We’re finally home, albeit a few days later than planned due to Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. We arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday morning after a night on the bus. Sleeplessness and trying to navigate an unfamiliar transit system made for an interesting time, but we found our way to our hotel, and JC made it to his gaming conference on time.
We weren’t expecting the storm that happened, and the weather outside got progressively worse as time passed by. In preparation for the storm, our bus back to Toronto was cancelled. As were most flights, and eventually highways were closed. The hotel lobby was full of people waiting, some stranded, watching TV, wondering about what was going on back home, wondering what was going on outside. It was pretty scary, because we didn’t quite know what was going to happen, or where the storm would hit us, if at all.
I think what may have made it worse at the time, was not knowing what was happening outside where we were, while simultaneously not knowing what was happening back at home. Were the cats going to be okay? Family and friends? Was the storm going to hit Toronto severely? The worst kind of worry is the kind I can’t convince myself is unfounded.
The hotel gave us an emergency light, and reduced services. We stocked up on snacks and vegan sandwiches from Moshe’s and 7-Eleven. The gym got full of other people feeling stir crazy (like me) and it was really nice to get my muscles moving a bit after hiding out inside for a few hours. We spent of the day sitting in our hotel room watching different news broadcasts and reading through our twitterstreams and trying to connect with friends in effected areas.
The morning after, we looked for flights, bus, and train, but they were all booked up or cancelled, so we opted to drive a rental car one way back home. Passing through Bethlehem (to see if Vegan Treats was open – understandably, they weren’t) and Allentown, I saw some of the impact it had had on areas north of Philadelphia, and it was quite intense. Giant trees were uprooted, power lines had fallen, and roads were closed due to flooding/trees/debris/etc. Work crews were busy getting people connected again.
I’ll recap my trip soon, we had so many amazing meals, and saw so many beautiful things before the storm, and even during, and after. But for now, I’m glad to be home with Emmie and the foster cats, glad my friends and chosen family are okay, and for now just thinking of the first responders and the people impacted on the East Coast, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas.
Take care of yourselves.
You can donate to the Red Cross online, Donate Blood, or Volunteer your time with a variety different organizations, including Alley Cat Allies