The plan was simple: go to north Florida in September to witness my brother get married and visit with other members of the family. But Irma, a hurricane, had other plans.
Irma was already bearing down on Florida when I boarded my plane. Sean and Savy were considering postponing the wedding (and eventually would have no choice anyway), but our parents from Arizona were already in flight, so I flew down anyway. At least I could spend time with them even if I miss out on the wedding itself. Jenny and her husband would have to cancel their family’s plans due to a medical issue, though.
The first few days of the trip were spent in Gainesville, where I grew up. We saw the Butterfly Museum, Lake Alice, and returned to Sean’s favorite Japanese restaurant and a used bookstore (Second & Charles) whose guitar collection didn’t pass our Dad’s muster, revealing some hipster truths about the place.
Then, as we had hotel reservations, me and the parents headed toward St. Augustine. The wedding was supposed to take place on Vilano Beach. We got there early enough to visit the beach twice, but it was clear that tide was going flood much of the area. Fortunately for us, our hotel was several miles inland, and did not suffer any damage. Heck, even when the malls and gas stations nearby lost power, we managed to keep it on.
Despite the meteorological drama and missing out on the wedding (which took place 2 weeks later), I do not regret the trip. It was fun, and a nice reminder of Florida – including the humidity and alligator warning signs.
You can check out the photos I took from that trip on Facebook.