Evacuating for Hurricane Irma.
We live in South Florida. Florida means hurricane season from June through November. We haven't had a bad one in awhile, but news came of Hurricane Irma. It was projected to hit the heart of Miami. We were close enough to the coast and the target area that I was getting pretty scared. I didn't want my kids to stay in town if it really did head our way. By that Tuesday or Wednesday, flights were selling out in seconds. We were thinking to head to LA, but we overthought it and the tickets were gone. Bubs' and Liv's schools were closing their doors as a precaution.
After school on Wednesday, we decided to head to Atlanta, GA by car. It took us 5 hours to get to Orlando when it usually takes 3.5 hours. By then, it was pretty late so we booked a room at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress so that the kids could get a good night's sleep. We left Orlando around 6am and traffic was congested. It took us 9 or so hours to get to Atlanta when it should've taken 6.
Nathaniel and Olivia enjoyed spending time with their cousins in Atlanta. We didn't leave the house except to go to the park or to eat out. I really love the parks there.
By the weekend, we learned that Irma was shifting its path and heading toward the west coast of Florida. Because the storm was so wide and strong, it was still expected to do quite a bit of damage. A lot of trees went down. Fortunately, for us, we only had a few broken tree limbs and a bit of flooding in the lake.
While our side of the coast didn't get a direct hit, majority of the power was out in South Florida and they didn't know how long it would be until it was back on. Then, the schools emailed us informing of their closures because of damage, no power, or the fact that some schools were still being used as shelters.
I decided to make it a mini vacation for the kids and flew out to Wichita, KS to visit family. Bubba had been begging to go back. Both of my kids love being around family and around my uncle's two beagles. Liv also loves their cat (but the cat doesn't love strangers).
We mostly spent our time gawking at my uncle and aunt-in-law's closet renovation. Dreamy. We used it as a photo op.
We also visited during a great week; two of my cousins were celebrating birthdays. Hence, the giant bow. My cousin got a car for his birthday.
We don't venture out much when we're in Wichita. We stay in. We hang out with the family. We go out to Bradley Fair to watch the ducks. We have dessert at Cocoa Dolce (Olivia asks to go here quite often). I usually only frequent the grocery store to cook things up. It was nice (although due to unfortunate circumstances) to visit family (and old friends) during a time where we normally couldn't.
PS. The one thing plenty of people asked me was, "What did you take [from your closet] when you evacuated?" I took my kids. Everything else is replaceable. It did get me to think about reassessing insurance and handling some important life stuff in the event that something really bad does happen (living wills, advanced directives, savings accounts, etc etc).