T minus 10 days: Heading North

We left Orinda for good on April 15, leaving behind our house of 23 years.  I saved the strip of closet door trim marking the growth of our daughters, from 3rd and 6th grade through high school.  It will find a home somewhere in our new house, where we’ll add marks for little Jules in the coming years.   We said goodbye to friends of many years and headed up the coast.

Our first stop was Heritage House, a well-known small resort on the coast just south of Mendocino.  After all the stress of packing and cleaning and saying our goodbyes to friends, and to our dog Chauncy, we needed time to just relax. And what a lovely place it was.

IMG_0177You can’t go to Mendocino without a pilgrimage to a place known well to those raised on prime-time TV in the 80’s or Hallmark Channel junkies.  Do you know this house?  Hint: It’s supposed to be in Cabot Cove, but it‘s not.

From Mendocino, we headed up Highway 101 to Eureka for a late lunch, and then to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park for our first night of camping in our little motorhome.  It was a clear day after a rainy winter, so it felt like being in a cool cloudforest among the redwoods.  A couple of glasses of wine under the canopy of trees and we were settled.  Rosie’s had a tough time adjusting to the small space and bumpy ride of the camper, so she was happy to have time to explore and sniff the new smells.  The big draw of this campground, besides the redwoods, is the elk herd that comes through in the evenings to graze.  But you need to be out in the meadow to see them so sorry, no photos of the animals.

In the morning we headed up the highway toward Medford, through massive redwood trees, and the Smith River National Recreation Area, with its spectacular white water flowing in early spring.

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We’re taking a couple of days in Medford to visit family.  We took a side trip down to Ashland to see the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of “As You Like It”.  Fantastic actors with complete command of the script, using every inch of their bodies and the range of their voices to bring Shakespeare to life.  This retirement trip isn’t so bad!



T minus 23 days: Chauncy

Our big brown galumphing dog, Chauncy, passed today.  He’s been battling hemangiosarcoma, a highly aggressive cancer, for the past few weeks.  He’d been responding very well and was happy and bouncy yesterday.  Today, though, he would not eat and was very weak.  A trip to the emergency vet indicated severe internal bleeding, so his time had come.  Perhaps he decided that California was his forever home.  If we were going to leave, he had no interest in being anywhere else.  He leaves his adopted sister, Rosie, as the dog of the family now.

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T minus one month: Retirement Day

On Monday, I turned off the lights in my office and left the building to begin my retirement and to start our Excellent Adventure.  The last month has been filled with daily conversation with my colleagues about retirement.  Are you counting the days?  I’m so jealous!  What will we do without you?  Who’s replacing you? Where am I going to get that schedule you always do for me?  Would you like a piece of cake?

So I said goodbye to UCSF.  And to many good friends I met along the way.