I ride a fair amount. The best rides are when "cupcakes" goes with me. Love my father/daughter rides.
I'm 6'2" and 240+ lbs. My wheels are cheap FSA RD60's. I've had them for two years now and had them trued once. I should have had them tensioned on day one, but I didn't. They hold me just fine. Just have a competent bike shop tension his wheels and i would suspect you'll be fine.
I'd suggest you make this whole thing an adventure. The hunt for the right bike. The rides. Etc. I'm in the L.A. area. My wife and I have done a century in Long Beach, a volunteer ride in San Diego, a metric century in Santa Rosa (Northern California wine country), rides from the campground in Solvang and Ojai (local places, but you get the idea). Get a good rack and go explore new places. On a bike, you'll see places and things you could never see by car.
Also, make sure you budget for helmets, cycling attire of choice (whole new subject), repair kit, pump, gloves, etc.
Please keep us up to date and ask any questions you have.