Friday, July 27, 2007

The Ugliest Feet on the Beach

In humble recognition of an all-time first in the Balla household (today I lost a toenail) the following is a list of the bumps, bugs, bruises, and bites that the Ballas have sustained on the trip so far.

Albuquerque. Z contracts a wild stomach bug.

Supai. Julie and I acquire a serious case of blisters including, but not limited to, several on our heels and toes. In addition is my personal favorite (which is the inspiration for this blog) one under my big toe's toenail. Steve scrapes his ankle while going down a small waterfall head first.

Sedona. Steve contracts summer cold. Steve, Julie, Z, and I sustain abrasions and bruises on our rear ends and thighs at Slide Rock.

Alamogordo. Steve breaks out in a head rash resembling spots you've seen only on Dr. Seuss creatures. We're still not sure where it came from but luckily it left almost as quickly as it arrived. Also, Steve smashes his knee into the white sands as he sleds leaving behind a sand burn on his knee.

San Antonio. I contract stomach virus.

Pensacola. Julie...ouch! First time in the Gulf of Mexico, she is attacked by a killer jellyfish with four foot tentacles. (Did I say feet? I mean inches.) In any case her sting was a bit more involved than an east coast sting as it remained painful until the next day. (And that was after vinegar treatments.) Z was also stung but the jellyfish did not remain on him as long as Julie so his pain dissipated in about half an hour.

Now this brings us to the inspiration behind this blog. If you know me, you know how I feel about my feet, and my toes in particular. My students have even seen them on an overhead projector. They are my favorite part. Because of recessive genes my toes are really small. In preparation for the beach portion of our trip, I was planning on painting them up all pretty. But that's not going to happen now. Remember my mention of a blister under my big toenail after hiking into Supai? Do you know what happens to a toenail with a blister under it? Ask most runners and they may be able to tell you something I never knew. It falls off and doesn't look very pleasant! Normally I'd be resentful of this but since it was the result of a major accomplishment I will consider it a trophy. But don't worry, I won't bronze it because that would be gross, even for a bio teacher.



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