Sweet Sixteen - Page 3

Neighbors build friendships and retain a distinctive rural feeling along Monte Sereno’s tranquil Eichler cul-de-sac
Sweet Sixteen
Sweet Sixteen
Sweet Sixteen
Vasona park is walking distance from the Monte Sereno Eichlers, with its picnic grounds, playing fields, a lake, a historic carousel, and walking and biking trails.

Then there are the pleasures afforded to young people by the homes themselves. At least seven of the homes have pools that were built along with the houses. Ironically, the presence of a pool was one thing that Tim hesitated about when he and Jennifer considered buying their Eichler.

"One thing was, I didn't think I wanted to maintain the pool," Tim says.

But then their young son, Nicolas, weighed in, Jennifer recalls. "He said, 'I want that house! I love that one!'"

Today they can't imagine life without the pool. Jennifer and the kids can get hot walking home from school, so they often pop off their street clothes in the atrium and get wet.

After work Tim routinely does the same. "You can just jump in for ten minutes and swim around. It's a nice, relaxing way to end the day," he says.

The hassle of pool maintenance? "We pay somebody to do it," Tim says. "If I wasn't so lazy, I could do it myself."

Isabella Roenicke, 14, often turns her home's atrium into an entertainment venue when her friends visit.

"They think it's pretty cool," Isabella says. "They like the courtyard area and the room back there. We watch movies that we project on the wall in the atrium." Most recently 14 of the girls enjoyed 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' though not quietly.

"We kind of talk all the time," she says.

Isabella and her friends often head downtown too—and that means downtown Los Gatos. That's because the city of Monte Sereno, population 4,000, median household income $200,000-plus, has no retail whatsoever, just homes and a few institutional buildings and schools.

The Eichler subdivision is bordered on one side by Los Gatos, and it's a short walk to downtown. By moving to the Monte Sereno Eichlers, David Frankel says, "We get Los Gatos as part of the bargain."

From Via Sereno, downtown is less than a mile, a 15-minute walk. On weekends, the only time this section of Winchester Boulevard grows congested—as beachgoers head up and over the hill to Santa Cruz—walking downtown is a better idea than driving.

"I've had the experience where I've walked to downtown and have beaten the cars," David Frankel says.

Tim Begg says his family appreciates the area's walkability. "We wanted to live someplace where we would not be in the car all the time."

Downtown Los Gatos is worth visiting, with its well-preserved old buildings, a large green used for evening concerts, local shops, some major chains, and restaurant after restaurant, some of them famous. One coffee shop has live music nightly, and there's even a nightclub.