Thinking of adding a pool to your home? Things to consider before you start.

We can all agree that we are having some unusually hot weather this summer in the Tri Valley. Nothing better on a hot day than to slip into that new swimsuit and dive into that crisp, cool oasis in your back yard.

Before you google the best pool builder in your area and break out your check book, let us help you with a few options and factors to consider when planning the design of your new pool, like types, shapes, water, extras and costs. Your pool type, style and cost may vary depending on weather conditions, frequency of use, topography and a number of other factors.

East Bay Pool Types

Here are the most common Pool types’ materials. Ask your pool builder which will be the best for you. Sometimes soil and topography are major factors when choosing:

– Concrete
– Fiberglass
– Vinyl

And of course, most importantly, which style of pool would best suit your lifestyle and family needs? Here are a few of the popular styles today, and are illustrated in some of the photos.

– Infinity Pool
– Lap Pool
– Plunge Pool
– Exercise Pool
– Indoor Pool

Chlorine or Salt Water Pool??

Salt water pools can be more expensive, mostly due to the need for a specific salt water generator. Now, remember that even a salt water pool has chlorine in it, but much lower levels so it doesn’t dry out your skin as much. The good thing is that you don’t have to add the chlorine yourself. It is actually created by chemical electrolysis, which happens within a salt water chlorinator (or generator).

Even though upfront is more expensive to build your Salt water pool, the money you save monthly will add up and depending on the link that you have your pool, you will end up saving money long-term by not having to buy as many chemicals.

Pools in Pleasanton California

A few extras to consider when making your budget:

– Fencing? Sometimes required by code
– Slide or no slide?
– Diving Board?
– Hot Tub attached?
– Bar? Especially if you plan on entertaining
– Cave attached? Sometimes fun for kids and a shaded area from the sun.
– Lighting, for night time enjoyment
– Rock Structures for maybe a waterfall or plant features
– Automatic Cleaners. Ask your designer about the best for you
– Tile Trim. Like any design, it can be the small extras that pull it all together and express your taste and style.

Most of all! Remember to enjoy the creation and design of your new pool. It’s like adding a new addition to the family.

The Alameda County Fair is back – Starts this Friday

It’s that time of year again YAY!!! The Alameda County Fair Starts this Friday

The Alameda County Fairgrounds is a 270-acre facility located here in Pleasanton, California. It is home to the annual Alameda County Fair, held since 1912, as well as numerous trade shows and community events.

Here is some information, locations and schedules for you.

Address: 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Use Gate 8 Valley Rd., Pleasanton, CA 94566  Phone: (925) 426-7600

Getting Here:

The Alameda County Fair is located off of the Bernal Ave Exit from the 680 Highway in Pleasanton, California.

There are 4 entrance gates to the Fair for the public:

Green Gate – Known as the “Main” entrance, the Green Gate is located right off of Valley Ave, cross street of Bernal Ave.

Blue Gate – Accesed from the main parking lot.

Red Gate – Red Gate is accessible from the Gate 12 entrance located about a 1/4 mile up on Valley Ave. from Bernal Ave.

Yellow Gate – Located at 4501 Pleasanton Ave. off Bernal Ave. This is the location of: Administration Offices – Will Call Ticket Booth -VIP Parking Lot


View Wheels Shuttle schedule from E. Dublin/Pleasanton BART

Here are just a few of the attractions at the Fair:

  • Rides
  • Concerts
  • Stage Acts

Here is the schedule of performances –

Alameda County Fair Stage


There is also a list of companies that are giving away FREE tickets at the link above!

Pleasanton CA Cattle Drive Route

  • Horse Racing  Free with Fair admission

Pleasanton Horse Racing

Must see the over 14 wineries that will be here, and there will be entertainment specifically for the Beer and Wine Garden.

And here is the full schedule of events at the Fair.

Alameda Fair Schedule of Events

We hope to see you there!!

Val Vista Park in Pleasanton CA – A kid friendly park in the Tri Valley

Val Vista Park Pleasanton CAThere are so many exceptional parks and recreation areas in the Tri Valley but the Val Vista Park in the town of Pleasanton California is an oasis for parents wanting to spend the day with the kids. A place to play sports, enjoy the snack bar and nature trails to take in the fresh air and unwind. It is the ultimate activity day where Pleasanton and East Bay children can play for hours to their hearts content.

There are two play areas within the park. There is also a large picnic area where families can gather and have lunch on any afternoon during the week. There are soccer fields here, a giant skateboard park, roller hockey rink and a climbing wall for the more adventurous.

Val Vista Park also has a nature trail walk and don’t forget to bring your swimwear to experience either one of its two water sports areas. There are three play structures to keep kids occupied all day and those coming from all around East Bay will be pleasantly surprised to learn there is plenty of parking around the park.

Val Vista Park East Bay

The approach to the park is down Stoneridge Drive where you will notice the roller hockey rink, several soccer fields and a skateboard park. These are just a taster of things to do within the park. Once you have parked, you will notice the two huge play structures, a big area for families enjoying a picnic and a water feature to take your selfies at.

The play structures are for kids of all ages. There are tiny tot swings, four slides for larger children and a small water feature boat. There is also one huge play structure for kids and juniors up to the age of 12, a main playing structure that has so many different ways of climbing up that children will be spending most of their day on this, and six different slides to accommodate all the kids. There is also a safe high bridge and plenty of wheels to spin on or just hang onto.

The play areas are a haven for the kids and there are areas specifically designed for smaller children (aged two to five). This wonderful park has a snack bar area and bathroom facilities and a lovely little stream running through the nature trail walking area.

If you are ever at a loss of what to do with your family one afternoon in the Tri Valley, you should bring them here to the Val Vista Park. It is what childhood memories are made of and makes for a complete day out.

The Pleasanton and Dublin California Farmers Markets


Dublin Farmers Market:

Dublin has one of the finest farmers’ markets in the entire state of California. And as of April 13th it’s back in its usual home too. Emerald Glen Park is the setting for the farmers’ market event and it could not be a finer place to hold the market, which runs right through the summer months until September 21st. The Emerald Glen Park is like walking in to a small part of the Emerald Isle itself. The green, green grass and trees give the visitor a small feel like you could be in Ireland.

The Dublin Farmers’ Market is for everyone. Even you can set up a booth by filling out an online form or simply by sponsoring a stall at the market to promote your services or goods. There are a number of weekly special events which take place through the summer at the farmers’ market and this year you can see musicians regularly performing while you stroll through the stalls and check out the newest unique items and freshest produce.


There will be beer tasting events, wine tasting and cooking demonstrations that will give you some great ideas for entertaining. The emphasis will occasionally center on the fun and competitive element, so you can cheer on their favorites. How fast can your partner cook and deliver an omelette? Will your friend be able to create a tasty burger in a quicker time than a competitor? It’s all good fun at the Dublin Farmers’ Market.


Pleasanton Farmers’ Market:

Unlike the Dublin Farmers’ Market, which is only open from April through to September, the market in Pleasanton is open all year long. Whether rain or shine, it’s always open every Saturday.

It sells fresh vegetables, delicious fruits and delicacies all grown in the lush California orchards and fields so close to home. You can buy delicious healthy blueberries by the pint; imagine sprinkling them on your morning cereal for breakfast to ensure a delicious treat and one that is considered superfood healthy too.


The Pleasanton Farmers’ Market also specialises in olive oils, delightful cheeses, ground or root vegetables, pastries, sausages, baked breads, chicken and you will always be entertained by live musicians performing as you browse the stalls and organic groceries on Angela Street.

So be sure to get out to the markets and support your local hard working vendors, and save time by picking up those items you need for the upcoming week’s dinners.

ArmarioVenemaHomes in Pleasanton California

A little History of our own Alviso Adobe Community Park here in Pleasanton.

The Alviso Adobe Community Park The Alviso Adobe Community Park is a recreational piece of land, measuring about seven acres, and located at the edge of Pleasanton in the Tri-Valley. The Alviso Adobe is actually a house that forms the center point of this park and remains on the Californian Historical Landmark registry.

Adobe houses are essentially made from mud and/or clay. It was once the primary building material of all homes that were built from our early existence until some point in the 19th century.
The park was due to be constructed in 2000 but lack of funds meant the park’s construction was not even started until 2007. The project began with a total funding pool of $4.4m and opened to the public in late 2008.

The adobe was originally built a century and a half ago in 1854 by father of ten, Alfred Alviso (whom the park is now named after). He, his wife and children only owned the property for a couple of decades before selling the adobe to the soon-to-be Mayor of Oakland. New land developer John West Martin allowed the Alviso family to stay at the property right up until 1888.

Pleasanton CA Parks

The historical home suffered – as did many properties in the area – in 1906 from a massive earthquake. Cracks in the walls, a chimney that was falling apart and several other damaged fixtures Walter Briggs purchased the property cheaply in 1919 and turned it into a dairy.
Briggs sold the adobe on to the Great South and West Corporation and the organisation toyed with the idea of building an amusement theme park at the location of where the park is today.

This concept was met with protest and fury from the local residents and many small businesses. Eventually, the idea of an amusement park was scrapped and GSWC saw little use for the land, so sold it on to a land development company specialising in building affordable homes. A number of small housing lots were constructed, all of which surrounding the original Alviso adobe, which was protected by the state as an historical monument.

The Community Park tells a little history of the state of California, in some ways, as this was the place where some of the earliest activity took place. Native American settlements, building of Spanish ranchos and cattle farming all took place across the Amador Valley where the park is situated today.

Alviso Adobe is just another great historical gem, trenched in history, that we have in our beautiful home, the Tri-Valley. If you are thinking of moving to the Pleasanton, Dublin or Livermore areas of the East Bay, Contact Us. We would be happy to discuss our unique and beautiful community.

Shadow Cliffs Park in Pleasanton California


With all of the rain and icky weather this past week, we thought a forward look to better weather and spring time would be a good idea. One of Pleasanton’s favorite warmer weather past times is Shadow Cliffs Park and beach.

Shadow Cliffs was once a gravel quarry pit, given away to the Park District Association in 1971. It has since been developed into a luxury boating, fishing and swimming park, less than one mile from downtown Pleasanton. It should come as no surprise this park has been a very popular spot for residents of Pleasanton, particularly at weekends.

Many East Bay Parks and Recreation areas:


There are many smaller lakes in Shadow Cliffs where boating and swimming is not permitted. These quiet areas are reserved for wildlife and those looking for a more peaceful retreat from the heat of the afternoon sun in summer.

The park covers a whopping 266 acres, which includes the massive 80-acre lake for boating and fishing. There are plenty of parking spaces, even at busier times and several picnic tables which can be reserved in advance through the park authority’s website. Usually, families can cook on provided bbq pits and play on the grassy areas beside the reserved areas. No alcohol is permitted on the park at any time.

There is a swim beach here where bathers will find soft white sand and a lifeguard on duty. The lifeguard is only on duty during the summer months, so winter swimmers must bathe at their own risk.


There are a few restrictions for swimmers to consider: pets are not permitted on the sand and any glass or bottled liquids must be transferred to a plastic container. No swimming is allowed in the arroyo (smaller lakes) areas of the park.

Shadow Cliffs is a superb place to fish. Anglers can expect to see plenty of trout and even some catfish here, as the fish are replenished on a weekly basis to keep stock levels high. Blue Gill and Black Bass fish are a common catch in the lake too. Every year the park holds a Fishing Derby which can attract hundreds of onlookers and picnickers to the event. All anglers must apply for a Park District Daily Fishing Access Permit.

Boat owners may also launch their own vessels here too. There is a 17-foot boat limit and only electric motor-powered boats are allowed. Jet skis are not welcome on the lake, ever.

Shadow Cliffs is also a peaceful recreational area to see a number of wild birds along its two walking trails. So whether you are a fisherman, birdwatcher or just want a relaxing day with your family, then Shadow Cliffs is a must see.

Have you been to the Pleasanton Ghost Walk? It’s coming up soon

Pleasanton Museum

If you live in the East Bay, particularly in the Tri-Valley, you may have been to the Annual Ghost Walk in Pleasanton.

This event is for the whole family and has been a tradition now for 10 years and held by the Museum on Main. It’s an educational and a historic tour too, acting out some of Pleasanton’s Spirits of the past.

Pleasanton Ghost Tour


Pleasanton Ghosts

The tour has become popular during the Halloween season with around 1,200 visitors. The 2 hour guided tour is held downtown and covers Pleasanton’s most haunted sites.

The tour includes actors, from the Pleasanton Creatures of Impulse Improv Team. The teens really do add to the fun by playing the roles of the downtown ghosts. It’s even encouraged that you, the attendees, sport your most ghostly costume.

The stories that are acted out by it’s volunteers and actors, has been collected over the years from ghost hunters, psychics and residents. It’s a spooky production showing the fun side of Pleasanton’s history.

Pleasanton CA events

The Ghost tour is held between 6:00pm and 8:00pm, where tours depart every 30 minutes. The tour dates are Friday, October 16th, Saturday October 17th, Friday, October 23rd, and Saturday October 24th, no matter the weather.

You can buy your tickets online at, by phone 925-462-2766 or at The Museum On Main itself. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for kids 12 and under. The location is at 603 Main Street in Pleasanton’s Historic Downtown and just a few blocks from our office 🙂

See you there.

Photos from