The evacuation warning has been lifted and we are home again.
Without giving out too many personal details (and an invitation to come and knock at our door), here is a map of the fire, and I can tell you it reached within blocks of our house (yes, Almost American - the ghetto was threatened!!). The fire is not yet completely contained, but a good sign is that the hundreds and hundreds of firefighters who converged on SB seem to have headed home. It was quite a sight to be heading north on the freeway on Friday while the route south was crammed with fire trucks from every conceivable Northern California town headed to save our neighbourhood. Quite humbling really. I shall try and remember that next time I pay my taxes.
The red portion shows the 'active' fire area. Our house lies within blocks of the most southerly point (click on the map for more detail).
As it happens, we had a fantastic mini-vacation. An unplanned spending of gobs of cash, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better excuse I feel.
On a whim we decided to head north with what we'd rescued from the fire. That is how we ended up on holiday with no toothpaste and no toiletries, but instead, our wedding photos, the bottom drawer of our filing cabinet, our hard drive (but no keyboard & monitor) and that accompaniment for every well-seasoned traveler - a guinea pig. Try smuggling one of those in to a Hilton (and I don't mean Paris Hilton) - not easy.
We were clearly not the only people with the same bright idea. We bumped in to one of Anna's former Kindermusik classmates at the Monterey Aquarium this afternoon, which was more than a little bizarre. They too had fled the fire with trash bags filled with belongings and no real plan of where they were headed.
I am beyond exhausted, but happy to be home. I will regale with you stories of our hurried departure another time, but for now, sleep.