Several months ago, my parents booked a vacation through Expedia to come up and visit.  Amazingly, New Orleans started allowing commercial flights last week, and Delta honored their tickets.  Their flight was only 30 minutes off the original itinerary.  I was impressed.

News from back home

Some people have trailers, some don’t.  There’s a long line for getting a trailer.  If you want to talk to the Red Cross, you have to get to their station in Waveland right at the crack of dawn.  There’s a long line of people, and they only serve the first so many people.  But, everyone in the town has plenty of MREs.

Waveland Café, which I want to say is located in the old National’s parking lot (across from police station), is serving free meals. 

The story about the police officers holding onto the tree / bush during the hurricane to survive is true.  Not that I doubt the reports from CNN, but it is always good to ask someone from down there to confirm the details.  The Waveland police station is a one-story building on the other side of Hwy 90.  It must be at least 3-4 miles inland.

They are still looking for the Casino Magic Bay St. Louis Barge.  They can’t find it.

St. Clare is holding mass on Sundays, where the church used to be.  Everyone laughed when the priest said, “And for our second collection…”

Driving to New Orleans International was creepy.  The surrounding areas were a ghost town.  Note: you don’t have to go through New Orleans to get to the airport, so they never actually went into the city – just around it.  Burger King was open from 10-5 with a sign (don’t quote me on what the sign actually said) “no special orders.  You get what we have available.”

Shopping with Hurricane Victims in Bellevue

We went to Value Village in Redmond twice.  You can never go wrong with 3 dollar jeans that fit like you’ve worn them your entire life. =)

Cheers to the following establishments for giving us a “hurricane discount”

  • Fred Meyer in Bellevue – gave us a gift card (they wanted to split the cost of new tennis shoes for my parents, but neither could find their size)
  • Red Robin in Bellevue Square Mall – Lunch was on the house.  They even tried to get us to order dessert after they said it was on them.
  • Mora Ice Creamery in Bellevue Square Mall – gave each of my parents a free ice cream cone.  We figured that they hadn’t had ice cream in a long while.
  • Champ Sports in Bellevue Square Mall – discount on tennis shoes

If you find yourself at one of these places in the new few weeks, just say, “Hey, I heard you helped out a couple of hurricane victims that were here, and I think that’s pretty darn cool.”

Jeers to only Olive Garden in SouthCenter.  We had just picked my parents up from the airport and were discussing where to eat.  When I suggested Olive Garden to my parents, my mom got really excited about the salad and bread sticks.  The wait was over 40 minutes (Thursday night around 8pm), and the only thing they had all day was Burger King in New Orleans outskirts area on the way to the airport.  I explained the situation to the manager, but she said, “We cannot discriminate against our other guests who have been waiting.”  I completely understood the policy (hey, I had to try, right?), but the “discriminate” part really sounded odd.  I almost turned around and asked if anyone wanted to give up their seats for us, but I got shy.  I do that sometimes.  We drove down the road and ate at the first restaurant we found without any waiting.  It just broke my heart to finally be able to do something, anything, and I couldn’t deliver, especially on the first request.   Yeah, I’m pretty hard on myself sometimes.

Save Waveland Fundraiser

I am in the process of working on a fundraiser for the people of Waveland (read: not just family, but all families down there).  I don’t want to steal any of the thunder from an upcoming post, but if you are in the Redmond / Bellevue area and want to directly donate the people of Waveland, stay tuned to this blog in the next coming days for my announcement (and potential artwork).