No matter what you think of the politics, Hollywood, or rising home prices, California is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From the long, sandy beaches of Southern California to the rocky cliffs of Northern California, the state is stunning. I moved to Northern California in 1975, after graduating from the University of Michigan looking for warmer weather and adventure. And, I found both!

Thousands of people are still moving to California to escape frigid winters and hot, muggy summers, as well as seek employment in silicon valley. Many baby boomers are flocking to the California Central Coast because it is still more affordable than either the Bay Area or Los Angeles, and the weather is gorgeous year round. Why would I leave this idyllic place?

My husband, Robert Oblon, Sr., was born and raised in Los Angeles. I can only imagine what LA must have been like back in the 1950s and 60s. I still remember driving to Orange County where my sister lived in the 70s and passing miles and miles of fruit tree orchards. Those are gone. When I met Robert he was living in the Bay Area where I had been living for 25 years. We fell in love instantly.

I decided to move out of the Bay Area to the California Central Coast because I needed a change of scenery and a complete life reboot after my daughter left for college. I was tired of the stressful computer industry and wanted a slower paced life. Robert came with me to the Central Coast. We had a wonderful time. I reinvented my career. He reinvented his pool business. We lived there almost twenty years. It’s called SLO (San Luis Obispo) for a reason. People move to the Central Coast to escape the big city life, but you’re only a three hour drive to a big city. The weather is temperate and ideal for outdoor activities. The wine industry has exploded in Paso Robles, so there are abundant restaurants, live music, and lots of events all year round.

When I first moved to the Central Coast, I only knew two women so I started a book club to make new friends. The club grew to fifteen women who came and went as their lives got busy. Whoever hosted the monthly book club meeting got to select the book, and everyone would bring a dish related to the subject matter. How adventurous was that? Below is a photo of one of our Halloween book club meetings — can you find me? Honestly, my husband was freaked out to see me as a brunette ๐Ÿ™‚

Book Club at Halloween

My husband has earned a living on the Central Coast as a swimming pool contractor (Sun Pool Construction). He builds beautiful pools and spas. But it’s not his passion.

A pool built by Sun Pool Construction in Santa Ynez, California

He’s an artist, a sculptor. He built an enviable artist studio on our property but had little time, and even less energy to do his art. Over the years he never complained, but I knew he needed to retire from the pool business so he could follow his dream and get his music out.

My husband, Robert, with his piece at a Phantom Group Show

So, a couple years ago we started talking about our next move. I had asked him to consider moving to the southwest ten years prior, but he wasn’t ready to leave his beloved California. He was ready now. And because he followed me to the Central Coast twenty years ago, I was willing to follow him to our next destination. He picked Santa Fe, New Mexico, a mecca of modern art mixed with rich Native American history. So, that’s where we’re headed…just have to get our California house on the market and sold!

Next chapter…”On The Road Again, Chapter 3, The Remodel”