Sunday, September 25, 2005

Back to Normal... Sort of...

We were unable to find an open restaurant last night. Darn. But we had some parmesan and some red pepper pesto in the fridge, so we made up some pasta instead. I had a honeycrisp apple for dessert and Dan had some bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. Not bad for a couple of folks who had been led to expect to be eating camp food and Clif bars by Saturday night!

This morning I tried to do a long run, since I had missed my usual Saturday run. Man, was it hot out there today-- even by my standards! Not only was it hot, but the humidity felt like about 350% and there was no breeze at all. Total suckage.

Nevertheless, I gave it the old college try. I started out on the bayou trail, where I saw lots of bunnies in places they don't usually hang out after 7 am. I guess they felt a bit safer with fewer people and dogs on the trails. After I turned around at Sabine and headed west, I decided that instead of sticking to one of my usual routes I should do a bit of scouting. So my run turned into a reconnaisance mission as I checked for open stores and signs of life at area restaurants. Obviously I couldn't tell if places were opening for lunch (it was too early in the morning for that), but I checked out the places that open for breakfast, like some of the Westheimer coffee bars. I also kept an eye out for evidence that prep work might be going on inside, like patio furniture set out.

It was nice to see the town coming back to life. A lot of places were still closed, some shops still boarded up and a lot of gas stations still had pumps wrapped in plastic. But a few places already had gas again and the lines stretched around the block. I went inside the open grocery stores and found that there was fresh produce to be had, which made me happy. Tidbit's greens got kind of wilty in the coolers at Camp Tidbit, so I was anxious to get her some new lettuce, parsley and cilantro.

I finished my recon with a trip to Central Market, which was open! Yay! I refilled my water bottles and took my now-dripping self back toward River Oaks. I managed to find a few sprinklers to run through in the neighborhood, but unfortunately they were set pretty low and only cooled my knees and ankles a bit. By now I was really suffering, both from the heat and humidity as well as from tightness in my legs from all the running up and down stairs I had done this past week. Not to mention that I totally slacked on my stretching routine. You know, it's easy to get complacent and think those trigger point balls, foam rollers and stretching routines aren't really doing much, but just take a few days off, run up and down the stairs a lot and see you your next run feels! Ugh.

So I cut things short just shy of 11 miles, of which I walked about half a mile, so I only ran a little over 10.5 miles. Damn, I'm such a slug.

Maybe the Y will be open in the morning and I can go for a swim and do a little work in the weight room.

After I got home, Dan called our favorite Indian place and we were thrilled to find them open! We didn't get there until nearly 1:00 and there were only two tables available. But by the time we got our plates filled a booth had opened up, so we were very happy. I feel a little bad for the retail and restaurant people who had to go back to work today, but the few places that were open were going gangbusters and I know any waitstaff on duty today made a killing. Even tonight as we drove home from a walk at Memorial Park, we saw a pizzeria and a Mexican place on Washington Avenue with full parking lots. Lots of folks either lost power and had no edible food in their fridge or else they did what we did and ate most of their perishables ahead of the storm and after all the fuss just wanted to be dressed up a bit, out in public and being waited on.

We went to Central Market tonight after our walk because we were both craving watermelon. They were out, but we got some canteloupe and honeydew instead. Good enough. I think we both just wanted something fresh. It's funny, but the moment I realized I could no longer get fresh fruits and vegetables, I started craving them. I now have a salad, some melon, bananas, yellow squash and broccoli in the fridge. And Tid has some lettuce and parsley. We're set!

This has been an interesting experience for us. I hope we don't have to go through this again, but the longer we remain on the Gulf Coast, the more likely that this will happen again. It's been a good dry run. We both have a better sense of what we need, what we'll miss when the city shuts down, and how long we can wait before moving to our shelter. For the most part, I think our plans are solid. My long-term project is to continue to refine our hurricane plans based on what we learned this time.

The bottom line though, is that things are slowly returning to normal around here. And we don't have to return to work until noon Wednesday, so I can still enjoy a weekend of sorts.

All's well that ends well, right?


Flo said...

Glad to hear everything is okay and that Tidbit has clearly recovered :)

Wil said...

Phew. Glad that mess is all over!

And your bunny pics are ADORABLE as always!

Comm's said...

life after a major storm is so surreal. You feel as if your life is completely different, like you have changed or grown somehow from the experience but then we look for our old habits to return, the same grocery store, same restaurants.

Hope the transition back to normal is good