Friday, March 1, 2024

Florida and Hurricane Nicole - 2022/11/08

After being such a beautiful day yesterday that we spent our time at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park, today is shaping up to be something a bit different. 

Theresa and I have been planning our return trips to Florida for the winter to be AFTER the hurricane season. Hurricane Ian just hit Florida about 5 weeks ago and we'd hoped that would be the end of it. Well... maybe not. 

In the days leading up to it, we know a heavy storm was on its way. But where would it hit? That's the question. Well, turns out that it was coming right through where we were parked in the RV. But how are the winds going to be? We were thinking if it was in the 30s, we'd try to ride it out. 
But, that morning, watching the predictions it would be in the 50mph range with gusts into the 70s. Not something I'd want to ride out in an RV. We're Florida residents, but I suppose we're not seasoned residents yet that'll we'll try to weather this storm. 

And what we'd assumed to be a Tropical Storm, showed that it was going at hurricane speeds when it hit land. 


So, we quickly rushed to get the RV packed up and on the road. Where? Well, we haven't quite figured that part out yet. From the prediction map, it looks like we could either go North or South. South would be closer, but North gives us more options just in case. 
North it is! Theresa had the computer out looking up campgrounds that we could drive to that would also be out of the path of the coming storm. 

Stopping for fuel. The skies are still blue, but the winds are really picking up. Onward! 

About 4 hours into our journey, driving down the freeway, an alarm starts going off in the truck cab. The tire monitor pressure warning is going off. Theresa said it's indicating a slow leak. I thought about driving to the next exit to find a good place to pull off, but Theresa insisted on stopping immediately. I hopped out to take a look at the offending tire and... oh my, yeah, good thing we stopped right away. 

I'm practiced at this now, having done it a few times. 

Always good to carry the proper safety gear. Bright reflective vest, safety cones. 

And figured the kids would be safest away from the RV. Theresa spread a blanket out and they ate snacks and played games. 
All in all though, it took just a little over 30 minutes for us to be back on the road. Not too bad!

I can't say enough good things about these TST tire monitor sensors. They've warned us of issues multiple times now. Better to know about it early before it becomes a major problem. On the road we've seen blown tires take out sections of an RV and leave them with lots of damage. I also saw an RV driving on its rim for miles because the driver didn't know there was a problem. 

With that little bit of a delay, we arrived at our stop for the next couple days after dark. It's never preferred to get somewhere new after dark, but these were pull-through sites and we didn't have a problem. 

This morning we left Clermont, stopped for fuel near Gainesville, had a flat near Grand Ridge, and spending the next couple days in Holt, Florida. 

This campground only had 2 nights available, so we'll have to move once before we go back, but no big deal. We've got things to do anyway. 

Like... get a tire repaired! I got the RV jacked up, yanked the tire off, threw it in the back of the truck and we all headed to the nearest big city, Pensacola Florida, to get it replaced. 

And while that's at the shop, there's something else not too far away! And it's Wednesday too meaning Chuck E Cheese is half price! 

Let's go! 

How do the games look here? 

Pretty fun! We can spend some time here! 

You go Ian!

And there's a Quik Drop! With our All-You-Can-Play hour, we can practice this a lot and take our skills to other arcades! 

Theresa is a Jackpot winner! 

We even remembered their CEC drink cups that they get free refills on at any CEC! 

Ho ho ho! Do you like my Santa beard? It's no-shave November after all. 

Let's get this tire fixed. 

Hanging out at the RV, the kids had fun inside doing science stuff. They love these Build Boxes from Mark Rober. 

Following along and thinking like an engineer while they put together a coin spinner. 

A fun thing to do on a day inside. 

Leaving Eagle's Landing RV, we drove 30 minutes west to a Harvest Host restaurant named Grover T's BBQ. All they ask is that you dine with them, and you can spend the night in their parking lot for free. 

Instead of dining inside, we got it to-go, but I enjoyed my Boss Hog burger made with a 1/4 lb burger, pulled pork, 2 slices of applewood smoked bacon, bbq sauce, and topped with fried pickles! 

Let's go outside and play! It's always fun to find playgrounds. 

Some pretty good ones too! 

How's the weather back in Florida? 
Before all the hurricane, I had plans to meet up with one of my longtime friends from Micechat, Ariel. She spent a rainy few days in the parks! We'll have to try meeting up another time! 

Now that the storm has passed, the skies are a brilliant blue and it's time to make our way back home. Instead of one long day, we broke it up. Theresa found a Boondocker's Welcome family that would let us camp on their land (and many other RVs too from the picture) for free! Thank you! 

Even a place where we can fill up our water tanks. 

Ready to head out the next morning. 

Well, that was a bit of excitement, wasn't it. 

You never know what kind of adventure you'll have! 

1 comment:

  1. One of those unexpected adventures that Mother Nature takes you on!...the entire family "weathered" it well and kept their attitudes positive...way to go! Yikes, on that ruptured tire (good thing Theresa insisted on stopping asap)...thankfully no one was hurt or any Beast/Beauty damage resulted from it...yes, those sensors are a real life saver (also, that safety vest and cones were great safety measures, too). Guess there are still some fun CEC in Florida, just not in Orlando :-) What a HUGE Boss Hog burger...looked perfect for any hungry meat eater. Such a wonderful help when free campsites are available...certainly stretches the dollar further, especially for unplanned trips. Glad everyone stayed safe from Hurricane Nicole...can't ever take safety too lightly, especially with unexpected hurricanes! EOM