9/2/11

Vacation, Natural Disasters, and Books

toLet's start with vacation.  It was time to hang with the mouse this year down in Orlando. Yeah, I know. We're always down in Orlando hanging with the mouse, but it's just what we do. We flew down back on the 19th of August. And then everything went to heck.

First, there was the earthquake. These are not particularly common up in the northeast, and when they do occur, they're quite small. I cannot imagine what the folks in the Pentagon were thinking as they evacuated.  It makes me shudder.

While this was occurring, we were watching the weather channel every day, keeping an eye on some hurricane named Ilene. It skipped right on by Florida--we had a bit of wind and that's all--and then launched itself up the coast and wrecked a lot of stuff.  The coast of North Carolina, Virginia, etc. It slammed into Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York and left devastation throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and flooded the heck out of Vermont.

Here's a picture of St. Clare's Hospital in Denville, NJ, where my daughter had her tonsils out years ago. It was taken from an upper floor. The circular drive that surrounds the flag pole is the front of the hospital. What you don't see is the road in front of the hospital, the huge parking lot just beyond the electric & phone wires, or the great big field beyond it near the scattered trees. That's all Rockaway River in this picture.

Last Thursday, we knew the storm was coming and going to hit the tri-state area on Sunday, so we moved our flight from Sunday to Monday. By Saturday, even the Monday flight was cancelled. We got in our rental car Sunday morning, and drove the 20 hours north to get home on Monday, with one overnight stop in northern Virginia. We avoided I-95 once we hit South Carolina, since it is close to the coast. The kids behaved pretty well, thanks to the DVD player we bought at Walmart before leaving early Sunday morning.

New Jersey was a mess. The Rockaway River (see the picture above) had washed away part of I-287 in two  spots, and flooded Denville almost completely. We couldn't pick up our little black pug from the place she was staying in Denville until Tuesday because the road leading to the place was under water. Fortunately, the place was on high enough ground that it stayed dry.  The Passaic River has left unbelievable devastation all over the northern part of the state. Below is a picture of the very large and popular Willowbrook mall in Wayne, NJ. Yes, that brown stuff is river. That's a big mall with a huge parking lot completely under water.

IRENE PORRO / SPECIAL TO THE RECORD
Things are drying out, although it's going to take a long time before folks fully recover.

On the bright and non-hurricane related side, I devoured Cold Vengeance, by Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston. Man, do I love Pendergast novels. My mini review is on goodreads. I also re-read Josh Bezell's, Beat the Reaper on my Nook. What an awesomely fun book.

And when I returned, the library had my reserved copy of Death Sentence (Escape from Furnace 3), by Alexander Gordon Smith. The Escape from Furnace books are like Peanut M&M's. Or regular ones if you're allergic to nuts. 

Well, at least a volcano didn't sprout up in Northern New Jersey while we were away.

1 comment:

Emailman said...

Awwwww mate! Talk about bad timing lol I'm sorry to hear your vacation was a bit of a washout. That's the sort of thing that happens over here in England when we go on holiday. Lots of rain that is, not a hurricane. I was lucky this year. Sunny every day. That don't happen often :)

I hope you had a good time despite all this.