2012-12-25

Settling in at our Mountain Lair

Our driveway on the moving day
It's been exactly a week since we moved into the new house. Some areas are more done than others, but all in all, the house is operational.
The kitchen is as good as complete, only missing a dishwasher, cooktop, and the ventilation hood. And the backsplash tile on the wall. With a little luck, all of this will be done in the coming week.
Roomba robot has been working overtime, picking up construction dust, making the floors barefoot-compatible.
My race car Wasabi has moved in with us, in the garage. As it happens, she's the first of our cars to actually stay in the garage here, because most of it is still being used as workshop space by the contractors. She's small enough to only need a little room, and I don't care if she gets a bit dusty.
We've been diligently unpacking our household every day, and are at the point where no more unpacking can be done until more progress is made with the house, such as the master closet being complete, so we can put our clothes in there.
Regardless of the little inconveniences, we're already feeling quite at home in the new house. We've returned the keys to the rental on Sunday, and never looked back.
Size aside, the biggest change from the old place has been the privacy and the quiet. While in our suburban home in San Jose, we never experienced silence, even at night. Dogs barking, children crying, people setting off fireworks in the street at night all year round. Look out the window, and you'd be peering into your neighbors' bedroom. Here in the mountains, there's only trees and hills to see looking out the windows on three sides of the house. Front windows overlook the road, and we can see the driveway and the gate of the house across the street. And more hills and trees.
The air here is incredible. I don't think my sinuses have been ever this clear in San Jose, what with its traffic and industrial dust and smoke.
And the best part of all this is, that we don't have to miss the perks of civilization. We've got blazing-fast internet service (50+ mbps down and almost 20 up), UPS and mail trucks are making its way up our hill during the week, garbage pickup truck comes right by our gate, and they even pick up recycling and yard trimmings for free.
We've driven to the famous Summit Store, which is only five or so miles away, on the other side of Highway 17. That's a nice store, I tell you. Kind of like a nicer, friendlier, family-owned version of Whole Foods. About as pricy, too, but open seven days each week and has all kinds of esoteric foods and spices. A whole shelf rack dedicated to vinegars and oils. Oh, and if you ever stand in the aisle with a bewildered expression for more than 30 seconds (as I am wont to do), a very friendly employee will swoop down in a "no pressure, just checking on ya" kind of way and actually help. Not bad for what basically is an evolved general store on the side of a mountain.
Oh, and we have lemons, apples, plums (?), grapes, persimmons, and who knows what other fruit growing on the property. All of the trees need love, and I will be consulting a professional soon about restoring them to good health. It is too early to say what else we'll do with three acres of awesomeness that came with the house, but we've been thinking about more fruit trees or maybe some grape vines.
Maybe I will learn to make wine.