History of Diablo

Diablo CC Cars

Thank you for joining us along our journey into the history of the San Ramon Valley area. Today we are going to dive into the history of a lesser known community in the region called Diablo, California. This area is much smaller than either San Ramon or Danville, but it is rich in history, which makes this community worth a closer look. [Read more…]

History of Danville

Danville, California

Danville, 1858

In our series of articles about the history of the San Ramon Valley, we have covered the history of the city of San Ramon. We highlighted the Harlan House that was built by settlers Joel and Minerva Harlan in 1858 and still stands today. And we explored the Indian tribes who used to inhabit this area. However, no discussion of San Ramon Valley history would be complete without the inclusion of Dan Inman. [Read more…]

Indians in the San Ramon Valley

In our special series, “The History of the San Ramon Valley,” we delved into the history of the city of San Ramon, as well as, the famous Harlan House, which still resides on San Ramon Valley Boulevard. In covering the history of San Ramon Valley, we would be remiss not to take a step even further back in time to look at the first people who inhabited the area: The Valley Indians.

Photo courtesy of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Photo courtesy of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

[Read more…]

The Harlan House – Past, Present and Future

Harlan House. Photo circa 1890 courtesy of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Harlan House. Photo circa 1890 courtesy of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

So often today developers are eager to raze long-standing buildings in favor of modern houses and offices. On the flip side you have historians who feel it’s better to leave things as they are and preserve the legacy of those who have come before us. Just such a situation is currently occurring and the subject of debate is the Harlan House, also known as El Nido.

[Read more…]

Historic San Ramon

San Ramon

Photo circa 1890. Courtesy of Museum of the San Ramon Valley and the San Ramon Valley Historical Society.

People in San Ramon enjoy their community and love all that it has to offer. With modern homes and shopping centers as well as present-day features such as streetlights and crosswalks, it may be difficulty to envision what San Ramon looked like over a century ago. However, the city of San Ramon is rich in history and there are many important stories that make the city what it is today.

[Read more…]

Getting to Know San Ramon – Trails Challenge 2015

Villa Properties Getting to Know San Ramon Trails Challenge 2015What do you think of when the month of February comes around?

Do you think Winter Rain, Valentine’s Day, American Heart Month or Trails Challenge? Chances are the latter barely creates a blip on your radar, but it should.

Here’s why the Trails Challenge should be on your yearly bucket list: Free Healthy Fun!

[Read more…]

San Ramon Unified School District Top Ranked in California

San Ramon Unified Schools Top Ranked in CaliforniaAs a local relator in the San Ramon Valley, a topic of conversation that comes up regularly is the school district. I speak with families all the time who want to move here because San Ramon Valley Unified is so highly rated, and has such a great reputation. Most of the credit for this high level of excellence goes to the wonderful teachers, and staff in the schools and the district, who work very hard to provide the best possible education for our children.

This high level of educational excellence was recently reflected with a very high ranking on the website Niche.com. With over 35 schools in the district and an annual budget over $250M San Ramon Unified School District (SRVUSD) came in 20th out of 378 eligible school districts according to Niche’s ranking criteria.

[Read more…]

Nextdoor.com – Connecting Neighbors Online

In October 2011, Nextdoor created the first social network for neighbors! Today with over 48,000 neighborhoods online, Nextdoor is becoming a common name and the new way to meet your neighbors. It provides a message board platform to easily share information with your neighbors.  This can help with anything from finding a lost pet, to forming a local crime watch team, to recommending your local handyman. [Read more…]

5 Safety Tips for Your Own Festival of Lights

5-Safety-Tips-Festival-Lights-My-Villa-PropertiesFor the past 25 years, in the town of San Ramon a neighborhood called Vista San Ramon has been delighting the public with a light show known only as “The Festival of Lights!

In fact, there are many neighborhoods in San Ramon that take pride in decorating their homes for the holidays. If you weren’t the first in your neighborhood to get your holiday lights up before the storm this past weekend, don’t worry. There is still plenty of time, and in the meantime indoor decorating is a great family activity when it’s raining.

With all of this additional decorating activity it’s important to think about safety. When it comes to safety we often think of smoke detectors, alarm systems, self defense and activities such as trick or treating. However; safety also encompasses home decorating, especially during the Holidays. [Read more…]

7 Safety Tips for a Happy Halloween and Beyond

Halloween-Safety-Tips-Villa-PropertiesAs the sun sets earlier and signs of costume sales and Halloween candy bombard store shelves, I am reminded of the long nights that lay ahead.  My friend’s wife likes to run, and sometimes she does so at night with their baby and stroller in tow. I asked him how she remains visible when she runs in the dark. He said she has plenty of reflective gear and uses reflective sticky tape and strobe lights for the stroller.  This conversation got me thinking about how to be safe when we head out at night and what tips we can provide for those soon to be trick-or-treaters.

[Read more…]

Local Highlight: San Ramon’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

San Ramon, California may be a fast growing community but it continues to maintain a tight knit feel which families are drawn to. People still wave hello as they drive pass neighborhood children playing together in the street.  The local Starbucks barista always remembers your order even with the hundreds of faces he sees throughout the morning. It’s important to have that feeling of safety and comfort within your community. San Ramon truly strives for such an experience, and it does so through the actions of its citizens and encouraging community involvement.

To help strengthen that sense of community and belonging, San Ramon offers an array of programs that give people the opportunity to become involved and make a difference in times of need. September is National Preparedness Month.  Last week, we had the opportunity to attend the City of San Ramon’s Emergency Preparedness fair.

San Ramon Fire Department in action at the  San Ramon Emergency Preparedness Fair

San Ramon Fire Department in action at the San Ramon Emergency Preparedness Fair

[Read more…]

Is Your Home Prepared For An Earthquake?

Villa Properties_Is Your Home Prepared for an EarthquakeIt is strangely coincidental that we had a 6.0 earthquake a week before National Preparedness Month.  September has been designated National Preparedness Month and seeks to remind, inform, and educate us on how to be more prepared for emergencies such as natural disasters.  The theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare”.

With the recent Napa-Sonoma Earthquake this past Sunday, you may be wondering if you are adequately prepared.  Is your home safe? Do you have enough food stored? What will you do if you no longer have access to clean water?

Below we have listed some tips from sources such as The Centers for Disease Control and Ready.gov.  Additionally, at the end you will find a checklist of items you should have in one central bin in the event of an emergency. [Read more…]

San Ramon Valley Schools – Are Your Children’s Immunizations Current?

San Ramon Valley Schools Vaccinations RequirementsI may be showing my age, but does anyone remember that grade school game called “butts up”? The one where for some unknown reason we would convince a group of friends to line up palms facing the wall?  Said friends would then bend in towards the wall to create a sort of target with their backsides, while we or someone else (if we found ourselves facing concrete) threw a tennis ball or racquet ball at our behinds – like shooting cans off a fence.  If you lasted long enough to avoid being hit, then you were rewarded by being the next person who could throw. If you were the thrower and missed, you quickly found yourself standing next to your friends. [Read more…]

7 Summer Activities To Do With Kids in the San Ramon Valley

7 Summer Activities To Do With Kids SRV - Villa PropertiesWhen the children are home full-time for the summer, finding affordable activities in the San Ramon Valley, that they will enjoy may be a bit challenging. After the camps and other outdoor programs what else is there to do?  Well, there are actually quite a few local options to help you round out the summer and keep minds busy and engaged.

1.    Outdoor Movies

Is there anything better than sitting outside. In the dark. Under the stars watching a movie past your bedtime?  The Town of Danville (Moonlight Movies for July and August 2014), The City of San Ramon (Outdoor Movie Nights in August 2014), Bishop Ranch and Dublin (Picnic Flix) offer outdoor movies to entertain the entire family. [Read more…]

Leadership San Ramon Valley: Exceeds all Expectations

Leadership San Ramon Valley - Exceeding Expectations

Leadership San Ramon Valley Class of 2013

Have you ever agreed to do something even though you didn’t have a complete understanding of what you were signing up for? That happened to me when I was asked to be a part of the Leadership San Ramon Valley class of 2013. When I signed up I had a very basic understanding of the course. I knew it was a year long program that involved meeting once a month for day long seminars. I knew that we would learn about our community, and also get to meet and connect with other civic minded individuals. What I didn’t know was that the Leadership San Ramon Valley program would be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I have ever done. [Read more…]

Local Spotlight: PulsePoint – The Application That Saves Lives

Local Spotlight PulsePointImagine This… You are the local Fire Chief finally taking your lunch break.  You decide to stroll over to Zachary’s Pizza for a bite of their delicious deep dish. As you sit outside eating your lunch (dressed in your uniform), you notice a fire truck pull up in the parking lot and see your men rush into the building next door.  Someone was having sudden cardiac arrest and you had no idea until you saw first responders just like you show up on scene. [Read more…]

4 Reasons to Try Sprouts Farmers Market in San Ramon

4 Reasons to try Sprouts Farmers Market in San RamonHave you heard? Sprouts Farmers Market (Sprouts) is now open in San Ramon, California.  Sprouts is the newest grocery chain to expand in California.  Originally started in Chandler, Arizona the store has grown to over 170 in the U.S.’s Pacific Southwest, or this side of the Mississippi. [Read more…]

Four San Ramon Valley Water Parks to Keep You Cool this Summer

San Ramon Water Parks

With the current drought and a promise of hot summer days ahead you may be wondering where you can take the kids this summer to stay cool.  While the drought has many cities restricting water use and even shutting down their water parks, here are four highly rated water parks in our area that are open.

San Ramon Olympic Pool & Aquatic Center, is rated 4.5 stars on Yelp, and is located at 9900 Broadmoor Drive in San Ramon. For a $4 daily swim pass, you have access to the Olympic sized pool for lap swimming, a splash play area for young kids, and another pool for lounging, diving, and water sliding fun.  They also have picnic tables for rent if you are looking for a venue to host your next event.  They are open weekends only until June 14, 2014; and then they will be open from 1:00 to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.

San Ramon Central Park is rated 4.5 stars on Yelp, and is 12501 Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon.  This park has a nice splash pad area for little and big kids. In addition, there is a nice playground for the young and older kids.

Dougherty Valley Aquatic Center is rated 4 stars on Yelp, and is located 10550 Albion Road in San Ramon.  This facility also features play area for children, albeit smaller than San Ramon Aquatic Center. It will operate from June 14th through August 23rd from 12:00 to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday and Saturdays, 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

On the south side of San Ramon in Dublin we have Emerald Glen Park.  Emerald Glen Park in Dublin, , sits on 40 acres at Tassajara Road and Central Parkway. Emerald Glen’s splash pad is operational through Labor Day weekend from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm when the weather is forecasted to be above 90 degrees.  This park also has a 4.5 stars on Yelp.

Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and be safe while having fun at one of these local water parks. Please confirm with your City’s Parks and Recreation Department prior to heading out as water availability may change without notice.

Hidden San Ramon – Discovering San Ramon’s Trails

View from Hidden Valley Open Space

Where do you go to run, walk, hike? The Iron Horse Trail if you are seeking a nice flat paved course. Or maybe you stop by at Las Trampas if you are seeking the challenge of hills and solitude of open space. Well there are many more trails open to you if you know where to look.

The City of San Ramon has 54 parks and 22 trails (including the Iron Horse Trail) available for hiking, walking and running. The trails are paved, concrete, dirt or a mixture of all three types. [Read more…]