I pulled into a gas station yesterday with my tank just above the 3/4 mark. In spite of reports of gas shortages around the state of Florida, I drove right up to empty pumps and unceremoniously topped off my tank to the tune of a cool $12.00. I drove off feeling smug and full of gas. Rhetorically speaking, of course.
Here in Florida we are bracing once again for an unwelcome visitor. This one is named Irma. She is a whopper of a storm, already earning the top status of a “Five” on that scale with two names which always makes me think of former Senator Alan Simpson.
Except for the Miami area to the south, the weather forecasters at this moment really have no firm idea of the storm’s path. But they do have all kinds of fancy graphical tools that includes the use of pasta. They say it’s all based on scientific analysis in using these “spaghetti models,” but really all it does is make me hungry.
The last time this happened was last year and it involved a storm named Matthew. At that time I was primarily thinking about night lights. This time around, though, I have to admit I’m more apprehensive about everything. There is great uncertainty about what path Irma will take after she ostensibly hits South Florida. Will she take a westward route and go up towards the Panhandle? Or will she hug the eastern side and ride all the way up the coast towards where we live?
If she goes west, we can probably stay put and just suffer through her strong winds. But if she takes an eastern route, we either have to evacuate or “ride it out” as they say.
We are prepared. Should we be forced to evacuate, we have a hotel room reserved for three nights in a town just south of Atlanta. We also have more bottled water here than we need, along with the usual canned goods and non-perishable, carb-laden foodstuff. Earlier today we boiled up enough hard-boiled eggs that could probably feed a cub scout den meeting.
Getting the hotel room was a bit of an adventure, however. I am usually in charge of that detail for all of our trips, but this time I asked Gorgeous to take on the duty because I had my hands full with other things. She proudly reported back to me that she reserved a room for only $59 a night in central Georgia. I was elated… until a couple of hours later when I was standing in a long grocery line. A thought came to me:
“Wait, $59? That seems ridiculously cheap.”
And indeed it was. You know that old saw about something being too good to be true…
So right there in the grocery line I quickly brought up one of those travel review sites where people go on for paragraphs about how rude the desk clerk was, the in-room coffee tasted like battery acid, and the ice machine outside their door kept them up all night. Suffice to say, I would love for that to have been the problem with this hotel. But no, based on numerous reviewer photo submissions, this place was literally a roach motel. One photo even purported to show bed bugs, though I decided to take the reviewer’s word for it and closed the photo immediately.
Needless to say, I spent literally the rest of the night looking for another place. It was close to impossible because so many people were doing the same thing as me at that very moment. But somehow I managed to snag what appears to be a decent place just outside of Atlanta. So we have that in our back pocket now in case we are indeed ordered to evacuate. Gorgeous even managed to get her money back on the first hotel — score!
Do we want to sit in an I-95 parking lot for probably 12 hours or more with two small kittens crying in their (note: large and roomy) carrier? No, but we will if we are forced to do so. We even have a travel litter box as part of our arsenal. Have kitty litter, will travel.
So as I write this on Thursday, September 7, we’re in a holding pattern. Friends of mine around the state have been keeping each other advised via group messaging on Facebook, which has provided some degree of comfort. Or at least a kind of fraternal misery.
I’m also grateful to fellow blogger Leslie over at Praying for Eyebrowz who has been offering me helpful tips. Stay safe, Leslie!
So keep us Floridians in your prayers, thoughts, and cocktail toasts.
Or maybe just think of us by having a big plate of spaghetti. Perhaps you can come up with your own storm track.
Until next time…