Orinda is a high end, low crime, quiet, suburban neighborhood with full village-type amenities. (It was recently voted as the "second friendliest community in America" by Forbes magazine.) The neighboring Berkeley hills typically screen-off bay fog or wind, and provide a sunnier and warmer Mediterranean climate, than one would find in nearby San Francisco itself. BART trains typically operate on a 15-minute cycle. It's about a 30-minute ride into downtown SF. BART also directly serves both Oakland and San Francisco airports, so you don't necessarily need a car to get here or to get around. Orinda is a fully-equipped, "walk-to" village with a noteworthy art-deco theater, numerous ethnic restaurants, grocery and drug stores. It boasts a farmer's market, outdoor community theater, and free summer concerts in the summer. The immediate neighborhood has mature trees and professional landscaping. There are numerous, nearby opportunities for hiking and biking, as well as municipal (public access) golf. Napa and Sonoma wine country are an hour and a half by car and close enough for a day trip. Internationally renowned Shakespeare Amphitheater is two miles away. We have hosted many international students in our home and they have considered the location ideal and perfectly suited for easy access to many points of interest.
This is our primary residence with "bed and breakfast" feel. Three bedroom (all with queen beds), two bath (remodeled within last 3 years), single-story, Tuscan-style, ranch home on 1/2 acre, wooded, hillside, pie-shaped lot at end of residential cul-de-sac. Front of home includes shielded, landscaped, large Italian-tiled courtyard with fountain, lush garden, and outdoor dining area. No steps from driveway to entry of 42" front door. Other sides of the home look out over Orinda Village, with exceptional, panoramic views of the Berkeley hills. More than 100 trees on the lot, screen neighboring properties. Five minute walk to village theater, restaurants, and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) commuter rail system. BART can quickly whisk you to downtown San Francisco within twenty minutes, without traffic and parking hassles. Fully equipped kitchen with scenic breakfast nook, separate dining room and separate living room with functioning fireplace. Off street parking for two cars. Home is tastefully decorated: California traditional with a flair. High speed internet (bring your own computer), and 60 inch flat screen high definition cable television. Weekly gardening and household waste pick-up services, as well as propane-fed BBQ, are provided.
We are a mature (60-ish), professional couple, who are active, avid lovers of the outdoors, including hiking, biking, skiing, and generally having a good time. Our most recent international travels include Zurich, Interlaken and the Lauterbrunnen Valley, as well as a tango pilgrimage to Buenos Aires. Other countries which one or the other of us have visited include: Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Tahiti, Morocco, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay.
Colette works full time for the State of California in energy policy and is a part-time, adjunct university professor. Colette is fluent in Spanish and has experience with many au pairs from around the world. Owen is a semi-retired Silicon Valley executive, now engaged in property management. All of our kids are college grads who live independently elsewhere.