The houses of Shasta Hanchett Park

A few weeks ago, we packed up on very short notice, game for an adventure in California. We dropped in from the sky with just carry-on bags and landed in a house in Shasta Hanchett Park, San Jose.  All a little surreal.

The neighbourhood - separated from downtown by train tracks and the elevated 101 - has a storybook feel about it. The houses seem cozy and well loved. Some a little prim, some more relaxed. All are built on a human scale - not ostentatious, but clearly not inexpensive.  There are lots of big trees, as well as lemon, orange, lime, and yes, palm trees. People were warm and friendly, everyone said hello - even teenagers (!). Altogether very nice.

And yet I felt a sense of unreality about it. Was it almost too perfect? Or maybe it was just me, in a strange state of disconnection.