I love the his & hers threads. It is good to see couples sharing hobbies. My wife doesn't ride pavement, but loves to share motorcycling with me.
It sounds like you are sticking with the DR's for now. Nothing wrong with that, as they are fine all-around bikes. Someone else mentioned, and I agree, that adding a few teeth to the rear sprocket will make them easier to ride. They'll be less likely to stall, and roll smoother at low speeds. Even if you lose 10 mph of top speed, they'll still be great for exploring California. There are many many miles of forest service roads up here in the Sierra, and putting around on a DR is probably the best way to travel them.
I ride an '83 XL600 off road, which is somewhat similar to your DR's. A dual sport that size is ideal for most secondary roads and dirt roads. The weight of a 600 can be tiresome on the single track, though, so I would avoid that until jumping curbs is second nature. Let me know if you want some trail suggestions in the Central Sierra, I'd be happy to tell you or show you.