I went for a walk with intentions of strolling up the boardwalk along by the ocean and pondering the storm brewing a few hundred miles away. My intentions were thwarted however, by the heat. It was a beautiful day - perfect blue sky with glorious sunshine and very little humidity, but hot. Apparently what happens before a storm you have a beautiful day with greatly reduced humidity because the approaching storm sucks in all the moisture. It also causes it to be hotter. I feel that I have definitely been adjusting to Miami heat but I could only muster going round the block!!
Dazza came home from work loaded with a flashlight ('torch' in UK terms) that also glows in the dark, batteries for our fan and radio, and masking tape for the windows. I went to town taping up the windows - although I fully appreciate that I was probably going overboard as we actually have hurricane strength glass but it made me feel better and I'd rather be ridiculously over prepared than under. And anyhow I quite like the new look of our latticed windows!!
Dazza was eager to go for a stroll to the beach, his earlier anticipation having given way to adventurous excitement. The calm before the storm is beautiful and the strong breeze in the evening had dissapated the unbearable heat of the day. the hummidity gone from the atmosphere, we could see the stars over the beach and watch the puffs of clouds racing along with the wind.
When we went to bed, the news reports were stating that Ernesto was likely to arrive in Miami as a tropical storm, not a hurricane. This was very welcome news, however they were also saying that they were expecting winds of 70mph, only 5mph below hurricane category one. Basically, we can predict a great deal when it come to hurricanes but nothing is certain until Ernesto arrives. After all only three days ago Ernesto looked like he wanted to visit Mexico instead of Florida.
We woke to my Mum calling just to see how we were doing and what out plans were. Dazza finished putting all our things off the floor in case of flooding - I particularly like the trainers on the bookshelves! Then we loaded the car with things we can't do without and drove to Dazza's boss's place to leave our stuff. The drive was quite beautiful - the sky was pink and orange with puffy white clouds.
Dazza then went to work and I went to Starbucks armed with a New York Times, magazines and my journal.
12.30 pm Tuesday August 29th
The sky has an ominous dark cloud threatening in the distance and the wind is testing its strength, getting prepared for its big show, by tusselling some obliging palm trees.
1.45 pm Tuesday August 29th
The rain has begun thrashing the tarmac. The wind has taken a break. Its like two warriors taking turns to warm up for battle.
Time passed and the internet (slow) at Dazza's work was reporting that Ernesto was tired and didn't seem to want to pick up steam. We also must have done something to offend him because he was deciding to make a path more towards the west coast and the retired folks in Naples.
By the way Borders closed at 12 noon and I had to abandon my wandering amoungst books. Then my peaceful sipping of coffee was aborted when Starbucks closed at 4. Dazza's work was still open and looked like they'd not close, now that the storm was less threatening.
Dazza and I decided we'd be OK going home to South Beach - we'd rather sleep in our own bed (well, futon...). So after dinner we picked our stuff up from his boss's place and headed home. There was rain and wind but nothing too bad. It was novel to be driving with such little traffic. I pictured everyone in Miami sitting at home sipping mohitos while the rain pounded the windows.
Once home we turned on the local news to hear that Ernesto was indeed tired and would arrive as a weak tropical storm in the middle of the night. So we went to bed.
I woke a couple of times around 1am to some rain and howling wind but I have to admit I've experienced much much worse in the north of Scotland. We are very grateful that our first Miami hurricane experience shoul be gentle and that we still have all our possesions.
Until next time..........