER, stabilize my blood pressure and send me back to the airport for a later flight.

No way did this happen.  They did two EKG's, a chest x-ray, blood work up and asked me a million questions.  All of this, they assured me, would be free of charge.  Never once did they stick a swab up my nose.

About 5 hours later, I was pronounced fit to leave. The doctor said my blood work showed a had an infection and prescribed me amoxicillin.  The doctor did write me a note for the airlines to say I was fit for travel.  They were true to their word....not one cent did we owe.

The next morning we went to the airport bright and early again.  I'm still not feeling good from this throat thingy going on.  While waiting in a long line at the airport to explain things and get our ticket reissued, I received an email from KLM saying our new flight had been delayed and to hurry and check in.    I can only guess that the security folks passed on the information the day before why we did not make the flight.

Long story, short.  We made our new flight.  We disembarked in Amsterdam. Praise the Lord our luggage was waiting for us on the carrousel. We then went and caught a train to Leiden.  

When we got to Leiden, we had a taxi take us to our hotel.  I was still having chills and a sore throat.  I was taking the amoxicillin and knew it would take a couple more days for it to kick in.  I also knew that if I had covid, they would not have treated me with an antibiotic. 

Chuck felt fine.  I would get a little better, take a short walk and come back exhausted and sleep the rest of the day.

By Monday, July 25th, the day we flew from Amsterdam to Cuenca, I was thankfully feeling a little better.  

Thankfully, we wore our masks because I felt that I was still contagious with the throat thingy going on.

We slept in our own bed by Monday night.  Air travel is a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, Chuck and I were unpacking and we came across that other Covid test kit.  I still did not feel 100% so decided to take it.   To my shock, I have Covid.  When did I get it?  Where did I get it?  Why did they not test for it at the emergency room?   

Unfortunately, they do not sell these test kits in Ecuador.  I wish we had bought more at the time.  Anyway, I used the last one we had and now Chuck cannot easily know if he has Covid too.  Surely, he does.  

We are going to hunker down and go get a Covid test this weekend.  We have to both test negative in order to go anywhere.

You know folks, as good as the health care system is in Ireland, I was thinking they probably introduced me to Covid in the emergency room.  I emailed some friends whom we met on our tour.  I told them about me and asked about their health.  It turns out they had the same symptoms I did and when they got home to the U.S. they tested positive for Covid.  They thought they got it on their flight home.  

So now I am thinking that kissing that Blarney stone was not such a good idea after all.

I will keep you updated on how we are doing.  

Thank you for traveling with us.  


Nancy and Chuck

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Blarney Castle - Did we kiss the Blarney Stone?

Dear Family and Friends,

As you can see my friends, the weather was perfect for a visit to the Blarney Castle.  Considering Ireland's reputation for rain, we have had really nice weather so far this trip.  

The current Blarney Castle dates back to 1446.  The gardens surrounding it form a beautiful setting for this castle. It is most famous for the fact that the Blarney stone was built into the top of the tower.

The Blarney stone is located in the top of this tower.

As you can see, it is not like you just walk up to a stone and kiss it.  NOOOOO, you first have to climb the high tower, then the real fun begins.  We had to climb circular stone steps in a very closed in space. Not for folks who are claustrophobic.   Here are some photos:

Looking out one of the tower windows near the top.  You can see the beautiful grounds below.

A warning sign before you do the kissing.

This is the view below where your head goes to kiss the stone.

We had a friend take our pictures as we attempted to kiss the stone.  First Chuck:  Actually he got closer to the stone than this photo shows.

Then it was my turn.  I had to get down on all fours before I could turn myself over on my back.  I got the giggles and that made it even harder.  Also, I refused to kiss the stone without a mask on.

At 75 years of age, when you are hanging upside down and backwards, you don't just sit back up quickly without a lot of dizziness.  I was grabbing for anything I could hold on to as I was trying to sit up.  It was not graceful believe me.  But the important thing is WE DID IT!  

So there you have our evidence.  And now we are blessed with the gift of gab.

Until next post.



Saturday, July 16, 2022

Walking Killarney, Ireland

Dear Family and Friends,

After we returned from our beautiful trip around the Ring of Kerry, Chuck and I decided to walk into town and have some dinner.

I will share some photos of downtown Killarney.  This is obviously a tourist town.  We only walked up and down a few blocks before succumbing to hunger.

Here are some of the photos I made.

First off, I don't think I have shared with you photos of the deep colored hydrangeas.  I have never seen hydrangeas this dark.  They are beautiful.

A church steeple towering above the businesses just before we got into town.

The downtown is full of souvenir shops, bars, restaurants and, right now, tourists.

I was impressed with this refurbished telephone booth.  It now houses a defibrillator.  Such a clever idea.

This store gets lots of tourist traffic.  

We went into a souvenir shop and looked around.  

Here is a ceramic Celtic cross.

These cups really struck my funny bone.

Oh my!  I think I am beginning to read Irish.  😄

I know I share with you all pictures of what we consume.  If this is TMI, just let me know.

Tonight, I had a cider

and some calamari.  It was very delicious.

Chuck had a Killarney beer,

and delicious fish and chips.  

After our walk back to our hotel, I worked on blog posts and Chuck relaxed and read.  

Tomorrow...the Blarney Stone!