Escaping the Smoke in Pismo Beach

 The wine country fires have been so devastating and we're sending our prayers each day to all affected. We, like most people in the city, know people who lost their homes which is just unimaginable. My friend Stacey worked tirelessly for over a week rescuing animals and caring for over 140 horses at her barn that usually houses 45 horses. Thankfully my aunt's house, as well as my dad's rental property (my grandmother's former house) escaped the fire despite it burning on three sides of the development.

It was pretty crazy how much smoke was hovering in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area and it's just cleared in the last few days. After the illnesses that were keeping us homebound for what felt like weeks, and then the smoke when we finally got everyone better, Dave and I decided on a last minute trip out of town for fresh air, as did many in the Bay Area.

Pismo seemed like a great option as it's not to far (but far enough to guarantee smoke-free air), no flight required and 85-degree weather was forecast, not not mention it was a great excuse to visit Chip and Julie. Dave had been down several times, but we had never taken Coco.

'Fire Sun' - craziest sunsets during the fires
Leaving town at 2pm on a Friday is never a good idea so we were slowly making our way down 101 basically to Salinas before we finally started making some progress after dinner at McDonalds for the kids and In 'n Out for us (conveniently in the same parking lot). We finally got to the airbnb at 9pm. The kids were actually really good and we did get naps out of all and then C fell asleep before we arrived and miraculously transferred pretty easily and went back to sleep.

Saturday was a much better day with breakfast out, the morning at the beach with Chip and his family, a quiet time walk around town with William while the others rested, a visit to Dinosaur park overlooking the ocean, then grilling on the rooftop of our condo before heading out for a quick ice cream. Chip and Julie came over that night after their event and we chatted for a bit over drinks.

The next morning we headed out by 9am, but stopped by a pumpkin patch, then had to charge the car which took a while, had lunch while it was charging and there was more traffic as we headed into Salinas so didn't get home until about 5:30 which was pretty brutal. Again the kids did pretty well, but it was a rush to get something healthy on the table for dinner, get the kids bathed and in bed, unpack, etc., before the week started. Thankfully we arrived home to good air quality so we were able to air out the house. The next couple days the poor air quality returned, but it's since cleared up and the rain several nights ago certainly helped. It was a much needed last minute getaway to get outside!

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