Thursday, August 2, 2012

Catching up with Big Blue!

Big Blue in front of his new home.

It's been far too long since I have sat down and updated you on our personal VW situation. We haven't been taking too many trips in Big Blue, and the reason why is we have been terribly busy buying, working on and moving into a new house. I'll try to catch you up over the next few weeks.

About a year ago, we decided we were going to move to Napa. Oak was about 6 months old and EP was taking most of the strain of taking care of him during the day since I commuted 2 valleys over to Napa (where I worked) from Petaluma (where we lived). It was a fine commute, and I've shared several pictures of it here on this blog. But the commute meant I couldn't come home at lunch and also didn't get home to 6 or sometimes 6:30 at night. Sometimes Oak was already asleep by the time I had to get home.

Not seeing my son was a big issue. And EP was taking care of him almost the entire time he was awake. So we decided to move to Napa. It wasn't long before we found a house we liked (right on a park!) and made an offer. The offer was accepted. The only issue was the house was a short sale - with 2 bank loans involved. It was an extremely long, slow, paperwork-filled process. And then, on Thanksgiving, the owner of the house died! The guy had been uncool, but that sucked. He was young - like 40 years old! And it through the system off a while - making the process even longer. When we finally had the offer accepted by both banks, we did inspections and found about $40,000 worth of work to do. Ummmmm. Crap! By this time it was spring, and we were 8 months into the short sale (or, as we called it, "The Longest Short Sale in History").

We called it off.

At the same time, a great 1970s ranch house on a corner came up and we put an offer in. Someone outbid us and we refused to get in a bidding war (the Dutch side of me coming out). So they got it. Then, after a few weeks of us looking at other houses, the 70s ranch house realtor called our realtor. The people who had outbid us backed out. So we were next in line. Since we had the appraisal and inspections from the first people, we knew what we were getting into. We resubmitted the offer and it was accepted.

The house was build in 1971. It has been meticulously maintained (Mary, who we bought it from bought it in 1973) but not updated. It's like a the "barn find" of houses! With Big Blue in front, it is pretty period correct!

We took possession May 15th. There was some work to be done for sure. The ceilings tested positive for asbestos. And the floors had tons and tons of … interesting carpet. There was no light getting in the house. And the walls were covered with dreadful wallpaper (actually, some of that wallpaper was pretty awesome - especially the fuzzy blue stuff in the master).

We decided on 3 major steps:

1. Have an asbestos removal crew come in, seal the place up, and take down all the acoustic (popcorn) ceiling and remove all the carpet, light fixtures, etc
2. Have a painter come in, remove the wallpaper, fix the ceilings (after the removal of the popcorn, they had to be cleaned up) and repaint EVERYTHING.
3. Since the carpet was to be removed, we wanted to put in wood floors

While we hired people to do the work above, I set out to remove a massive deck (almost 1000 square feet) from the backyard as there was no grass! It would consist of removal of the deck, and bringing in top soil and then sod. All this was an effort to have a backyard for Oak to play in. I started work on this immediately.


We moved in June 23rd. The next weekend we packed up Big Blue and the car and left for a week at High Sierra. Now we are just getting unpacked. Just getting new lights up. Just getting back to blogging.

So I hope this explains the lack of VW adventures and the silence on the blog for a while. I'll continue to catch up about High Sierra, Bus City 2012 and - the biggest story - selling Little Blue.

And, since there we're too many VW pictures in here, I give you the Green Hornet being flatbedding to the new place....



Nice digs you have there.
Glad things are working out for you, and itching to hear more VW chronicles.

Big Blue's Driver

Thanks VW Busman. I can't wait to do some posts about Bus City and High Sierra as they were a great time. It is good to be getting out in the bus a little more...


Looks like you have a lovely home for you and your family.

great work!


Great post! That backyard looked like a tornado went through it at one point. Looks like it was a big job. The house looks great, the bug looks great... and those floors are a beautiful upgrade. Congratulations on your new (old) house.

Big Blue's Driver

Thanks for the kind words, fellas. I lost about 25 pounds between tearing down the deck and being too busy to eat. Still a lot of work to do. Big Blue will soon have a spot to park behind the fence!


Ah, so inspiring! Great job!


Sounds like quite the adventure. Glad you are back. I've missed Vintage Tuesday. The new house looks great. Bill Fish

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