USA Travel Diary Day 5 – Silicon Valley

Google Android Statue

Today starts with some admin. As daughter no 2 is busy in the lab for the next few days, we are doing the honourable thing and buggering off to Hawaii for a week. So the morning is taken up with laundry, packing and completing the inevitable Covid paperwork – uploading vaccine certificates and answering a health questionnaire. It’s quite detailed.

Google Android Statue
Android statues at Google HQ

By the time it’s done, I’ve got a headache, which is unfortunate as I’ve just signed an attestation that I’ve not taken Ibruprofen in the last 24 hours!

Google HQ car park
Google HQ car park

Once we’re checked in and have clean pants, we spend the rest of the day on a tour of Silicon Valley. We start by heading south. Four miles south along the freeway is our first stop; Google. It’s somewhat underwhelming as the visitor centre is closed and the Android statues, representing each of Google’s operating systems, have either been removed, broken or cordoned off. Nevertheless, we take a wander round the grounds, taking pictures of some of the remaining statues.

Stan Google Dinosaur

In addition, there’s Google’s resident T Rex fossil, Stan, who is having a patriotic day. And we can’t resist having a go on the office bikes.

Google HQ

Next stop, Apple. A nine mile drive south brings us to Apple Park in Cupertino. This is partially open; we can take a lift to a viewing platform to see the infinite loop (aka round) headquarters. I attempt to treat myself to an iPad in the Apple HQ store, but they’re out of stock!

Apple HQ
Apple HQ

We round our trip off with burgers. Then drive back to Palo Alto along El Camino Real, stopping along the way for some Christmas shopping at Stanford Shopping Center. Back at the flat, another trip to the pool/jacuzzi. This time we manage to extricate ourselves and start making dinner before daughter no 2 gets back from the lab. Then, after a bottle of Henry Hotspur’s Hard Pressed Cider, it’s time for an early night – we have to be up early tomorrow for our flights to Honolulu.

Stanford Shopping Center
Stanford Shopping Center

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