We Survived the Houston Flood

Hi!  I'm Jake!

On Monday, Callie and I ended our two-week North Carolina vacation.  The vacation was amazing.  We relaxed and relaxed and relaxed.  Then all that relaxing was ruined by our trip back to Austin.


1. a wedding at ocean isle beach

My wife looked beautiful. I wore a linen suit.  During the ceremony, a boat drove by playing rap music.  What made every one laugh is the boat's nasty rap coincided with the minister saying the part about "love... endures all things."  Perfect timing! Even the bride laughed.

panorama of Callie Sharon before Bo and Ginny's wedding in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.

Callie Sharon is constantly beautiful.
Jake Sharon looks surprisingly respectable.

2. a wedding in the blue ridge mountains

The second wedding took place in Swananoa, North Carolina, just outside Asheville.  Asheville is Callie's favorite place on Earth.  Callie loves North Carolina.  She smiles constantly in Asheville.

During Travis and Hillary's wedding
I saw a bug on a guy's neck.
Instead of telling him,
I took a picture.
Maybe he is reading this story
and finally finding out about the bug.

Jake and Callie Sharon in front of the groom's cake
a plate of Krispy Kreme doughnuts

3. our rental car

Our rental car, a Nissan Versa Note, got 36.8 miles per gallon!  Thanks Alamo Rent A Car!  Also, officers, please pull DDH-6951 over for a fun time.  Check their glove compartment for a fun time.

Nissan Versa Note
Alamo Rent A Car

4. horses

Callie Sharon's favorite thing on the planet is horses.  If she has a good day, she rides a horse to celebrate.  If she has a bad day, she rides a horse to get through it.  In Callie's perfect world, she would ride a horse to work and her job would be riding horses all day- and then she would ride a horse to get home, where she would then ride horses all night until she had to ride a horse to work the next day.

Callie is a horse whisperer. Callie can take the crappiest horse and get him/her to do exactly what she wants it to do.  When Callie is in a good mood because of horses, I can pretty much get her to do whatever I want her  to do.  

Tryon Equestrian Center, Tryon, NC

NOTE: The Adult Amateur Hunter I saw on video
also involved a horse.

Kristin McAlister
Callie Sharon
Jake Sharon
riding the carousel at
Tryon Equestrian Center, Tryon, NC

5. literally tons of babies

There were literally tons of babies.  Two thousand pounds of babies.  The nice thing about babies is every time Callie and I see one, we are even more excited about babies- because babies make us that much more resolute that we don't want any of our own.  Denver comedian Jodee Champion said it best "Kids are like farts.  I don't mind my own.  But other peoples?  Gross."  Well Callie and I don't even want our farts either.

Also, we saw tons of family too. That part was the best!

6. the cabin in blowing rock

7. bojangles

8. biscuit factory

9. five meals of carolina barbecue- including Asheville's very own 12 Bones!

but then we flew back to Texas.


1. southwest canceled our flight

Because of the lightning storm and the constant rain, Southwest Airlines canceled our flight. Their first priority is safety.  As I told another passenger "I'd rather be grounded than in the ground."  What really sucked is Southwest couldn't fly us out till Wednesday night (for a Monday night flight)! So we were going to be stuck in Houston for two whole days.  Moreover,  we waited in the gate agent's line for an hour to find out this information.  At this time they also told us we would not get any vouchers or hotel room.

2. we got a rental car

Callie and I decided we didn't want to blow $150 on Houston hotel rooms.  We decided to try to get home so we could go back to work the next day.  So, during the hour-long wait in line, I called Alamo and reserved a rental car. What was dumb is I didn't get the insurance- during a state of emergency! During a state of emergency, always get the insurance. 

3. we were stuck on i-10

As we drove from the airport, we found a couple massive puddles and drove right through them.  We thought we were out of the deep water.  We thought that was that. We knew we would hit some traffic, but Google Maps said we would be home in 3 hours.

When we got on I-10, we drove a few miles and traffic slowed down.  We were now 15 minutes from the airport. I had an opportunity to exit.  I really wished I had taken the exit. I-10 is the low point of the flood plain.  The frontage roads are about 30 feet above the interstate.  So, I-10 is a great place for a flash flood.  

The I-10 off-ramps are next to the deepest part of the water.  That is stupid.  You can't put your doors and windows next to the place most likely to set fire and if you are in a flood plain, you can't have the deepest part be next to the off ramp, the only escape route.  Several cars attempted to ford the river to get to the off ramp and their cars stalled out.  Their flashers illuminated the highway for several hours until they faded.  There was no way to exit the highway. Any attempt in our tiny Ford Focus would cause us to get stuck.  Please remember I didn't get the insurance.  We were trapped on the highway.

I-10 was flooded and there was no way to escape.

So I called my dad.  I was hyperventilating.  The water was rising.  We were in a rental car that could end up costing us thousands of dollars. My MacBook Pro and my new suits were in the trunk.  Oh yeah: Callie and I could die.  There was debris, rising water, and hundreds of cars on the highway.  All that stuff could kill us.  Every time a car or semi-truck went by, our car rocked in its wake.  The water rose to the tailpipe of the car in front of us.  The rain was coming down hard.  The flood waters rose.  Also Callie has epilepsy- and stress is one of her triggers.  Not the best thing to have when you could drown in a rental car.

I called my dad.  He told me how people in the military use slow breathing to stop panicking.  He walked me through it.  Also, Callie was calm and composed.  That helped.

Dad also told us to stay inside the car unless the water flooded it.  Then he said to get on top and use it like a raft until someone with a truck bed or a safer place went by.

This stuff was freaking me out.
Callie was adamant we would not attempt to forge the river.  Good call.

4. no food, water, blankets, etc.

Dad kept asking questions.  Do you have food?  No. Do you have blankets?  No.  Do you have rain coats? No.  Our personal car has those things.  Rental car does not.  I am an Eagle Scout, but I don't pack survival gear in my wedding trip luggage.  Maybe I should.

5. we had bodily functions

Callie and I stayed hydrated earlier that day.  We felt comfortable doing that because airports and gas stations have places to urinate. The Ford Focus rental car does not have a place to urinate.  We did not want to leave the rental car either.  The rental car was our lifeboat.  You don't get out of the lifeboat to pee.  We peed in the lifeboat instead.

We dumped out the Diet Coke bottle I bought at the airport so Callie could take her epilepsy meds.   I peed in the bottle.  Some pee got on the car seat. Some got on me.  Then I emptied the bottle. Callie got in the back seat and peed in the bottle there.  That was smart.  Some pee got on her.  Some got on the back seat.  As we found out later, the front seats would become our beds for the night.  My bed had pee.  Not cool. 

Dad had some suggestions about the pee situation too.  He told me that coke bottles aren't great pee receptacles unless you are a little boy.  Neither Callie nor me was a little boy.  That is good news because neither of us wants to sleep with a little boy.

6. bored

After freaking out, we ended up just being really bored.  We played our playlist 10 times.  It was dark out so I couldn't really record any Youtube-able footage.  Dang.  Whenever I am in an emergency zone, I like to go viral.  Instead, I just recorded the Ford Focus ceiling.

7. can't sleep

My dad warned us about flooding, lightning, carbon monoxide poisoning and more.  Nightmare stuff.  So I couldn't sleep.  Callie kind of slept.  At 8:00 am, traffic finally started moving again.   

8. eight hours.

We had been trapped for over 8 hours in one spot on the highway.  We both called our jobs and they gave us the day off.  We got home at noon and slept all day.  Southwest refunded us part of our trip and sent us a voucher.

Bye!  I'm Jake!