Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Road Trip 2004

Somewhere around TN I bought a zebra print cowgirl hat.
Imagine that its only been worn twice. 
On August 12, 2004, my two best friends and I left for Daytona Beach.  It was late on Thursday night before we left my hometown. 

We arrived safely at our destination about 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 13th.  After driving all night, we were exhausted and went straight to our condo to catch some sleep before exploring some more. 

While we were snoozing, Hurricane Charley was making his way from the Gulf of Mexico across Florida to the Atlantic Ocean coast.  We were oblivious until about 7 p.m. when I woke from my siesta.  My thoughts then were that I should have heeded the warning of my family members who urged me not to go because there was a hurricane.  My 21-year-old self knew better because it was on the other side of the state.  Well, low and behold, for the first time in like 70 years or something, a hurricane crossed land and landed right where we were. 

It was interesting to be stuck in the twelfth floor of a high rise oceanfront condominium when a Class 3 hurricane is taking place right outside the sliding glass patio doors.  The hotel refused to let us into the downstairs area and shuffled us all back to the elevators and our individual condos.  After a little bit of watching and waiting, I found a better way to deal with Charley.  I went to my bedroom, turned the TV on loud, put my sleep mask on, and went back to sleep.  

The boys woke me up a couple hours later when the hurricane was over.  I later found out that they were outside most of the time watching the hurricane and videoing damage as it took place.  We quickly called the front desk where we were told it was recommended that we go outside, but they would not stop us if we wanted to go to the beach. 

That's what we did.  Headed straight to the ocean at about 3 a.m. in the morning.  This is just a peek at what we found when we got there. 

A portapotty on its side.  We still have no idea how far it was blown about the beach and it made me feel a little funny walking the sand and not knowing what might have came out of that to land where I was walking.
Don't I look a little freaked by the events of the day?  This was taken about the same time we found the portapotty.

The next day dawned sunny, warm and beautiful.  We spent a couple of hours searching for food and being amazed at the devastation around us even thought our own condo suffered no damage.  The video from the ride still shocks me.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the damage we drove past.  We finally found an Olive Garden that was open for business and luckily, didn't have a wait. 
The rest of our time in Daytona Beach was a lot more uneventful.  We shopped, we swam in the pool and hung out in the hottub, we went to the beach (never before 12 a.m. at night), and mostly relaxed. 
Our last day we traveled to Orlando and went to Universal Studios.  We ate at Margaritaville and had souvenir t-shirts made that indicated we survived Hurricane Charley in 2004 with our names on them.  I think I have a picture somewhere with all of us in our matching shirts.  Our vacation ended and home we went. 

I should have known that something would happen during our trip.  I've always had something happen on Friday, the 13ths.  I refused to drive my car on this trip because I was afraid something would happen.  But it made the trip all the more memorable.  If only you could see the video from the trip.  Its hilarious.  Barry and Spike were my best friends and this was my first trip away from home without family.  We were a little wild, a little wacky, but it was all fun. 
This post was inspired by Mama Kat's ~Pretty Much World Famous~ Writer's Workshop.  This week, I chose Prompt #5 - Share a memorable road trip story!
Mama’s Losin’ It

If you are new here, I hope you'll come back to visit again. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!


  1. What an experience..but what a memory!
    Just popped in from Mama Kat to say hi!

  2. Great "vacation"! We were hunkered down about 50 miles away during Charley--and the two other hurricanes that followed that year. Glad you ended up safe and had some fun. What a memory!



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