Hello love. If you follow my blog you know some of my story. You know that this year has been a crazy one for me. This notion holds true all the way up until weeks before my birthday (Sept. 14, 2017). So much has happened in just the past couple of weeks that I need to write a 3-part blog. Fitting… I guess seeing as how this is 30.
To ring in the big 3-0 I had the experience of enduring a natural disaster. Reminiscent of my 21st birthday (during Hurricane Ike) I found myself hunkering down in the midst of Hurricane Harvey.
On the Thursday of the storm we had a “hurricane party”. Daiquiris, music, games and lots of fun. My sister and her boyfriend came over to join me, my husband and my brother -in-law. The 5 of us had a great time!
The next day… things got REAL. I think we all underestimated the effects of this storm and even took certain warnings to be “alternative facts” as the local news advised. Nothing prepared my city (Houston, Texas) for the massive flood event that took place as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Within a day or two, Hurricane Harvey barreled its way through the gulf coast leaving an unprecedented amount of rain fall to coastal cities and all the way inland to Houston and surrounding areas. By Saturday… the city of Houston was under water.
My brother-in-law was visiting from Georgia and in town for his 21st birthday, ironically. He and my husband were planning to fly out to Vegas to celebrate his 21st which was also the same weekend as the Mayweather fight. Instead he took him to Top Golf. Houston airports were under water and closed for days so obviously they didn’t make it to Vegas. For my brother in-law’s birthday, I cooked a hearty meal and my husband made pancakes for dessert. We so wished we could’ve done more for him but he was so grateful for the little things.
I don’t know which was more terrifying, the tornado warnings which required us to take shelter in our master closet downstairs or watching the flood water rise up my driveway with each passing day of rain. If the house were to flood we would need to be upstairs…but if a tornado were to touch down nearby we would need to be downstairs. The whole ordeal was emotionally draining!
We elevated all the furniture on the first floor as best we could, packed bags, prayed ceaselessly then just hoped for the best while being prepared for the worst.
For 6 days we were trapped inside of the house which was surrounded by water on all sides. By day 5 our food supply was running low so my husband and bro-in-law trudged through the flood waters (in home made rain boots) to the nearest open store to get us some food items. They held it down!
Overhead, was the national guard and on the ground were huge government trucks sent to rescue people who had water rise to dangerous levels in their homes. It was a scene I have never witnessed first hand and will NEVER forget as long as I live. Miraculously… my home experienced no flooding and we did not even lose power, not once… #blessed.
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Fast forward. After about 6 days of being unable to leave our house, the waters receded enough for us to pack up and leave. My husband, brother-in-law, dog and I journeyed to the north-side of Houston to my parents house. We encountered a couple of close calls on the highway due to high standing water and the drive which would normally take 45 minutes took almost 2 hours.
Being at my parents house that night was overwhelmingly relieving. We enjoyed an amazing home cooked meal then drove out to Dallas the next morning. It was the nearest and safest city we could fly out of. We had to get my bro-in-law back home to GA and were also looking forward to our much needed vacation in the Caribbean which had been booked months before to celebrate my 30th birthday.
We took every pre-caution and called the cruise liner (Carnival). They informed that our trip was still on schedule even despite the tropical storm that is now brewing in the Atlantic. Tropical storm Irma was still several thousands of miles away at that time and they insured it would not interfere with the travel itinerary. Excitedly, we set sail from the Port of Miami to the Caribbean on Sept. 2….