Epic Christmas Trip

2005-12-29 1129 Harris State BeachWe had an epic Christmas vacation!

On Sunday, Christmas morning, we drove up to Monterey. The drive was nice, and the scenery was beautiful, especially around the Pebble Beach area. We had Chinese food for dinner.

The next morning, I went out for a run—just after a night of rain. The air was refreshing. After breakfast, we went to Cannery Row, and I toured the aquarium. The most spectacular part was the jellyfish exhibit. After lunch, we went to San Francisco, where Mom and Alice did a lot of shopping. I spent most of my time in Borders Books on Union Square.

On Tuesday morning, we picked up Andy from the Oakland airport and went up to Smith River. We all stopped at the Bayshore Mall in Eureka until dark. The drive up further north was through pounding rain and howling wind.

Anyhow, staying at Auntie Julia’s house was relaxing as usual. We spent Wednesday down by Auntie Nipa’s house and Crescent City. Thursday was spent visiting the Oregon coast. We also bought some bamboo from bamboodirect.com.

We left Friday morning, and the travel back was an ordeal. Having been trapped by the downed trees and mudslides, we finally took the 101 to the 36 to cross over to Red Bluff. The 36 was a tortuous winding mountain road that lasted four hours, most of which was in the dark. Then, we went down to Pacific Union College via the back roads, one of which was through Butts Canyon. Driving was very difficult. I was relieved to get to Auntie Plerm’s house. The Samples did a really nice job with the remodel.

The storm worsened that night. Electricity was knocked out, and roads out of the Napa Valley were all closed. We tried the 29, Silverado Trail, and finally decided to go down Howell Mountain into Pope Valley and get through Winters after going around Lake Berryessa. We made it to the 505, then the 80, then the 5. There were many trucks on the median and cars sliding everywhere. Thankfully, we made it home through that harrowing driving experience.

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