Things are still pretty wild and hairy on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

<p>What a week. Finally got ldgirl home after moving her belongings out of a third floor dorm with a broken elevator. Parents were out there 'on, the, EDGE' during the entire time we were there... definitely heard our fair share of cursing and! Several outright scenes were made by irate adults. My poor stoic husband made many, MANY trips down the back stairs, bumping a dolly one step at time and managing to keep a smile on his face. (He views 'losing it' as a character flaw. One of mine, I might!)</p>

<p>Then just as we were trying to get checked out by the RA, the shower backs up all over the 'just cleaned' bathroom. Brown stinky gunk a half inch deep all over half the floor. I guess all the students cleaning their bathrooms (some for the first time I'm sure) all at once had an adverse effect on the plumbing. But a very nice maintenance guy fixed the problem and we got the mess cleaned up and we were on the road.</p>

<p>Managed to hit Atlanta at rush hour...which is almost as bad as Houston Loop 610 rush hour. But hubby still had a smile on his face...just thrilled to have 'his little girl' in the back seat and would have sat there for days without complaining.</p>

<p>Lost the smile the next morning though. We stayed overnight at a big chain hotel along I-10 in Ocean Springs, MS and woke to find our vehicle along with 4 others had been burglarized. A gang of thieves bashed in windows in all vehicles, glass everywhere. From us they took nothing...we had taken all valuables...laptops, phones, cameras... inside. They apparently saw an empty spare computer bag in the back seat and thought they were going to get a laptop. The police did catch the guys...they were hitting cars at the next hotel down I-10 when they were caught. They had, in their possession, a van full of stolen goods from cars including weapons. Apparently this particular gang had been working this stretch of I-10 in MS for more than a year and the police were pretty happy to have nabbed 'em. BUT, they told us that as soon as they lock these badguys up, another batch will step right into their shoes. The nearest auto glass place was back in Mobile, AL so we had to drive the remaining 7 hours with cardboard wedged into the window frame. Very noisy, very windy, very humid. Not fun.</p>

<p>Things are definitely not back to normal in the Katrina zone. Security is still a problem, the hotels still have dehumidifiers in them...and virtually every hotel guest was a contractor or affiliated with an insurance company. Didn't have time to check out the beachfront to see if there has been any improvement since we last looked in August. I hope was a devastating sight last fall.</p>

<p>Needless to say, we'll take the longer Smoky Mountain route back to Chapel Hill in the fall.</p>

<p>ldmom: Wow. What a story. The overflowing bathrooms would have been the breaking point for me--not to mention the car issue. Of course, I've never been in a dorm with an elevator, anyway. That sounds like a novel idea. (What dorm is that?). </p>

<p>We did move our kid out of the school down the street a week ago-- 4th floor walk-up; narrow stairwells and very short steps. People must have had much smaller feet back in the 1930's. I didn't see anybody lose it, though, or get angry. They seemed like a pretty happy bunch to me--despite the fact that it was pouring rain.</p>

<p>Our move wouldn't have been so bad, but we turned out to be friendly storage for the roommate's TV; VCR; and a bag full of some really heavy stuff (the downside to living so close by!). Parking wasn't very close, either, but nothing nearly as traumatic as your trip. Glad you made it home in one piece! ;)</p>

<p>lol jack...I think I know that school down the street...hehehe! </p>

<p>I think the part that sent parents over the edge at my d's dorm was the fact that there was virtually no parking around the dorm, so we were all instructed to park in a nearby med center parking garage. So every load had to be shuttled to the parking garage. Also, when dorms have big elevators, people tend to put things in their dorm rooms that are hard to get out without an big tvs, futons, recliners, etc... That makes for a very difficult haul down the stairs. ldgirl learned her lesson...about 95% of what she took home is staying home. The 'keep' stuff was minimal and in storage in Chapel Hill. She'll be headed back to school with her i-pod tower, bathing suit, a few pair of jeans/t-shirts and her favorite 'mary-jane' Skechers..and that's pretty much it I!</p>

<p>Frankly, I'm glad UNC has NOT put in a bunch of parking lots. I'd much rather see a gorgeous valley full of majestic trees behind my kid's dorm than a big pad of concrete. And 8 miles down the road from you, we didn't get the rain ...thank goodness. My husband was just happy it was overcast and cool...he's a 'grateful for the good news, ignore the bad news'!</p>