Shadow Cliffs Park in Pleasanton California

shadow-cliffs-regional

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:

shadow_cliffs_park_map

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.

pleasanton_lakes_pleasanton

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.

www.armariovenemahomes.com

Color Trends in 2016 – It’s all about the White but How Do You Choose?

Color Palette

It should be simple as black and white. You need to use a white paint to decorate your apartment but upon your arrival into the do-it-yourself store, you are faced with so many different shades of white paints. Confused? You will be.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it boiled down to being simply “spoiled for choice”, only here you are left wondering whether to select an eggshell white, ivory, brilliant white, bright white or even a beige. How on earth have paint designers and manufacturers come up with so many different whites? Apparently, there are over a hundred different ones to choose from.

Shades of color white

Now, we can accept there may well be 50 shades of grey or several shades of just about any other color (save black) but over a hundred different whites? Surely there has to be some sense in this somewhere?

Believe it or not, there are people out there who call themselves colour consultants. These sort of artists will definitely help you out on the best colors to use when designing a living room, bathroom or bedroom.

White paint colors

These color consultants and paint manufacturers even have a Color of the Year award. We find it jaw-dropping to believe there are those who actually dress up in a tux, attend a gala award night with individual private cabaret seating and listen to some CEO guy unwrap an envelope and announce the winner of this year’s Color of the Year…awesome.

Glidden white “And the winner is [long pause] Cappuccino White!” Apparently that was the color selected by paint manufacturer Glidden Paints for its 2016 award. But seriously there really are ways where you can select the right white for your room. Think about crisp white for a country kitchen, using too much sheen on your white may show up flaws and a warm and creamy white for bathroom or living rooms. Go down this road and it really will be all white on the night! 🙂

Just be sure to have fun and get your family and friends opinions too. Happy painting!!

www.armariovenemahomes.com

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 museumonmain.org, 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 patch.com

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Livermore Valley Wine Industry in East Bay, California

livermore-valley-mine-countryWine has been cultivated in this region going way back to the late 19th century. The Livermore Valley wine-growing region is based within the borders of Alameda County, California. There are several prize-winning wineries within the Livermore Valley. These include the Steven Kent Winery, Concannon Vineyard, Occasio Winery, the Big White House and John Evan Cellars.

Many of the wines produced here are award-winning and have accolades in France. But it was during the prohibition years, when most wineries were shut down, that the Livermore Valley saw two of its production continue to thrive. The Wente Vineyard has enjoyed being the valley’s biggest producer and exporter in the region.

livermore-valley-vineyard

The Wente Vineyards can produce up to 750,000 cases of wine every year with much of the produce being exported or used in showrooms, tasting centres or sold to smaller distributors at a wholesale price.

The viticulture area was named after landowner Robert Livermore. There is a groundwater basin within the valley that holds enough water to supply the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Although there are four other aquifers used to supply much of San Francisco city itself.

livermorevalley

It was as recently as half a century ago when Livermore was producing as much wine as the Napa Valley. But where Napa was a household name for wineries and wine production in the early 1960s, Livermore was not. Yet the first family-run wine production business in Livermore began as early as 1883 and it is still functioning today – a feat unmatched by any other family-run winery in the United States.

The Concannon Vineyard is one of the other largest producers within the Livermore wine producing region. It too was established in the late 19th century but it is now run by a major corporation in the wine distribution industry. Still, there are many independent and smaller wineries functioning today in the Livermore Valley.

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There is something very different about the viticulture in Livermore, which sets it apart from other wine growers: firstly, that these vineyards have an east to west orientation (unlike many other which run north to south) to take advantage of the warm breezes coming off the San Francisco Bay Area.

The microclimate here ensures there is always a warm onshore breeze during the afternoon and early evening and offers to grapes a wide temperature variation. This gives red grapes a particularly exciting taste and flavor once produced into some of the world’s most desired wine.

So be sure to visit the Livermore Valley if you are a wine enthusiast and especially if you are loooking to become one. Contact us at Armario Venema Homes for more information on living in Pleasanton and the Tri Valley

Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton California

Pleasanton CA SchoolsIf you live in the East Bay, and have kids, there is a good chance you may have heard of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California. It is a California Distinguished School and has achieved a National Blue Ribbon status. Its first graduation took place way back in 1923 and as recently as 2014, the school had over 2,500 students.

Amador Valley High has its rival, as all good Californian high schools so often do, and the Foothill High School, located on the opposite side of town is the one. Amador Valley High began with no more than eight students and eventually became well known for producing quality municipal bands, cheerleading sections and high-ranking sports teams.

This public high school opens at 7.00 a.m. during it’s semesters and school is finished by 3.00 p.m. Most of the students begin their first lesson at 8.00 a.m., with the first classes usually being left as a free period for most.

Pleasanton Schools Group pic

The school offers 12 varsity sports teams for the boys, and a further 11 for the girls. It offers intense sporting programs in basketball, cross country running, soccer, football, basketball, baseball, golf, lacrosse, softball and swimming. There are many extra-curricular classes available for diving, spirit squad, tennis, wrestling, water polo, volleyball and track and field events like the pentathlon and decathlon events.

There is a big music and band program that takes place at the school too. It has its own orchestra and glee club. Many of the bands and varsity sports teams are used in special events outside the school. The school’s Marching Band and Colour Guard are often seen competing in the Western Band Circuit events.

Pleasanton Football

The Amador Valley Marching Dons are highly decorated with several high finishes at the WBA events. The Math Team is also regularly well placed in the Mathematical Association of America competitions.

The school even has its own Robotics Team where students design unmanned vehicle systems and use them for display and competition at science fairs across the country. In 2001, the school built and designed a Manta Ray AUV weighing in at just over 200 pounds, in which Amador’s robotic and science team achieved second place.

pleasanton-cheerleaders

Speaking and debating are two topics which the school emphasises on. It has held mock trails and received accolades for its performances in public speaking. The Amador Theatre has been part of the school since 1930 – just another string to its bow of outstanding performances and team work which takes place there.

For more information on Living in Pleasanton California or in the Tri-Valley, Contact Us. We would be happy to help.

Spending a day in Danville California

 

Danville CaliforniaDanville is positioned in the San Ramon Valley of California. As of 2010, it had a total population of 42,039. Danville is a popular East Bay suburb for many reasons, like some of the cultural and tourist attractions below. It’s location is perfect for those commuters and families that want to be within a 30 minute drive or Bart ride from Oakland and San Francisco.

Here are just a few facts about Danville:

History:

Danville has experienced many transformations over last 130 years. Also known as the ” Heart of the San Ramon Valley”, it was primarily populated by Native Americans. The city is named after Daniel Inman, who with his brother (Andrew), bought 10,000 acres of land in 1854 via his gold rush earnings. Farming in the area switched from farming wheat to fruits and nuts. It was all possible after 1891 when Southern Specific Railroad was constructed. Gradually, around the late 1940s, the residential suburb was formed and the population started expanding which boomed during the 1970s and 1980s.

Some of Danville’s attractions:

  • The Iron Horse Regional Trail that runs through Danville is an 80 foot wide corridor that is used by bikers and incorporates some great hiking trails.
  • Monte Vista High School and San Ramon Valley High School are the two popular Schools in Danville. Del Amigo School is also nested in the foothills of Mount Diablo State Park and supports grades 6 through 12. These schools are also among the some of the best in California.
  • Danville Library conducts a number of community events and fundraisers. Also has a few Book Sales every year.
  • The Museum of San Ramon Valley organises a large number of regional exhibitions portraying the valley’s history and culture.

Danville CA

Spending the day in Danville:

  • Downtown Danville has a charming farmer’s market that runs on Saturdays between 9:00 am- 1 pm. Items here rotate with the season. Local goat cheese, nuts and fruits are its most famous items.
  • Diablo State Park is 3,900 feet high with many camping areas, hiking trails and is a cyclist’s paradise with trails and amazing view spots.
  • Shops and restaurants: The heart of Danville is pedestrian friendly and a great place to have a lazy stroll in the evening, do some shopping and to have dinner at one of their great restaurants.
  • The Village Theatre and Art Gallery is a recognized historic site that features amazing art openings and live performances in it’s main theatre and art education in the children’s theatre.
  • Blackhawk Automotive Museum: Known for it’s extensive collection of classic, rare and unique automobiles.
  • Even Larry Allen the former football player and Leroy Chao the famous astronaut have resided in Danville.

For more information on Living in Danville or within the Tri-Valley, Contact – armariovenemahomes.com

Foothill High School Sports and Academic Importance

Foothill High School

Foothill High School is located in Pleasanton CA and is one of the most comprehensive schools in the unified school district of the San Francisco Bay area. Opened in the early 1970s, Foothill High now educates as many as 2,300 students.

The school has recently been approved for grants to build more classrooms, upgrades to the computer suites and available technologies, and more sports fields to accommodate the rise of the school’s great athletics and football team.

A wide range of sports are played and taught at Foothill. During the fall season football, tennis, volleyball and water polo are the go to activities for the students and wannabe sports stars. The school even holds golf classes and cheerleading for the girls.

The spring is also the time when the students can practice their golf, baseball, softball, swimming, diving, tennis and volleyball activities, as all take place in the curriculum, as well as basketball, wrestling and cheerleading.

Foothill High Sports

Foothill High School takes its sport and athletics criteria very seriously and sports meetings with the athletes and their parents are mandatory. Foothill forms part of the EBAL (East Bay Athletic League) and is in regular competition with other high schools such as San Ramon Valley, De La Salle, Monte Vista, Amador Valley and Granada, among others.

The staff at Foothill provide their students with numerous academic and service-based group teachings involving multicultural activities and athletic programs to seek out the very best in its pupils.

Foothill strives to reach out and seek the very best out of its students and distinguished awards have been awarded to the school over the recent years. As a result of the high standards demanded from students, this school regularly sees above average scores in standard testing, high school exit examinations and Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs). These results include above average scoring when compared to others in the district, the state and the country.

East Bay Schools

Foothill High also instills discipline, compassion, respect, independence and developing personal character traits. In fact, the school has earmarked four key principles of self-development to bring out the very best in its students.

The mission statement at the school includes teaching students to be pro-active citizens, show concern for others, strengthening personal character and utilizing essential skills in today’s and tomorrow’s situations.

The Tri Valley is proud of their Foothill High reputation and devotion to its students. If you are thinking of moving to the East Bay or Tri Valley area, Foothills High School may be one of the best options for your family.

ArmarioVenemaHomes.com