Living the Good Life in Salinas.
Thursday, April 3, 2003
Photo: Please Lettuce Stay: The Jackson family loves living in their beautiful Salinas Valley home, but work is calling them northward
Peter Jackson has spent years working in computers in Silicon Valley, but his heart belongs to the greener valley on the Monterey Peninsula. Every morning, Jackson leaves his house in the River Cross community of Salinas, located next to Gabilan Creek, and makes the several hour journey up to the Bay Area. It''s been worth it to Jackson, but his wife, Lus is tired of not seeing her husband enough. So after spending the past year updating their almost brand-new house, the Jacksons and their two daughters are going to return to the hectic lifestyle up North.
It''s not an easy decision: the five-bedroom, 2600-square-foot home is designed in a gracious Mediterranean style that fits in perfectly with the sunny climate the Jacksons have come to love. Details like elegant moldings, bullnosed plaster corners, soffited ceilings, marble-tiled gas fireplaces, tile floors, a three-car garage, a large yard, and mountain views are hard to let go.
And one special perk: a two-sided fireplace in the master bedroom wall that also can be accessed from the master bathroom is a luxurious detail that Jackson has gotten accustomed to.
"When I moved in, I thought the master bath with the Jacuzzi and fireplace was the greatest thing in the world," Jackson says. "I guess you can get used to anything-it''s kind of normal now."
Although the two-year-old house had builder-available upgrades that the Jacksons ordered, they still found that certain aspects could be improved upon by their own hard labor.
"The house didn''t come landscaped at all, so my wife, [(who happens to be a clothing designer)] designed the whole thing-she did kind of an unconventional patio design," Jackson says. "We poured a wave-shaped rock wall in the front. The funny thing is when we had our yard landscaped, the neighbors started doing their yards the same way. We designed it so our yard and the next door neighbor''s yard flow together."
The Jacksons also decided to update the flooring in the house, and spent many nights tearing up pile carpeting and linoleum while their daughters slept.
"We changed the walk from the entry way and into the informal dining and kitchen area," Jackson explains. "We tore up everything and my wife and I laid a travertine floor. It took us three weeks working from 10pm-2am-and she''d work all day and weekends too. You''ve got to sacrifice to get the things you want."
For Jackson, living in a home with all the modern-day comforts, like CAT-V wiring and a gourmet kitchen has just been the icing on the cake. It''s the community that he loves to explore to the fullest: from scuba diving in the Monterey Bay to shopping in Old Town Salinas.
"The temperature here is perfect," he says. "The house is so well-insulated it stays cool inside all day. Around 3pm we open the windows and let the afternoon breeze flow through the house. There''s such a neat little downtown area close by, my daughter goes to a great school, and the neighbors are such a good influence. It''s nice living here all around. The drive is the only problem."
Price: $527,000. 833 Castleton St., Salinas. Contact: Meena Desai of ERA Steinbeck Realty at 320-7339.