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California Tour 2013

04 November 2013 Comments off

4 minutes


This is another queued blog entry stuff for October 2012. Now that I am an author, I will have blog post entries queued up in draft mode, only because I have to now double check for grammar and the obvious spelling mistake. What do they say, no pain no gain. It the price of being published and being professional, I suppose. In this blog entry, there is nothing to do with technology here whatsoever. After JavaOne I had six days of travel around California and a little bit of Nevada*.

California 2013
The California tour began on Union Square in San Francisco at the JavaOne conference on Friday 29th September.

California 2013
It is absolutely hard work for pushing those trams at Powell and Mason.

California 2013
I landed on the Friday, 22nd September for the conference, which also happened to be the day of the iPhone 5c/5s release. I was tempted to get one of these 5s guys when I realized that the price difference between the USA and UK was minimal, if one included local Californian and USA taxes, and plus it would have meant giving up my current iOS 6 jailbreak and thus losing the tethering abilities. So I thought to hold on my senses, kept my money and virtue; and also decided to wait for the iOS 7 jailbreak, which is surely still going to come, one day.

Today was checkout of San-Francisco-hotel day and I still had time to buy some gifts from the Bloomingdales and Nordstrom in SOMA (South of Market).

The first rest stop was Mountain View and I had a break tour of Palo Alto, University Avenue and already they had a temporary smash-and-grab store dedicated to Halloween events. And yes if the goods enticed you enough, then you could have invested in an inflatable ghettoblaster as part of your fancy dress costume. If memory serves me well, this actual place used to be the location of the bookstore Borders in Palo Alto.

But my real reason was to visit the new architecture Apple store in Palo Alto, with a glass roof, as it was mentioned in the September iPhone 5s keynote!

How was it not producing a greenhouse effect? Surely the people inside would have been cooking on the Sun roof? I was there, but it was very cool and comfortable under the glass; and yet I didn’t detect tons of fans flowing around the ground floor area.

Is this a local Palo Alto joke or what?

This is the sign for Heidi’s in Lake Tahoe. After Palo Alto, I drove up altitude East for three and hours up to the winter ski-resort, which lies on the state border between California and Nevada. Heide’s is a place that you could go eat a German inspired breakfast with all the usual American helping. You will have to visit yourself in order to understand. They do have nice simple feedback system in place. Every customer is presented with a yellow review card.

I stood on the California side of the state line, and over there is the Nevada casinos at the Eastern end of Lake Tahoe. I thought it remember of the Back to the Future II for a bit, where the timeline had been perturbed seriously wrong because of a misappropriated Sports Almanac which listed all results into the future.

In Tahoe you could go on the water tours and see the different shoreline, I choose to get a push bike and see the meadows and ride the shoreline.

I found the high altitude scenes very attractive once you got away from the noise of people.

The Nevada shoreline of Lake Tahoe.

The California shoreline of South Lake Tahoe, where you could take the boat and take a tour.

After two days in Tahoe, I had to start heading back to the bay area. I stopped in Pleasant Hill for the night.

On this side of the bay, Mount Pleasent and Oakland, there are certainly beauty points like Paso Nogal Park.

On my way I detoured to Berkeley University for quick view of the campus.

Here was an outdoor class at Berkeley campus

and there were plenty of these red squirrels that live permanently on the campus.

The site was extensive and there were certainly lots of labs, building dedicated to the major sciences, like this one, which clearly labelled the Zoology building. My time and visit was short and I had to leave for San Jose.

This was my last day and visit in America around San Jose. The lesson that I learnt was to book hotels maybe two days in advance of the next possible location when in Silicon Valley, because nearest nice one to SFO was San Jose, unless you want your room next to an airplane taking off!

I surprised myself by driving back up to San Francisco for one last shopping visit.

This was a nice view for the last night. Look yonder on to Alcatraz.

It was time to buy some chocolates, sleep and pack the suitcase; and fly home the very next morning.


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