Silicon Valley – Tour 2012 Vacation With The Kids
My aunt lives in the Silicon Valley and she invited us down from our home in Oregon to spend a few days. I guess I was a little worried about driving down I-5 with a car full of kids but the trip went very fast and as usual, the traffic was light. My aunt had lots of plans for us and she suggested we try to do one thing a day. The thing I wanted to do was a trip to San Francisco, so I had already decided that if my aunt didn’t write that into the plan, we would come down again. Everyone should see the San Francisco area one time or another and I even had my wife pack some extra sweatshirts in case.
Before we got to my aunt’s house, I thought we should stop and eat. I love In and Out Burgers and since we don’t have them in Oregon that is exactly where we headed. It always looks so crowed but the line is fast and there is nothing like those fresh cooked fries. The kids all wanted one of the T-shirts and of course I wanted to get a couple for a few friends at work. I am always bragging to them about the fact that we get to eat at this great burger shop every time we cross the boarder.
My Aunt was thrilled to see us and had our beds ready so we could crash. And that is exactly what we did. We knew we had big plans in the morning, so it was early to bed in order to get a good start on the day. Since it was summer, we brought lots of shorts and tank tops. It can be really hot in this part of the state and we wanted to be prepared. Hopefully my aunt had planned at least one day at Santa Cruz so we could enjoy some of that wonderful California beach weather.
The next morning we got up to ham and eggs, which is something we never eat at home, so it was a great surprise and a real treat. My aunt announced that since the temperature was suppose to climb to over 95 degrees in the San Jose area, we were heading to the beach. We would save the wine tasting tour for another day when it wasn’t so hot and the kids could stay with my cousin Linda.
The Pacific ocean is not only beautiful, it is a wonderful place to swim and even surf. I had surfed some as a kid, but not sure I could get up on the board at this point in my life. The boardwalk at Santa Cruz is a favorite hang out for people of all ages and the kids wanted to ride every roller coaster they could. I told them to pick three rides because we were going to spend most of the time on the beach enjoying the clean sand and warm ocean water. By the end of the day, we were beat and my aunt thought we should head home in order to have an organic dinner prepared by my uncle who considers himself a gourmet cook. So we packed up and headed back to the house.
Next morning we packed a lunch and headed out to the Winchester mystery house (more information here http://en.wikipedia.org). This is an amazing place and something I knew my kids would love. On the way, they were a little less then excited because they weren’t sure what to expect. It took over 38 years to build this amazing place and it is reported to be haunted. How much better then that does it get? The kids loved it and my wife got some nice gifts at the little gift shop for family back in Oregon.
Since my Uncle works at Stanford University, we thought we should let the kids see what a big university looks like. We ate right in the cafeteria and told the kiddos that if they keep their grades up maybe someday they would end up going to school here with Uncle Jo. They didn’t look to impressed, but you never really know what they are thinking.
Well, just one more day and we were ready to pack and say good bye. We thought we should use our free membership to get into one of the great children’s museums here in the Silicon valley. The Children’s discovery museum right in San Jose is a good place for the kids to try a lot of hands on activities. They loved the space room and used their spending money at the gift shop to buy some stuffed snakes. Not my cup of tea, but they were happy.
Unfortunately before we knew it, it was time to say good bye. We had such a good time and we ask if we could come back for another week next spring. This time we would go into San Francisco for sure and see the Golden Gate bridge ( watch this video www.youtube.com). Chinatown and the cable cars are also must sees on the next trip. We never got around to the wine tasting but next time we will because some of the best wines in the Country come right out of this valley. So we said thank you and headed to beautiful Oregon. It was a wonderful time and we are already talking about what we hope to do next time.
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