Tim and I have both declared our June vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to be the best vacation we'd ever been on. We loved the ocean. We adored our little cottage, Sea Spray Cottage #3, with its pink adirondack chairs, pink and green trim, and two-block distance from the Atlantic.
A mere 2 months later, and we're waiting to hear word as to whether Hurricane Irene will rip our vacay destination to shreds, chew it up, and spit it out, then cover it in a 30-foot storm surge.
Nags Head, NC, is expected to take a direct hit by the massive storm, which is due to make landfall there sometime tomorrow. Tim and I recall several conversations we had while on our trip, commenting on the designated "Hurricane Evacuation Route" signs posted all up and down the ONE WAY OUT of the barrier islands by car. The traffic was hideous on a normal day. I cannot imagine what it might be like during a real evac. The Sea Spray Cottages were built in the 1940s or '50s, long before the city changed the building code to require all homes to be built up on stilts. So they're right on the ground, and just a road and a sand dune away from shore.
I e-mailed the property owner to tell him we're thinking about them and that we hope everything's ok. He actually took the time to write back and say "Thanks for the well wishes. Appreciate all the positive vibe. Fingers crossed, prayers a going."
Our fingers are crossed too. And toes, even.
What's most concerning, though, may be what happens with Irene once it passes the Outer Banks and heads farther north. People in the Carolinas are storm savvy compared with, say, New Yorkers, who are going to flip their ever-loving lids if the storm stays intact enough to send a wall of water over lower Manhattan. National news media will be having coronaries trying to cover their precious East Coast under attack from Mother Nature.
Remember the "What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas" slogan? I have one for New York. "What Happens in New York...is more important than anything that could happen anywhere else." I think Brian Williams has it tattooed on his left butt cheek. He might need a swift kick there if NBC and all the others choose to cover the storm as I predict they will. Interrupted programming. Continuous video. Some fools standing sideways in yellow raincoats, holding on to light poles for support.
Tim commented that Al Roker must be really sweating his assignment to cover the hurricane, what with his weight loss and all. He'd have been much more stable with added poundage.
But before it gets to NYC, the hurricane must barrel through eastern North Carolina first. Stay safe, Dare County. We want a beautiful vacation destination to return to!