I cannot begin to explain the emotional roller coaster we’ve been on with Irma. We spent two days – nearly round the clock – securing boats, packing our life, tying down kayaks, and hoping she would turn east. We decided to evacuate but everywhere we drove to she kept following us, and the highways were full of cars while the back roads had no fuel. It was surreal.
At the shelter getting foodAlmost all the hotels were full between northern Florida and Atlanta. Those that weren’t were price gauging. We slept in the van a few nights. We tried Airbnb, but those were sold out as well. We camped for a night, but then the hurricane headed there too. We kept going north until we heard about a Budgetel hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee that wasn’t yet open to the public (under construction) but taking in evacuees for free. They offered food, shelter, a shower and laundry. What a blessing.
For those of you booked in September – it’s not going to happen. We are in the process of sorting through cancellations, and you will be refunded. At this time, we cannot return to the Keys for 2-3 weeks, and do not know if our boats are even there. Key West did better than the Lower Keys, but it’s one road in, one road out.
We don’t know where we will go after the next few days (have 5 days at the evacuee shelter/hotel), but we aren’t sure what to do after that. They won’t let us back. We aren’t sure about anything right now, but we’ll be alright.
In the meantime, we are going to make the best of our “Evac-Cation.”
-Amber and Zappa