There I was sopping wet with the concoction of water, sand, mud, and something that reeked like dead fish covering my body. All I knew was that I was in desperate need of solid ground, and a shower. I should have guessed that something like this was going to happen, it was the last night before we went back home after all.
It is not very often my family goes on vacation, but when we do, something bad always happens to me. Whether it be in Ireland where I got lost in the maze of a castle for an hour, or the trip to Lake of the Ozarks where I ran into a glass door and broke my nose. The thing that gets me each time though without fail, is that these mishaps always happen the day before we go back home.
It all happened a few years ago. We had planned everything out and it was the week before our vacation to Gulf Shores when the weather man said something about a pretty serious hurricane coming towards the Gulf coast. They called it Katrina. A name so beautiful, they’d make sure to use it on a natural disaster. What else could they do? Name it something terrible, sure, that would make everyone feel better. My family and I all looked at each other with a sense of awe and disappointment. But the way I looked at it, this was the bad thing that was going to happen to me this vacation. The pure power of this thing had already ruined our plans for the vacation I had been waiting months for. That was the incident; I had gotten it out of the way for the vacation before we even went on it! But in the midst of my celebration, I realized the severity of the situation. This thing was going to hurt people, and we could not do anything to help them but sit and pray that they would be all right.
We had finally arrived. Months after Katrina had hit, you could still see the devastation. It hit somewhere deep inside me as we drove through town to envision what this looked like as the hurricane hit. But nevertheless we were going to make the best of the situation. After all, no mishaps right!? How bad could this be? We drove up to our house that we were renting and it was more perfect than I could have imagined. A perfect shade of dark blue covered the house, with a white wraparound porch, shutters, and rocking chairs to accent it flawlessly. The beach was our back yard. We could not have asked for anything more.
The first few days of vacation flew by. We went to the beach everyday and ate somewhere new every night. It was the life of utterly wonderful, beautiful, spectacular perfection. My mom and I had started a habit of taking a walk during sunset and sunrise each day. During the morning we would find numerous treasures of sand dollars and sea shells. However, during the night it was a completely different experience. You heard the waves crash on to the shore as you felt the sand squish between your toes. If you took a deep breath as you walked along you could almost taste the salt water in the air. But my favorite part of all was watching the sun melt effortlessly into the horizon of the watercolor painted sky. It was a scene you would see in a movie; all of the oranges, reds, pinks, and purples combined to some sorts of blurry hybrid color that you could not help but smile when you saw it. But, this beach, no matter its beauty was still in repair. There were pipes strewn about all up and down the coast line. Their job was to bring misplaced water back into the ocean. So occasionally, walking down the beach you would find a giant puddle waiting to be splashed in; but the caution tape said that was a bad idea. These puddles were prime watering holes for pelicans.