We got out last Friday, and drove to Baton Rouge, which turned out to be hilarious, because Gustav hit there harder than New Orleans! You know that BR is a traditional place for Nola folks to go, just inland enough to be "safe" - they have never experienced the full wrath of a hurricane. Well, guess what? This was our first official evacuation ha ha ha ha, rather than having left New Orleans just before the storm, because we already had a job out of town. We officially evacuated right into the storm instead of away from it - duh.
We stayed with friends who have a lovely home and piece of country property. They had several huge trees come down, part of their barn roof blown off (where the cars and horse were stashed for safe keeping during the storm!). The power went out, and they had a generator that allowed us to eat fresh food, watch movies (no cable or Internet of course, and no phones either, land or cell). It was hot and sticky for a few days, with no one getting much rest. We all actually sat on the back patio and watched most of the storm come in, until it got dicey, and then we headed indoors.
I hate the whole evacuation ordeal. But if ever it could be pleasant, it certainly was because of our gracious hosts. We ate, we drank, we talked, we watched movies, we read our books, we cooked, we worried. I was asked a decor question regarding furniture placement in the living room, and one day while the power was off, I moved it all around, and the hubs did his usual brilliant job of moving TV cables for me. It was the least little thing we could do for these great people who took us into their home.
watching the storm from the patio
Steve, Vicky, Stephanie, and Rhoda
Before the storm came in, we parked the cars in the barn, along with Tyler the horse, for safe keeping. The idea was to protect them from falling trees. However, a part of the barn roof did blow off! But the precious horse was safe, and so were the cars.
watching the storm from the patio
PJ's, Margaritas, and no make-upWe got back Thursday evening. Of course we had a flat on the highway. Traffic was okay, and the ride only took an hour longer than usual. The good thing was that we were not far from home.
Our car AC was being repaired when the storm was coming, so we borrowed an ancient Mercedes from a friend, that has barely a spit of AC. Mama was not happy, but kept her hot stiff upper lip zipped.
New Orleans looked tranquil. The usual detritus of fallen branches. We had our power back. Uptown always gets up first. We never lose gas or water or even the phone line. So we had Internet right away, and the cable was only out for one day.
The grocery store had enough food, and the long lines moved quickly. Our corner gas station had gas before and after, and no long lines to speak of.
All the restaurants on Magazine Street are open and bustling. This is the kind of quick bounce back that is usual, and what we expected after Katrina, had the levees not broken...
The national guard is out and about, the police present, some hospitals open, with all feeling safe and orderly. The government, state and local got their shit together this time.
Now Ike is is the pipe, and we will do it again later this week. It is a total drag. Our next door neighbors stayed. And I'm with them. But Alberto needs to be near a doctor just in case the stress gets the better of him. But he would have been screwed in Baton Rouge if that sad story had panned out.
We've been invited back to evacuate to our gracious friends' home again. We have Cholo, who is now a full size Cav King Charles, so he cannot fit under an airplane seat. I hate crating dogs. But maybe we'll have to consider it, and fly further away.
Our house was as fine as ever. We don't board up, or really move anything around (after all it survived Katrina). A couple of lawn chairs blew over, and one tall plant fell over (which it always does even if you whisper on it). Lots of leaves and little branches all around. We just had a small roof leak repaired days before the storm, and it held air tight (thank you Mario!). Because of the photo shoot here the Friday we evacuated, the inside of the house was picture perfect to come home to. I know to empty the fridge, so no problems there.
Now, are we all getting ready to roll again? I HATE Ike.