California: and then we survived an earthquake

On Saturday, we drove all around Napa and Sonoma, making a few random stops along the way.

We picked up some breakfast at Bouchon Bakery with its line out the door

If I had opened my eyes, this would have been a cute picture
We were on a mission to find pistachio trees only to learn that they are grown a few hours away, but we did stumble upon some incredible views of the valley, none of which come close to being captured in pictures.
We walked through another vineyard
and ate lunch in downtown Sonoma, where the food was good but the shops were too speciality and expensive for me

We ventured back to downtown Napa for a little souvenir shopping and stumbled upon a big festival.

Mr. David and Mrs. Patty headed back to SF that night to fly out the next morning.  Based upon our wine tour guide’s recommendation, Jim and I opted for a nice dinner at Rutherford Grill.  Locals all bring their own wine to dinner since it’s cheaper and this restaurant didn’t have a corking fee.  We were fancy and went to a tasting at a local cellar before selecting our wine to bring to dinner.  (don’t worry mom, we took a cab)

We enjoyed our wine on the patio waiting for our table

Dinner was excellent and the grilled artichoke was my favorite part
Later that night, at about 3:30 in the morning, we woke up to the entire building shaking, lots of loud noise.  What I initially thought was a nightmare was in reality a 6.0 earthquake.

The earthquake lasted about 15 seconds and I was terrified.  I prayed that we would survive without the building crashing down on us.

Once the earthquake stopped, Jim tried to find the light only to not be able to find the lamp.  He eventually found his phone to use as light with the power out and the room pitch black.  I of course screamed to be careful for broken glass with the window.  We evacuated the hotel and talked to other travelers, Canadians and other non-Californians who also didn’t really know what to do after an earthquake.  That’s when I noticed this scratch on Jim’s face, who knows how he got it, maybe the lamp.
After an hour, we hoped the aftershocks were over and went back to bed.  I managed to fall back asleep only to be woken up by another jolt of an aftershock.

Once the sun came up, we surveyed the room and found the destruction
That’s the microwave, tv, drawers, and fridge all fallen over.
The air conditioner came out of the socket and both beds moved 6 inches off the wall.  The bedside table, with a granite top, had fallen over with my phone underneath.

Right after the quake, we noticed the floor was wet and I was worried that all of our wine had fallen but miraculously it was only the ice bucket.  The duck wine was safe and has now been renamed earthquake wine.

The hotel was built to code and the windows were fine.  We made it out mostly untouched other than Jim’s scrape and were very lucky.  The earthquake felt as if you were on a horrible old roller coaster jolting you back and forth, not something I want to experience again.

We tried to find breakfast but everything in Napa was closed.  With all the glass in grocery stores and restaurants, we had to drive out of town to find food.  The bummer was that friends of mine who now live in SF were coming up to go to wineries with us that afternoon and all of the wineries were closed for the day trying to clean up their damage.

So we headed to the coast.  On the way out there, we saw how dry California is.
We went to Point Reyes National Seashore hoping to see some good cliffs.  According to the map, it didn’t look like a far drive but it was continually just a little bit farther and farther around another mountain and I may not be the best navigator.  We eventually got there and put our toes in the ice cold water.  Gorgeous scenery!
We didn’t make it all the way to the lighthouse because that would have taken another hour on curvy roads, but we did see a bunch of organic dairy farms along the way out in the middle of nowhere.  Organic milk drinkers should be happy to know that their cows are enjoying a nice view of the Pacific while grazing.
I’m glad we made it to the coast, it was such a different landscape from what we had seen and the cliffs were beautiful.

We stopped off in downtown Napa to see the earthquake damage there since they have some older buildings.
This is right where the festival had been the day before, so thank goodness the earthquake came at night when everyone was home.  There was glass broken everywhere and streets that had buckled were getting repaired, but people were generally all ok.

All day, at breakfast or at the gas station, locals were talking about the earthquake.  They said it was the worst they had ever experienced.  We too, kept randomly saying, “I can’t believe that really happened.”

We checked into where Jim was staying for work for the week and it was not bad at all.  We called it our earthquake recovery plan.
and then I had to go home, unwillingly but happily back to a land without major earthquakes.

We had an incredible trip!  It was so fun and we had the best time together.

Plus, we still have our duck/earthquake wine to remember it by!



3 thoughts on “California: and then we survived an earthquake

  1. That scratch could have been a fingernail. We had a pretty good earthquake in Tulsa a coupe of years ago (nothing like yours) and it was a feeling I don’t want to have again. I like your earthquake wine sense of humor and remembrance!

  2. you will always remember that trip!! Last time I was in Napa(read only time) I was pregnant with Ms. Daynes and could not drink!! Maybe we need a girls trip!!!

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