Tropical Depression

2:00 PM -- So what'd I do on vacation? Short answer: I didn't get killed.

My wife and I thought it'd be a nice idea to rent a beach house for a week in September on the Texas coast. We had that thought more than four months ago.

The week we set aside for frolicking on the beach just ended yesterday and, fortunately, we never left Cowtown. Just about the time we would have loaded the car with suitcases, some windy bitch named Rita stormed ashore near Galveston and had her way with my vacation plans.

Instead of long walks on the beach, umbrella drinks, and the occasional jellyfish sting, I spent the week working my way through a mile-long honey-do list, walking through Ikea for the first time, and dropping in on my parents, whose house was transformed into a hurricane hostel.

And, just when I started to get depressed about how the week was turning out, I met the family now sleeping beneath my sister's "Charles in Charge" poster.

The family lived in New Orleans until just before Katrina destroyed the place. Then they packed everything they own into one car and escaped to Houston.

Just a week or so later, when Rita threatened to make Houston an even flatter and more lifeless waste of space than it already is, the family had to move again.

Now, as if their luck couldn't get any worse, the fleeing family moved in with my parents. Sure, they're relieved now, but wait 'til one borrows my Dad's lucky hammer or unwittingly finishes the Sunday crossword before my Mom wakes up.

Lesson learned: There's no place like home.

— Phil Harvey, Travel Editor, Light Reading

Sign In