What’s Up With…Hurricane Irma?

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As the U.S. is still reeling with the impacts of devastating Hurricane Harvey, and the West suffers from the worst wildfires in history, the Atlantic region is gearing up for Hurricane Irma -- the strongest storm on record in the Atlantic.  The storm made landfall in the Caribbean last night, and is on a path to Southern Florida. We’ll continue to update information as it’s available, but in case you’re wondering how these events might impact your travel, we’ve got you covered.

Updated as of Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - Washington Post is keeping this post up to date.

Status: Yesterday, Irma was upgraded to a Category 5. Winds are reportedly upwards of 185 MPH. The storm made landfall last night in Antigua and Barbuda and is expected to continue a course through Puerto Rico, into Southern Florida by Sunday or Monday morning.  Predictions beyond 5 days are not reliable, so future pathways are largely unknown.

Will I Be Impacted? A state of emergency has been declared for Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the entire state of Florida.  Florida Keys are calling for mandatory evacuations effective today, and Miami-Dade County has also begun evacuating individuals with special needs out of caution. The Mayor is urging residents to stock up on essentials.

While Harvey dumped unprecedented amounts of rain, the concern in Florida is storm surge.  So, even if the storm passes quickly, low lying areas and ground floor buildings are still very much at risk of flooding.

Where Will Irma Hit? Landfall in Southern Florida is expected by Saturday morning. From there, Irma’s route is unknown. The storm is currently predicted to veer north up the Atlantic coast, although models show potential up the peninsula, or into the Gulf of Mexico. Impacts are expected to be felt up to 200 miles out.

What About My Travel Plans? Plan to cancel if you’re scheduled to visit the Caribbean, the Keys, or Miami County. Rest of Florida is still up in the air, since Irma’s pathway is still very unclear.  Remain on watch if your plans involve Florida in general, as well as areas along the Gulf coastline or up the Atlantic coast.  Be prepared for flight delays, cancellations, or diversions. If you’re a road warrior, stay out of potentially impacted regions as not to clog up the roads for evacuees and first responders.

Check this list for Airline and Cruiseline cancellations and waived change fees.

As long as you purchased trip insurance, any incurred costs from a change of plans should be covered. Be sure to check your policy.


Dolce Does….A Hunt for Street Art in Nolita, NYC

This post was featured in Pages of Travel.

Fun Fact: Audrey Hepburn is my all-time favorite actress.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s has long been my go to flick whether I am happy, sad, can’t sleep, (ahem…nursing a hangover), or bored on a rainy afternoon. 

In early March I had a planned trip to NYC to visit family and friends while on the east coast for work. I’ve frequented New York in the last several years since my full time job takes me to the east coast a decent amount, so for this trip I had only one thing to see at the top of my list….

Hit Nolita (North of Little Italy) to find the Audrey on Mulberry street art by Tristan Eaton.

It ended up being the coldest weekend of the winter – this SoCal girl was FREEZING! – but my dear friends indulged me, so after a few brunch cocktails to warm us up, off to Nolita we went.

We got dropped off by a cab at the corner of Broome and Mulberry, and right around the corner from Cafe Roma, there she was.

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In the warmer months, there's a little table and chairs set up so you can join Audrey for a meal.

After taking some pictures, we took advantage of the street art, great shopping (tons of boutiques, plus SoHo is nearby!), and the awesome food and drink spots.  We needed some cocktails to keep us warm in that freezing March weather!

There's also some art of John Lennon, Homer Simpson, and Where's Waldo in the neighborhood.

If you’re into street art, shopping, and great food/drinks, or even just getting lost in the city, plan to spend an afternoon next time you’re hunting down street art.  Once you've worked up an appetite, grab a bite at fast-casual Italian spot, Sosta (Mott) or old school Italian restaurant Emilio’s Ballato (Houston), where celebs like Billy Joel are known to frequent. Don’t miss cocktails on the patio at Sweet & Vicious (Spring), or at the Hemingway-meets-tiki RinTinTin cocktail bar. And...you can't go without some Dolci (desserts!) when you're in Little Italy!

I'm always adding to my list of round-the-world street art to catch on future trips.  Drop a note in the comments to let me know where your favorite street art is!

Audrey on Mulberry was featured on Pages of Travel post on 33 coolest street murals around the world -- go check out the other 32 awesome pieces!