Are we there yet?

23 07 2008

This is our last day in Cupertino, and my last internet access until Friday, assuming one of my new neighbors still hasn’t figured out how to set the password on their wireless router. We bought a home in Pleasanton, about 45 minutes away from Cupertino.

I knew very little about the East Bay until about three months ago. About five years ago I visited my friend Rob in Walnut Creek and then Antioch, and it seemed ridiculously far away at the time. I guess Antioch still qualifies as ridiculously far away, but now that I work in San Francisco it doesn’t seem so bad. We’ll be pretty close to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART, which means more scootering and hopefully less stress getting to and from work.

Why Pleasanton? Lots of reasons: closer to work, excellent schools, and prices have fallen to just moderately expensive as opposed to “are you out of your freakin’ mind???” We also like the downtown area and the more-open, small-town feeling we realized we were missing here in the south bay. Our new home doesn’t have the 12,000 square-foot lot we had in Cleveland Heights (thank goodness) but we do have enough space that we won’t feel like we’re trying to not bother our neighbors all the time. Another nice feature: we haven’t even moved in yet and have already met all but one of our neighbors in the cul-de-sac. In the year we’ve been here I think we’ve only met our immediate neighbor, and even then we only have a passing hello now and then.

We can’t complain too much about Cupertino. The couple who owns our place are very nice, and were were happy with Julia’s school. But for all the talk about Cupertino schools, I’m not convinced they’re worth bidding over $1 million on an ordinary suburban home to get into. Maybe we haven’t been here long enough to see what other California public schools are like by comparison, but the so-called best of California doesn’t seem to be dramatically better than the best in the Cleveland area.

I really hope we can stay here at least until Julia graduates. The whole Pleasanton Unified district appears to be in good shape, from kindergarten through 12th, so I think that’s a good possibility. Here’s hoping the economy holds up well enough that both Sandy and I can continue to work here.

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