It’s probably been almost a week since any of you heard from me, and for that I’m sorry–but it’s been a real busy week. On Thursday I gave all my stuff to movers, and they drove off in a big blue and white truck. I still haven’t seen that stuff again, although I’m told it should arrive tomorrow.
On Friday, Travis caught an early plane out and was here in time to get the keys from the landlord and take delivery of our cars. I caught a later plane with the cats in checked baggage (that was an adventure, let me tell you). Travis picked me up from the airport when I arrived. I was looking forward to seeing the new place, and specifically to sunset on the deck, but it was not to be. We were rear-ended by a Dodge Magnum on the 7-mile drive home from the airport. The damage was minimal, but we spent half an hour, at least, waiting for a cop to show up (never did), and I watched my first sunset as a Californian standing on the side of Alum Rock road.
When I finally did get home, sunset was long gone, but I did snap the following picture, which doesn’t at all do justice to the view, but does give some kind of idea what it looks like:
The house is at an elevation of 938 feet, and the valley doesn’t really rise above 300 (my work is right next to the southernmost tip of the San Francisco Bay, so, literally, a few feet above sea level. It’s a pretty quick 600-some-odd feet fall to the bottom of the hill, and you can see all the way to the Santa Cruz mountains on the western side of the valley. I’m told that on a clear day, with some binoculars, you can actually see San Francisco, and I believe it. The next morning you could see pretty much everything really well, despite a haze of fog that’s hovered over the valley pretty much since I got here.
The cell phonse service is absolutely atrocious, which I didn’t expect. I’ve come to think the issue is probably not so much a lack of signal as having a clear line of sight on far too many signals. It’s bad enough, in any case, that I got a land line, which I didn’t think I’d ever do again.
The house itself is really strange, and 70’s pimp. There is, of course, a hot tub on the hill behind it, underneath a small gazebo, and I like that a lot. It takes a while to warm up, but once it does it’s a rollicking good time.
The second floor, perhaps because of the shape of the space, is not enclosed, so there’s not so much a master bedroom as a master loft. Combined with the shape of the house, this could potentially be a little…awkward, because everything that goes on in the living room is intimately audible in the bedroom, and vice versa. It does make for a beautiful visual environment, especially with the very strange and very 70s star lights on the ceiling.
The living room is just about perfect, with a huge window that faces into the valley and sunset.
It opens onto the foyer/dining area, with which, together, it takea up about half the first floor.
The back of the first floor is taken up by a third bedroom, which has an actual door, as well as a wooden divider that can make it into two rooms. Next to that is a laundry room and small bath with shower, and in the back is the kitchen. The kitchen is large, with a dual oven, cook top, and high quality cabinetry (cutting boards are built into slots above each drawer). It also has a nice sink, which has the trash disposal in a small third basin in the middle, some pretty trippy tile, and an ironing board built into one wall.
The very center of the house is occupied by a spiral staircase that connects the first and second floors. On the top floor are the master and guest rooms, as well as the master bath, a dual sink affair with a big dual-head shower (technically it’s a jacuzzi as well, but way too large to be practical), as well as a toilet and bidet, with which you can spray water on your junk. Do not attempt to drink from it.
The next morning I woke up to find that the place was infested with tiny railing deer, as you can see below, as well as being home (well, they’re here every morning) to a family of four deer, including a couple juveniles and a four-point buck. In addition, there’s a flock of about 15 or 20 wild turkeys that wander through in the morning to feed in the field next door (part of my lot). They run, err, wild through the neighborhood, up people’s sidewalks and over their fences.
The lot has a lot of trees on it, pines and an oak, a couple cedars, an olive (?!?!!) tree and a couple almond trees. The wildlife loves it; there are a lot of the blue bird below that spend a lot of time in the pines, as well as some little budgie-looking things I haven’t gotten a good picture of yet. I’ve spotted raccoons, too, one hanging out in the tree above my gazebo and making hissing noises at me (the cats had treed him). We’ve also seen several large falcons flying around, and what looks like some kind of condor, a huge carrion bird.
So, anyway, that’s my place, if not completely or briefly. It’s idiosyncratic, a little old and warn out, but it’s charming, and the view is so good we routinely see people stopping off Mt. Hamilton road (below us!) to take pictures of the valley. I might be paying more than I could get away with, and I might put up with a few inconveniences, but there’s nothing better than chilling out after a long day’s work, staring out over that valley below, unless it’s doing the same from a hot tub.
It wasn’t until Monday night that I finally got to see that sunset I’d been waiting for, but it was definitely worth the wait.
You should come out and see it.