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Move #7 Takes This Military Family to the San Francisco Suburbs

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They’re moving pros—but after getting orders to the Bay Area, this family of four didn’t know where to start… 

 

When Sarah and her husband Dan got married 16 years ago, they were living on Cape Cod—she’d grown up there and he, a Coast Guard pilot, was stationed in the area. The couple stayed on the Cape for two years before their moves began—seven, in total, taking them north, south, east and, ultimately, west. 

 

“First we moved to Texas,” says Sarah. “I taught for a year, and we had our first child.” Their house, Sarah adds, was a beautiful new build on an incredible block filled with Navy and Coast Guard families. Most of their neighbors also had young children. 

 

Despite loving the community, the family’s stay in Texas wasn’t long. “We ended up in Colorado. Dan got his Master’s at Colorado State and we spent 17 months there. Then we headed to Washington, DC for 3 ½ years before going to Mobile, Alabama for four.” It was a whirlwind, Sarah notes, especially as they welcomed their second daughter.

 

Heading West for the Long Haul

This, though, was just the beginning. From Mobile, the family of four headed to San Diego. Here, Sarah says, they “lived the dream,” with a house in Cabrillo National Monument Park. “The New Point Loma Lighthouse was right outside our front door. We were one of just three houses on the Point—right where Top Gun was filmed! It was amazing.” 

 

The family spent two years in San Diego then, earlier this year, Dan received his latest assignment: Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California. Despite being moving experts with, at that time, six moves under their belt, Sarah didn’t know where to start.

 

The family’s San Diego house. “We were the house on the left. The house on the right was Viper’s house from Top Gun!”



“It was really overwhelming,” she says. “I had no clue where to look. In the Bay Area, everyone lives everywhere. So I wasn’t sure what was ‘too far’ or where I should anchor our search. I was totally lost. Then I read about Suburban Jungle in The Wall Street Journal.” Sarah reached out and got in touch with Strategist Pamela Goldman.

 

“Pamela is AMAZING,” Sarah says. “She totally got us. She gave us the breakdown of the area and helped us understand what communities really aligned with our lifestyle and our needs.” 

 

Exploring the San Francisco Suburbs 

With their town list narrowed, the family made their first trip to the Bay Area, touring towns and checking out houses. On their first drive through Danville, they fell in love.

 

“I knew Danville would be a great fit for them,” Pamela says. “It’s incredibly family-friendly with a strong sense of community and great schools. There’s also a lot to do—they are an active family and I knew they’d love being close to the hiking and biking trails, and all of the restaurants and parks.” 

 

Moving During COVID19

Ultimately, the family made three more trips to the area—on the fourth trip, COVID19 shutdowns began in the Bay Area.

 

“It was crazy,” Sarah says. “We saw a house on Saturday and, by Sunday morning, the whole country was shut down. We made an offer and we got it. For the next few weeks we packed up. Then, two months after the accepted offer, we packed up a Pod, rented the largest Uhaul we could find and drove to Danville. We didn’t want to get movers because of COVID19, so my husband moved every single box and every single piece of furniture—with our daughters making guest appearances to get their stuff out and unpacked.” 

 

“Dan did the coin toss at the Coast Guard Appreciation Game at San Diego State.”

 

The family officially landed in Danville on May 14 and, Sarah says, are just beginning to get the lay of the land. With shutdowns still a reality, the family spends a lot of time in their pool or biking around the community. “We biked to downtown Danville and back a few times—it’s so cute. We also got curbside cupcakes from a local bakery to celebrate the last day of school and grabbed takeout a few times. Otherwise, though, we’ve been exploring our immediate neighborhood. We’re really excited to get out and see everything!” 

 

 

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