Days 39-44: Back to Sunnyvale, Home Base #3

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
Trip End Jul 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Chez Kao-Chow, Home Base #3

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, July 9, 2010

Route: From Santa Rosa, CA to Sunnyvale, CA

After staying for 4 nights at the Flamingo (our longest at one place yet), it was yet time again to pack up our bags and the car. After checking out, we joined many of the wedding party, family & friends, at the hotel restaurant for some brekkie. It was nice to start the day lax with good food and lazing around the pool for a bit in the sun! However, in order to beach the rush-hour traffic through San Francisco, we decided to hit the road in the early afternoon and make our way south towards San Jose, and get to Lisa & Brian's in a couple hours. Great to get to Sunnyvale (a suburb just north of San Jose, for those of you that don’t know Cali) and just relax and spread out and hang out with fam for awhile! Didn’t get up to much over the weekend, aside from some more excellent eats in the area, plus checking out the Sunnyvale market and watching the World Cup Final on Sunday (sorry Tim!).

On Monday (Day 42), we decided to drive down and out to the coast to Santa Cruz. Grabbed some good chowder, and then drove our way up the coast on the 101 (a great drive, bit like tidbits of the Pacific Coast Highway we did at Xmas). We made it up about an hour to Half Moon Bay, where the great surf spot Mavericks is. Cam was pretty excited to see this place, having seen it (and its 50ft waves) in surfing docs, but very unfortunately we went completely in the off-season, and on a cloudy day... so the waves were kicking it high at about 1ft and it was pretty cold. Alas, he stuck his toes in and we wandered around for a bit. Perhaps another trip down sometime!

Tuesday (Day 43) we were a bit more ambitious and wanted to check out the California Academy of Sciences, which is located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It was pretty cool, because it contains an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, plus has a living roof! Lots to see and we managed to fit it in all within a couple hours. What we particularly enjoyed were a lot of things you don’t normally see in typical aquariums – like the albino alligator, butterflies in the rainforest (it’s all contained within a biosphere dome type structure that takes you through all levels within a rainforest, including below water levels!), heaps of bizarre looking fish, and even a glass walkway over the shark tank (you know you’d love it Essie!). Cam really enjoyed the planetarium show in the IMAX dome, but I have to admit that I think I slept through most of it (they said to close your eyes if you experience any motion sickness!). Overall it’s a great academy, with so many resources within one location. Afterwards we drove around the park for a while, and then made our way to Fremont – catching up over dinner with one of my oldest and dearest friends Carolyne, who now lives there with her hubby Van. Great to catch up with them (and then only be a 20min drive home!).

On Wednesday (Day 44) we decided to stick around town, having just a bit more laundry to do and planning out the rest of our trip north! The exciting adventure of the day was into downtown Sunnyvale, where we grabbed some yum French Dip sandwiches, checked out a 2nd hand bookstore, and picked up a few things at the big shiny new Target.
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