by Mary Pope-Handy | Apr 25, 2019 | Buying Tips, First time homebuyers, Kids, Relocation, Selling Tips
Selling and buying homes can be exhausting and emotional, even overwhelming. This level of stress can rise when children are involved as parents also “run interference” to a degree to help make the transition smooth for their kids. Another added stresser is relocation to a new community far away.
What can parents and their real estate agents do to help the youngest members of the family to move as peacefully and contentedly as possible?
Communication about the moving process is key
Few of us like surprises that come on a big scale and change the way our lives are lived on a day-to-day basis. This is also true for our offspring, for whom routine can be a comfort. Just as you wouldn’t begin a vacation without explaining to your three year old that it’s only a trip and that you will later return home, so too it helps to explain to your child that the family is staying together, the toys, furniture and pets are coming along, but that the house or condo will be “new”. Providing a sense of security and reassurance first can enable the process to be possibly even fun. (Young kids will think that the furniture and toys go with the house so will likely vocalize their preference for a new place with the most fun stuff unless they understand that their toys will move with them.) (more…)
by Mary Pope-Handy | Jul 21, 2018 | Events, Art and Entertainment, Gilroy, Kids, Local History, Santa Clara County (all)
Greet the morning with the sweet smell of fresh Garlic in the air – the Gilroy Garlic Festival is back!
If you’ve ever caught the vivid aroma of the stinking rose early in the day it’s likely a breeze coming over the southern Santa Clara County city of Gilroy, the Garlic capital of the world. Whether you love or hate the pungent allium, this herb is a favorite for many foodies in Silicon Valley and around the world.
Gilroy celebrates their favorite bulb one weekend of the year during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the last weekend in July. This year it’s back for the 38th annual event held on July 29, 30, and 31, 2016. So what to should you expect from “summer’s ultimate food fair?” Food, food, food, fun, shopping, music, and more!
Gourmet Alley is “all about the food” – classics like garlic bread, garlic fries, calamari, scampi, and sausage are available at the booths, and at the end aisle, watch the Pyro-Chefs stoke up five foot tall blazes from their frying pans. Weird food lovers will enjoy a plenitude of flavors from other booths around the festival, including free samples of garlic ice-cream, alligator and buffalo meat, or ice cream in a half cantaloupe. There’s also the range of standard festival food stalls, beer, wine, coolers, and non-alcoholic chilled drinks.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Aug 29, 2017 | Events, Art and Entertainment, Kids, Parks, Santa Clara
On Saturday, September 16th, the 37th Annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival begins! On Saturday from 10AM – 6PM and on Sunday from 10AM – 5PM, make the most of the end of summer with arts, festival food, wine and beer, live entertainment on three stages, open house at City Hall, a passport stamp game, and two childrens’ venues: Kids Kingdom and Toddler Town!
For more information on the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival, please visit the event page on Santa Clara City government’s website. Use links below to quickly navigate to different areas within the event page.
Don’t forget to plan for sun and expect higher than average traffic. Bring extra sunscreen, water, and clothing to keep the sun off you in the late summer heat! It should be tons of fun! See you there!
Panning on strolling the booths? Shopping opportunities abound! Check out the list of artists and the map of booths on the festival’s Artist page.
Going for the performers? See the lineup of musical talent at the festival page. Enjoy live music and more at the annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival!
Going for a glass of the good stuff? Find the list of vintners and breweries with available beverages, open hours, and where to find water (stay hydrated!) through this link.
Interested in a pancake breakfast by the boyscouts? Or want some fried up food to pair with your beverage? Check out the food page here.
Need directions? Use the Google map to find directions from your house to Santa Clara Central Park.
Gilroy Garlic Festival
Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos (art & wine festival)
by Mary Pope-Handy | Sep 27, 2016 | Kids, Events, Art and Entertainment
Each year, Sereno Group hosts a children’s pumpkin decorating contest. Kids who want to participate may get a free pumpkin (while supplies last) at any of our offices. Every person who enters is given a little gift, and there will be three prize winners from the three age groups (up to late elementary aged students). Office locations are Aptos / Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Willow Glen, Saratoga, Los Altos and Palo Alto. This year the deadline is October 24th. For more details, please read the article on the Live in Los Gatos blog.
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by Mary Pope-Handy | Aug 14, 2015 | Campbell, Events, Art and Entertainment, Kids, San Jose (all areas)
The 7th annual Egyptian Festival of San Jose is later this month, August 22nd and 23rd, in Campbell. It is hosted every year at the St. George and St. Joseph Coptic Orthodox Church. The church is also a great place for those who appreciate architecture, as it is the only church in Northern California which features Coptic architecture.
As with most festivals around the valley, food will be a key feature, and a delicious one! There will be food for carnivores, vegans, and sweet tooth-ed people alike. Entertainment is plentiful with live music and family friendly dance performances. There’s even a movie night! The evening on the 22nd, there will be a classic Egyptian film (English subtitled) shown under the stars. The Kids Zone will have carnival games, face painting, and henna. A Bazaar will sell Coptic goods, souvenirs, Egyptian clothing, and much more. A silent auction will also be held. The church will be open with presentations for those who are interested in learning about the rites and rituals in Coptic Christianity, living in Egypt, or take a class on Hymnology or Iconography, and those who would like to enjoy the architecture.
Less than a mile from the Los Gatos Creek Trail, why not bike over and get your fill of the fun at the Egyptian Festival.
For more information visit the festival’s website. You can also like them on Facebook to hear more about updates and events.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Aug 3, 2015 | Events, Art and Entertainment, Kids, Local History, Parks, Saratoga
The beautiful estate of Villa Montalvo in Saratoga is home to one of the oldest artist residencies in the United States, and this year the program is celebrating two big anniversaries. With 75 years of residency and the ten year jubilee of the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Program, this calls for a celebration. This past February began the year-long celebration that Montalvo has simply titled 75/10.
With program alumni from across the globe, festivities are being held internationally and locally.
Local celebrations, such as A Toast to the Residency in March, opened the resident building for tours and special exhibit. Annual events are also getting special treatment this year. The Artsplash Celebration in April also hosted a special open studio with the artists-in-residence in addition to its regular schedule of events. More recently, Rock the Garden joined the festivities this past Friday, July 24th, by going big with more multidisciplinary alumni performances, food and drink, than before.
An ongoing feature of the 75/10 celebration is the rejuvenation of a monthly events series, now titled Open Access: Inside the Lucas Artist Program. The work of artists-in-residence will be showcased with presentations and activities that will exhibit the multidisciplinary approach of the program. This event series is designed to give audiences the unique opportunity to engage in the creative process with current Fellows.
It is a great time for locals to come and enjoy all of the features of Villa Montalvo.
There is always a great array of artistic styles to be enjoyed at the Villa, and most are open to the public. As a part of their ongoing program of arts there will be, and have been, a number of new temporary and semi-permanent exhibits and installations opening throughout the year for public reception. Theatrical performances include many opportunities for families with small children to engage in the creative environment – from puppet theatre to unique fairytales and summer theatre camp. The outdoor amphitheater is known for hosting the concerts of many famous artists, and is popular with music lovers throughout the bay. If you want some natural beauty, the grounds have gardens and hiking trails with wooded paths and spectacular views of the valley up into the Los Gatos foothills, and are open daily.
Read more about the celebrations on the Montalvo website:
or check out the anniversary blog with the latest information on all anniversary celebrations:
by Mary Pope-Handy | Jun 21, 2013 | Cupertino, Kids, Local History, Parks, Saratoga
Want to get away for a scenic hike but not drive hours for some time in nature? The Fremont Older Open Space Preserve may be just the ticket.
Located in Cupertino but stretching into Saratoga, this enormous preserve, which is managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, includes nearly 15 miles of trails within 739 acres of open space. The parking lot is a little small, so best to carpool if meeting friends there, and easiest if you arrive early on weekends.
The preserve includes many scenic vistas of the rolling hills, the coastal range, and the valley below. (more…)
by Mary Pope-Handy | Jun 16, 2012 | Gilroy, Kids, More Areas, Parks, Relocation, San Jose (all areas), Santa Clara, Santa Clara County (all)
What’s Are The Fun Places for Kids In and Near San Jose?
There are oodles of fun things for kids and the young-at-heart to do in San Jose and the greater Silicon Valley area. Here are a few of the more dramatic highlights!
In San Jose, Santa Clara and nearby
Happy Hollow Zoo and Park This is a great place for younger kids. It features a petting zoo, non-scary rides, and places to run off steam. Happy Hollow is undergoing a giant renovation and will be closed for part or all of the summer of 2008. Please double check the website or phone the park prior to visiting to make sure it’s open! Tel 408 277-3000.In Los Gatos: Oak Meadow Park (12 acres) and Vasona Lake County Park (150 acres – these are adjacent, interconnected parks). Oak Meadow is a town of Los Gatos park, Vasona is a county park, but they are connected! Of special note at Oak Meadow are the real Air Force jet that kids can climb on (local kids often refer to it as “the airplane park”), the hand painted carousel and Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad train which begins in Oak Meadow but mostly rides through Vasona, and the paddle boats on Vasona Lake. (Post on Live In Los Gatos about these 2 parks.) There is a fee to park at Vasona. Los Gatos town residents can park for free at Oak Meadow – but places fill up fast!
The Children’s Discovery Museum in downtown San Jose can’t be beat, especially on a too warm, too cold, or too rainy day! It is a hands on, fun place for kids. One of the most popular items is a stagecoach which kids can climb into. Warning to parents: the acoustics could be better and sometimes it’s overly loud in there.
The Tech Museum of Innovation
Recommended for kids ages 7 and up, but especially for kids 10 and up. There’s an IMAX theater as well – fantastic shows! Great downtown San Jose location.
California’s Great America in Santa Clara. Suitable for all ages but teens will like this best! This park does offer some water play areas and some little kid areas (but it’s expensive for that). Shows in air conditioned theaters will be welcome on warm days. Check out the Wow Card (or VIP Pass if you want to park close) if you’ll be back again in the same season.
The Winchester Mystery House
: This is a beyond-unique 160+ year old Victorian Mansion build by Sara Winchester with the thought that if she never stopped building, she would never die. Interesting but odd architectural accents throughtout the home!This historic landmark sits near the lovely Santana Row shopping center, just off 280 and near Stevens Creek Blvd. (It is a “half exit” from 280 – you can exit 280 southbound to get to Winchester and you can enter 280 northbound from Winchester, but not vice versa.)
List of Attractions Throughout Santa Clara County and Beyond
Gilroy (south of San Jose)
Gilroy Gardens (formerly Bonfante Gardens)Want to make a bigger trip of it to The Garlic Capital of the World? Gilroy offers great shopping to dress up those kids (or yourself)! . And maybe when that’s all done, do some wine tasting. If you can take a tour, the kids may not even get bored. List of wineries (and breweries) in and near Gilroy. And lastly, don’t forget the Garlic Festival! It happens in late July every year. Yes, it’s hot. Yes, they do really serve Garlic Ice Cream. You need to try it at least once! The Gilroy Garlic Festival – information, recipes, calendar, fun stuff for kids.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Jan 13, 2010 | Kids
Last April, US News named San Jose as one of the top ten places in America for kids to grow up. The article cites the good weather, abundance of parks (including skateboarding parks), major sports franchises, and the Children’s Discovery Museum as reasons why San Jose made the grade. The article generally mentioned the importance, on this list, of low crime too.
It’s a great piece but being so very brief, misses much of what makes San Jose and the south bay (particularly Santa Clara County, Silicon Valley), such a great place for children.