Recollection Post: Irma Evacuation and Alabama

It's well with my soul. 

But back in these days I don't know if I would say the same. It was a unique and frightening experience. I have a serious inclination to be anxious, leave alone with an extremely powerful hurricane approaching our hometown.

Hurricane Irma was all over the news. Slowly but surely supermarket's shelves were getting empty. Gas stations running long lines. No sand bags to be found. People starting to ride out the storm.

Schools canceled classes for the remaining of the week.

We finally decided to join the millions of Floridians that had decided to flee. We left home at 2:00am on Friday after Ruffin had installed shutters all around the house windows and glass doors. I was frantically packing and making decisions in what to bring with us while trying to find a hotel with one room available. Hotels were booked all over Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. But after hours of searching we found one hotel in Birmingham, AL.

We drove for 20 hours straight, stopping occasionally for long lines to get gas and rest areas to catnap. it.was.the.longest.hours.ever!

We felt so grateful to be free to make such a decision, and for the entire trip we worried and prayed hard to the ones that were back home in Florida. It was heartbreaking to leave our friends behind.

We got to our hotel around 10:00pm. We were SO exhausted that I can't recall how many of us took a shower that night. The next morning while having breakfast we could hear all the stories about evacuation being shared with one another. The hotel was packed with Floridians and dogs. 

 I could not stop watching the news and it was getting a little too stressful for all of us. We needed a break. I had to get the kids out of that room! Fresh air always does good. Ruffin had to stay and catch up with work.

So towards the end of the day we went to Birmingham Botanical Gardens for a stroll. Such a beautiful part of town. I got my camera out and relaxed for a bit.

 I can't express my gratitude for all my friends that reached out to us either to check on us or to offer their homes for us to stay.


We also visited Birmingham Zoo.

I was counting my blessings as I spent time with my boys.

We saw small and big creatures.

I watched my boys being happy and carefree

We found a small butterfly garden

We tried a Mexican restaurant one night - Chuy's

We left Alabama after two nights and started to head back home. We drove for about 6 hours on rainy weather and stopped one more night in Pensacola, FL. It took us 17 hours to finally make back home on Monday.

We were so excited to find BJ'S on the road 

We were blessed beyond measure. All of our friends were safe and their homes too! Our home survived the hurricane without a scratch. Sarasota definitely shows vestiges of a storm but not as close as expected. The Gulf was spared of a category 4/5 hurricane

My prayers continued to be with the ones that suffered with the devastation of their homes and the losses of their loved ones.

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