There are certain phrases I find myself uttering lately that make me think that maybe I’ve turned into a crazy dog lady. For example, when I went to visit an open house off of Turnpike Road last week, I realized that I had been in the neighborhood recently. It wasn’t until I heard myself say out loud, “I was just down the street at Blueberry Hill Park this weekend, for a photo shoot with my dog Scout,” that I realized a dog photo shoot might sound a little wacky. But yes, I’ll admit it. I had a date with my friend Kristen, who owns a photography business called Veils & Tails. She shoots both weddings and, you guessed it, pets. Not only was it a fun afternoon, watching her try to capture Scout’s good sides, but I discovered this tranquil neighborhood nestled between Calle Real and Cathedral Oaks, and Turnpike and Patterson, with an idyllic pocket park called Tarragona Open Space, but known to locals as Blueberry Hill Park.
Just down the street, and within walking distance of Foothill School, lies 736 North San Marcos Road. I approached this lovely one-story home through its courtyard entryway. The private brick front-porch area provides a transition from outside to indoors and also serves to separate the main house from a one-bedroom guest house. Standing in the courtyard, the guest house lies to the left, while the front door of the main house is to the right.
Stepping into the main house, I found myself in the quintessential great room. The spacious living room is straight ahead, with soaring ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors, and a show-stopping stone fireplace stretching floor to ceiling. Wooden window treatments match the floors and accent the multi-paned windows and French doors. The kitchen is open to the living room, but separated by granite-topped counters. A breakfast bar on one side is destined to be a favorite place for cookies and homework, or lingering and chatting with the cook. Stainless steel appliances combine with custom white cabinetry and recessed lighting for a sleek yet comfortable kitchen setting. A large window over the sink, plus two smaller windows artfully nestled between the upper and lower cabinets, opens the kitchen up to the outdoors and offers views of the backyard while prepping or cooking.
Two bedrooms lie to the left of the great room. The master has a walk-in closet and French doors out to the backyard. The master bath has dual sinks and a gorgeous, updated glass-enclosed shower.
Having gotten peeks of the backyard from various rooms, I didn’t fully appreciate it until I walked out onto the back patio and saw the whole yard. The lawn wraps around the house with fruit trees, artfully landscaped focal areas with boulders and bushes, and a high fence for privacy. The covered brick patio provides a perfect shady spot for entertaining, even on a hot day.
While this home looks and lives like a stand-alone house, it is technically part of a planned unit development called Villa San Marcos. There are tennis courts, walking trails, and landscaping service that includes front-yard maintenance. The two-car garage opens into the house, and air-conditioning adds to the list of creature comforts.
Before I left, I took another look at the guest house. This one-bedroom, one-bath separate little house could fill many functions: an exercise room, a private office, or even a darkroom for your favorite pet photographer. I’m told that homes at Villa San Marcos don’t become available very often. When people buy, they tend to stay. As I drove away, past the split-rail fence of Blueberry Hill Park on this perfect September afternoon, I could see why.