This military family has made seven moves in the last 16 years and, now, they’re diving into their new life in Danville, California
The Warren Family made a move from San Diego to the Bay Area right after COVID-19 shutdowns started—but that hasn’t dampened their excitement for their new community. Now, as they head into the holidays, we check in with Sarah and her crew.
Sarah Warren and her family are no strangers to moving. Her husband Dan is a Coast Guard pilot and, when he got his latest assignment—on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California—the family packed up their San Diego home and moved to Danville. This, Sarah says, was the family’s seventh move.
“I knew Danville would be a great fit for them,” says Pamela Goldman, the Warren’s Suburban Jungle Strategist. “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.”
The Warrens agreed and immediately jump-started their house hunt.
“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 COVID-19, 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.”
Now eight months into life in Danville—and about to celebrate their first holiday season in the Bay Area—we caught up with Sarah to see how they’re adjusting to their community and what comes next. (Don’t miss the Warrens first post-move post, “Move #7 Takes This Military Family to the San Francisco Suburbs”)
Finding a community where they can hit the trails
When Sarah and her family started exploring the San Francisco suburbs, finding a spot to bike and hike was at the top of their list.
“One of our priorities was to be in an area that we could bike as a family. It’s so nice to be able to ride out of the driveway and go for a safe bike ride,” she says. “Since we moved we’ve been exploring the area a lot by bike. We’ve also been hiking—there are plenty of great spots nearby.”
A typical weekend, Sarah says, usually involves a family bike ride, exploring new spots and revisiting local favorites like Iron Horse Trail. On the way home, they’ll stop to pick up library books or grab takeout from a local restaurant. “We might also hike on area trails or make a trip to the coast.”
Read more from this series:
Checking in with the Donovans: How This Now Family-of-Four is Settling into Maplewood, New Jersey
Gearing up for the holiday in their new home
October, in particular, was a busy month for the Warrens. Not only were they baking up a storm—Sarah’s kids participated in a virtual baking competition—but their neighbors “booed” them with seasonal goodies throughout the month.
“There were so many treats,” Sarah says. “Our neighbors wound up with so many homemade goodies that our kids were baking up and, that same month, the neighbors were all about ‘booing’ people—secretly leaving packages of candy and Halloween goodies on front steps. We were ‘booed’ three times, which was so much fun for the kids and an amazing welcome to the community.”
Sarah’s two daughters are also busy with remote school through the San Ramon Valley School District. While they’re eager to get started in person, Sarah says the family has been very impressed with the teachers and the district, citing the rigorous academics, consistent and clear communication and outstanding efforts to help kids learn and thrive. Sarah says she’s also impressed with the efforts Danville has made to keep families active and connected, even during COVID-19.
“We love our new town and neighbors,” Sarah says. “With everything going on this year, the towns in the area have done a wonderful job offering socially-distant activities. San Ramon did a Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt—we used an app and read clues to find the scarecrows. It was a great family activity! Also, the town of Danville had scarecrows created by local businesses that were fun to look at while we rode our bikes.”
Looking back it’s been a whirlwind year—but the Warrens are settling in and getting ready for the holidays. “We are so thankful to Suburban Jungle for their help. Our family was so overwhelmed with everything—even where to begin on our search.” Finding that ideal town, Sarah adds, is key—and she recommends all families take the time to find theirs.
“Make sure to figure out what is most important for your family in a town. You can change your house, but you can’t change the town.”
You can’t change the town—so make sure you find the right place to call “home.” Get in touch and schedule your Suburbs Strategy session. Our services are 100% free.