We visited a friend with a place in Sonoma. She had been out of the country and hadn’t heard about the fire. When her plane landed there were suddenly all of  these notices about fires and evacuations on her iPhone.  She didn’t know for a week if her home had been destroyed or not and then, once she found out it hadn’t, she had to wait a few days before being allowed into the area. We drove up to her home from Oakland passing black hills, former homes with nothing but chimneys left, and trees with green tops but black trunks. Tragedy up close. I didn’t get a chance to take  any photos of the devestation, just the beauty left.


We had lunch in a bistro in the town of Sonoma. I liked that olive oil with balsamic vinegar was served with the bread.

We then went to a wine tasting at the Saint Frances Winery which had just reopened that day. Most the their vineyards had made it. The nice guy helping us who, by the way, spoke French and German showed us one of the bottles and said that they weren’t sure if one of the grapes used survived the fire.

The next day we went to a redwood forest which was beautiful to walk around, along with enjoying the scent of the trees. Many of them grew in circles like this, growing around the  mother.

Another circle.

Some of them had black interiors like this one caused by long ago fires. Redwood is slow to burn so they usually recovered.

I have just returned to Paris but while I overcome my jetlag and get my life back in order, I have a few more posts left from our time in California.

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