Monday, August 17, 2009

An Unwanted Visitor

As if there could have been anything else possible to go wrong with my week and weekend vacation....there was. Tropical Storm Claudette decided to drop by for a visit. Anna Kate and I were planning to come home Sunday evening around 6:00, however plans began to change as the progression of Claudette developed. We found out that they closed the bridges to and from the island where we were staying (anytime the wind is projected to be 40+ mph, they close them), so we were stuck. I mean, come on! I know I wanted more time at the beach, but I did not want to spend said extra time riding out a tropical storm in an RV...not the safest place in the world to be in 50mph winds and 6" of pounding rain with the ocean literally just a sand dune away. We were told we may be required to evacuate a little more inland, but we couldn't get off the island. We put up all the bikes, beach gear, rugs and awnings and then ordered a take out pizza to begin our 'Hurricane Party' :c)

Finally, and I say finally because we sat all afternoon waiting on Claudette to arrive on our doorstep, around midnight 'it' began. It was pretty rough from then until 3 AM. I could feel the RV rocking from the wind, and the rain sounded like it was going to come through the walls. Limbs and trees were banging, but we never lost power or cable TV (I had the Weather Channel on all night). Anna Kate slept through the entire thing while Jeff and I were bracing ourselves for a tumble when the wind blew the RV over. Thank goodness that didn't happen.....we survived!!!

This morning we got up and surveyed they damage (we didn't have any) and rode down to the beach for a quick look. O.M.G. It was AWESOME! The ocean was so angry and the beach was as flat as the paved parking lot. It was so cool to see the where the sand and water had washed up onto and passed the boardwalk. The wind was still insane, so we couldn't stay long, but I could have sat there for hours watching. I really think I missed my calling as a Meteorologist ;c)

So now we are all home, mostly unpacked and I am taking a break to enjoy fast internet access (*note to self: update air card!), so ya'll can enjoy some pictures. I didn't get near as many as I wanted and I certainly didn't get 'the one' I had in mind :c( I'm sooooo disappointed. We just didn't have the opportunity since it rained/stormed 90% of the time we were there. Sigh.......

Here you go:

*This was our one & only trip down to the beach*

*AK's friend asked her to bring her back a shell from the beach*
*Our sand castle. Notice the windows AK 'installed'*
*And then this began to approach, so we had to leave*

*We went to dinner at Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin. It's such a cool place!*

*We ate at Graffiti's Funky Blues Shack*

*I hate that this is out of focus*
*I had a vision for this picture, but the weather didn't cooperate, so I had to try to make it work in the middle of the day. It was too bright and hot, so I ended up applying a watercolor filter. I wanted this exact pic taken at sunset....*
*Sunday we went back to Baytowne Wharf to have lunch at Another Broken Egg.*

*By the time we made it back to the campground, we learned of Tropical Storm Claudette and began securing things.*