We all hopped online and began texting/phoning husbands to see if anyone could tell us where it was coming from. A few of my friends who live close to me decided they wanted to head home to check on pets and close up windows. By the time we all decided to leave, which was only about half an hour after we had arrived, ash was falling into the pool at an alarming rate.
Meanwhile, Alex was at the office 2 miles east from our home and told me he was going to head home to get Roo, close the windows and grab our computer and hard drive with scanned documents and photos, and that the kids and I should get out of there and head south. I was freaking out at this point as I had also received an email from Avery's preschool saying simply that the school was in the path of a wildfire and that they were evacuating the kids immediately. Even though Avery wasn't in school that day, this scared me because her school is almost directly east of our community less than a mile away and the winds were fiercely blowing west.
We headed to a restaurant in Encinitas to meet up with Alex (The Lumberyard which was INCREDIBLY accommodating to us and a few other evacuees that were there. They let us have our dog inside and bought lunch for our kids and beers for us. We were so touched by their kindness.), feed the kids and watch the news. I was so happy he was with us and we were all safe, I lost my composure and cried a little bit. Watching the news and seeing communities VERY close to ours with huge flames and raging winds all around was so overwhelming.
It was decided with the unpredictability of the fire due to the winds and heat, the smoke and poor air quality and the temperatures being unbearable in our home with all the windows closed and no air conditioning, that we would stay in a hotel for the night. At the same time, fires had sprung up in Oceanside preventing us from driving north to stay with Alex's family as we had originally considered doing. We went home to quickly grab a few essentials. Our neighborhood looked eerie in the orange tint with ash covering the ground, and no cars parked in the driveway, but so far it was safe.
We checked into a hotel in Mission Bay with two other families that lived close to us. The air was clear and the kids had a blast in the pool for the whole afternoon and evening. Us parents were finally able to relax and we ended up thoroughly enjoying our "evacu-cation" as we had dubbed it.