Big News

June 9, 2012

Here was my plan for this post.  I was going to tease you with a photo of some delicious artichoke hearts braised in white wine.  I have made them several times in the past few weeks and people love them.  My dad, who loves food but doesn’t really, um, connect food with recipes, remarked to my mom, “You have to get this recipe!”  I planned to give it but I’m running out of time.

You see, my little family and I are in the midst of packing shorts and bathing suits and sunscreen and lots of snacks for a very long airplane ride to France.  We leave Monday.  We will spend three weeks in Cagnes-sur-Mer, a small town not far from Cannes.  It has a beach, a big hill, and from the photos, it looks just about perfect.  We will hit the beach, drive to other beaches, go to lots of markets, buy some table linens, eat a lot, drink a lot, and ponder our next step.

Because the next step is that we are moving to the Bay area.  Soon after Randy’s company started to spiral downward, he started interviewing.  He flew all over the country and met with many different companies.  We both wanted to try and stay in Seattle but we also knew that a move was a possibility.  Randy has lived all over the place and moving is not as scary to him as it is to me.  So it is really to his credit that he was committed to finding something in my hometown.  However, early on he interviewed with a terrific company in San Francisco and they wanted him.  They told him as much and within a week they offered him a job with a very compelling package.  We hemmed and hawed.  Great job, city we love, but not the city that is our home.  So we waited.  Randy explored all his options.  At one point, he had 27 different companies he was talking to and a spread sheet to keep them all straight.  The company in San Francisco was patient.  We went down to visit in order to try and answer the question – can we really live here?  And we came back saying yes.

But of course, the decision wasn’t as easy as that.  We give up a lot by leaving Seattle.  My family is here.  I have an incredible network of amazing friends – we both do.  We love our kids’ school.  I teach cooking classes out of my home and I work in an amazing bookstore where I get to cook out of people’s books and get paid for it – there is no re-creating that anywhere else.  I love my house, we are comfortable here.  But.  I don’t pray but sometimes I do feel the need to put things out there to the Universe and this was one of those times.  While I was away at my college reunion, I did a lot of thinking.  And a lot of talking.  Randy and I spoke on the phone several times a day and then went away to sit alone with our own thoughts.  I boarded a plane to come back to Seattle knowing that, while I was in the air, Randy was going to get an email with the company’s final package.  Maybe they would sweeten the deal a little bit, maybe they wouldn’t.  But it was time to make a decision.  My plane landed, I checked my email, and they had indeed continued the pattern of generosity.  So I called Randy and said, “Let’s do it.”  He asked if I was sure and I said yes in a very small voice.

That was last Monday.  I have felt, over the course of this week, an incredible sense of relief.  The strain of making the decision was over and I could focus on the next tasks at hand, and also start to get excited about the good things coming our way with a move.  A much better climate, an incredible food scene, new friends, new adventures to have and places to explore.  I was feeling pretty good.  And then yesterday was the last day of school for both boys and I had a bit of a breakdown.  I’m feeling better now, back to being excited.  BlogHer Food is happening this weekend and I have reconnected with friends who live in the Bay area, I feel sure I will have a network soon after moving in.  I am most nervous about the school situation, but the company has someone who can help us with all of that.

Our plan is to move to Oakland before school starts on August 22nd.  We return from France on July 9th so this will be no small task.  Our mid-late summer will be consumed by packing and saying many many goodbyes to people we love.  There will be a househunting trip in there as well when the boys will see San Francisco for the first time.  I am grateful that we have this incredible trip planned, where we can sit and reflect, plan and ruminate, all in the presence of terrific food and wine, and the beautiful French language.

It is my hope that I will be able to post while in France.  Our apartment in Cagnes-sur-Mer has wi-fi and I will be cooking, eating, and photographing the whole time.  If I am silent, you will know that I am just opting for another hour on the beach rather than in front of the computer.  Onward!



  1. By the time I was 39 yrs of age I moved 16 times , it helps that I am person who adapts easily . In your case I can understand your hesitation , making new friends , new school challenges , but you are moving to the Bay Area – I feel that within a month of settling in you will wonder what all the anxiety was about .

    Great idea for the family vacation – it will be a great segue to your new life .

    take care and safe travels


    Best of luck and looking forward to hearing about your “bay” adventures.

    Comment by Gourmet Goddess — June 10, 2012 @ 1:08 am

  2. 3 weeks in the south of France and a move to SF? Sounds like a very charmed life to me. I look forward to reading about your new adventures.

    Comment by Maureen — June 10, 2012 @ 1:33 am

  3. congratulations! i have no doubt great things are ahead for you and your family!!

    Comment by natalie@thesweetslife — June 10, 2012 @ 1:36 am

  4. I haven’t commented on your blog in a very long time but I continue to be a huge fan. Have a lovely vacation and I wish you and your family all the best in this next chapter. I adore Oakland and the entire bay area, my husband has family there and I’m always itching for a visit.

    Comment by Heather — June 10, 2012 @ 1:53 am

  5. Dana, Washington will miss you! I feel lucky to have attended one of your classes earlier this year. It was a wonderful evening. I know that you will thrive in Northern Cal. Wishing you all good things to come. Enjoy France. Cheers to you !!

    Comment by Angela M — June 10, 2012 @ 1:54 am

  6. Dana — Wishing you and your family the very best as you transition! How fortunate that so many companies are seeking your husband’s expertise. I am guessing both your boys will be very resilient during this time of change and surprise you!

    Comment by Kel — June 10, 2012 @ 2:37 am

  7. Good luck with the move, Dana. And have a wonderful time in France (a bit jealous…). Hope the weather, town, beach, food is all fabulous. Bon voyage.

    Comment by Charlotte — June 10, 2012 @ 2:43 am

  8. Have a wonderful trip… John and I spent a month in Antibes last fall and we count those days as some of our best ever. au revoir!

    Comment by Toni — June 10, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  9. Is it selfish that my first thought was, “She has to move to SF only one year after I was there for a visit! Boo hiss.”

    But wow. I know it will be hard, but also so exciting. Can’t wait to hear about everything as it unfolds.

    Comment by Hilary — June 10, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

  10. Hi, Dana – changes is GOOD!! Just remember, “when nothing is certain, everything is possible.”
    Bon Voyage!

    Comment by Mary Miller | A Passionate Plate — June 10, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

  11. I have to say, I’m very excited for you. Oakland and the Bay Area is awesome. I’m a little biased, because I live here… and I’ll finally be able to take your classes! Yay!!!!

    Comment by Kelly — June 10, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

  12. Dana, I saw this news a few days ago on Instagram and was wondering when you’d share it here. I know it will be a big change for you all but wow, what an exciting one! I’m sure there are so many new friends and experiences awaiting you in SF. Have a wonderful, relaxing time in France! x

    Comment by Ele — June 10, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

  13. Hi Dana,

    You are going to love it here! Does this mean you will be teaching classes in the Bay Area now? I look forward to taking your classes if so. Congrats to your husband on the new job and yay! for new adventures and experiences~I used to live in Seattle. It’s only a hour and 45 minute plane ride back. You can visit often.

    San Leandro, CA resident

    Comment by Denys Williams — June 10, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

  14. I am so excited for you. I can also feel your relief that the decision is made. Have a wonderful time in France. It would be great to see some scenes from France on your blog.

    Comment by linda — June 10, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  15. Hi. You don’t know me but I have read your updates religiously. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I wish you the best in your upcoming journeys. I too live in Seattle and I have much regret now for not signing up for one of your classes (It has been on my special occasion list). You inspire me to cook more often and with less regards for the recipe. You continue to help develop the struggling vegetarian cook in myself. If it wasn’t for your suggestions, I would eat boring salads. I am excited for your San Francisco restaurant/cafe suggestions so please speak of the new places you fall in love. Seattle will miss you.

    Comment by Beth — June 10, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  16. sounds like a perfect way to start you new adventure. enjoy your vacation. i am just glad that blogging can be done everywhere. i missed out on meeting you in one of you cooking classes and that is a huge disappointment, but could not stand it if your blog was going away too. don’t post too much, enjoy your family, enjoy the beach, eat for all of us, and create new recipes to share with all of us from France!

    how exciting! cathy

    Comment by Cathy — June 10, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  17. I’ve been a follower of your blog for a few years & I’m excited to hear of your move to my beloved city! We live in North Beach (in San Francisco) and I think you & your family will love all the Bay Area has to offer. Of course, husband & I are natives so we’re biased, but having lived in different countries, SF is a world class city that so many people want to visit/live. Plus, you’re only 2.5 hours by plane to Seattle. Have a great time in France & I look forward to welcoming you to SF! Aloha!

    Comment by Rhea — June 10, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  18. Dana, I have no doubt that you and your family will thrive in your new home. Congrats to Randy on the new job!

    Comment by Erika — June 11, 2012 @ 1:46 am

  19. Congratulations! I’m sure everything will turn out amazingly…I love reading your blog, and I’m wishing you the best of luck as you move!

    Comment by Jess in Indy — June 11, 2012 @ 2:42 am

  20. What great news! A new job in a new city has to be a good thing, even if Seattle feels like your unquestionable home. At least you know you like where you’re going.
    I know how that uncomfortable period of big decision making feels. It’s not much fun but it’s such a relief to finally have a plan.
    I live in SF and work in Oakland , so welcome!

    Comment by Rachel — June 11, 2012 @ 3:35 am

  21. Welcome to the Bay Area!

    As a loyal reader of your blog, I am so so SO excited that you will in my neighborhood come fall. I look forward to finally being able to attend your cooking classes :)

    Comment by Priya — June 11, 2012 @ 4:33 am

  22. I am excited for you – for France, for the big changes that will happen, for your discoveries in San Francisco.
    It is a great opportunity for your whole family and although scary at times, I am certain you know what you’re doing.
    I have to admit, that I am a little jealous of your summer vacation. Cannot wait to hear more about the process! Enjoy France for us!

    Comment by Annika — June 11, 2012 @ 9:55 am

  23. Such exciting news for the whole family. There is a little trepidation in starting all over again but as long as you have each other….and hey it is San Francisco!

    Comment by bellini — June 11, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  24. Enjoy your trip to France! I am excited to hear about the next chapter of your life! Post if you can… we’ll enjoy hearing about your adventures.

    Comment by Deborah — June 11, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  25. I know we’ve already talked about this at length but I am so excited for this new leg of your journey! I know amazing things await you in SF!

    Comment by Joanne — June 11, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  26. Congratulations! And enjoy your trip to France, will be wonderful to have three weeks to relax with your family before your big move.

    Comment by Emily — June 11, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  27. Purely, selfish, but I am beyond thrilled that we are going to be neighbors!!! xo

    Comment by Denise — June 11, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

  28. Dana – the trip to France sounds like the perfect family adventure before the big move! We did a similar thing before we moved here and it was fantastic. I am so happy for you and your big move but sad because we are just getting to know each other. Hopefully we can meet up again before you head to S.F.! Alyssa :)

    Comment by Alyssa (Everyday Maven) — June 11, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

  29. Wow. I feel like I was reading my own words! We have been contemplating a move for a little while now, my name is Dana and we live in Seattle…weird right? We recently decided to just bite the bullet and put our house up for rent in August. We don’t know where we are headed yet – to my parent’s farm off of Dabob Bay for now – but we knew we had to make the call or else we would never move. Our children are only 1 and 3 so we have time to decide…to adventures big and small!!! They make life fun and fulfilling!

    Comment by Dana — June 12, 2012 @ 3:31 am

  30. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?


    Comment by Jillian Mckee — June 12, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

  31. Congratulations! It will be an exciting move. And, what a great chance to relax on your trip before the packing starts. Enjoy!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — June 12, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  32. So many big, wonderful things!! Have an amazing time in France. And all the best to you with your move when you get back :)

    Comment by Nicole L. — June 12, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  33. as an SF resident and an avid reader of your blog I think you will fit in quite well here. Hopefully you start teaching cooking classes when you get down here so I can finally attend!

    Comment by Sara — June 12, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  34. I always thought I’d make to to Seattle to a Dana Treat class.. guess I’ll have to wait for you to set up shop in SF. Congrats!

    Comment by catherine — June 13, 2012 @ 12:51 am

  35. Dana, I’m sorry that you have to leave so much behind in Seattle but I have full faith in you that you’ll make the most of this new adventure. You’re going to rock that city, friend. :)

    Comment by Kristina @ — June 14, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

  36. As another San Francisco native and long-time blog follower … welcome to the Bay Area! And no offense to my East Bay neighbors … but have you looked at homes, neighborhoods and schools on the Peninsula? Burlingame, San Mateo, Belmont and San Carlos are wonderful towns with quaint neighborhoods and award winning schools. Easy commute to The City for your husnband too. Please check out this side of the Bay before you buy! Selfishly, it would be lovely to have you as a neighbor! Happy vacation, happy packing, and happy move to California!

    Comment by Julie J — June 14, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

  37. Dana,

    Last year at this time you kindly gave me the list of lists for our Seattle and Lopez holiday and I am so lucky to be able to finally give back! I live in Oakland with my husband and 3 boys and would LOVE to share my lists – of Oakland, Berkeley, SF, Pt Reyes, and more and more. You are moving from one blessed place to paradise. Awesome! Enjoy your holiday in France and when you get back let’s either talk or connect by email. Have a great time!!


    Comment by Siggy Rubinson — June 15, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  38. so thrilled for you guys! It’s going to be exciting and I am anxious to hear about everything. Have the greatest time on your trip, you and your family will always remember this time.

    Comment by sara — June 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am

  39. Dana! It’s Dana! Haven’t visited you in a long time and look at what you are up to! WOW! Congrats. SF is a great town, I’ve lived there two different times. Great city with so much great food and energy. Great place to raise kids and a great time to buy there too. I have moved a zillion times, starting as a youth cause my pa was a corporate man moving up the ladder. It will be wonderful for you and your family. And France! For three weeks! Yippeee! Have fun my friend and celebrate! Life is good.

    Comment by Dana Zia — June 17, 2012 @ 4:23 am

  40. This seems tragically unfair…we just meet and now you’re moving?!?

    Was so great to connect at the Trace dinner at BlogHer and do hope we can cross paths again soon.

    Congrats to you on this next adventure!

    Comment by Shut Up & Cook — June 25, 2012 @ 5:49 am

  41. congrats on your move! i moved here 14 years ago from my hometown (colorado) and i haven’t looked back once. i lived in san francisco for many years and then moved down to los gatos once we had kids. you are going to love it here. i am sure it’s going to be a whirlwind of a move, but i am sure you and your family will find your wings in no time! i am very excited that i might finally get to take one of your classes! congrats! the bay area is excited to have you!

    Comment by angie lu — June 25, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

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