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Tornadoes and Beaches

Heidi Shenk

Today officially marks the beginning of our fourth day of vacation. Our first day was a 13 hour drive that turned into 16 hours without us even making our final destination. Due to some ridiculous weather and the entire state of New York taking their vacation and driving down I95 South, our trip took much longer. Almost every car we saw, by the time we reached North Carolina, had a New York license plate!

Then there was the ridiculous weather I was speaking of. Yes. A tornado. In North Carolina. Headed straight at us. The most bizarre road trip of my life.

We tend to have a bit of bad luck when it come to road trips. Something weird and weather related usually happens. One winter we drove through the blizzard of the century in Nebraska on our way to Colorado to my sister's place for Christmas. You could see nothing but white out the windshield and we ended up having to stay at the most gross hotel I have ever stepped foot in. That was concluded by a meal on Christmas at the only place that was open where we met Russ the trucker and some crazy old ex-marine that ended up peeing himself by the end of the night because he was so drunk.
Oh yes. It's true. Worst road trip luck ever.

Last summer, on our way back to Baltimore from camping with my parents in Canada, we ran into some pretty psycho weather again. We had spent the night in Indiana at my parents' house and were headed out on our last stretch when the sky began to turn green. I checked the weather, and sure enough, tornado warning. Luckily we didn't run into any tornadoes, but we were caught in one of the most incredible thunderstorms I have ever been in. Rain so hard you could almost feel it pelting you through the car. You couldn't see anything out the front window and the wind was so strong that we had to pull over.

Yup. Not as bad as the blizzard, but bad road trip luck nonetheless.

So as you can imagine, as we left Baltimore early Saturday morning, and we heard on NPR that bad storms were expected in the Carolina, we laughed and said, "Wouldn't that be our luck."
We thought nothing of it. There was rain for most of the day on our drive. About halfway through North Carolina, we began to get hail. This, we thought, was our crazy weather experience for this road trip. Little did we know what we'd be in for about two minutes later.

This is what we were in for:

Let me just say, I am now quite happy to be relaxing on a beautiful, sunny, Florida beach!

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