Tuesday, September 2, 2008


My parents came to visit us on the anniversary of Katrina. It was to be the start of a long Labor Day weekend full of quintessential New Orleans fun. We were to go to the French Quarter on Saturday for Beignets and shopping, Mulate's Saturday night for Cajun food and music, church on Sunday, a possible swamp tour, and any other New Olreans adventures that we could fit into the schedule. What a plan we had and how much we had looked forward to it! Well, our weekend didn't quite go as planned, but the experience was definitely a "New Orleans adventure". Afterall, isn't that what we wanted in the first place? Maybe not this kind of adventure. Late Friday night, August 29th, my parents arrived to our house in River Ridge, LA. By Saturday morning, the WWL anchormen confirmed that Hurricane Gustav was on it's way to the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas gulf coasts. There was a voluntary evacuation for some of the southern parishes. "No big deal," we thought as we watched the news. We will wait to see what the Jefferson and Orleans parish presidents say about evacuating. Meanwhile, most of our street and the surrounding neighborhoods were packing their cars for a week long (or more) vacation (or evacuation). Mark and I felt like Generals in a battle yelling, "Hold...Hold...Hold...", for we knew that if we left as everyone else was leaving, we would run into hours of sitting on the interstate in bumper to bumper traffic getting NOWHERE fast. Jefferson and Orleans finally announced that there would be contraflow starting at 4 am the next morning and a mandatory evacuation of both parishes would start at noon. Perfect! We would wake up early, pack the car and leaving by 7:30 to miss the Saturday night evacuees and the Sunday at noon evacuees! We packed most of our clothes, the dogs, all of the items in our refrigerator, pictures, and other valuables. We scheduled great route that took us on back roads through small coastal towns. The evacuation was flawless! No traffic!! Well, no traffic until we got to TEXAS. Road construction (that couldn't wait until after the evacuation apparently) and an overturned 18-wheeler proved to be a major hinderance in getting to Houston in a timely manner. There were three lanes of traffic narrowing into one, and it took us two hours to get past it. After that we were free sailing again all the way to Northwest Houston where my parents live. We are now living with them until further notice. Looks like we will be able to return by Monday, September 8th. YEA! Hopefully we'll return to no major issues. Cross your fingers.