Wish you the very best in this move.
Though My CA experience lasted only lasted a few years... work, not living there... my view may be through rose colored glasses. Enough to see and experience within a 2 hour drive, to last several lifetimes.
My territory ranged (central) Oakland... to Grass Valley and Auburn, Placerville, Sonora, and Twain Harte and Watsonville. The mountains Tahoe, and down to Yosemite, just fabulous. Got caught up in the "Gold Rush" history culture, and totally enjoyed San Francisco, as well as Sacramento. First experience with calamari , Fisherman's wharf....1983, when I didn't realize it was squid... @ $14.95.
A great place... culture, climate, history, and enough to stay busy forever.
The only downsides, for us, would have been #1... we couldn't afford it... #2 it takes a while to build a circle of friends and we're getting a little old in the tooth to do that... ok when young, but a little harder as we age. #3. just us, but grand kids are great 'til about age 13-15, after that, not so much.
Affordability is relative. IMHO, it's a personal thing, and based on my short experience here, there aren't many who would take a chance based on a wish and a hope. Am certain you have that figured.
Looking far ahead, one thought... in the event of need for short or longer term assisted, retirement or rehabilitative living, what are the relative costs? Comparable costs in our area, (appt. for 2) is about $40K/yr. Our friends in Long Island are looking at equivalent costs of nearly $100,000/yr.
Last thing... Will you do the move?... or as I'd guess have it done. After 7 company paid/managed moves, the reality of self moving is/was a nightmare. If/when we move again, will pray for a fire!
Envy your new adventure. A truly great part of the world.