Croatia, We Hardly Knew Ya

Our one full day in Prague was incredibly fun and impossibly beautiful, but boy was it long and tiring. As we made our way back to Carolyn’s that evening, Fiona kind of switched off, which we first assumed was just her being worn out after a long day running around in the sun. But by the time we tucked her in that night, she was officially running a fever. UG.

After weathering the Covid storm fairly well in Scotland, we weren’t all that excited to be facing another family illness, but we were still pretty optimistic. Fiona is a generally healthy kid, and she’s historically recovered from any ailments quickly. Plus, our next stop was a chill one: six nights in a little apartment on the beach in Drasnice, Croatia. We figured we’d lay low for a couple of days to let Fi rest and recover and still have plenty of time left to see the sights.

That, unfortunately, isn’t the way it played out. Because Fi was sick. The. Whole. Time. No matter how much rest she got, she couldn’t shake her fever. Some days she’d wake up with more energy and we’d tentatively try a few low-key activities—a walk into town, a dip in the sea—but more often than not, she was prone on her bed or the couch, sleeping or watching a movie, as sick as we’ve ever seen her.

And so we lay low. We read books and played cards and did puzzles. Dan took a daily swim and bought a couple of fish from a guy on a boat and busied himself learning how to gut, clean and cook them. We watched the sun set through our little kitchen window. We ventured into neighboring Podgora one evening for dinner when Fi looked to be on the upswing, which ended up being too much for her. Then we beat ourselves up about it. We made tentative plans for outings we never got to take. It was… kind of a bummer.

But we had a beautiful view and a little perspective—after all, it wasn’t as if our trip was only a week long. We’d had many weeks of great travels already and many weeks still left to go, so missing a few days of sightseeing really wasn’t much in the grand scheme. Plus, we had the world’s kindest Airbnb host, a lovely woman named Emi who lived in the apartment upstairs. She baked us cookies and made Fi soup and brought Dan and me homemade cherry brandy. She checked in regularly and made us feel like, if things really went sideways, she’d be there to help us navigate a foreign healthcare system.

It didn’t come to that, but Fiona was decidedly, frustratingly and somewhat disconcertingly not recovered by the time our flight to Berlin rolled around. She was still tired and feverish and had some pain we were concerned might be an ear infection. But we didn’t have much choice but to move forward, so off we went, into another country and the care of another amazing local host as we continued to puzzle out how to get our small girl well.

As for Croatia? It sure looked nice through our little window. We hope we’ll be back to see it properly another time.

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