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Escape From Naples

Not starring Kurt Russell. Well, rather than risk unnecessary damage to ourselves, we’ve decided that we are going to leave the area before Wilma shows up. We were thinking about taking a little week-long trip to Michigan this fall anyway, so we decided to just turn this whole damn thing into a vacation. Might as well have some fun if you’re gonna go somewhere, eh?

All of the flights out of our local airport were gone by the time I decided to buy plane tickets as a contingency plan. In fact, I had to book tickets out of Orlando instead, which means we’ll have to drive 250 miles up to O-Town before we can leave. The flight takes off from there around 6:40 p.m. on Friday, and we’re taking our two carry-on size suitcases in the hopes that we won’t have to check any bags. The trip between here and Orlando is normally an approximately 3-hour affair, but who knows what the condition of the roads will be. So we’re leaving early Friday morning — like way early, at 5 a.m. Hopefully that’ll get us out early enough to avoid the real headaches, when people wake up, have their morning coffee and decide they’re gonna bolt. Even if not, it gives us plenty of time to get where we’re going.

Finding gasoline this evening took a little doing. The town center fuel pumps were bone dry. So was the nearest Mobil station. I headed down to Pine Ridge to check out the RaceTrac station, a place which I never shop at, but it’s the biggest gas station in town with a ridiculous amount of pumps, so I figured they’d have fuel. They did. There was an FHP officer with a black Camaro Z28 sitting there, just to make sure nobody got into fisticuffs over gasoline supplies or anything ridiculous like that. Took a few swipes for the credit card to go through because the network was overloaded. Finally got the Mazda filled up with regular unleaded. I mean really filled up. It’s got a big tank, and gets decent mileage, so it should be good for quite a while at highway speeds.

Lastly, I e-mailed my boss. We’re kinda in crunch time at work, so I was wondering how he’d take the news that I was planning to book. I sweetened it up by relaying the (true) story that I was leaving partly because I wanted to be sure I was stationed somewhere with electricity and Internet access, because my work requires both services and we can’t afford to deviate from our schedule. Not only was my boss accomodating, he himself was taking his wife and jetting out on a plane from Miami tomorrow. They couldn’t find any flights to anywhere they wanted to go in the continental U.S., so one of our other co-workers, who is from the Dominican Republic, suggested they take a vacation to his country — and that’s what they did. Funny thing is, my boss didn’t even know there was a hurricane coming until this morning. His colleague from the Kansas office had to tell him that the mayor of Naples was on CNN!

The really cool part is, my boss said if I wanted to make my trip up north a vacation too, to go ahead and not worry about it. He said that’s what he and his wife are doing — in fact, he wasn’t even sure he would have Internet access or cell service down there — but that he didn’t care, and that in his opinion we were in good shape with the progress of our work. I’m not gonna blow off working the whole week I’m up north, but it’s good to know I won’t have to work the whole time through, and that I can chill out.

So it’s almost 1 a.m., and we’re packing up our stuff to take along on the trip. This includes homeowner’s documents, insurance papers, car titles, and other irreplaceables. It also includes the notebook computer, DVD-ROMs of my work stuff and software, cell phone charger, some books to read and the usual clothes and stuff. Tomorrow I’m gonna have my hands full with installing the damnable hurricane shutters on two houses, so there’s no time for screwing around — especially if we’re gonna get up around 4 a.m. on Friday morning. The next 24-48 hours are gonna be real interesting.

If traffic doesn’t suck donkey balls and we actually get to Orlando around 9 a.m. or something, that’ll give us a heck of a lot of spare time. I figure we’ll have lunch at our favorite Thai place on I-Drive, and then if time permits, maybe I’ll drop in over at McNamara Pontiac just off I-4 on Colonial and see about maybe taking a Goat for a little drive around town, just for shits and giggles. After all, I put a deposit down on an ’06 at their dealer, Nantana’s never ridden in one, and I already drove all the GTOs at the local dealers and they know I ain’t gonna buy one from them. 😀

And even if Hurricane Wilma misses Naples (or the state of Florida) entirely, the fact that we’re turning this little jaunt into a vacation will mean that at least we won’t feel stupid, like we did that time last year when we flew into Chicago, dragged my parents all the way out there to pick us up, and then the damn hurricane missed SWFL. We went home the next day. Bastages.

Anyway, guess that’s it for tonight. Maybe I’ll post tomorrow. But I’ll probably be too dead tired.

3 thoughts to “Escape From Naples”

  1. Come back to God’s country, where the unemployment is high, the unions are broken, and…uh…the weather’s gonna get real crappy real fast.


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