“Mom, I feel funny,” I said 10 minutes before we were leaving for our summer vacation at Disney World.
“You’re just excited about the trip,” she said with the decisive tone of a woman whose children will only derail her vacation over her dead body.
I puked in the backseat of our Ford Galaxy 500 an hour later. Mom mopped up the dark green vinyl seats, my assorted stuffed animals, and the lap of my Osh Kosh B’gosh overalls. Then she insisted that my father get us back on the road.
“It stinks back here,” my brother complained from across the back seat, “even with the windows all the way down.” He looked at me and mimed gagging himself.
“You’d better get used to it, son,” my father said. “We still have eight hours to go.”
Twelve hours later, we pulled into the driveway of the rental house in Orlando. We had stopped at every gas station restroom and convenience store in four states, along with a McDonald’s, and a pharmacy you could see from the golden arches.
I clutched a Pepto Bismol and a Sprite like they were security blankets as I opened the car door, but my insides spun again.
“Oh my word, Angie,” I heard Mom say. “Did you just vomit in the yard?”
“It’s okay, Mom,” I muttered, “as long as I make it to the Magic Kingdom.”
The very next morning, my family was at Disney World mopping sweat with 4 million other families determined to get their money’s worth. My brother bypassed all the amazing rides in Adventureland and all the other lands, and dashed off to ride Space Mountain immediately.
“I can ride Space Mountain, too,” I insisted while Dad and I waited for a turn on the magic tea cups. “It wouldn’t bother me one bit.”
“Let’s just see how this goes first,” Dad said. I nearly dry heaved on him when our tea cup started turning. As he carried me over to Tomorrowland Terrace, my brother ran by us and threw up on a potted tree.
“Oh my word, son.” Mom handed him some napkins. “Did that roller coaster make you sick?”
“No,” my brother said, wobbling into a chair, “my sister made me sick. I threw up on Space Mountain.” He grabbed his stomach.
“Where’s the restroom?” Dad hurried him toward it.
“Well, at least he’s sick at Disney World,” Mom said.
We returned the next day, determined not to ride anything that turned upside down or all the way around. Instead we boarded a paddle boat to tour the Rivers of America, complete with shoreline depictions of our nation’s history. The first breeze we felt at Disney World ruffled our hair as the boat picked up steam. My legs felt so sea worthy, Dad took me all the way up to the top floor.
When a line of tipis came into view on the shore, I grabbed Dad’s sleeve and pointed. “Look! There are Indians down there! Please can we go see them? Ask the captain to pull this paddle boat over!”
“Angie, I don’t think those Indians are real,” Dad said.
“They are!” I insisted. “See the one waving beside the canoe?”
As Dad leaned over the railing for a better look, he threw up on a first-floor passenger leaning out to take a picture.
“Oh my word, Jack,” Mom called from below. “Did you just vomit on the man from Ohio?”
“Well Dad,” I said as I patted his back, “at least you’re sick at Disney World.”
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