Paris and Knute met when a group of friends gathered in downtown Walnut Creek at the brewpub Pyramid (now the location of Sauced). It was the summer of 2002, and Paris was visiting her college roommate Shawn. Shawn was friends with Knute from their Northgate High School days. Paris was drawn to Knute immediately, but she still had another year at the University of Colorado at Boulder to finish. While Knute worked in commercial real estate at Grubb & Ellis, they maintained a friendly relationship over the miles. They started seriously dating in 2004, but it was long-distance. So in 2005 Paris made her way to the Bay Area to be closer to Knute. She found a job at Coldwell Banker in residential real estate, and she and Knute soon discovered they were a perfect match. They married in 2006 at Ruby Hill in Pleasanton.
Knute, who now works for Newmark Knight Frank commercial real estate in Walnut Creek as a Senior Managing Director, is a local. He grew up in Pleasant Hill, and then at age 16 he moved to the Woodlands neighborhood, where his parents still live. He graduated from Northgate High School in 1997 and attended Arizona State University with a degree in Justice Studies. Paris and Knute started out in the Woodlands as well, moving to the Rancho Paraiso area in 2015.
Paris was born in Texas, then lived in Colorado before relocating to the Bay Area. The Bucklews now have three active children: Ellie, age 12, Tate, age 9, and Nora, age 3. Prior to the Shelter-in-Place order, their weekends were full of kids’ sports activities and family bike rides or hikes. Summer was full of swim team activities. Like so many young families in our neighborhood, they have found a ‘summer family’ in Scottsdale swim community. Paris says of the children, “They have missed all of their organized sports and activities during Shelter in Place. We mostly try to enjoy the outdoors now with hikes and bike rides, but it’s been tough on them. They miss their friends and teachers.”
The two older kids attend St. Mary Elementary in downtown Walnut Creek. Nora attends Community Arts Preschool and Music Together classes with her mom. “We spent a lot of time at Arbolado Park and the Ygnacio Valley Library,” adds Paris. “So having them closed for the past several months has been tough.” Instead Nora is enjoying playing with her baby dolls, making messes with paint and play dough, and trying to keep up with her older brother and sister.
Tate plays the drums and puts on shows for the family in the garage. He is hoping to get back to swim team, Walnut Creek Little League and St. Mary’s CYO Basketball, with his dad as coach.
Ellie has been busy baking or making recipes she finds on Pinterest. She is waiting for her other favorite activities to reopen like Club Volleyball with Vibe, swim team and hip hop classes at Ace Dance Academy.
A five-year-old Goldendoodle named Doug rounds out the family with his goofy personality and attempts at escape. He is often seen lounging in the front window, keeping an eye on the neighborhood. “During Shelter in Place, it is amazing how much people are always out walking their dogs!” says Paris. “It has a very charming and old school feel in that there is always someone to borrow an egg or some butter from if you realize you are out and don’t feel like running up to the store. I love that it’s a quick bike ride to Encina Shopping Center where we can grab a bagel or a frozen yogurt. We also like to walk over to see the horses nearby.”
The Bucklews love their Bay Area sports team, no doubt thanks to Knute’s influence. He’s an avid fan of the Warriors especially. The family also enjoys going to A’s games. Knute had the unique opportunity to cheer on the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV this past February in Miami, even though they didn’t come home with the title.
This summer they’ve planned a trip to Sunriver, Oregon to bike down the Deschutes River Trail, go fishing and rafting. They’ve planned a second trip to Tahoe, an annual one they take with two other families from Walnut Creek who have all raised their kids together.
As Paris reflects on the new reality caused by the pandemic she adds, “Through Shelter In Place, we have realized how much we really took our neighborhood for granted. Life has had to slow down so much that we really enjoy the small things that we felt like we were always too busy to notice. We have spent so much time in our backyard, making s’mores at our fire pit, reading, kids jumping on the trampoline, drawing with sidewalk chalk, hiking in the hills behind our house, and enjoying a slower paced life.”
They love when neighbors stop by for a quick chat. It’s something many of us are cherishing these days as we all slow down.
By Kara Navolio, Resident since 1991