Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In 'Transition' phase

I arrived in the Napa Valley a month ago today. My youngest daughter, her husband and I came up with a somewhat ‘fluid’ plan for me once I dropped the 5th wheel off in Texas.

They suggested that since they were planning on a long weekend trip over the Memorial Day weekend, if I were out here by then, they wouldn't have to put Havana (a black Lab mix) in the kennel.  I'm all for that so California. . . . here I come!! 

They offered that I could stay at Nancy’s place up in Yountville - a cute little one bedroom duplex that she has rented for about four years. She and Bob decided to keep the rental after their marriage ten months ago. Their full time house is located just south of San Francisco and she and Bob spend the majority of their time down in that area but the company she works for has a satellite office located in Calistoga, CA (north of Napa / Yountville) and they need her to work out of that office three days a week. It’s a bit of a hectic lifestyle for her right now and I’m hoping that my being out here will allow me to help her out by keeping the apartment ship-shape, running errands, walking Havana, etc.

I really love the Napa / Sonoma Valley area and feel right at home out here. I also love spending time in Florida with my sister and friends as well as getting back to the northeast to spend time with family and friends there. I know that eventually, I'll have to come to a decision about my official state of residency, once the rv sells and my status changes officially from full-time rv’er. Having just come off a year or so of ‘decision making’ though, I feel the need to ‘coast’ for a few months while various plans / options ‘percolate’ and we see what materializes. For now, I'm trying to be content with allowing the 'transition' process to unfold for me.  While that is happening. . . .

I've managed to get back into a regular routine of walking - thank you Havana!!   My regular walking 'routine' faltered for a good month or so I was in full 'prepping the Carriage for consignment' mode and then in travel mode!

Path access from one of the neighborhoods
One of my all time favorite walking areas is out here in the lovely little town of Yountville, CA. It’s yet another location where ’changing up’ a walking route is very easy to do. There are paved walking paths throughout the town, bordering the center of town, extending out into and through the neighborhoods beyond the town center.

Yountville is a relatively small town that has transitioned into a resort/spa /wine tasting and fine dining destination! From what I've observed, there is most definitely a ‘market’ for the selections offered in this town. The businesses that have located here are filling that market demand and doing, what appears to me to be, a really fine job of it.  Since arriving, I'd say that most times, the parking lots of the inns and hotels are just about full, the restaurants have a steady flow of patrons and there's always a group of bicyclists along the bike path and the roadways on the outskirts of town.

Even though what this town is best known for and offers is not something I would typically seek out, I feel fortunate that I can enjoy both the natural and man-made beauty of this town and the peaceful, even tranquil, setting surrounding it on my daily walks. Whether it’s along a paved, beautifully maintained pathway that offers phenomenal views of the surrounding vineyards and hills;

or through the center of town where the heavenly aromas float out from the local bakery and eateries and where signs beckon visitors and locals to stop in for a wine tasting; or expanding out along the

pastoral roadway with the
now familiar row upon row
of vineyards on one side of
the road and a herd of long 
horn cattle grazing on the
other side.  

I’ll have more photos to share as I venture out to some of the surrounding towns, hike the many offerings in this area and then, too, as I explore and discover all that there is to see and do in the Mountain View area south of San Francisco. Bob and Nancy told me they like to take Havana over on the walking trails through the Stanford University campus located not too far from where they live!! 

Speaking of Mountain View, we were all down there a couple of weekends ago and we celebrated Havana's 10th 'birthday' (10 years since Nancy adopted her).  The celebrating part of her 'day' included a hike just north of of there in the Pulgas Ridge OSP. 

Photo courtesy of website
It was a relatively easy hike but along about the time we were about three-quarters of the way up the hillsides, Havana and I both needed to seek shady sections to linger for abit and refresh with cool water. Fortunately most of the hike had plenty of trees shading the pathway. Unfortunately the uppermost section was right out there in full sun!!  Bob and Nancy were very understanding of us 'old timers'!  We loved the challenge and hope to get out to more of the great offerings in this area (South Bay) as well as back up in the Napa / Sonoma area (North Bay).  And then there’s always Santa Cruz or Half Moon bay on the coast -- each only 45 minutes away - well, maybe as the crow flies - driving in CA traffic may take considerably longer!!

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