June 5, 1995- Tropical Storm Allison first strikes near Alligator Point and later near Saint Marks. Allison produces a 6.8 foot (2 m) storm surge in Apalachee Bay as well as scattered tornadoes, with damage amounting to $860,000.
This was the results of the hurricane brewing in the Gulf before our summer vacation to St. George Island – our favorite beach to vacation on. Pam had suggested that we monitor this storm but my Taurus bull-headed nature said it would be okay and we didn’t need to bother. So we loaded the kids and drove the 7-1/2 hours to St George island. We stopped at real estate office to pick-up the key to the house we rented for the week only to find out there was a mandatory evacuation of the island. The I-told-you-so’s came fast and furious and the kids were bummed -we were tired and cranky from over 9 hours in the car.
We followed the evacuation route to Tallahassee and checked into a small hotel room, After turning on the news and hearing about the several feet of flooding expected for Tallahassee we decided to check out and travel the 7 hours back home. The kids were moaning in the back about how this was the “worst vacation ever”. But, when we got to I75 Pam and I decided to head south for Orlando instead of north for Athens. We arrived in Orlando at 2AM and found a room at the Marriott World Center. I was never so grateful for a minibar – after 18 hours of driving and navigating I75 at night, under construction and in a driving rain – I needed a beer.
The next morning we woke to sunny skies and better temperaments – the temperaments got even better when the kids saw the wrap around pool with an island, waterfalls and slides – and for mom and I, a Tiki bar. We spent most of the day having a great time at Sea World and that evening we all played “dolphin” in the pool until 11PM.
In the morning of our third day in we called the real estate office and found that the Island was open and safe – so we checked out and drove back to St George Island checked in our house and had a great rest of the week. The body surfing had never been so much fun with the big waves from the passing tropical storm.