Saturday 8:30 pm
The wind is blowing more steadily now, but not hurricane strength. It seems the palm fronds must be easy to move. I hadn’t noticed before, but now even the “normal” trees are pretty much leaning with the wind as well. Nothing severe, but not just a breeze, either.
It turns out the hotel has its own generator, so I’ll be packing up thirty little candles with cheap metal wrappers when I leave on Tuesday. I guess we’ll use them during the next ice storm. Or, I can donate them to Jill, our church’s decorator, and she’ll use them to beautifully illuminate the church some evening. Actually, they look rather like the little fires they put under warming trays at buffet meals; maybe we can keep supper warm some night.
I went out the front doors of the hotel a moment ago. Apparently the hotel feels responsible for any accidents in the pool courtyard, but they don’t care what happens to us if we go out front. So I walked around a bit and enjoyed the wind. I’m going to have to look up the Beaufort scale to estimate speeds. Since it appears that palm fronds and trees move far more easily than other trees, I’m guessing that the wind is a “fresh breeze.” I can’t tell if the branches I saw moving were large enough to qualify, and there weren’t any obvious wires for wind to whistle through, so I can’t say it was a “strong breeze.” However, it is very hard to tell, since the hotel is next to the convention center and across the street from more tall structures. So, ground level around the hotel may not be affected by the full strength of winds that otherwise strike Orlando. But rain has started; not much, but constant enough that I chose to come back in. (See, I do too have that much sense!)
We have all gotten little notes from the hotel management slid under our doors. Sure enough, they do have generators to supply basic electricity (hall lights, elevators) for the duration. But they can’t promise water pumps above the 15th floor, so I have now filled the ice bucket with ice, the coffee maker reservoir and carafe and tub with water. The latter is for scooping into the toilet tank should it need to be replenished (slight blush, please).
They are also offering the ballroom on the first floor for the worst part of the storm, which they anticipate opening for us about 6 am. For those of us wishing to stay in our rooms, they recommend keeping the drapes fully closed (there are three separate drape layers for the window); they also say the safest place in the room is in the bathroom. If I were going to do all that, I might as well go downstairs. Where’s the fun of being in a lofty room if you’re not going to look out?!