Some Background Information
About your Hosts
Klaus and Gundi Heinemann have been renting vacation homes in Sea Ranch and Truckee - Tahoe/Donner, CA, for many years. Klaus spent many years working as a scientist for NASA, Gundi as a teacher -- and both are published authors of nonfiction books. Gundi maintains a practice in the alternative healing arts (HealingGuidance). They have three married children and 9 grandchildren. Sporting activities, including skiing (boards, downhill, Nordic), bicycling (road and x-country, close to professional competition proficiency), as well as numerous water sports (kayaking, kite-boarding, surfing ... you name it) are what their family members excel in. Klaus and Gundi pride themselves with providing the best you can expect for vacation rental homes in terms of overall excellence, views, amenities, maintenance, reasonableness, and communication with our guests. Come and stay in one of their properties, Casa Pacis or Bella Vista at Se Ranch, or Alta Vista Chalet in Truckee/Tahoe-Donner. You will not be disappointed.
History of Casa Pacis
Gundi and I discovered Sea Ranch shortly after our immigration to California in late 1969. The rugged coast line and beauty of the natural environment attracted us immediately, perhaps due to similarity with the familiar North Sea coast we had left behind. We soon discovered that one could rent vacation homes at Sea Ranch, and together with our young children we kept renting different homes at Sea Ranch for short once or twice per year. Unit 28, with its sand dunes and the driftwood-laden "Walk-on-Beach," quickly became our favorite location at Sea Ranch.
After numerous short vacations at this paradise on the coast, we noticed a "for sale" sign on a lot very close to "Walk-on-Beach." There was no building close by -- a perfect location for a dream cabin! But how could we possibly afford it? Nevertheless, something nudged us to inquire about the lot, and we learned that it came with approved building plans. That was back in 1982. We knew nothing about the California Coastal Commission and the building moratorium that had stopped all building activity at The Sea Ranch some 7 years earlier, nor that it had just been lifted following the settlement of a protracted law suit between the developer and the Coastal Commission.
While we could neither afford buying a lot nor building a vacation home on it, we ended up making a ridiculously low offer on the lot, so low that we literally forgot all about it. About three months later, we received a phone call from the selling agent, asking us if we were still interested in buying that lot. He offered help with securing a loan, and we convinced ourselves to dare to go ahead with the purchase.
Looking at the dollars and sense of this lot purchase, which came along with the obligation of paying a monthly HOA fee, as well as a set of building plans that would expire in a few months, we decided that it would make sense to build as soon as possible and recover some of the recurring payments by putting it on the vacation rental market. So we took the plans and gave them to three construction companies for a bid on building just the shell -- the outside of the building, with rough plumbing and rough electrical, and the outside walls and ceilings insulated and sheetrocked, textured and painted. With the help of family, the most attractive bid became affordable, and we started construction.
Perfectly on time and budget, in the summer of 1983 the shell was finished and, together with our teenage sons, finished most of the interior in about a month, acquiring the necessary skills along the way. The following summers became truly unforgettable family construction vacations in which we completed the decking, the hot tub, and finally, in 1987, the annex/garage building.
To this day, each family member has a distinct sense of "ownership" of certain elements of the building: interior walls by our then 15-year old son; decking and later the annex building (only the concrete slab was poured by a contractor, everything else we did ourselves) by our 16-year old son; design, electrical and plumbing, as well as "gophering" by myself, holding nails and tools by our preschool-age daughter, and much of the interior decoration, painting, carpeting, and -- most importantly -- cooking for the entire crew, by Gundi.
During the ensuing three decades, we upgraded, modernized, installed solar-thermal collectors, removed them some 20 years later and installed one of the first solar photovoltaic systems on the Sea Ranch, re-roofed, re-sided, added and replaced deck areas, replaced fogged windows over and over again, installed rain gutters (heretofore banned by the Sea Ranch Design Committee) -- all this almost to the point that not much more than the studs, beams and rafters are still original. All of this continued to contribute great, valuable family enjoyment that would last for over three decades and is still going strong, while providing for a very desirable vacation rental home in one of the most desirable locations on Sea Ranch. <>
Klaus and Gundi's sons and daughter are now in their 40s and 30s and have their own families. They are successful, post-graduate educated professionals in their own right. For them and their spouses and, in aggregate, their 9 children -- preschool to college-age -- Casa Pacis remains a unique place away from the urban "rate race," where the peaceful sounds of the ocean not only re-kindle valuable childhood memories but also become an invaluable counterpoint to their busy mainstream lives.
"Casa Pacis" -- the name
We started vacation renting Casa Pacis in 1985. When we first listed it with a local rental agency, they suggested we give it a distinctive name, rather than calling it simply "the Heinemann house." It took only a few seconds to come up with the current name. This is truly a place of peacefulness. "Casa Pacis" is Latin for "House of Peace." Latin is the mother of many western languages (including Spanish, German, and English), and it was one of the foreign language that accompanied Klaus through-out his high school years in Germany -- and hence the Latin expression was adopted.
Renting Casa Pacis
Since then, Casa Pacis was rented for well over 3000 nights in aggregate, to over 1000 customers, many of whom became valued repeat renters. Klaus and Gundi's efforts to make each rental a unique, enjoyable experience for their customers is undiminished. Three thick guest books, with hundreds of individual entries, attest to the success of their efforts. We make them available for your perusal when you come for your stay at Casa Pacis. A small sample can be found here.
- 2 BR (1 master bedroom with one K; 1 bedroom with 2 Ts;
- 2 BA (one with tub/shower, one with shower only);
- view loft
- hot tub built into deck
- open fireplace
- 1000 sq.ft. of wrap-around decks