The Dash to Nashville – Escaping Hurricane Irma

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, instead of having a nice, relaxing beach trip for the next few weeks, we’ve had to change our plans and get as far north as fast as we can.

We left Orlando on Thursday, September 7, early in the morning. Since we have kids, we broke the trip up into three legs – 1) Fl/Ga Border 2) Atlanta 3) Nashville. Each leg should have been 3-4 hours each. Unfortunately, we were trying to leave along with hundreds, of thousands of other people. Our first leg took us over eight hours! We found out later that this was short compared to other people who tried to leave on Friday, who experienced 14-20 hour long drives.

At the Fl/Ga border, we stopped at an RV park, called Eagles Roost. I called a few days in advance for a reservation and super glad I did – we managed to get one of the last sites. Lots of RV families were leaving and this place was the closest, and nicest, places on the border.

And I could see why – this place was absolutely beautiful. The sites might be a little close for some, but we didn’t mind. Everyone we met was super friendly and the noise settled down pretty early in the night. The staff we very friendly and accommodating – the were really trying to help people find places to go. I wish we could have stayed longer, but this location was still in the danger zone, so we proceeded to Atlanta the next day.

We traveled the route to Atlanta with the same people from before who were all trying to escape the storm. So another leg, which should have been four hours, became nine hours! I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to get to our campsite – Shoal Creek Resort.

This place was amazing – beautiful campsites surrounded by trees and water. It was calming just to stand there outside of the trailer. It was so great that none of us, including the cats, wanted to stay inside.

Luckily, we stayed here two nights and were able to take advantage of the property. During our stay, we played near the lake, walked around, and had a wonderful cook-out – complete with s’mores!

Of course, while we were enjoying ourselves, Hurricane Irma strengthened and changed course. As we were preparing to leave, Atlanta issued their first ever tropical storm warning – with high winds and flooding expected. Luckily, we hadn’t planned to stay there to long and headed to Nashville.

We’ve been told that Rock island State Park is one of the best places to stay and they were right. This small campsite has lots of trails to hike and sites to see. The kids had fun exploring and playing. And we had another cook-out. These are quickly becoming my favorite part of RV life.

Next up, Kentucky!

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Slight Change of Plans

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So, you may have seen that there is a little storm named Irma headed to Florida in the next few days. I have lived in Florida for 20 years and have experienced a variety of hurricanes. Most of the time, these storms don’t phase me. This one scares me. Add into the mix that we live in an RV with kids plus cats and I am not taking any chances.

Originally, we were going to stay in Central Florida til Saturday, then head to Daytona, then onto Savannah – a.k.a all destinations in the path of this storm. Instead, we are high-tailing it out of Florida. Here is our new plan:

  • Wednesday: Central Florida (to get some things done)
  • Thursday: Heading to the Florida/Georgia Border
  • Friday-Sunday: Staying near Atlanta
  • Sunday-Friday (9/15) – Staying at Rock State National Park, TN

Trust me, this is a scary storm and it should not be messed with. If you are in the path, please get out if you can. If not, stock-up and hunker down. Hopefully everyone in Florida stays safe and the storm just fizzles (Fingers Crossed!) in the ocean.

Lessons Learned: Flying with a Three Month Old

Mini-man has many flights under his belt now – but I was really nervous to see how he would handle flying. See how we handled his first flight and helped set the tone for his future flights.

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Just days after sailing with mini-man for the first time, we needed to travel to Atlanta – which meant mini-man’s first plane ride. Like most parents, we were nervous how he would handle this flight. I have been on flights before with flying babies who were crying at the top of their lungs and hated it. I didn’t want  mini-man to be in pain from the flight and I did not want to disturb our fellow passengers.


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In anticipation of our trip, I did some research to see if there was any way to make the flight as comfortable as possible for mini-man. Turns out a little preparation goes a long way! I learned that changing prior the flight and feeding during take off helps the baby feel more comfortable and actually enjoy the flight. We applied these techniques and had a really smooth flight (both directions) with mini-man.

The funny part? A woman did not want to sit next to us because we had mini-man. Instead she sat near a four/five year-old who screamed most of the flight, while mini-man was quite and having fun!

Tips:

  • Changing Prior to Boarding: Making sure that mini-man had a clean diaper made him comfortable. Comfort = happy baby!
  • Feeding During Take-off: We all know how uncomfortable take-off can be on our ears. An infant doesn’t understand what is going on and can get upset pretty quickly bu this. By feeding during take-off, it alleviates the pressure on their ears which prevents crying. Again, comfort = happy baby!

A Non-Sailing Adventure: Traveling to Atlanta

Here is a look at mini-mans first plane ride and adventure outside of Orlando!

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Two days after we took our first sailing trip, Damon had a conference in Atlanta. Not wanting to have to care for a three-month old by myself for four days, mini-man and I decided to go with him. Daunted by taking a three-month old on a plane trip, I did some research to see how I could make it more bearable for mini-man.

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Thanks to our preparation, we made it to the airport in plenty of time. Unfortunately our flight was delayed four hours (we were never told why). This put us into Atlanta later than we hoped and I felt very stressed. We needed to walk to a nearby store to get supplies for mini-man and me. Once these were acquired, we hoped that there would be a restaurant open nearby. Unfortunately, it was almost 10p and everything was closed. We settled for eating at the overpriced hotel restaurant (ok food, but at least it was food).

Due to the stress from the day before, I had planned to stay in the hotel room with mini-man for the day while Damon went to his conference. Unfortunately, I found mold in the bathroom! We called down to the front desk once we got back from breakfast and asked for a new room. They immediately responded, but that meant we had to pack everything up and move. Not too bad, but definitely not what I wanted to do on our down day.

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The next day, I decided to be a little bold and take mini-man to the Aquarium by myself (my first time attempting this!). It wasn’t too bad – we took our time and got to see a lot of the exhibits. However the dolphin show did not go well. This show is located in a 11275576_10204454150061361_1676335363_oconcrete theater that had quite a few school children on a field trip in attendance. Once we were seated, the MC asked everyone to shout – and you can probably imagine how loud it got. The noise scared mini-man and he started crying. At this point, I figured we were done and headed to meet Damon.

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The next day was Damon’s last day at the conference, so mini-man and I stayed in while he finished up. Afterwards, we checked out the Coca-Cola tour. This was a little disappointing. Expecting a factory tour, instead we got a marketing gimmick – not worth the $16 a person.

Our final day in Atlanta was our most adventurous. We managed to pack and get out of the hotel fairly early (i.e.: 11:00a) and decided to explore the city a little. Being an architect, Damon heard a lot about this shopping district called the Underground. However, this place left much to be desired. We arrived to discover an empty shopping area with few stores but a lot of loitering. Instead of exploring we decided to grab some food and then head to the zoo.

Although it was hot, we managed to see quite a bit of the zoo by taking our time and stopping a lot to drink. However, towards the end of the visit, it started to pour! With little time left we made a run for it and just made it to our bus. A short time later, we got to our hotel, dried off, changed, and headed to the airport.

An action packed trip to be sure, but we survived and learned quite a bit. Can’t wait for our next adventure!