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Moving Back to the (Other) City by the Bay

6/20/11 - Oakland, CA

Returning to the Bay Area - the Oakland neighborhood of Rockridge this time - and the lifestyle we've been longing for

With the exception of our wonderful friends and our home that still contains much of our blood, sweat and tears, we'd begun to feel as though Albuquerque had run its course for us.  We loved our house that we'd put so much work into, our beautiful neighborhood in the Sandia foothills and our fun-loving and kind-hearted friends.  But there was just something missing.  We longed for the more urban, cosmopolitan lifestyle centered around a mixed-use neighborhood, where we'd walk to grocery stores, drycleaners, restaurants and to catch the train to work that we'd left behind in San Francisco nearly seven years ago - a less car-centric lifestyle with a vibrant, bustling, neighborhood vibe was what we craved.  In recent years, our talk of leaving New Mexico had become more frequent, but we were undecided as to where we'd go.  We weren't entirely convinced we were ready to return to the Bay Area, but where then?  So we left it to simmer, just under the surface of the daily routine of our lives.  As a record cold and snowy winter turned to spring, we looked forward to another warm (ok, hot!) and relaxing New Mexican summer and all the time we'd be spending lounging on our beloved patio.  There were still projects to do on the house but nothing terribly urgent that would get in the way of enjoying a laid-back summer hanging out with our friends.  We even had a tentative vacation planned in the form of a week-long road trip exploring northern Arizona and southern Utah that we were really looking forward to.  And then Thao e-mailed.

Towards the end of an aggravatingly windy March, Thao, a former co-worker of Scott's from his Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream days, out-of-the-blue asked if he'd ever thought about coming back to San Francisco.  To make a long story short, in mid-April Scott interviewed for the job of Finance Manager that Thao was looking to fill, receiving and accepting the offer while we were away visiting friends Julia and Jeremy in Philadelphia (on a previously planned trip) over a long Easter weekend.  He started work at his new company, ServiceSource, in San Francisco on May 16th, just one week after his last day of work at the hospital and 2 weeks before we were going to be able to move.  Caroline stayed behind and tied up loose ends in Albuquerque, packing, cleaning and generally preparing for our new tenants to take possession of our house in July.  On Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, we packed the U-Haul, towing our van on a trailer, and set out for California in some of the gustiest winds wed ever experienced!

It all happened so fast.  We really thought we'd be in Albuquerque for at least another year or two and it proved to be a difficult decision to make, since we weren't ready to go quite so soon.  Due to the tight timeline, a challenging move, Scott's early departure from Albuquerque and subsequent long hours at work and Caroline's illness, we got off to a bit of a rocky start, but are very pleased with our decision thus far.  We look forward to moving out of our charming-but-dimly-lit (and full of someone else's stuff!) Craftsman sublet on the Oakland/Berkeley border and into a bright, 2-bedroom duplex on the other side of Rockridge next month.  We are also very excited to be hosting our first house guests, Andy & Jamie, next month as well!  Meanwhile, we plan to continue enjoying our explorations of the area on foot, bicycles and yes, sometimes even in the car (Caroline's just getting back on her feet after a lengthy battle with a sinus infection).  And the adventure continues!

Colby street garden


Succulent garden on Colby




Almost there!  Scott poses with his super-sweet ride in Livermore, CA


Our June-July sublet on Colby Street


Cactus/succulent garden on Colby Street - a little taste of 'home'!


The roses are in bloom in our rear garden...and all over town!


One of the pair of racoons who spent the day recently in our neighbor's tree on Colby Street