Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gustav Evac = 10 day Vacation

Tonight we returned home from our Gustav evacuation to Dallas that turned into a 10 day unplanned vacation.

We normally head to Dallas for evacuations. (3 since we have lived here) This time, I left town a bit early to beat the rush and since it was a long weekend I figured what the heck just go and if it doesn't come near us I will return home on Labor Day.

Unfortunately, Gustav came close enough to us to knock down two pine trees in the back and take out our power. Now, if you are not from this area I am not talking about an evergreen. I am talking about a 100-200 foot tall pine tree. The kind that can slice a house in half completely if it lands on it at just the right angle. We had 4 hit our house during Katrina causing $50,000 in damage. This time the trees did not hit our house and luckily not our neighbors either. One took out a section of the back fence and another crushed the neighbors carport.

So since life was not back to normal immediately after the storm (no power #1 reason) we decided to stay until the power came back on at home. Well, that happened day 2 after the the storm. At that point I found out that the schools weren't reopening until tomorrow (the 8th) so I decided to stay a few extra days. Besides, hubby was out of town so why rush to get home?

I found out that my friend Beatriz whom I used to work with at US Steel in Pittsburgh recently moved to Dallas. So on my 9th wedding anniversary (sept 4th) she and I met up at Chuck E Cheese to catch up. Hubby thought that was a funny place to celebrate our anniversary but heck he was in New York on business. Second best option, spend it with a friend! Yes, Chuck E Cheese was my idea. A strategic one I might add. I invested $10 in tokens for the two kids and sent them off to play while her and I found a booth centrally located so we could keep an eye on them and spent the next 3 hours catching up!

Beatriz is one of those friends whom I miss and everytime I see her it is like we have never been apart. You know the type? Just like old times as soon as you see each other. She is from Mexico City and we met at US Steel. We hit it off immediately and spent a lot of time together before I had kids. She moved back to Mexico shortly after my daughter was born. She recently returned to the states and now is in Dallas much to my delight! Now I can see her when I go to visit the in-laws! Once while living in Mexico and visiting the states on business she made a stop in New Orleans to see me. I took her around the french quarter and we had a grand time. She says now that she is closer she will be down to visit again! Yippeee! It is good to have friends like her. . . .

I also had the opportunity to spend two nights with my good friend Liz whom I went to Ohio University with. We lived together our senior year but met our sophmore year. She is a New Englander whom now lives in Dallas too. She has a little girl and my kids just loved hanging out at her house. Her hubby went out of town this weekend and we had in impromptu girls weekend with the kids. We organized her kitchen and daughter's room, went to the park, cooked mexican and watermelon margaritas, watched movies, drank beer and coffee on her back deck (not at the same time!) and just hung out with the kids! It is so nice to just relax and enjoy an old friend with no schedule! Again, one of those friends you just love to have!

Well, now we are home. The drive with the kids was fine both ways. Took hubby's car this time instead of my Yukon. Kinda small and crampy but that baby can fly! Had to restrict the kids on messy foods and drinks in the car since it has off white leather (ugh!) and he is picky about his car. Anyway, the kids managed to not drive me crazy even though I was with them alone both ways (9+ hours!). They are at the ages now that they can kinda entertain each other. Didn't even take the DVD with us this time. It's Broken :-(

I did witness a lot of hurricane/wind damage on 190 between Opelousas and Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge apparently took a beating too as many business signs were down and many businesses closed. Some had power, some didn't. I saw tons of electrical company trucks caravaning around. Some working along my route. Others in route to their next job. We tried to stop at McDonald's in Baton Rouge for the bathroom but the inside was closed and there was a sign that said they were only serving a few items off their menu. Also, as far north as Natchitoches had damage. We stopped at the welcome center there and they were giving out bottled water because they were on a boil order and they had several trees blown over.

So hopefully, we are not hitting the road again later this week for Ike. If so, I might just have to burn me a Tina Turner cd for the drive!

UPDATE: Read Nolanotes's post on Gustav's damage

1 comment:

mimosa momma said...

I'm glad your back...let's go somewhere we can get a watermelon margarita for our next girls night! I saw your girl at school this morning on the way to computer class. She was sooo happy!! She must be glad to be home. Kel