June 27, 2013

Hiking Pt. Reyes, Cowgirl Creamery and Alpaca's!

Ah the Bay Area.  If you live in it, or near it, you know that summer happens in September and October. Growing up near it and with a summer rainstorm looming, my mom and I both knew we would be risking fog when we headed out for a hike last Sunday.


We decided we didn't care.  This was our much belated Mother's Day celebration and we were excited to hike and eat cheese!  We took on Nicholas' motto of ABP (Always Be Prepared, an Eagle Scout he is), packed layers and headed out.

Our intention was to hike the Tomales Point Trail, which on a clear day looks like this....
Via Flickr
Gorgeous!

But last Sunday you couldn't even see the ocean.


Bummer.

Being that it was SO foggy, wet...and drippy...and a bit cold, we decided to head down the hill where the visibility was better and hike another trail.

We stopped to smell the flowers first.


We stopped again to say hi to some friends along the way.

Mr. Elk


and Messrs. Cow


We wound up near the visitor center and did the Mt. Wittenberg Loop Trail instead.

We stopped for a Mom & Me selfie first.


Being under the forest canopy on a foggy day was so beautiful.


It was also much more dry than the Tomales Point trail.



We stopped to kiss a banana slug.


We stopped to take photos of hairy trees.



We stopped to take photos of each other taking photos.


It was such a beautiful day.


We stopped for a deer in the trail.


We stopped to take photos of flowers too.



After our hike we headed into Pt. Reyes Station.
Where we stopped again to eat some cheese.


Oh cheese, how I love you.  If you are in the area I highly recommend stopping at Cowgirl Creamery for lunch.  (You can find some other good stuff about Cowgirl Creamery here.)


Lunch was delicious!

Our final stop was to our cousins Alpaca farm in Glen Ellen.  Thanks Debbie!



Seriously, these little ladies are the cutest things ever.

Thanks Mom for a great day!



Print Friendly and PDF

June 20, 2013

House Hunting. Sometimes I think we're nuts.

We have been a house hunting, probably a bit prematurely, but it's a pretty fun weekend activity actually.  I think my husband would agree.......as long as he gets his ride in first.

I've found myself saying recently that being able to see the potential in things is both a blessing and a curse. Let me illustrate this a little better in photos by sharing with you one of the homes we looked at this past weekend.

Photo via Big C Realty
No, I'm not kidding.  Nicholas (The Cyclist) actually woke me up out of a dead sleep, waving around the iPad saying "look what just came up!  I don't even know what this place is!"

Photo via Big C Realty

Photo via Big C Realty
I was intrigued and immediately started researching.  This is known as the Fava house.  It was designed by Carter Sparks and completed in 1956.  From what I can tell, Sparks is/was? a well known architect in the Sacramento region in the 60's.  He eventually designed several mid-century modern homes for the Streng Brothers.

Photo via Eichlernetwork.com

This is what the house once looked like, in sketch and photo.

Photo via Carter Sparks.org

Photo via Carter Sparks.org
 
Photo via Carter Sparks.org

Photo via Carter Sparks.org

Photo via Carter Sparks.org
You see we are not opposed to rehabbing a property.  We are considering a special type of loan that allows you to incorporate rehab costs into the mortgage.  After seeing this property I even went as far as researching how to make it a historical site and getting tax credits for an easement.  Neither of us could stop thinking about this place all night and how amazing it could be.

We asked our agent to take us for a visit the next day.  We warned her that she'd think we were nuts.


By the time morning had rolled around I had learned a lot about the property.  The original owner's, John and Joan Fava were artists and musicians "who had a fondness for stories of the Wild West".  "A small cloisonne pin of a gold saddle and lasso is embedded into the shard glass fireplace surround." 





The Fava's lived in the home for 60 years until they could no longer take care of it.  It was sold to someone who intended to fix it up, but that buyer ripped off the carport and sundeck and then stopped working.  It eventually went to auction and is now listed for sale.  The old photos above were found inside the home.



Honestly, visiting the house was really sad.  It makes me wonder about the circumstances surrounding the Fava's leaving because the house is still filled with all of their things.  It's like they ran out for an errand and never returned.  I am kind of shocked that the house hasn't been cleaned out, it shares a driveway with two mansions and they literally look down on the Fava house from every window.




I surmise that the brokerage firm that bought it initially intended to raze the home and build a new structure, but quickly realized that if they did, they would catch Hell from the historical preservation and MCM communities.  A recent article indicates there are offers on the home that are a mix between restoring and razing.



For us, after seeing it in person, we know our pockets are not deep enough to restore the home to what it once was.  There is dry-rot throughout the entire wood structure.  It appears the only salvageable portion of the home are the brick walls and possibly some of the interior belongings.  At this point, it seems the only way to restore it is to re-create it from scratch.  We certainly hope whomever buys this home does the right thing and restores it to its original beauty.  It would be a shame to tear it down.

By the way, of all of the rouge photos I've found, I seem to be the only one brave enough ( or maybe dumb enough) to venture upstairs.  I didn't fall through the floor, so it was worth it.  Seeing Mrs. Fava's old cowboy boots broke my heart a little bit.




Sources:
Eichler Network - source 1, source 2




Print Friendly and PDF
Pin It button on image hover