The day we visited the last two missions, San Miguel and Soledad, was when Terri was started to feel sick and feverish. She mostly wanted to sit in the sun by the fountain at San Miguel and by the time we got to Soledad in the afternoon, she decided to stay in the car to rest. While John was back in Wisconsin, it worked out best for him to find hotels for me (he had Internet access, after all) and he thought Salinas would be a good place to stop for the night - fortunately only a short drive from Soledad. We had been planning on spending the next day in the Monterrey area (hoping to get to Carmel Mission again plus a visit to one of the local beaches), but Salinas was only a short drive from Monterrey and much less expensive.
He found a nice Comfort Inn with two adjoining rooms - one with two queen beds and one with a king bed and a pull-out couch. We got everyone settled in and then Gus and I ran to Target across town. In addition to some necessities, he helped me find the cord needed to connect our portable DVD player to the hotel TV so we could actually watch movies! I was delighted to find a San Francisco Giants' section in the store and couldn't resist buying myself a t-shirt. I also splurged and bought the Voyage of the Dawn Treader for the kids.
The next morning Terri was running a pretty high fever and had a very ugly cough. I didn't even stop to eat breakfast, just brought her right into the Urgent Care. It was a good thing I did as she was getting worse rather quickly (couldn't eat, etc.) and it turns out she had pneumonia. After a couple of hours and a few jaunts across town (had to go to a different center for an x-ray and then back for the diagnosis - thank goodness the pharmacy was right next door!) she started getting the treatment she needed and John arranged to have us stay an extra night at the hotel (thank goodness for having two rooms - and the staff was wonderful about accommodating us without charging us an arm and a leg). I also almost learned the hard way (came very close to a car accident during the hubbub of driving Terri around while fielding phone calls) why driving while talking on a cellphone is illegal in California (I didn't realize it at the time). It was a little nerve-wracking trying to get her to keep the antibiotics down on the first round (I was praying like crazy about that one - and it wasn't the only time I put things in God's hands that day), but after that she slept for most of the next 24 hours and felt considerably better, but still weak, the next day.
It was a longish day for the rest of the kids, but fortunately Ria and Gus were more than capable of watching them at the pool, plus they had that whole room to hangout in (with movies - the timing on the cord from Target couldn't have been better!) AND Uncle Dan had pizza delivered to the hotel for them. We even managed to spend some time on journals and writing postcards. It turns out the extra time was rather fortuitous besides, since Ria was trying to finish up her admissions stuff for Thomas Aquinas College as soon as possible. It had suddenly and unexpectedly jumped to the top of her list after we realized that the financial aid for our circumstances was virtually the same as what she would get at U.D. Anyway, that day she managed to finish up and turn in her essays while I took one last peek at her narrative transcript and got that sent off as well. It's funny how difficult it can be for me to be objective about a thing like my own child's essays. Perfectionism can be such a pain sometimes, but I managed to put it aside and move forward on that one.
We decided to by-pass both Monterrey and the SF Bay Area and head straight to my brother's cabin near Angels' Camp, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas the next day. That way we wouldn't have to worry about whether any of the kids were contagious AND Terri would be able to stay put and get lots of rest in one place for a whole week.