Florida (Red Tide), Arizona (Valley Fever), Where to go on vacati

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Prunella, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Prunella

    Prunella New Member

    Now that our last child has graduated from high school, my husband and I can take a Spring trip that doesn't involve traveling during that hectic Easter vacation week! Hooray!!!

    My last few trips to the Sarasota area (Florida) were either cool, stormy or involved not being able to take a breath without coughing because of the Red Tide. This was in March and April. It is so pretty there and we found some good resteraunts where I could stick to my gluten-free diet. We know our way around and can really relax there.

    Last year, my daughter and I visited Phoenix, AZ at the end of March and loved it. It was a little cool, but the scenery was amazing! After we got back, I heard about Valley Fever, a fungal disease that you can get by inhaling the dust in the southwest.

    My health is so much better and I don't want to do anything to ruin that. We live in Wisconsin along Lake Michigan and it does not get warm here until mid-June. I can hardly take the cold weather and feel so much better in a warm climate. We like to take our vacation in spring to warm ourselves up (or at least warm me up, hubby doesn't seem to mind the cold!).

    As much as I would like to see Arizona again, I am leaning towards Naples, Fort Meyers, Sanibel island, Florida. They are father south than Sarasota so I hope they are warmer. We have an airline that flies nonstop to that area. Would Red Tide be a problem there? I have checked some websites and have seen that it has been there, but it seems more like a problem in the summer months. We would like to do this in April. I was there once, but it was long time ago. I would like to go to an area that has more health food stores and resteraunts, if possible.

    I still would consider AZ or Fort Lauderdale, Florida (another non-stop flight).

    I know this may seem like a trivial question, but I have been sick a long time, feel so much better and we would like to treat ourselves. Hubby doesn't like traveling so it is nice of him to want to go with me. I'd like to keep the trip healthy and low stress. This would be the first trip for just the two of us in a very long time. We could spend about 10 days. Enough time to actually relax a little bit!
    [This Message was Edited on 02/28/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/28/2006]
  2. CinCA

    CinCA New Member

    Although there are AZ locals who are probably more helpful than me. I do know there is a kids' illness, RSV or something like that (spacing on names; tough afternoon), that is more prevalent in the winter months and generally strikes infants/very young toddlers. That all being said, the pollen/allergies can be bad in AZ in the spring, when the desert blooms, although this winter has been so dry it's doubtful the blooms will be their fullest.

    Sorry I can't help with FL, but AZ is beautiful this time of year, if you decide to go there. I only lived there for just over a year (then met CA-native hubby), but I really miss it. I find the Sonoran Desert so beautiful, peaceful, and healing for me. Honestly, Phoenix is getting very built-up these days, but Tucson is still small/"old school" and has some beautiful local scenery/mountains, etc. Not sure what you're looking for, though...Phoenix/Scottsdale definitely has more of the resort stuff and a lot more for tourists to do.

    Happy traveling, and hope you get some good tips!
    C.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/28/2006]
  3. CinCA

    CinCA New Member

    You could probably get a direct flight, and in general the spring weather is very nice. Something to look into. The ocean will still be cool, but usually the days are getting warmer and are clear.

    What exactly do you hope to accomplish?

    Not sure what your budget is, but if you can swing it, Canyon Ranch in Tucson is amazing (and I think there are still direct flights to Tucson from Chicago), if you want the healthy/low stress thing. I was lucky enough to go last Sept., and it was so healing for me. It definitely is more of a "get back to basics with your body/work to get healthy" "resort", and not a tourist destination. You can do the full spa thing or be adventurous like I was and get up at dawn to go hike the local mountains (gorgeous; so "grounding/centering"), etc. (they have beginning to advanced hikes, walks, bike rides). I have no idea if that would be your speed, but if it is, I wanted to mention it. This is high season, though, and they are quite pricey...I was lucky I got a fabulous last-minute deal and things had totally fallen out with hubby that he was willing to do anything to have me stay in the marriage, so we did what we NEVER do and threw it on the home equity line. I also had reached bottom with a lot of the CFS/toxin stuff and knew I needed to just GET AWAY to have any chance of getting better. Although I was completely wiped out for the better part of 3 weeks afterwards, the vaca. really did help turn the tide, big time, and I so wish I could go back. I learned so much and made great use of the 4 days I had there. It was very tempting to leave hubby and become a hiking guide, as a friend I met there and I seriously discussed (she also was there alone, had CFS interestingly enough, and had big-time marital problems). Although we really couldn't afford it, it really helped me, and things were to the point my health was more important (honestly, it cost less than I'm sure the FFC would for me!). But again, it certainly is not everyone's speed.

    Have fun planning!
    C.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/28/2006]
  4. Prunella

    Prunella New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my post. Tucson sounds like a place I would love. Still worried about Valley Fever though since Tucson is one of the worst places for it. Canyon Ranch spa sounds perfect! Their website was down so I couldn't look at prices. We stayed at a spa for a short weekend here in Wis. and I loved it while my husband thought it was a waste of money, so we need to compromise.

    I looked at your bio and see you are selling your house. Out of curiosity I looked it up. Beautiful! Wish I could buy it and hang out in sunny southern Cal! Just a tip, you might not want to put too much info about yourself in your bio. I hope the move goes well for you and don't wear yourself out too much.

    Any Florida people out there with info on Red Tide? Hubby still prefers to go to Florida. I don't care where we go as long as it is warm and safe.
  5. My husband and I had to go to Naples,Fla last July(summer, of course, ickkk)in order for me to see a top Neurologist, (author of "The Better Brain Book") and, we had NO idea how long I would be there, for diagnosis, treatments, etc, so we'd booked our tickets for 11 days, over the 4th of July weekend.

    We got there July 31st and we saw the Dr the 1st & 2nd for treatments, and we flew out of there the afternoon of the 2nd! LOL!!!

    It was horrible, stinking hot, swampy, mosquito-ridden... ackk....it did not* help that I'd sat through airports in my wheelchair with delays, carrying all our luggage, my medications in a large bag, *5* sets of MRI's on my lap (HEAVY)!!! and I was put on steroids to keep my pain down...I was a BIT cranky! lol

    We'd thought it could be a vacation for us too, though, I was told my initial visit with that Dr would be *$195* and we paid **$745** THE FIRST DAY!!! and I had to go back the next day for more!!! so...we didn't have a good time..no sight seeing for our broke butts, lol!

    But.....have you ever been to, or thought of the Poconos in Penn. ??? I've heard it's beautiful there, but, I hear fall is the *best* when the leaves are turning colors, but I heard it's always beautiful there..

    Just a thought...

    Good luck with whereever you pick, and have a wonderful time!

    Hubby & I have been married 6 yrs this coming April, and I just know we'll get a Honeymoon ONE of these days! LOL


    Laura
  6. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    One of the prettiest areas in FL is Tarpon Springs. It's a quaint little town that's history is rooted in Greek tradition and sponge fishing. It's a port that lies along the Gulf side of FL and avoids a lot of the hurricanes, etc. It's beautiful, relaxing, has great places to eat, and close to Tampa Bay as far as flights go.

    Another place that I really prefer to go is to southern Utah. It's gorgeous! St George is wonderful with a very mild climate. It has oodles of golf courses if either of you are into that, plus it's close to many Nat'l parks including the Grand Canyon. Many health resorts and spas, etc. You can fly into Vegas and drive to St. George. The red hills are so colorful - I know you'd feel good there, go home healthier, and absolutely love it.

    Just my takes on favorite places to feel good!
  7. CinCA

    CinCA New Member

    For the tip. Understand, but the home is for sale and it's public knowledge, and we really do need to get it sold. But thank you so much, and I am glad I could give you some helpful info. I'll have to read up on valley fever...you've piqued my interest.

    Thanks again,
    C.
  8. Prunella

    Prunella New Member

    This is turning into a fun thread! I smile just reading and dreaming about these places. :)

    Jaltair, thanks for the tips. I will research Tarpon Springs. Sounds very nice. Flying into Vegas and then driving to southern Utah is a great idea. Always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. There are lots of flights from here to Vegas and you can get some good deals. My daughter and I drove from Phoenix to Sedona last spring and had the time of our lives on the Pink Jeep tour. Sedona was amazing and I would love to go there again. We only had one day there. My only complaint was that it was early April and it was kind of chilly there. Utah might be a little cool in April. Also still wondering about Valley Fever which you can get in Utah, too. I know Valley Fever is more of a problem in summer and during dust storms, but it is possible to get it any time of year. You sure have some great travel tips! You would make a great trave agent. Those both sound like great trips and I am going to look up both of those areas!

    Laura, sorry you had such a bad time in Naples. I hope you got some help from that expensive Dr. We went to Orlando that same time of year a few years ago with our kids and it sure was hot. We had a cool summer that year and I actually looked back fondly on that warm week. I would rather be hot than chilled.

    Still wondering about Red Tide and Valley Fever.
  9. CinCA

    CinCA New Member

    You piqued my curiosity, so here's info. from a website for the Valley Fever Center of Excellence in AZ (sorry, can't source it d/t URL rule):

    "Are there times of the year when chances of contracting Valley Fever are greater than others?

    Yes. Although blowing dust may carry the infectious spores of cocci anytime throughout the year, there are times which we call peak seasons for cocci. These vary with the seasons of the year and appear to be related to the amount of rainfall. In Arizona, the peak seasons occur from June through August and from October through November. In California, the summer months of June through August have the most cases reported."

    Everything I read only mentioned AZ and CA. Interestingly, I've only lived in AZ or CA the past 11 years and never heard of it. That by no means indicates it doesn't exist...I'm actually glad you brought it up, so now I know. But I do hope this helps you plan your trip. Utah sounds lovely, too! Good luck!

    BTW, couldn't find anything about red tide. But I seem to remember here it comes when the weather warms up, in summer and fall. Don't quote me on that, though. I never really worried about it...I don't eat fish, and people just didn't go in the water during that period. There is still plenty to do, and honestly, if you worry about all the what-ifs with sharks, stingrays, jellies, etc., you won't put your big toe in, anyways!

    Then again, in AZ and UT you also have the fact most every insect, lizard, and snake is poisonous, and many could kill you if you didn't get medical help in time. But hey, you live in Tornado Alley, and it's just a matter of time before an F5 mows down your house, right? I can say that 'cause I grew up in the Midwest, and an F5 DID take out the town just south of my parents' back in 1990. And now that I'm in CA, I am just waiting for an earthquake to swallow my house whole, a wildfire to burn it to ashes, or a mudslide to wash it down the hill. Really, no, but I did pretty much give up caring about my stuff when I moved here because of all the natural disasters! :)

    Please do NOT think I am being sarcastic just because I am a nasty person. I am NOT! I DO have a good sense of humor, though, and that is what is spurring this response. I'm more poking fun at common stereotypes, and commenting about managing risk. You DO have some very legitimate health issues to be concerned about, and I worked for years to rebuild my immune system, so I understand. But if you really are set to travel, you need to decide what risks are okay to consider/what are "low-risk" for you and what are enough to make you stay away.

    Hope I wasn't too much of a downer. I think you'll have a fantastic vacation wherever you decide! I hope your health improves with a brief change of scenery, too.

    Happy trails to you,
    C.


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  10. Crispangel66

    Crispangel66 New Member

    going to Corpus Christi Texas?

    I lived there as a teenage and I really like it.

    They even have a Aquarium exhibit there, it is reallly neat and there are ships you can tour if you are up to the walking.

    They have Hotels and Motels right on the beach.

    Good luck finding a nice place and have fun!!

    Pamela
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I live in Ft. Myers very close to Sanibel Island. We do get Red Tide down here from time to time. It is more common further up the coast, though. Any place from Ft. Myers down to Marco Island is lovely near the water. We are very far south here, actually, in the sub-tropics so it does get hot and humid here in July. Right now, the weather is to die for. The problem is getting accommodations and airline reservations.

    I moved to South Ft. Myers in July and it was hot but most of us acclimate within a year. When it's like that, many stay inside in the A/C just like people stay inside up north in the winter with the heat on. As I mentioned in another post, I've played Golf in the summertime and enjoyed it. In some places, we play golf at night in the summertime.

    Sanibel was devastated by Hurricane Charley. Before that, the natural vegetation was left intact and it looked like some Caribbean Pirate Island out of the movies. Most of the vegetation was wiped out and is being restored. Still, the beaches there are beautiful and shelling is second to none. There is the Ding Darling Nature Preserve and a shell museum. It's just a drive over the causeway to south Ft. Myers where there are some good restaurants.

    Naples is just about 30 miles south of us and Bonita Springs is even closer. Both are lovely little towns with good restaurants. Everything is easy to find but the traffic right now is horrible. There is ongoing road work too.

    Miami is just about a 2 hr. drive across the Everglades on Alligater Alley. If you haven't been there, it's a really neat place to see. South Beach is amazing. You can drive down to the Keys but it is a long drive and hotel rooms are scarce this time of year. We just went down to celebrate my older daughter's birthday and it was a blast.

    Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a good time.

    Love, Mikie


    [This Message was Edited on 03/01/2006]
  12. Prunella

    Prunella New Member

    Thanks for the info Mikie. We drove to Sanibel for the day from Sarasota and loved it except for the traffic. Seemed like it took forever to get over that bridge onto the island. We can be flexible now and will try to avoid peak times. That nature preserve sounds great. We love places like that. We are both leanng towards going there this year. There is something about that warm moist air that I find comforting. I just hope Red Tide isn't a problem. It was so bad when we were staying on Lido Key a few years ago that we had to check out and drive to a hotel in St. Petersburg to get away from it. I was with my kids that time and my son and I could hardly beathe. Neither one of us has any asthma or other lung problems that would make a person more suseptible. Our hotel was really nice about it and even found the other place for us to stay.

    We could also get a direct flight to Fort Lauderdale. Would that be an nice area to stay?

    I am glad to see that your daugher is OK. We had a rough year with our daughter and she finally started an art school today and loved it. They make jewelry and metal arts. School has always been difficult for her and it really hurt her self-esteem. She is an artsy girl and I think we fianlly found the right place for her.
  13. Prunella

    Prunella New Member

    My concern with Red Tide and Valley Fever ( a fungal infection) is that they are both in the air and are hard to avoid. Snakes and spiders can be avoided and you can go it the basement when there is a tornado ( which along the lakeshore we hardly ever get), but you gotta breathe the air. People with compromised immune systems really have to watch out for that. After being sick for at least 16 years I have worked so hard to get well and don't ever want to be sick like that again! They are just beginning to understand the effects of Red Tide and Valley fever can cause lifelong problems in some people and even death. I don't want to go on vacation and come back with some major illness. Perhaps when you live in those places you build up an immunity, so it might be harder on us outsiders.
  14. Prunella

    Prunella New Member

    Corpus Christie sounds nice. Did it survive the hurricane? No direct flights there,but someday may try to drive down there.
  15. Well, good and bad, but... in the end, all & all, I did in fact, improve from the treatment that the Doctor put me on, indeed, and thank you very much for saying that you hoped that I did get some help/improvement from him. :)

    But when I came home, I had one, one month phone consultation follow up that cost me $115 for 5 minutes, on my credit card, and he never called me, or my doctor, or faxed my doctor, or anything ever again! :-O :-( Kind of bummed about that.

    The treatment though, (I.V. glutathione in "super doses", B12 shots once a week, and many supplements, (high grade fish oils, stuff like that,) did help me walk better, so that was wonderful. I just wish my doctors here had been smart enough for that. LOL

    ((((I hope you have a wonderful, fun filled vacation!))))


    Laura
  16. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    I live in Scottsdale so of course I'm partial to it. They have really built it into an amazing city.

    There are a lot of romantic outdoor plazas where you can shop, eat or sit by fountains or outdoor fireplaces.

    There's no end to the resorts. You can stay at one and go to dinner, etc at another. Some of the nice ones are: The Hyatt (at Gainey ranch), the Marriott at Desert Ridge, The Four Seasons up in Troon North (SO PEACEFULL) or the Biltmore in PHX. There are tons more - those are just a few.

    You can shop at Kierland, Fashion square, The Water Front, Old Scottsdale, Desert Ridge.... Get spa treatments, eat at fabulous restaraunts (several that are more health conseous).

    Living here, I find it a very Fibro-friendly environment.

    Good luck deciding!

    Sofi
  17. Prunella

    Prunella New Member

    All these places sound wonderful. I hope those of you who live in those places appreciate what you have. It is cold and damp and nasty here. I feel like I can't get warm.

    Konrad, it is interesting that you should mention San Antonio. We were there years ago for a convention and that has always been my favorite trip of all time. Every morning hubby would go to his meeting and my 10 yr old son and I would walk to the front of the Alamo and hop on whatever tour bus hit our fancy. We went to many of those places you metioned. It was right before Christmas and the Riverwalk was gorgeous! I had never seen anything like it, Santa boats and all! It was a perfect trip where everything went well and it was before I got sick. My 10 yr old was a fun and enthusiastic traveling partner. That was such a great trip that I have almost been afraid to go back because I didn't think it could ever be the same. Daughter and husband are not fun to travel with (crabby would be the word) and son is grown up now. Hubby likes Florida because he is used to it, so I will go where he is comfortable although he would go where I want but I don't want to force him. (Hope that made sense!)

    Maybe we should change the name of this thread to great places to vacation, but I am still interested in the Red Tide and Valley Fever issues.
  18. CinCA

    CinCA New Member

    Yes, I completely understand where you are coming from, as my immune system was quite compromised itself over the past few years (think I finally am strengthening it, finally)! I wrote my prev. post about the nasty critters very much tongue-in-cheek. And as I said, I know all about tornadoes, etc. from my 25 years of living not too far from you in the far Chicago suburbs, surrounded by cornfields! At least you can SEE (and hear) them coming, although I sure don't miss those run-into-the-basement-the-sky-is-green-and-swirling days! :)

    You have gotten some wonderful suggestions for many vaca. spots throughout the country, and I know you'll have a great, and healthy trip, no matter where you decide to go. Keep us posted on how it all works out, and maybe post a picture!

    Have a wonderful time,
    C.
  19. CinCA

    CinCA New Member

    Reading your post made me so sad. I used to live in what was then faaaar north Scottsdale (near Pima & Frank Lloyd Wright), back in '95-'96. That was way before the 101 loop, and when Scottsdale was still a part of the Old West to a large degree. I still remember the "No shooting" signs up in the open desert north of Frank Lloyd Wright on Pima & Scottsdale Roads...terrified me when I was a very naive, sheltered, young newbie from the Midwest, but I giggle at those memories now.

    We do have friends who just built a home in what now is north Scottsdale that we see at least once a year. It sure has come a long way from those Western roots! Again, it was nice to read your post and remember some of my very happy (and much healthier) times!

    Thanks!
    C.
  20. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    Yes, it has changed tremendously. That area that you described is one of the hottest most exclusive areas to live now in N. Scotts. Actally, it goes much further north now. (Back by Carefree)

    I know what you mean about the no shooting signs. When I first moved here (from CAL) those signs made me squirm. We didn't have those signs in Santa Barbara!

    I know what you mean about younger, healthier days. For me that was Monterey Cal. Brings back sweet memories (and somewhat sad.)

    Tc
    Sofi