It never rains but it pours!


Jill Franks wraps up on the beach Well, as I am sure you've noticed I've been away from your TV screens for a while!

My husband Larry and I took a tour around the USA and I can honestly say it was the holiday of a life-time.

Larry planned each destination as a surprise and off we went on our travels. Luggage – don't even go there. How was I to know what shoes I needed?! Needless to say the airport check-in labeled my suitcase as heavy!

We adore the west coast of the USA. The beaches and coastlines are just beautiful, the people are adorable and, of course, the weather you can't not love - well, most of the time.

One of our stops was Miami. We hadn't been there for quite a few years so we decided to spend three days there after four amazing days at Palm Beach. One of these days was my husband's birthday and he'd booked a fabulous restaurant on recommendation.

We spent the day relaxing on the beach (Ultrasun factor 30 was my life-saver) after our morning run. Now that's an experience with the dolphins at your feet as you run. We celebrated in style and I had brought all his gifts and cards from friends and family, and Scruncher of course, to remind him of a little bit of home.

We sipped cocktails (well, pomegranate and orange for me) and had so much fun. All of a sudden, the clouds went dark and lightning began to strike far out at sea. A rather handsome life-guard (body beautiful as you can imagine in Miami) with his loud speaker suddenly warned everyone to come out of the sea and the swimming pool. The rain trickled and they had predicted it would pass by. Hmm! I had heard that many times before, so I sat laughing thinking we should ride it out. How wrong was I?!

I sat with my towel round my head and of course keeping on the designer sunglasses (see the picture at the top). The rain was warm and it had a wonderfully tropical feel about it. It reminded me of the storms in the Caribbean when I got married. Eventually the sky went black and I've never heard lightning like it and it was heading our way.

Flooded traffic lights The trickle of rain was an understatemement as it began lashing down. The beach was evacuated and the life-guard was instructing us to go inside. I had been through many tropical storms in my years in Florida but they had totally got this one wrong on the weather channel. By now it was forming and being alerted as a tropical storm.

All very wet, we got into the lift to our room with other soggy hotel guests. In the lift was a gentleman who was looking rather dashing and about five of us had clambered in, all dripping, with towels keeping us dry. His face was a picture. My husband says, 'sorry sir, it's raining out there' ( understatement!! ) and he replies, 'hi, my name is Kevin!'

The whole lift collapsed with laughter. He was from Germany and didn't speak English. I had to hide behind Larry as I was almost crying with laughter, you had to be there! So Larry's birthday was going rather well, as you can see. We went to our room and made an english cup of tea with my well-travelled PG Tips.

The storm went from bad to worse. It was unheard of for this time of year and the locals were saying they hadn't seen rain like it for many years. Whilst sipping the tea and dipping into some delicious chocolates we had bought the day before in this amazing chocolate shop, I sat on the window sill and watched the storm. Giving my husband a running commentary (as you can imagine, us presenters are great talkers!) with every detail whilst watching ithe news and taking photographs with my new pink camera. I knew it would come in handy.

Within two hours cars were desperately trying to get out of the bad weather but didn't realize how bad it was in Central Miami and were just driving into water that was gradually getting as deep as car bonnets. You couldn't recognize what was the walkway and what was the road. It was getting scary.

Before we knew it fire engines were coming to the rescue as parked cars and motorbikes were floating down the road. Now it was getting dangerous. Cars were just stalling as water was getting into the bonnets. We saw two young girls in a Range Rover who were climbing out of the windows of the car to try and push it but it was just too much. They decided to leave it and took off their clothes to bikinis and swam to the hotel over the road. I was so worried for them and their car.

They came back out and got back to the car to try again. If they could push it to the next corner it would save the car and spare them the thousands of dollars of repair it would cost them if they didn't rescue it. So we decided to see if we could help them as it was seconds away and they were the only car in this section stranded.

Car driving through the flood With my husband being a big strong guy we decided to put on our swimwear, went to the hotel reception and got some guys together to help. The hotel wouldn't let us out for safety reasons obviously but four security men went in their clothes and managed to rescue the girls and their car. They were so grateful.Amazingly the car started after it was in a secure place.

We watched in amazement as the rain turned into huge, dangerous hailstones.  As for the drainage system, don't even ask, but sea level is practically the same as land level there.

So, four hours later the rain eventually stops and it's chaos outside. But within an hour the roads are practically clear and the sun is now shining. It was weird that you could drive 10 minutes down the road and have glorious sunshine, and everyone would be wondering what on Earth you are going on about.

That's why cars were getting into trouble as the weather channel, which is vital out there, had only predicted showers to pass. Cars were still stranded and now being picked up by rescue vehicles which could, at long last, wade through the water. We couldn't get to the restaurant for my husband's birthday but managed  to rebook it for another night. It was certainly a birthday to remember.

You may remember on the same day in June the UK press were reporting a well-known Chelsea football star having a break with his wife in Miami. Well those pics were taken in the morning on a glorious Florida day before the storm hit. It couldn't have been so different. Don't believe all you read!
Have you had any holiday experiences you will never forget? I would love to hear them.


  1. Lorraine June 23, 2009 at 6:04 pm -  Reply

    Glad to see you back from your travels,
    Please may I ask a question? You were on last night (22 June) with Kim from Kim and Co and mentioned you had ordered 5 of her pieces. I really like your style and wondered if you would share what you had ordered?

  2. Jill Franks June 25, 2009 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lorraine
    Hope you are well
    I mentioned that the model Tanya had ordered 5 of her new pieces. I know one was one of the dresses from an earlier show…
    Thanks Lorraine
    But I did love her new dresses!!

  3. Lorraine June 25, 2009 at 2:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill,
    Sorry I must of misheard you but thank you so much for getting back to me.
    Please can I ask a question related to your love of fitness? Whats a good exercise for slacking skin on underarms? I have ME/CFS and my mobiliy is poor put I really dislike my arms (I am a size 10/12) and would love to be able to tighten them up. Tried the string pull thing from QVC but could not get on with it.
    Take care
    Lorraine x

  4. Fiona June 25, 2009 at 8:26 pm -  Reply

    Hey Jill!
    How are you?
    Please tell me what ring you were wearing tonight… I looked like the Lola Rose ring we both LOVE but I don’t think it was it!
    I got that Lola Rose in Last Clicks… What a bargain! 🙂
    Hope you are well, love, Fiona x

  5. Teresa June 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill
    Glad you enjoyed most of your holiday – apart from the rain! I hav to say though you do remind me of “ET” in the photograph on the beach!

  6. Fiona June 28, 2009 at 12:43 am -  Reply

    Hi Jill!
    I’ve just been watching you on QVC and I sent a wee text re MY ring which you are wearing again tonight… Hehe!!!
    I heard you say that a young lady had asked you about it and you’d posted details on your blog… I’ve just checked and there is nothing there as yet! I know it takes a wee while to update so I’ll check back tomorrow…
    Is it the Electroform Rose Shaped Statement Ring Sterling Silver ring that you spoke about in your blog some time ago?
    I’ve just heard you say that the system has crashed so…
    I LOVE your style… That watch you have on tonight is beautiful too! Can you please tell me where you got it?

  7. Jean Smillie June 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill,
    I saw you on air last night (28/6) launching the Kipling TSV. I loved the look of your watch (I just love ceramic watches). Can you give me any details about it?
    Many thanks,

  8. Amanda Williams June 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill
    Glad to see you are safely back from your holiday.
    From one handbag maniac to another I wonder if you could answer a question for me either by knowing or finding out.
    I recently purchased a fab white Kathy bag but somehow managed to get dye from some tissue paper on it. What is the best way to remove this from the handbag without damaging the material?
    Keep up the good work.

  9. Nicola Rippon June 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm -  Reply

    I was fascinated to read of your weather adventures. About 20 years ago I was with my family in Montreal when there was a massive electrical storm. We were touring the Olympic Stadium at the time and I remember vividly, even though the rain was pouring through the roof into the swimming pool(!) that our guide assured us it would be no problem and would only last a few minutes. Of course she was completely wrong and we were left stranded five miles from our hotel in a flood with the entire underground transport system shorted out, no buses operating and cars floating past us! Eventually we managed to find a bus that was operating – possibly the only one in the city – and which could drop us off within half a mile of our hotel. Fortunately the water was not as deep there but we still had to wade through it to get ‘home’. When we arrived the hotel had lost all power and we had to feel the outline of the numbers on the doors to find our room. Within a few hours the waters had receded quite a bit and we went out again only to see a rather confused-looking beaver whose home had been washed away. A couple of days later we had moved on the Washington DC where they were experiencing a heatwave and the temperature topped 104 degrees! Quite an experience!

  10. Chrissy July 2, 2009 at 12:52 am -  Reply

    Hi Jill.
    did you happen to go to st petersburg in florida it is so nice there i go every year,try it if you havent even for a few days the beaches are GREAT!!!!!

  11. Jill Franks July 2, 2009 at 9:55 am -  Reply

    Hi Teresa
    I was laughing so much with the towel over my head as I was determined to sit it out…and how funny you mention ET. Not only is it my favourite film and I cry buckets every time I see it. But as Larry was taking the picture he said I looked like ET too and I was doing silly ET impressions…have a great day

  12. Jill Franks July 2, 2009 at 9:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Fiona,
    Great to hear form you again
    The ring is our TSV today…
    I love it!!
    Let me know if you go for it.
    Oh my watch was a birthday present last year..I believe its GUESS. i LOVE IT TOO…QVC do one similar so have a look on the website.

  13. Jill Franks July 2, 2009 at 10:00 am -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    Great to hear from you,
    My watch was a birthday present last year. I believe it was from GUESS. QVC do one similar…have a look on our website..

  14. Jill Franks July 2, 2009 at 10:05 am -  Reply

    Hi Amanda
    I am sorry to hear about the mark form tissue paper on your ever adorable KVZ bag. Please let me know if it is a fabric bag or UPVC Leather. What colour is it? I did it on a bag of mine with a pen mark…gosh it is so annoying isnt it…let me know the fabric and I will look into it for you. Give me the item number and colour if thats easier for you. Now thats a drama for us handbag fanatics!!!

  15. Jill Franks July 2, 2009 at 10:10 am -  Reply

    Hi Nicola
    A great does get quite scary doesnt it..but its an amazing experience..poor beaver hope he found his way out too. Nicola,I laughed at the feeling the numbers on the door..thats kinda when reality hits and either tears or hysteria kick in…
    My problem is hubby and I always see everything as an adventure and another life experience!!! Not sure if thats always a great idea..

  16. Jill Franks July 2, 2009 at 10:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Chrissy
    Another Florida Fan hey!!!
    Yes we Love St Petes..we adore passe grille beach, I run most mornings on it..the dolphins are just incredible with the sea so beautiful and calm.At the top end of the beach is a little cafe where you can sit and have breakfast.. We love the Marina and the theatre and often visit the restaurant Moon under Water..Hubby adores the cobb salad!!! Ice cream parlour at the Don Ceaser hotel is a treat!! Check out their restaurant too and take a trip to the Salt Rock Grill restaurant which is on the way to Clearwater!!
    Oh you have got me excited for our next trip..any tips on places you have loved you could recommend!! Jill xxx

  17. anna hollands July 2, 2009 at 11:25 am -  Reply

    hi jill hope you are well. lovely to see you back from your travels! loved reading your blogs-you do make me laugh!! anyhow i saw you wearing that rose ring and thought it looked amazing!! so i was chuffed to bits to see it was todays tsv and have ordered it!! always a pleasure to watch you on qvc jill,take care anna xxxxx

  18. Nicola Rippon July 2, 2009 at 12:27 pm -  Reply

    I think you just have to see what life throws at us as an adventure. When something frustrating, or scary or whatever is happening I always think ‘well at least it’ll make a good story down the pub!”

  19. Fiona Stoddart July 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill,
    Just noticed you said your watch is from Guess… Does it have a diamond bezel on it and does it have dials on the face (i.e. second hand, date, etc)?

  20. Jill Franks July 3, 2009 at 11:46 am -  Reply

    Hi Anna
    I hope you love your TSV…it is from our silver range not Lola Rose..ENJOY

  21. Jill Franks July 3, 2009 at 11:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Fiona
    My watch was from the USA as a gift. Yes it does have the bezel and second hands as you described. I have found the original tag in the box for you and it is coded G13552L. I am not sure if it is the same in the UK for this design. I hope you find it..happy shopping

  22. Fiona July 3, 2009 at 8:42 pm -  Reply

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post comment with code for your watch… You are a wee star! I’ll let you know if I get it… Thanks again! x

  23. Fiona stoddart July 23, 2009 at 10:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Jill,
    How are you?
    I got the Guess watch from the USA… LOVE it!!!
    It’s really big though… Must get some links taken out!
    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me the code of the watch! I’d have never gotten it without it…

  24. lesa zong July 31, 2009 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill I love to watch you as we have the same interest in handbags. One question I would like to ask is what is your skincare routine?
    You look great and I would never say you were 44yrs old!!
    Please let me know your skin routine oh and make up would be good too.
    You always look great and your dog is so so cute!!
    Lesa zong

  25. Jill Franks August 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lesa
    Have a look at my skincare Junkie blog…that’s my answer to great looking skin as well as great nutrition, my spirulina and my exercise.
    Lots of Love

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