Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cali Part One

Yes, it's been over a month since we've been back from our trip, and I am now just getting our pictures up--March ended up being a crazy month for me that I did not plan for, and now April is starting to take it's toll physically... So, I hope you still don't mind me sharing (I haven't even shared my birthday pictures from MARCH, so here are a couple from my birthday to start, geez it was march 1st).
Savoring cappuccino and key lime pie
Snuggling with Nells when I got home
Visiting with Madelynn after dinner
(officially 38)
At dinner; Kevin and Madelynn both got me some really great gifts-
Kevin got me a 100% Silk robe that I had been wanting that I never
want to take off, and Madelynn got me some terrific thrifted
finds all on her own, which was so thoughtful. Here is one of the 
sweet things she picked out for me:
I love it! A vintage Leaf tray/bowl AND I'm wearing the robe from Kevin!

We turned a trip that my husband "won" from work into a spring break family vacation. He works for Google and he works from home here in Minneapolis but he got the chance to go work at the Google headquarters (googleplex) for 3 days, so we lengthened our stay and then went on to San Francisco for the weekend!
While Kevin worked for the first two days, Madelynn and I got to explore the whole San Jose area: Mountain View, Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale (and a few more small towns). What a beautiful area. I grew up the first 7 years of my life in this area, so it was cool to be back, so nostalgic for me. Here are some collages of our time spent there:

 I can't start my travels without some joe, can I? And it was so fun having my new shoes and my bag that I had gotten new for our Greece trip last Fall. Both indulgences.
 California is so mountainous, I don't know why I seem to forget this. It was breathtaking flying into L.A.
The first night we stayed in San Jose. We flew from L.A. into Oakland and then  drove down. We had a kitch 
garden motel, I loved it (photo 1)
Santana Row is a really neat shopping area in San Jose/Santa Clara, and we went there the first night (photos 2&3), and lastly, me waking up to some good coffee at Bill's Cafe on the Alameda with Madelynn in San Jose. Loved that place, if you are ever in San Jose, go.
(Are plans were to go to the Rose Garden right near Bill's but there were hardly any roses blooming, so we passed).

 Our two favorite shops in Santana Row. Maido was a Japanese store with all these adorable tapes and papers. I bought a 2012 planner (ya I'm a couple months late, busted)

 The next thing I'm going to tell you about is Huddart Park! I am crazy over this place. It was absolutely one of the sweetest surprises of my life. A local suggested we go there, and boy did we have fun. It was drizzling but we didn't care. The park was empty and we went for it and were able to interact with the trees so to speak! I gasped and cried when I came upon my first Redwood in 30 years. It left me speechless. Madelynn thought they were pretty cool too. There were also big mossy oaks.

 I love these shots we got of one another! What do ya think?!

Dinner at Lulu's for fish tacos our last night before we leave for San Fran, the best in San Jose. And the manager was from Minneapolis, so he gave us free churros and flan!

 I was so excited to get back to Peet's! I hadn't been since I was in Oregon back in 2008. I love Peet's people, love it.
Oh boy, Google campus headquarters, Mountain View California! This place was incredible, let me tell you. There was free gourmet natural and organic meals-breakfast and lunch for all employees and their families. There is photo processing, dry cleaning and shoe repair, all free! There are smoothie bars, snack bars and heated toilet seats. There are free hair cuts onsite, bikes, and you can bring your dog to work. They grow their own blueberries and they play volleyball during the day! 
Me in line for desserts of course. And the food is tasty!
How do you like my blogger T? I didn't buy it. The one thing you have to pay for at Google is stuff in the Google store.

 One afternoon Madelynn and I went to Los Gatos, a really wealthy town with a cute shopping area. We walked around and ate bagels, drank soda, and talked. The town is quite beautiful, lots of vegetation. It was nice. Oh, we also bought a few things at a boutique store.
And pretty rare to find a building/store with my name on it, so I had to get pictures of that!

 We also snuck some photos in front of the facebook sign when the security guard wasn't looking!
Their campus seemed pretty boring, but really nice! I'm sure it's fun inside...

 And the lastly before we headed to San Fran for the weekend, we visited the Stanford Campus!
So beautiful! And we met the cutest Einstein type guy in the book store. What a bonus.
(Everyone kept asking us if Madelynn was considering the college, haha)

 I really like how my birdie on the campus turned out.



Mandy Crandell said...

What a great trip! Google sounds like an amazing place to work. Oh, I want to visit Cali!!!!

Mary said...

oh, this looks like such an amazing, fun filled, exhausting trip! :)
i loved seeing all of the pictures! :)
hope you're feeling well. xo

Lydia Criss Mays said...

What a wonderful memory-making trip! How beautiful the woods are, and how scrumptious is Google!?! Your post captures a helpful reminder that work doesn't have to feel awful and tedious, but can be a place where you grow and learn and ENJOY your days! How beautiful!

Happy seeing beautiful!

Liza said...

What beautiful pictures! Can't wait to see more. You're trip sounds amazing and fun! I've never been out west and have always longed to see it. Looks like you had a wonderful time!

ruthy ann said...

awesome photos yet again! I can't believe google gives free hair cuts? wow!

Nicole Marie said...

Awesome trip. WOuld have love to have been there! Love all the shots!

Natalie said...

Looks like a successful and fun trip! =)

Casa De Luna said...

Such a fun trip! I definitely need to see the Redwoods some day. I wish my husband worked for Google! Thanks for sharing all of these memories.

chambanachik said...

Great photos- you look much closer to 18 than 38! That's awesome that he works for Google- what a cool job.

Sunny said...

Pictures are beautiful as always and it looks like you had a blast. I really love the bird pic. Lovely. Every time I visit your blog you make me crave coffee. It's 11pm I guess I'll have to wait until morning.

Ashley Slater said...

your pictures are amazing! I am bookmarking this because I want to to go everywhere you mentioned! I was just at santana row last night too! crazy! thanks so much for sending me this link! now HOW did you get to go inside google?!? my husband would flip out if we got to go inside! lucky!


Samantha said...

Great photos! Looks like you guys had a great time! Definitely makes me want to travel down there (I live in Oregon.) :)

xo, Samantha

SymbioticLife said...

You got to see and do so much on your trip! No wonder you're paying for it physically! That would've totally done me in hehehe. I'm in love with the redwoods. I saw them for the first time close up two years ago. Amazing, amazing stuff. There's such diversity throughout that area. I love Palo Alto. Well, it's probably spurred on by the absence of warm sunny dry days in my life right now. I never thought I'd miss the "dry heat" of my youth but I do. Great photos and great memories. Thanks for sharing them with all of us.

Antoinette said...

What a fabulous holiday you had! I have been to Cali once before but these photos are really making me wanna go back! I LOVE the 100% Silk robe. You are absolutely beautiful!

theolivetree said...

oh what fun!?! I have never been to cali...Love the photos of you and your daughter!

chestnutmocha said...

you all look adorable! the shot in the woods is fantastic!

hennymats said...

amazing pictures! Glad you had such a fun trip and so many cool experiences. Really, really cool photos, did I say that already? The shots in the woods, the birdie - I love them all :)

Patty said...

Such lovely photos! Thank you for sharing these beautiful moments!

Kelly said...

isn't the stanford campus amazing?!
i want to work for google.
i'm thrilled that you all had so much fun. and hey better late than never right?

Tamera Beardsley said...

Gina such a fabulous post! I always feel like I've been on the trip by the end...thank you so much for sharing! i can truly appreciate all the work you put into your posts!

Julie Marie said...

Awesome pics Gina! I went my whole life not making it to Cali and then got to go twice in less than a year, last year.
Although I didn't get to see the redwoods Since we were in southern California both Times (LA & San Diego)...but I still really loved it.

Amy said...

I wanna work for google. And go to cali.... And work for google.... And they grow their own blueberries.... And feee haircuts? Seriously amazing.
Looks like you guys had an amazing time. You are one blessed girl,

Cheap flights to Cali said...

To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.