Escape from Houston: Fuck You Harvey
Since I almost died a few times on my last vacation (Mt Everest), I decided to go on a nice, normal, and safe vacation this time. Jay and I planned a trip to Las Vegas. My backpack was filled with pretty dresses, makeup, and swimsuits instead of toilet paper, energy chews, and smart wool. We were ready to start our holiday last Saturday, August 26th, the same day hurricane Harvey hit Texas. Our flight was from Philadelphia to Las Vegas with a layover in Houston. I didn't think that United Airlines would really fly us to Houston. Surely my flight would be diverted. The news channel was even recommending that the residents who were unable to evacuate should write their names and birthdays on their arms so their bodies could be identified. There is just no way. At the airport we talked to a few employees and we looked at the departure schedule. Our flight was still going as scheduled. They flew us into the fucking hurricane!
After a bumpy frightening ride, we landed, only to find out that all flights were cancelled (duh). We were trapped in Houston. The hurricane was predicted to hover over Houston for four days and the situation was only going to get worse. We made our way to an airport bar. We hadn't eaten all day. We ordered wine and an appetizer. While we were waiting for our treats a lightbulb illuminated above Jay's head. We would escape Houston by car! If this was going to work we would have to leave this very moment. We grabbed our backpacks and we ran to the car rental garage, leaving our wine behind.
We were on our way to Dallas by car. All we had to do was drive 260 miles north on route #45 and then we could pick up a flight from Dallas to Las Vegas. We watched the storm out the window while we listened to Willie Nelson and Tanya Tucker on the radio. We fantasized about eating Tex-Mex food. We watched the hurricane movements on the radar. We booked a hotel at the Dallas airport and we scheduled a flight in the morning to continue on with our Las Vegas vacation. We had just passed the half way point when we learned that route #45 was now closed. Our timing was perfect! If we would have stayed in the airport a moment longer we wouldn't have made it past the highway closing.
We arrived in Dallas. It made me wonder who shot J.R.. I was looking for cowboys but never found even one. I was wishing that I owned a pair of snake skinned, pointy toed boots. I thought it would be fun to eat baked beans out of a cast iron kettle and ride on an electric bull. After I was finished day dreaming about being a cowgirl, we returned the rental car to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. We were exhausted and anxiously awaiting the shuttle bus to take us to our hotel so we could crash. The shuttle driver arrived. He was a friendly, talkative, and colorful man. He showed us every tattoo on his body while he was driving. He gave us lesson on how to bribe airlines with bad publicity through YouTube. He told us all about his gang years in New York City, and he took us to the wrong hotel. I wondered if we would ever get to Las Vegas.
The next morning we got on a plane and flew from Dallas to Las Vegas. It was a smooth flight and when we arrived there was a rainbow waiting for us. It was a joyful moment. We finally made it to Las Vegas!
We are lucky that we only had a brief encounter with hurricane Harvey. I am heartbroken about the victims and the damages that this hurricane inflicted. Im sending out prayers and well wishes to all who were effected.