17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, February 16, 2007

From the Tales Inbox: Moving Outside the Bubble

Our regular reader and commentor, Cheryl is moving to California. While she has already printed out some useful moving tips found here on Tales, she has a few more questions to pose to you, our very helpful readers.

"To whomever has lived or does live in the Bay Area (specifically Contra Costa County), what is it like? Where are the best schools? What is a good city to live in? Any advice for a Republican Idaho girl who has lived in Happy Valley (Provo) for the last 10 years on moving to SF? I'm a little nervous because I've never been outside "the bubble", so to speak. (PLEASE do not turn this into a Utah versus the "world" debate; I've heard enough of that one!)"

All you past and present San Francisco area dwellers, can you help her out?


  • I am very excited for your move! I have never lived in the SF area, but I did write this post after visiting with the kids that might be useful when you are looking for fun things to do.

    I think you are going to love living outside "the bubble" and I will leave it at that.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 2/16/2007 09:36:00 AM  

  • I grew up closer to Sacramento, but congratulations! It's a beautiful area, and there are lots of great things to do (especially outdoors activities).

    My sis-in-law loved growing up outside the bay area. Super expensive suburb, but I can't remember the name. I do know that the Fayette area is nice, as is Martinez.

    Best of luck!
    posted by Blogger Emily C at 2/16/2007 09:56:00 AM  

  • I just moved to the Bay and we love it! Unfortunately I have no helpful advice for you, we're not familiar with anything yet, it's a warm change from Utah/Idaho right now! Good Luck!
    posted by Anonymous jessiejo at 2/16/2007 10:24:00 AM  

  • I've lived in the bay area my whole life. I LOVE it here. The weather is perfect. There is tons to do. You're close to the beach and the snow. It's beautiful!!! What do you want to know? I grew up in Walnut Creek. For sure the best schools are Walnut Creek, Danville/Alamo, San Ramon, Lafayette, Orinda areas. We currently live in Brentwood.. it's a family friendly town (tons of parks and some bike trails) with lots of little kids and youngish moms. E-mail me if you have more questions. the_harlows@hotmail.com.
    You'll love it here!
    posted by Anonymous denaeharlow at 2/16/2007 10:36:00 AM  

  • JEALOUS!!! We just left Contra Costa County last summer and miss it ALL the time. You're about to become part of the best county library system ever! If you want to e-mail me, feel free - rarelyhomemom at gmail dot com. Denae (comment just above) is one of my friends from there!
    posted by Anonymous Julie P at 2/16/2007 11:12:00 AM  

  • I live in the south bay, (sunnyvale), but many of our friends love Walnut Creek, Concord area. The walnut creek school are supposed to be great, and there is so much to do. I'm sure you have looked on this but just in case here is the link to the county website.

    If you are moving soon you will get to see the beautiful hills in Shamrock green, and all the trees and flowers are blooming right now.
    (and today its about 60 degrees:)

    The roads aren't mapped out in a grid, but they are very manageable, and people are really nice. Just prepare yourself for the housing shock.
    You may fall in love with the weather, and the area. We came from Utah 7 years ago, and we may never go back.
    Best of Luck!
    posted by Blogger Abby at 2/16/2007 11:17:00 AM  

  • In live in the East Bay, but on "this" side of the tunnel (Caldecott). I don't know Contra Costa very well, but my side of the hill -- Berkeley, Oakland, Piedmont, Alameda -- is wonderful and you'll be within a quick drive or BART of it. Good luck.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/16/2007 12:24:00 PM  

  • Hi, Julie P referred me over here to comment about the CCC. Welcome to the Promised Land. It is 75 degrees today and the crab apple trees are blossoming. There is no lack of fun things to do, see my blog (janelles.wordpress.com) under virtuous, lovely and good report. My best tip is to search www.craigslist.org for housing. Julie P, Denae and I met while living in the same ward in Concord. Good Luck! I think you'll love it here.
    posted by Anonymous Janelle at 2/16/2007 02:17:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 2/16/2007 03:10:00 PM  

  • Walnut Creek, San Ramon, and Concord are great, they are typical middle class suburbs and nothing like actually living in SF. I love the landscape of Orinda, but its pricey (what am I saying its all pricey). There are great neighborhoods in the East Bay. I worked with school that were underperforming in Antioch and Martinez, so you may want to check out test scores and facilities if you were to consider these areas. For test scores you can go to www.greatschools.net

    The Bay Area is a wonderful place...Enjoy all of it!
    posted by Blogger trimama at 2/16/2007 03:13:00 PM  

  • Yay! Thank you so much...I know I'll be emailing some of you soon with more questions...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 2/16/2007 04:36:00 PM  

  • Cheryl, congrats - you are moving to a GREAT area. It's 73 degrees here today in February - enough said, right? We've been in the Bay Area for 2 1/2 years now and I love it. Weather, people, activities, you name it - all good.

    We live in Solano County (in Fairfield - about 20 minutes from Walnut Creek and 15 minutes from Napa). We are planning to move to Green Valley (still in Solano county, better schools); Benicia is also very nice. If I could pick anywhere in East Bay to live it would be Pleasanton, hands down. The schools are the best, great shopping. Downside - VERY expensive. San Ramon and Dublin also very nice, also expensive. definately check out www.greatschools.net as well as The National Center for Education Statistics.

    Feel free to email me at stubbert@yahoo.com and I can give you some more information. Good luck and congrats!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 2/16/2007 04:56:00 PM  

  • If you're looking to live on the bay side of the hills, Albany has great schools and the Berkeley ward is awesome. (Albany and Berkeley are in Alameda County, just south of Contra Costa.) We live in Albany and we are within walking distance of 100+ great restaurants (and just about everything else you could want) and yet we can get in our car and drive and find parking if we want to. It's like living in the center of a big city that's also driveable. (San Francisco is much less driveable. The Walnut Creek side of the hills is much more suburban and less walkable - but will probably feel more like Utah, albeit an extremeley expensive version of Utah.) Unfortunately, it's all expensive (unless you get really far away from where everything is).

    One other thing to consider is climate - the bay area is known for its microclimates and the temperature can vary a lot between two locations that are as little as five miles apart. San Francisco is cold and foggy most of the time, including in the summer. Further down the peninsula (Palo Alto, Menlo Park) there is no fog and the summers are much warmer.

    In the east bay, it is coolest and gets the most fog across the bay from San Francisco and gets hotter as you go south or east. During the hot part of last summer, it was much cooler at our house (1/2 mile from the bay in Albany) than it was where I work 4 miles away (the foothills in Berkeley) and it was 10-20 degrees hotter than Berkeley on the other side of the hills (Orinda, Lafeyette, Walnut Creek).

    Good luck!
    posted by Blogger Nikki at 2/19/2007 10:04:00 AM  

  • How exciting! I grew up in Sacramento so I won't be of much help with schools and neighborhoods, etc but if you need some fun vacations I am your gal!
    I love love love No. California there are so many beautiful and fun places to see within a doable driving distance. You have Yosemite, the Redwoods/Sequoia Natl Park, Tahoe, Monterey, Santa Cruz - so many places to see!
    Good Luck!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 2/19/2007 01:48:00 PM  

  • Thank you so much to everyone and their help! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to thank you, but I'm in the middle of packing/cleaning, etc. I'm getting really, really excited about heading out there. Yay! Thanks again, everyone...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 2/21/2007 06:59:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home