We bought a house! In Palm Springs! Our new pool (and pet) above…
The scoop and my swan song below…
Where to start? It’s been a roller coaster of a year and an even more interesting past couple of years. Maybe we’ll start in San Francisco… Yes, let’s, shall we?
Fred Baby was working at a startup and things were going well. We’d talked about taking some time off if his company were to get acquired some day, which it looked like might happen.
Months later, word came that his company was actually getting acquired! I still remember him telling me…We were having dinner in Tiburon and he was explaining how it would work and at some point between spreadsheets of vesting schedules and walking along the windswept water while overlooking the fog-shrouded city, I burst into tears. It was a strange reaction because they weren’t necessarily happy tears. Were they sad or scared or just exhausted? I’m not sure I know, but it was much closer to breakdown than breakdance. It scared Fred Baby. And me. Perhaps I was simply overcome. With emotion and possibility.
Fred Baby continued to work for several months and then one day on my walk to Italian class, he called. He had given notice. Say again?! I was in utter disbelief, even though we had talked about this for months…for years, could it really be happening?
Soon after we were making decisions like do we keep our apartment and rent it out or give it up (it had been so hard to get and we loved it so much)? Do we move everything into storage or sell all of our belongings? We ended up moving everything we owned into storage, save for carry-on luggage, dropped off one car in Texas at my parents’ house, the other in Georgia at Fred Baby’s parents’ house and were soon en route to a tiny island in Greece called Skopelos.
After traipsing around Europe in search of sun and sand, we landed in a tiny town in Spain, about an hour inland from the Costa del Sol, called Montejaque.
Montejaque was magical. Tiny, rustic, arid and beautiful, we were without TV and Internet and it was pure bliss. We read books (often to each other), hiked, cooked and hatched a plan that from then on out we called The Montejaque Plan.
While we loved the simplicity of being in the middle of nowhere, close to nature and shut off from it all, we also knew that we were city people too. We decided that the lifestyle that made the most sense for us would be to have a small apartment in the city and a weekend house in the country. At lunch in Sevilla one sun-dappled afternoon, Fred Baby sketched our ideal house on a napkin… Not too big, not too small, just enough room for us to feel comfy and cozy and room for friends and family to visit. Oh, and I wanted a pool. Probably more than a house.
After contemplating where this would happen (New York and the Hamptons…or Connecticut? San Francisco and wine country?), we assumed we would end up back in San Francisco with a weekend house in Sonoma…but after exploring around Europe and then roadtripping across the US a few times, we landed in Palm Springs for a few days. Or so we thought.
We were driving up to San Francisco from Texas, where the plan was to fly to Japan and explore the northern Japanese countryside. Or fly to South America and see what that was all about. But it was January. And Palm Springs was a gorgeous, sunny 80 degrees. And San Francisco was cold and rainy. And Japan wasn’t in cherry blossom season yet. And South America was in the heat of summer and wouldn’t it be better if we waited a few months? So we kept staying. And staying.. Just one more day I would beg and he would happily oblige. We were once in the car headed for the highway north and I said I just couldn’t do it. Where did I want to go, he asked. Nowhere. I want to stay here. In Palm Springs.
And so we did. Days turned into weeks turned into months. On pure chance, while we were exploring the idea of buying a house to fix up and rent out as a vacation rental, Fred Baby fell into a new and completely different startup. That led to us living in Palm Springs for six months…and then eventually moving to LA.
Our time in LA has been amazing and crazily unbelievable at the same time…with many highs and lows. We’ve met so many incredible people, made lifelong friends, and found community — for me a thriving professional community, which I had never found before and has made all the difference.
On the other hand, we also found ourselves suddenly homeless (long story I’m legally not allowed to get into, but suffice it to say we found ourselves in a situation much like the San Francisco one, where we had the freedom to travel and explore…we just didn’t see it coming and didn’t know where we’d be sleeping that night…or the next…or the next). While living out of a small carriage house for the week and trying to wrap our heads around this new, unexpected fate, we decided to make lemon-vodka martinis out of lemons: We’d head to South America! We’d regretted not going before when we had the opportunity to travel, so we’d do it now. Meanwhile, we had found a new place to live…the cutest house in Beverly Hills. And we could move in the day we got back from Argentina and Brazil. We could even park our cars there while we were away. Things were looking up!
Until the morning we were leaving for Argentina… We were on our way to the realtor’s office to sign the lease on our new place and the landlord called. He had changed his mind. He wasn’t going to rent the place to us. Speechless and confused (Why were there suddenly so many roadblocks? Had we just been so lucky for so long that it was time for things to even out?), we got on the plane for Buenos Aires and had no idea where we would return to when we got back.
Two weeks in South America turned into three (if we were going to be homeless, we could do that anywhere!), and then it was time to come back to life and reality.
Many, many viewings later and with nothing feeling right (which was odd because the properties were nearly identical to previous places we had lived), we finally found a place. On the same street as our temporary apartment no less (just a few blocks away) and strangely on the same street as the house that we had lost out on.
After many delays, we finally moved in on July 1st. One week later Fred Baby started a new job…
And we realized we were now in the position to make The Montejaque Plan a reality.
We just had to find a house.
Sometime between trying to settle in to a new apartment and job, and after an arduous and crazily convoluted home-buying process and lots of house-hunting, we finally did.
Curveballs were thrown left and right — and given the past year, I wasn’t going to announce anything officially until it was all in writing. Which finally happened on Friday at 5pm.
We bought a house!
It’s literally a dream come true.
While we didn’t realize it at the time and didn’t know why so many hiccups were coming up at every turn, I now know it was so The Montejaque Plan could happen. The universe was just not-so-gently reminding us and guiding us on course. Thank you, universe. (And I apologize for cursing you so many times over the past year.) Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of your dreams, even if it’s a little painful along the way.
I am so grateful.
Oprah always says something like “First the universe whispers…Then it knocks…Then if you’re still not paying attention, it shouts. Then it drops a brick on your head.”
The brick happened to be stucco, and for that, I thank you, universe.
And thank you for reading my swan song. I look forward to sharing adventures (and cocktail recipes!) from Palm Springs soon… And as always you can stay up-to-date on all the goings-on on Instagram xx!
[Photos by FredBaby13 and Kelly Golightly]