On Thursdays I post something from the archives. This is from June 2012.

I’ve recently learned that it is now practice for bloggers to write a self-promoting press release when something bad happens . . . like this one.  YOU GUYS.  Something bad happened to me, too.

Famed author of Rage Against the Minivan falls ill on space simulation ride

Kristen Howerton, famed blogger at Rage Against the Minivan, was spending the day at Disney’s Epcot theme park with her family, following the Disney Social Media Moms conference in Orlando, FL. Howerton, a wildly popular blogger named one of the top 100 in the “Funniest Adoption Bloggers of Orange County” by Circle of Moms, was enjoying the day with her husband and four small children when things went awry.

Howerton decided to split off from her husband in order to accompany her two sons onto a space simulation ride called Mission: SPACE. “In retrospect, I regret that decision,” says Kristen. “Had I been the one to take the girls to wait in line to meet Tinkerbell instead of Mission: SPACE, this ordeal might have been avoided.”

Howerton, a renowned blogger with astronomical monthly pageviews, entered the line for the ride with her two sons, Kembe, age 5, and Jafta, age 7. She noted that there were signs indicating that people who suffer from motion sickness should take caution and enter the YELLOW line instead of the more intense GREEN line. Being concerned about her history with public vomiting at amusement parks, Kristen decided to play it safe and entered the YELLOW line. “It was pretty lame,” says her son Jafta. “We really wanted to do the GREEN line. I just wish dad had taken us.”


Howerton and her family, before her ordeal.

Kristen and her children entered the space simulator, after some negotiation about who would be the pilot and navigator, and who would take the less popular seat as engineer. Ultimately Kembe was relegated to this role, as his Alexa score was the lowest. What was supposed to be a fun family experience quickly turned sour, as the G forces knocked Howerton back into her seat. She immediately felt a familiar wave of nausea hit. As the ride progressed, her palms began to sweat and she felt clammy and light-headed. “I knew right away that I shouldn’t have ridden this ride,” says Howerton. “But I couldn’t get off because the doors were closed and the ride attendants were ignoring my knocking. It was 15 minutes of pure, nauseating torture.” Howerton endured the ride by attempting yoga breathing, and by requiring silence from her children and a passenger she didn’t know.

“Yeah, my mom was just sitting there with her eyes closed,” recalls her son Jafta.  “She said she got to be the captain on account of being a big deal online, and then she didn’t even push the buttons when it was her turn. She did nothing but grip her seat and tell me to stop talking. I wish dad would have been there instead.”

Once the ride was over, Howerton knew she was in trouble. She struggled to get out of the ride, and walked slowly to the exit, while her children rudely asked for snacks and water. “I felt like the whole world was spinning,” says Howerton. “I could barely move, and just wanted to sit down.”
Howerton found a spot to lie down near the gift shop at the ride’s exit. She slumped over in a toddler play area, where she scared several small children. After several minutes of not being able to move due to nausea and fear of vomiting, Howerton finally acknowledged that she was going to need help.

“She was just laying there by the slide!” Kembe says. “She wasn’t moving, even though kids were playing all around her! It was funny.”  Finally, a security guard approached Howerton, telling her that she was frightening other park guests and that she would have to move. Howerton explained her motion sickness to the security guard, who then called for a nurse from the park’s first aid clinic.

Howerton disclosed that she did not believe she would be able to stand up without vomiting. A wheelchair was ordered.

During the time Howerton waited for the wheelchair to arrive, her husband and two daughters found them. “She looked pretty sick,” said Mark. “I told her this would happen.”

“I saw a princess,” said her daughter Karis.

The wheelchair finally arrived, and Howerton was ushered to the park’s first aid station. A nurse showed her to a bed, where Howerton dramatically emptied the contents of her stomach into a nearby trashcan. “She puked! My mom puked and puked,” said daughter India. “It was a lot of puking,” confirms Jafta. “It was really loud.”

Howerton rested for approximately 15 minutes, and was given water and saltine crackers. Finally, she felt strong enough to rejoin her family.

Despite the ordeal, Howerton is not shaken. “I can’t wait to get back there. I’m going to conquer that ride. I’m not going to let it conquer me,” she said.

To which her husband replied, “You are not riding that #%@ing ride ever again.”
Howerton is a blogger, penning the widly popular Rage Against the Minivan, a blog with 525,600* daily pageviews.

*numbers not verified, and suspiciously similar to a song from Rent.