Let's hope tomorrow goes better than today! We arrived at the Charlotte Red Cross office at 7 a.m. Friday to meet up with the other 5 members of our team that we were deploying with. Everyone had their airline confirmation info except Sonny and I!! We finally received the info when we arrived at the airport. We had a couple of hours before our flight so we all headed to get something to eat. You know how it is when you have a group of people .... everyone can't agree on anything and no one wants to make a decision! As it turned out, Sonny & I went in to a restaurant to have breakfast while the others headed to the Burger King at the airport. I figured our next meal would be quite a while away and wanted to make sure I got some real food in my stomach. Then we boarded the plane and there was a major discussion as to whether we switch our seats with each other so we were sitting with our spouses. Come on .... it was only an hour flight!! I was in Row 11 at the window and Sonny was behind me on an aisle. I wasn't switching with anyone and wind up in a middle seat. Plus our seats were Exit Rows ... double the reason not to switch!! We ended up flying into Orlando; renting 3 cars and driving to Gainesville. Sonny was the driver of one of the cars with me as his passenger. Well, the other 2 cars pulled over on the turnpike/interstate a couple of times for the gal in charge of our team to complain that he wasn't putting his turn signal on when he changed lanes every time and they were having trouble keeping up with us plus she thought he was going to fast (earlier she had complained about the other driver going to fast so that guy dropped back behind us.) We were going the speed limit but that was too fast for her!! Two of the cars had GPS systems and we were only going a couple of hours down the road. Why couldn't we all just meet up at the destination instead of having to piggy back with each other. We stopped for lunch about half way and she told us we had to switch drivers. She wanted me to drive our car and one of the other gals to drive the other car. I told her I did not want to drive & Sonny was doing just fine. Sonny was about to blow up!! Anyway, we finally arrived at the Red Cross headquarters in Gainesville which is the staging area for all the shelters. (We arrived there while the other two cars were lost and going in circles! They finally called us to ask how to get there!) As is the case most times with the Red Cross, it is a "hurry up and wait" situation. They did not have accomodations for us for the night and claimed they didn't know we were coming which is not true since the other half of our team arrived yesterday. Plus, we found out that there had been 11 shelters open in the area but they had closed all of them except 2! Keep in mind that there are people coming in here from all over and we heard that there are 4 teams coming in this weekend from California! The other part of our team who got here yesterday were sent to Lake City this afternoon but by the evening they were sent somewhere else because they were not needed in Lake City. So, we found a local mall and walked around while they found a hotel for us nearby. We are staying at the Days Inn tonight but who knows for tomorrow. Sonny & I left the others at the mall while they were eating at yet another fast food restaurant. (Keep in mind that we are given quite a bit of money from the Red Cross for our expenses so you don't have to do fast food.) Anyway, after we checked in to the hotel, we found a local bar and grill in the university area and had a meal, a couple of adult beverages and chilled out! It could be that we go back to the headquarters tomorrow and are told we are not needed and have to make arrangements to fly back to NC! I have suggested to Sonny that if that is the case, we see if we are needed in Montana or Colorado and go there to help with the fires. We're packed and have made arrangements for the next couple of weeks, so why not?
Stay tuned for this evolving story!! Thanks for letting me vent!