Road Trip Day 17: South Bay

We spent a leisurely morning hanging out with our friends and their kids, bade farewell around 10:30 am, and drove off.

Memorial HallFirst stop: Stanford University, for the 11 o’clock campus tour. We didn’t really leave ourselves enough time for parking, so Dave had to drop me off, drive around campus for 15 minutes to find parking, then find the tour group. Somehow he managed to do all this, though he missed a lot of the interesting explanation of the history of the university. The tour was pretty good, and fairly short (about 50 minutes). After it ended, we went up the Hoover Tower, though we were surprised that we had to pay $2 each to go up. It offered great views of Stanford, Palo Alto, and the surrounding area. We walked around campus a bit, then got into our car and drove off.

Jordan Hall and Hoover Tower
We needed to spend a bit of time online to get information about some of our next stops, so we asked the tour guide at the Hoover Tower if there was a Panera nearby. He said that the nearest Panera was in San Francisco. We told him that really all we were looking for was a place to have lunch and access free wi-fi. He recommended a place called University Cafe, just a bit down the road in Palo Alto, which we found fairly easily.

University Cafe is a European-style cafe with a somewhat frou-frou menu, though the food was tasty. They did indeed have free wi-fi, so of course a number of people were just hanging out with their computers and a cup of coffee. Most of the people there were having lunch, though. Dave and I were highly amused at the couple at the table next to us, who apparently were meeting for the first time after connecting via an online dating site. It seemed to have gone well for them, thankfully.

Sun Microsystems World HeadquartersWe left Palo Alto around 2 pm and headed to Santa Clara, where Dave wanted to see the Sun Microsystems headquarters before the name changed to Oracle. It was actually a cool campus, the center of which is an historical site called Agnews Historic Park. We didn’t look around much, but it seemed pretty interesting.

Apple HeadquartersNext stop: Cupertino, to see what the Apple world headquarters looks like. It’s what you would expect. We didn’t poke around here either, though it seemed to have a huge Apple store inside, open to the public.

At last we drove to San Jose, to hang out with our friends Jordan and Becca and their 6-year-old daughter Jada. They invited us to play bocce ball at the nearby park, where there are official bocce ball courts. It started out badly for Team Miller, but the finale came down to the wire. (It was actually unclear who had won; it depended on whether we allowed the rules to be interpreted by the old man spectating on the adjacent park bench, or if we played by Jordan and Becca’s much laxer rules.)

We had a delicious dinner of grilled chicken at their home, and then I went with Jordan to his church’s prayer meeting (he is the pastor of Almaden Neighborhood Church. Dave stayed home and played Wii with Jada, and reportedly was beat a couple of times. After Jordan and I returned, Jada was in bed, and the grownups got to play Wii for a while. It was a nice day – low mileage- and a relaxing evening.

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