Visitors, Beware!

We had so much to look forward to during the week surrounding Memorial Day. My husband had taken the week off of work. My eldest had an extra day off of school to have fun. And best of all, my mom and stepdad were driving down to visit us for a week!

Little did they know the sort of biological terror they were actually in for....

Duhn, duhn, duuuuuuuhhhnnnn!

By the time my parents rolled into our driveway, little Nora, the 2-year-old, was on day two of a decently high fever. Other than being hot, tired and complaints of being cold, she really had no symptoms, so I was pretty confident that this illness would pass quickly.

Sure enough, I was right! (Really, am I ever wrong? Don’t answer that.) The next day, Nora was up and about and totally fever-free.

Saturday I had the ingenious idea to take a family trip to the Pungo Strawberry Festival for a morning of fun and entertainment. Apparently, all of Virginia Beach had the same marvelous idea because we waited in a line of cars for 45 minutes just to reach the parking lot (seriously, turtles were passing us on the shoulder). We finally escaped our vehicle and made our way to the entrance of the event.

The lightbulb did not come on in my brain right away when Josie, the 5-year-old, complained of being cold—despite walking in 85 degrees of blazing sunshine with just the slightest breeze blowing on us.

After walking for a little ways while addressing Josie's various complaints of being cold and tired, it finally hit me. Little Nora had been cold right about when that fever hit. Automatic Mom Mode went into action, shooting my hand straight to Josie’s blond forehead. Sure enough, it was hot.

She’s hot cause it’s hot outside, I tried to tell myself.

But she wasn’t simply hot. She was boiling.

By this time we had made it all the way to the end of the festival where the petting zoo was located. While Hubby waited in line for us at the Pony Ride, we paid our $1 donations to pet the ducks and rabbits. Josie was uncharacteristically disinterested. Hubby reached the front of the pony line. I wasn’t sure she was up for it, but I asked anyway, “Do you want to ride one of the ponies?”


Never underestimate the power of pony rides on five-year-old girls, no matter how miserable they are. (Will that still work with teenage girls? I hope so!)

It was about this time that our attention turned to Nora. In an amazing show of support for the Strawberry Festival, the girl had managed to cover herself in red polka dots. Bright little, red spots covered her arms and legs.

What the heck was going on? And who is next to be hit by some sort of odd ailment?

We were not about to find out. We cut our losses and headed to the car. This time around, we were the ones passing the turtles. Up until Sweet Josie upchucked all over the back seat.

I swear the Strawberry Festival has been a blast every other year we’ve attended!

Josie’s fever stuck around for two days, then disappeared, exactly like her sister’s had. Nora’s polka dots, as it turned out, were part of a viral rash—basically a by-product of the fever she’d had earlier, and totally benign.

We weren’t out of the woods yet. The next day, Hubby succumbed to The Great Fever of 2012. The poor guy had to stay home while my parents and I dined on seafood at Chic’s Beach.

Yesterday my parents, after a week of defending themselves from the germ-infested vacation they found themselves on, packed up the car and took off back to Iowa. I imagine they are soaking in a tub filled with hand sanitizer and burning all the clothes in their suitcases.

But, honestly, what Grandma and Grandpa can resist being covered in ooey gooey kisses by little munchkins every single day of their trip?

At least they understand what they’re in for!

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Jennifer Tackett-Hilton

Jennifer Tackett-Hilton is a Virginia Beach transplant (originally from Iowa) and Old Dominion University graduate who swore she'd never date a Navy man.... but never said she wouldn't marry one! Jennifer and her Prince Charming have two adorable (and precocious!) princesses, ages 2 and 5, and one furry pooch, Eddie.

In the (precious little) spare time she has, she enjoys crafting, shopping for new craft supplies, and writing on her blogs, and You can find her on Facebook at and follow her on and

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