Town Square

Parks and Exploration

Original post made by Jennifer Fogliani, Whisman Station, on Jul 17, 2011

"Mom, what are we doing tomorrow?" Josie asks as I tuck her into bed.

I want to collapse into the bed on top of her at the thought of another day trying to entertain my 3-year-old daughter, Josie, and my 2-year-old son, Owen. But instead, I calmly answer. “I have no idea, Josie. Let's just focus on getting a good night sleep, okay?”

Her bright, blue eyes, far from tired, light up further as she replies, “How about the blue park?" I think for a moment and realize it has been a while since we've been to the blue park.

Once we started to really explore Mountain View, we were pleasantly surprised by all the wonderful and unique parks, which give our children, Josie and Owen, plenty of space to play and discover.

We discovered so many parks, in fact, that Josie and Owen couldn't remember their names. So we made up our own.

"The Blue Park" is Sylvan Park (600 Sylvan Ave.) It has not one, but two large, blue play structures and plenty of grass and sand for everyone. It's also a great place for me to meet other moms because play groups often meet there.

Josie and Owen's other favorite is "The Green Park", commonly known as Rengstorff Park (201 S Rengstorff Ave.) Before we head out the door, Josie and Owen, make sure to grab a piece of cardboard from the recycling bin. They use it to increase their speed as they slide down the huge cement slide unique to Rengstorff Park.

When we moved to Whisman Station, Josie and Owen couldn't believe that there were two parks just minutes from our front door. They call Chetwood Park (Chetwood Drive & Whisman Station Drive), "Our Park" because we can see it from our front porch. And Magnolia Park (Magnolia Lane and Whisman Station Dr.) is "Our Sand Park" because, still just a short walk away, it has the perfect sand for building castles. Fortunately, she is gracious enough to share "our parks" with the other children who come to play.

My favorite park is Eagle Park (652 Franklin St.) which I named "The L Park" because it is walking distance to two of my favorite activities: the library and a latte. After playing at Eagle Park, we walk a few blocks for some reading fun and then to a coffee shop on Castro before heading home.

Josie and Owen are always at a loss for words when we pull up to what they call "The Best Park," aka Cuesta Park (615 Cuesta Dr.) They don't know what to explore first. The rolling green hills, the massive play structures, the unique climbing contraptions or the gazebo steps that they love to run up and down. Usually, I bring another person with me when I take Josie and Owen to Cuesta Park. There is so much to explore that they usually end up exploring in different directions.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike Laursen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm

My son would do the same thing. Rengstorff Park was "Choo-Choo Train Park", Monta Loma Park actually has three different names (for different sections of the park), Mitchell Park in Palo Alto is "Spiderman Park".

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Good article, but honestly I just can't relate. The only "kids in tow" I see in Mountain View are the anchor-baby types crossing California avenue and pulled by mostly young Hispanic mothers. They don't have blue eyes, their moms didn't go to Stanford and frat parties, their dads aren't working in high tech, you don't see them at the farmers' market. It's our town's dirty little secret. But the paper sure does romanticize their existence in so many pro-illegal alien articles!

Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Geez, Ed, get over it! Mountain View is full of non- "anchor-baby" kids. This is a nice little blog post about the great parks we have in Mountain View. Why for the love of god do you and so many others on these forums have to turn everything into a rant about "illegals?"

Like this comment
Posted by DCS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I don't know where to start Ed!

I am a mostly stay at home mom, I work 40 hours a month as a consultant, so I'm able to frequent the Mountain View Parks. I have met Australians, Britains, Brazilians, Ukrainians, Hispanics, and even some local white women like me. There is a mix of people going to the parks in Mountain View.

I sincerely doubt you are actually spending time in these parks, you really don't know what you are talking about.

Like this comment
Posted by DCS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Just to be clear, I've also met lots of people from many different countried in Asia, and even a few black people. I hope I didn't leave anyone out, but I'm sure I did.

Like this comment
Posted by Jesse
a resident of Castro City
on Jul 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Uh, you just left out all the illegal Latina nannies taking care of citizens children for rock bottom wages. Hypocrites!

Like this comment
Posted by DCS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

@Jesse-Forgot about the older Latina/Hispanic nanny! Not impressed with the ones I have met, they were overly-tired and not patient, and came across as not caring. One of them told me that my son would be easy to take care of, that's a laugh! I had to quit my full-time job because he was anything but easy.

Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 25, 2011 at 7:45 am

When I was growing up, my mother did not need to provide "entertainment" for us every day.
It is wonderful that Mountain View provides good parks for the children in our communities.
As an early childhood teacher, I am constantly dealing with young children who are over stimulated by parents who feel that they need to keep their children "busy" all the time. A visit to a good park can be a nice experience and a chance to be outside and use their large motor skills. But I do take issue with parents who have set up a situation where a child asks, "what are we going to do today"? How about some quiet time at home. In this fast paced valley it is important to help children to learn to "breathe" and relax as well.

Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer Fogliani
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:49 am

Jennifer Fogliani is a registered user.

@ Jane. Thanks for your comment. My mom was very similar to yours in how she brought us up. My daughter was born busy with a love and enthusiasm for activity that I try to appreciate (even though it drives me crazy sometimes). But I am also try to help her breathe, relax and focus on the moment instead of "what's next." I agree with what you said about how important it is to remind my children (and myself) to enjoy some downtime.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Martens-Carmelita

on Jun 2, 2017 at 3:46 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?