I can’t articulate how chaotic my life has been this month. Like most of you, my schedule is hectic but throw in one of the biggest hurricanes to date in the mix and you find yourself in an adventure. Before I get into my escaping Irma experience, let’s talk about one of my fave snacks that kept me going through out this drawn out road trip.
Prior to all of the chaos, I saw Liberté Philippine coconut yogurt at Publix and knew I had to try it. When I was in the Philippines last year, I couldn’t get enough of coconut. No matter what street I was on, I could easily find a vendor that sold some type of coconut drink or dessert. They seemed to find the perfect balance over there, sweet but not too sweet. One of my biggest gripes with coconut flavored anything here in the states is that it tastes synthetic.
First of all this yogurt is organic, which is a win in my book. Second, the consistency is creamy. It’s decadent, almost like a dessert. The bottom has shaved coconut that you mix around..it’s so good. This is the first coconut yogurt that I can eat. It tastes real.
Liberté also has Ecaudorian Mango but it was completely sold out. I can’t wait to try that flavor soon.
Less than two weeks ago, I was in Marco Island with my brothers.
Every single trip to the island is amazing, but this one felt extra special.
We were all pretty relaxed, most of the island thought that Miami was going to evacuate and chill on Marco to ride out the storm. I never thought that the place where we find peace would be forever changed.
I had a Doctor’s appointment in the 305. Once I arrived in the Broward area, the panic set in. Less than 12 hours after being in a State of Emergency, gas stations had already ran out of gasoline. Bottles of water flew off the shelves and people were waiting for hours to pick up sandbags for the property.
After driving to five gas stations, the sixth one finally had gas. I spent time with my best friend and her baby girl. My brother’s called me in a panic because they said Marco had to evacuate which meant they had to change their flights out of MIA.
Met up with my Aussie pal, Blake at Ceviche 105. Homeboy was also trying to find flights back home to Australia. All of the boys found flights back home but my best friend Sarah couldn’t get out of the state. She and her husband made the decision to road trip to Ohio. After speaking to multiple friends, they too decided evacuation was the best option.
I’ve lived here for 32 years and evacuating for a storm has never crossed my mind but Hurricane Irma was different. After living without power for three weeks with Hurricane Wilma, I knew that I had to leave. This storm was much bigger than Wilma, I wasn’t exactly cut out for the aftermath.
The following day, I had to drive to Orlando to work The Surf Expo. My usual 4 hour drive from Miami to Orlando took over eight hours. Due to the hurricane, the expo was canceled after one day. I woke up in the middle of the night in my hotel with tons of messages on my phone saying that if I planned on evacuating, I better leave ASAP.
With only 20 minutes to spare, I packed my important documents, clothes, work equipment and my dog. My family in Philadelphia were waiting for our arrival.
The road trip should have been 15 hours max.
I sat on I-95 for hours.
If you know me, you know that I refuse to do more than 4 hour trips in a car. But I couldn’t imagine leaving this little guy behind.
Duke was an amazing co-pilot.
We spent two nights in hotels. Expedia has an option for Pet Friendly hotels.
He was really into the hotel lifestyle because he got his own bed. This little guy isn’t allowed on beds back home, so he lived it up.
We took a break and walked around every 2-4 hours. So many Miami people were around us. What I love about my people is that we always wear our sport attire and of course, I could hear their accents. Papo loved all the attention from everyone. Driving by myself for that many hours was emotionally and physically draining.
It got a little scary in Savannah. Multiple gas stations ran out of gas. When I went out to find dinner, restaurants were turning people away. They ran out of food. This experience was unreal.
The hurricane left most of my friends and family without power. My house had minimal damage and the electricity is back on. Unfortunately, my brothers’ place in Marco will need a facelift.
On the step’s of my brothers’ place in South Philly. I felt like he knew this was THE house right away. So many celebrations happen here, I’m sure he feels the love.
My nephew Hemingway.
My Di Tucci <3 She’s a saint.
B surprised me with bomb seats to the Phillies vs Marlins game. This was amazing because I was supposed to go to the Phils vs Fish game with Blake and crew in Miami but the storm put a damper on things. It’s funny how things work out. We had so much fun! How great are my brothers? For real, for real.
Baby girls. Y’all know Di, Julia, Maria and Kathy!
The kindness and love shown over the last week from everyone in the 215 has been overwhelming. I appreciate every single one of you. And to all my friends from out of state who have been concerned, thank you. Last but not least, to my Florida friends, we’ll be together soon. I love you all.
Special thanks to Di Tucci for taking my photos.