We left Friday at 6:00 pm and started driving. We had a 15 hour drive ahead of us with almost all of it on 75 South. We started the night off switching drivers every 2-3 hours. We made a pit stop at Cookout in Knoxville, TN around 11:00 pm. If you have never been to Cookout, you wouldn't understand. Greg got his first taste of Cookout when he interned in Raleigh about four years ago. Ever since, he has been talking about their cheap, delicious burgers and gourmet milkshakes. It lived up to his memory.
Greg says he got the worst driving shift. He drove from 1:30-4:30 am through Georgia while I slept. He woke me up, I got a coffee, and made it an hour. I was beat! I pulled over in the Florida Welcome Center and we slept for about an hour. Greg woke up, wanted to get going, so on we went.
We took our time getting to our destination. We stopped at Kohl's to pick some pants up, ate some lunch, then made it to the marina around 1:00. The rain had already begun.. little did we know, this was just the start of it.
This is where the wedding party was staying. It was an awesome house on an island, the only way to get there was by boat.
A big group of people piled on the boat, packed our suitcases in garbage bags, and made the trek over to our island in the rain. Everyone was soaked! We changed into swimsuits and wandered around the house. Drinking began and everyone was just hanging out. The wedding rehearsal got cancelled because no one wanted to get wet on the boat.
We woke up Sunday morning, power had gone off for a few hours and it was pouring! We slowly began setting up the house for the wedding since a beach wedding was out of the question. The rain and wind didn't let up... they named the storm Debby. We refer to her as Debby Downer. Nothing was going right, but Kristy and Trenton remained so positive. The officiant and guests couldn't get over to the island. It was unsafe for boats to cross the water. We all got dressed and took some wedding party pictures with the water (and storm) in the background.
We continued partying and making the most of the island and being surrounded by friends. We headed to bed around 5:00 am and woke up to more rain on Monday morning. We packed our stuff up, waited for the storm to clear a bit, and called for a boat to pick us up. It was sunny for a few hours before we left.
|Aftermath of Debby. The dock and island were flooded, we were literally floating above the surrounding water|
|On top of the lookout, 50 feet up, with a 360 degree view of the surrounding water|
We got back to our car Monday around 5:30 pm and knew we couldn't drive all the way home. My parents were in Gatlinburg for the week so we started driving there. We made it.. barely! We were so exhausted after driving 10+ hours and not much sleep from the weekend. We slept until noon, explored Gatlinburg on Tuesday then headed home yesterday morning.
Boy are we glad to be home. We missed Murphy and our own bed. The vacation didn't go exactly as planned and wasn't very relaxing, but you can't plan mother nature. Oh well. Laundry has begun and we are packing back up for the wedding in IL this weekend.
Lesson learned: Driving through the night is rough! No matter how much rest you get, it is still hard driving in the dark when you are bored. On the drive down, we got the Flip out to videotape how we were feeling and give a narrative of the drive. We listened to Pandora pretty much the whole time which was nice. Greg streamed the Tigers game through MLB TV which kept him awake for a few hours. Don't forget to pack some Red Bull!