Saturday, October 17, 2015

Palo Alto - Our Last Day

Always fun with Joe!  We walked for miles around the campus and ended our day together, sitting outside at Sancho's Taqueria, and talking about so many fun things!
Another pic from the night before in Joe's studio
Shawn and I loved walking "The Dish" - a 4 mile loop in Stanford's foothills, that is the location for the iconic radio telescope used for's quite the workout, with a major ascent and an awesome view of the Bay and the campus.
A breathtaking approach, on Palm Drive, into the well-known Main Quad., the main entrance to campus.
MBA, year one - it was so good to see him!
The Knight Management Center, a breathtaking collection of buildings situated in a rectangle, with a courtyard in the middle, is where  GBS classes are held, and was named after alumnus Philip Knight, an alum who founded Nike.

Berkeley, and Stanford!

We had lunch at UCBerkeley...what a beautiful campus (and gritty town).  We enjoyed dining on the famous Sproul Plaza.  Then, we traveled to Stanford and got steps in at the Stanford Shopping Center.  When Joe's day was done, we stopped at the Schwab (yes, as in Charles Schwab/SCHW) Residential Center (where Joe lives) and enjoyed a good Sonoma cab, before heading out to Cibo's (Greek for "gratitude") for dinner.  A perfect day!
In front of the Main Library at UC Berkeley
Looking west - note GGB in the distance...from Sather Tower (the Campanile)
At the Stanford Shopping Center - I found my new gadget!
Pre-dinner (at Cibo's) - drinking a Sonoma cab at Joe's

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Trees and Vineyards

We had another banner day knocking around in NorCal today...

We thought we were just starting the morning with a quick visit to Muir Woods. It was so much more than that, as we were overwhelmed with the beauty of this natural "cathedral" of redwoods. The ages of the trees range from 400 to 800 years (we saw one over a thousand years old), their height up to 250 feet. We certainly got our steps in, walking the easy trails that loop around four foot bridges and two levels - of course, there is so much more that we didn't take the time to do (next time!).

Muir Woods National Monument was established in 1908 when President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation to protect an old-growth coast redwood forest from destruction.  So thankful that this area is protected and welcoming to all.

Next, we traveled to two wineries in Sonoma (Jacuzzi and Cline) and then on to Napa (Silverado Winery - owned by one of the Disney daughters).  It is always exciting to try a little vino, but especially to try it in the world famous region for wine growing!
I found the winery - and the wine- that Jamie recommended!
Best Cab ever - our new "friends" from NYC shared it with us ($150/bottle)
Our view from the Silverado winery porch

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

GGB with my BFF

We checked something off the bucket list today, as we rented bikes and wrote the Golden Gate Bridge!

This morning after a complimentary breakfast at a Best Western, we traveled north from Aptos, CA and found a bike shop (Golden Gate Rides) in the Theatre District, not the popular places near the Wharf, because we wanted to do more than the bridge, we wanted some of the city experience.  It was great because we pedaled through part of the city (Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Lombard St) and then, after 6 or 7 miles, there it was - that popular landmark known around the world, the Golden Gate Bridge!

We biked it over and back and slowly meandered back.  Biking San Fran takes some energy.  One friendly biker who noticed we were pouring over our map at a street corner, helped us out, giving us a few options, noting that one way would allow us to "maintain our current elevation" - we loved that line!

In the late afternoon, we headed via car across the bridge to the Sausalito boardwalk - lots of unique shops, and gorgeous views of the Bay, SF, and the California hills, and a fish dinner.  One for the books!
Stingray catch - this fisherman was skilled and ecstatic!
We worked up a happy hour thirst!
The privileged of Marin County

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Day of Hiking

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve - amazing California state park and walking trail
My walking partner
My fitbit battery was dead - 13,000 wonderful steps unaccounted, but never forgotten!
50 mins south of Point Lobos - another good hiking trail

We spent the day hiking today, and traveling south on the Pacific Coast (Hwy 1, between Carmel and Big Sur's Julia Pfeiffer Burn's State Park).  We saw loud sea lions on distant rocks in the ocean, we saw unique birds and quick lizards, and lots of enthusiastic tourists driving the winding road of one of our most famous and scenic highways.  We ended our day in Aptos, CA, watching the Democratic debate.  I'm so glad to live in this country.

Monday, October 12, 2015

CA - south from Stanford to Carmel

The Stanford Dish Hike - on the south edge of campus, a
breathtaking 4 mile hike with views of Stanford and the Bay.  
Santa Cruz, West Cliff Drive - a sweet walking trail with lots of dolphin (and hippie) watching.
Cannery Row in Monterey - honoring native son John Steinbeck.
We recommend the Big Sur Ale (SJ) and the Monterey Wheat (JL).
San Carlos Cathedral, Monterey - opened in 1794.
We bought a $4 candle - for you.  Love you all.  We talked about you and asked for God's grace on you.
Carmel-by-the-Sea - nice ocean, lots of dogs and seaweed.
Edged by Pebble Beach Golf Course.
My BFF, it's just that simple - love this guy!
Our coutyard - we proclaimed it happy hour central!

What a fun day we had - We started on the edge of the Stanford Campus
and then traveled to Santa Cruz, Monterey, and setting in Carmel.  We saw a lot of migrant farm workers, picking brussel sprouts, artichokes, and avocados (5/$1).

Carmel is dog country - not my deal.  Beaches are better in Florida, but they do have the ocean here and that is hard to resist.

We went to dinner in Carmel - took the flashlights provided by the hotel and walked downtown (they don't have streetlights and it is pitch black after sunset).

A couple of experiences that stuck with me - THE BEST bartender, ever, at Barmel (Oscar).
He told us about his 2nd wife, his 2nd family, and the pain and uphill battle of blended life.  He has older kids, in Washington State, and they don't like him very much.  And he has a 3/y/o daughter - who thinks he is the real deal. We were teary-eyed when we left and tipped him well.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


What a beautiful campus - the largest contiguous campus in the world (8600 acres for 18,000 students)!

At Hoover Tower - the self-proclaimed first student of Leland Stanford Junior University.
Hoover Tower - one of the many bells
Rodin Sculpture Garden - like a Parisian garden, with the six originals (yep, the artist who did "The Thinker")
We have been happy about Stanford since Joe was admitted to GBS (Graduate School of Business) earlier this year - with only 7% of applicants getting selected, it was a victory - and now to be visiting him, and learning the campus, well it's a real thrill.  The list of notable alumni is impressive, and an Iowa son before Joe?  Well that's Herbert Hoover!