sleeping through the night, only waking up once or twice when i hear heavy wind and rain (hotel rooms, while notoriously thin-walled, are pretty sound proof when it comes to outside noise. especially when the A/C unit is running. jack insists that he wants to go downstairs and "see the storm." i tell him i will wake him if there was anything to see. (wink, wink...)
cheeky monkey sets the alarm for 2 am, the expected time of landfall.
HE does not stir when the alarm goes off.
I jump out of my skin.
take a peek outside. our window faces east, which gets the early part of the storm. not much happening now. think about going down and checking with the night auditor about how it's going. think about checking if they need help setting up the breakfast buffet. (have delayed staff arrival until noon, when winds and rain should be long gone.)
fall back asleep while thinking about it.
time to assess the situation. dress in the semi-dark and head downstairs. take the back door, checking out the pool first. we drained it off yesterday in preparation of heavy rain. now it is a half-full pool. half-full of pine needles!! will take some work to get it back up and running this weekend. (make mental note to prepare adequate signage. in my experience, guests will NOT understand this afternoon why the pool isn't open. it will be sunny! and hot! and they will not be able to swim!! it's called bacteria, people. the invisible killer.) (okay, that might be a little extreme.)
walk the parking lot, check that our brand new palm tree is still standing. there's a truck in the parking lot labeled "hurricane research." wonder if that's a legitimate organization. it looks a little generic. sort of like it might be the truck of some people who's idea of "hurricane research" involves frozen drinks from New Orleans.
parking lot is on the west side of the building, where the wind is heaviest after the "eye" passes. it's still kicking at a pretty good clip. pick up a few palm fronds and decide it's a wasted of time to clean up anymore while the wind is still blowing. walk to the back door to re-enter building and notice that part of the pool fence is listing at a remarkable angle. hmmm. didn't notice that before. need coffee.
coffee in hand, survey pool fence with assistant manager scott (assistant TO the manager). he volunteers to stand there and hold it in place until we can get it fixed. ah, we all still have our sense of humors intact!
executive housekeeper points out that we lost two mature trees on the east side, just outside of the breakfast area. bummer. (good thing we took those bird feeders down!) fortunately, they have fallen parallel to the building, and did not come crashing through the beautiful floor to ceiling windows!
time to begin the water damage survey, which is a very technical process. it involves going into every. single. room. of the hotel and feeling the carpet in front of the A/C unit. i mean getting down and feeling it with your hand. wonder if i can sub-contract that work? (i'm kidding, of course!) (well, sort of...)