My husband and I took a vacation in California. We had a friend from High School who got married in the Los Angeles area, and decided that it was a perfect opportunity to travel up the Pacific Coast Highway and explore more of the beautiful state of California. For us, a road trip up the Pacific Coast was not complete without stopping in Silicone Valley. After leaving Santa Monica, we stayed in Santa Barbara, then Morro Bay, Carmel/Monterrey Bay area, and finally San Fransisco via Silicone Valley.
Visiting Apple Headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop
Our route to San Fransisco purposefully went thru Cupertino, where Apple Computers Inc. is headquartered and is currently building the new “spaceship” campus that everyone is talking about. Apple Computers is located at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino and designed like a University campus. I grew up with Apple Computers so this was a treat for me! They have an Apple store there where people can buy t-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise that cannot be found in any other store. The security at Apple was pretty tight, we walked into the bustling main lobby area, but could not get much father without being an employee or having a corporate meeting lined up. We also drove by the new campus that is scheduled to be complete in 2017, but it was difficult to see anything other than cranes towering over the construction site.
Visiting Google and Riding the G-bikes
Google was next on our itinerary in Silicone Valley. Located in Mountain View, California, most of the buildings are private for employees and special meetings only. However they do have a Google Merchandise store and Android Park with a huge selection of Google clothing and items available for anyone to buy. All over the huge campus, they also had G-bikes for their employees (and visitors?) to hop on and ride around campus. Admittedly, riding the G-Bikes was my favorite part of the day! The bikes are everywhere, employees just grab any bike, ride it to where they need to be, and park it at the next stop for someone else to use. We did not hesitate to use the bikes to explore the Google campus – we saw colorful outdoor seating and eateries, mobile fitness trucks, a Google Maps Street View car, and a lot of techy conversations going on around us.
Geeking Out at the Computer History Museum
Before we got to the museum in Mountain View, CA, I was picturing a small building with a bunch of dusty old computers from the 80’s inside. Little did I know, that this museum was so extensive with over 1100 “artifacts”, taking us well over two hours to get through. On the flight to California, I watched the new Steve Jobs movie (I recommend!), so it was neat seeing some of the first Apple products like the Apple-I, the Apple Lisa, and the NEXT Computer that were all featured in the movie. There was everything from robots, to PDA’s and references to the early internet, like Ask Jeeves. It really made me realize how the computer world is so much bigger then just my lifetime – – they had information about the very first “computers” in the 1930’s. They even had Google’s self-driving car in the exhibit that you could sit in displayed in there “Where to?” exhibit.
Our time in Silicone Valley and the San Fransisco was exactly what we needed to geek out after the long (and beautiful) trip up the Pacific Coast! PS – Have you used Airbnb for stay-overs while traveling? We didn’t stay in any hotels during this trip and had an amazing, affordable trip! Read more about our Airbnb experience here.