Today is our last day in sunny California and it’s going to be a long one – or is it? Our boarding passes state ‘seats to be allocated at gate’. We shall have to wait until we reach the airport before we find out if we get to spend all night on a plane or are back in Palo Alto in time for tea.
First up, it’s parkrun day and because of the heat, it starts at 8 am here. Daughter No 2’s flatmate has kindly offered to give us a lift to Byxbee Park in her Tesla. I’ve never been in a Tesla before. It’s basically controlled by a computer screen the same size as my TV! We reach the park and once I’ve worked out how to open the car door, we walk to the start line.
Much as I love the exhilaration of participating in UK style mass events, there’s something special about the friendly, community nature of the smaller US races. It’s my third Byxbee parkrun and my second fastest time. With such a small field, I manage to come first in my age group. There’s actually only two runners in my age group, but who’s counting? On the final bend, I overtake a hare – so that officially makes me the tortoise! After the run, someone has provided bagels and strawberry cream cheese, which is a nice reward for our early morning exertion. After chatting to the other runners, we have arranged to meet daughter No 1 and son-in-law (neither of whom could be persuaded to get up at stupid o’clock and run 5 km).
We go past a house which daughter No 2 has become obsessed with. The residents are very big on decorating their front garden with seasonal displays. Last time she passed, it was St Patrick’s Day, but now they have gone full on Easter. The trees are filled with hundreds upon hundreds of decorative eggs. It must have taken them hours!
We go for brunch at Crepevine, where I order an omelette. It’s enormous; the portion size is bordering on obscene – who actually has a stomach that can contain so much food? However, what I manage to eat tastes really good.
We drive back via Stanford’s Rodin Sculpture Garden. We had planned to visit on yesterday’s tour of the campus but we ran out of steam before we reached it.
We have one final hour left to relax by the pool before we have to depart for the airport. Our two week California has come to an end. We arrive at the airport in plenty of time and son-in-law is worried about getting offloaded. All goes smoothly and once we have completed the formalities and are sitting at the gate, discussion turns to when we should visit again?