Just over a month ago, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. To be more exact, it devastated Northern New Jersey. It was an unexpected bit of stress added to our move to Serbia. We were on the last leg of waiting for our big move to Serbia.
Initially, I was unworried about the incoming weather. I had so much more on my mind. Seeing friends for the last time in who knows how long. Cleaning the house, getting rid of things. Packing and repacking. Seeing neighbors. Making sure all the little details were taken care of. I am not sure if that was ever completed.
Our Flight was scheduled to leave October 31. The storm hit October 29. Both of our cars were sold, we made sure we had enough food and had a plan for what we needed to do for the next three days. Plans changed.
This image is care of: http://ureport.foxnews.com/report/8248373?offset=1
Before the storm hit, the newscasters did their jobs well. Businesses started to close and my sea side town was evacuated. We lost power in our complex, and many neighbors homes were flooded by the extreme tidal surge. The full moon, and high tide hit at just the right time. People who opted to stay in town posted shocking pics of the ferocious waves that pummeled the beach. Eventually they took their toll on the inlet pier. The end of it was smashed away. ‘
On the bay side of our barrier island town, people were videoing waves washing down a street. Someone was even surfing on the bay side street waves. This was usually a calm bay, yet waves were crashing into living rooms of homes that butted up to the water.
Across the bay, we were trying to stay warm, the baby was fussy, and our stress levels were through the roof. Would the car rental company be open, would our flight be canceled. Things were just too much.
Milan decided to chuck it all and get a room at a nearby hotel. That was the best decision ever. Our stress levels went down. The baby was so much happier and warm, finally warm. I didn’t realize how cold our apt had been. And just before we had left for the hotel, a friend had stopped by to do me a favor. She said She didn’t’ have to work, because of the storm. AND, if we wanted a ride up to the Newark Airport she would take us! OMG! That was such a relief, not to have to think about the rental and all that goes along with it.
The next morning we were ready. The trip north was easy. I was so happy to have my friend taking us up. (I love and miss her sooo very much now.) Eventually, we had to get off the NJT to find some formula. This was a much more difficult task than we would have expected because we were then in Northern New Jersey. SANDY WAS HERE! We had noticed that lines for gas stations were like those of the seventies. Most Stations were closed because they didn’t have any power. Lack of electricity had more than half the businesses we past closed. Just when we were about to give up on formula, we saw a Walmart! Wahoo.
This image is courtesy of: http://sbynews.blogspot.com/2012/10/ocean-city-md-hurricane-sandy.html
Milan left us girls to hang out while he went in for formula. We were shocked to hear we got the last can and that most of the shelves inside the super store were EMPTY! Seriously. WOW. Walmart shelves empty. Sandy had even taken it’s toll on the old reliable grande retailer.
Traffic off the highway was confused and congested because the traffic lights weren’t working. In some places we were inching along. We even witnessed an accident not 50 feet ahead of us. Cops were everywhere trying to make things a little less chaotic. Thankfully, we made our way back to the highway and were grateful to get back on. Hallelujah! When we got back on the highway, even the lines for the turnpike gas stations were getting to be on average a mile long. Crazy!
When we got to the airport, the effects of Sandy became increasingly more evident. The flights in and out of this northern New Jersey airport had been cancelled for 2 days. Ours was the first Virgin Atlantic flight out to London in 3 days. Needless to say our flight was packed. The line for the flight was ridiculous. I have to say the staff did a great job handling the crowd and insanity of it all.
Once we got to the airport, checked our luggage and went through customs, most of the stress was gone. Just the flight was in front of us. We were almost done. Our trip was mostly uneventful. And the last month since we have been here in Serbia has been that of getting things organized and acclimating. Not as easy as you may think. But we are adjusting.
We are so happy to be back in our other home. To our friends and family in the US, we send lots of love and hugs. We miss you lots. Come visit! I am sure your trip will be less stressful than this one was. 🙂