Asia, North America · 8 Days · 34 Moments · October 2017

A Journey to Silicon Valley

29 October 2017

It's time to go home. Our flight was 40 min pass midnight. We just relax in the louge as nothing to see much in SF airport. Same as when arriving, we transit at Taipei for 3 hours. And head back home, reaching around noon time the next day. The weather at home feels more cooler now. Winter is coming... One observation..flight from east to west side would take longer hour than west to east side.
Late afternoon, still have some time, so I took an express bus number 181 about 29 min reaching the Great mall. It is a big mall but i have 1 hour so quickly buy sneaker and took the same bus back to the hotel. Taking a shower in fitness from the hotel and wait for my friend to pick us up to the airport.
In the afternoon, i just walk around the city of San Jose finding University of San Jose, so wandering in the university. It is beautiful and peaceful reminding me of my life as students in the US.
This morning after breakfast at the hotel, i go visit The Tech Museum, which is near our hotel. It is so much interesting that I spend 4 hours in there exploring and interact with many stations on the museum. The museum uses technology to incorporate with our experience to learn such as VR, AR and sensor. Unfortunately, i don't have enough time to experience the sensor one as it needs us to wear 30.min while walking around the museum and I found out about it when I almost finish my walk. It will tell us how we feel while visiting the museum.
The last day to go home, it starts the day with cooler weather and foggy.

28 October 2017

At Googleplex, it has provides service like haircut van, food van, free bike for employees. Very convenient.
The next whole day summit happens in Googleplex,Mountain view. We go there by uber.
We have full dinner at the place nearby before going back to hotel. It's Californian style food with full course. So full.
The 2nd winery is bigger than the 1st one which is more mom and pop winery. It also has concert amphitheater where many welknown artists perform here. Total wine tasting around 7-8 glasses. Prefer the first glass of white wine (chardonnay)
From the 2nd winery place, we can view Silicon Valley and spot Apple Infinite Loop.
Afternoon is more relax with 2 wineries visit.
Morning session starts with visiting YouTube studio in San Bruno with the bus from Google. The driver drove so bad that I feel a bit sick. Plus the traffic jam real bad as people go to work in the morning just like Bangkok.
Reach San Jose in the early afternoon. From Caltrain, take lightrail directly to my hotel location in downtown. Checking in at Fairmont hotel and come out to take Lightrail up north to have a look around the area. Buying 8 hours ticket pass at 4 dollars. Riding to somewhere and it's getting dark so decide to ride back as gonna prepare to go for welcome dinner at 7 pm.
Check out from the hotel in San Francisco. Taking Muni N line to Caltrain station to take the local train to San jose. One way ride to zone 4 (San Jose) is around 10.xx USD The ticket lasts 4 hours. Since it's local train, it takes 1 1/2 hr ride. If it's baby bullet, it's gonna take less time (about 1hr)

25 October 2017

This morning is a bit relax, waking up late, having in room breakfast and packing. It's so hot today. I went out doing some shoppings on Market street. Then go back to hotel checking out. Next journey, going to work mode. Taking N muni train to Caltrain station. Buying 1 single ride at 2.75$ reaching the station in 20 min just right to buy Caltrain 1 way ticket for 4 zones to San Jose around 10.50$. The train has 2 levels. My train is local (the express baby bullet one take off at 4 pm, which is too late for me) Have free time, so gonna relax 1:30hours on the train. Number 3 bogie is the luggage one.
Back to San Francisco around 8pm. I decide to take another round of cable car and it's fun. The driver is Asian and he entertains the passengers. It's like riding and roller coaster at night with cheering of fun from the passengers. Do some groceries before go back room to pack for tomorrow hotel change. What's notice about cable car? - Cable car is priority. No matter green or red light, it can pass and all cars have to yield for the cable car - it's like riding a roller coaster on the road bc of its uphill and downhill kind of road, especially taking at night much fun - poor car that follow the cable car as they can't pass through and have to follow it to run and stop all the time - There are 2 officers on the cable car. One driver and one money collector at the back - it's good to help us go uphill as it can be very exhausted walking just 1 block of the road bc it's so steep.

24 October 2017

On the way back, stop to have dinner. I chose in and out, Californian burger. Cheaper than McDonald's. the burger is nice but I prefer McDonald's French Fries
Before leaving the national park, we stop by to see the rock climbers. So daredevil!
Nice view along the way of biking. Though the sun is so bright, when I ride the bike, the cool breeze can be felt. I ride to mirror lake where there is no water to see the mirror 😩 anyway, the view along the way is nice.
4hours drive and we reach Tunnel viewnpoint to see El Capitan and half dome rock (far sight) It's breathtaking view. Then we have been dropped at the valley for our own 3 hours sightseeing. I had lunch by the rock view at the back and rent bike to look around.
Woke up early in the morning and walk to Mariotte hotel to wait for our guide tour. Many tours leave from this hotel. Mine arrives at the 3rd one. Our group is only 6 people with 2 young guides (just graduated a year ago) Eric, a guy fro virginia and Sarah, the girl who studied Visual communication (graphic design) she chose to work with this job because want to work with national park. While Eric wants to meet people and travel. Lots of energy and with one "jammai" guy asking quetions all the way. We stop by at farmer market to buy some fruit and Almond. This is the land of almond.

23 October 2017

Taking a bus tour towards Giant stadium (SF baseball team) and take bus to comic shop. Unfortunately, it closed on Monday. So, decide to take bus up hill to take cable car to China town where there is not much things to see. Then hop on-off with cable car until back to my place. End the day with buying some fruits from Walgreen near the hotel.
After boat tour, drop by at Boubin bread shop. At first, gonna eat something but still fool, so just go there and take a look at their famous cram chowder and left. Taking F street car to Ferry market where having Oyster at Hog Oyster restaurant (I guess it's famous as so many people eat there) and the oyster is delicious with a glass of Napa Rosy wine.
Then around noon, taking an hour and a half boat tour to see Golden Gate, Alcatraz in close up and Bay bridge. Nice weather but very hot.
Spend morning time at Fisherman Dwarf. Starting with having breakfast at crepe store. Then walk along piers to see USA submarine. Then the famous Pier 39 where meet Sea-lebrities (Sea Lions) who are so cute and so noisy 😂
Today spend time using transportation in all forms, starting with Original SF cable car, muni bus, street car E and F on Pier route. Using my daypass so worth it.

22 October 2017

Late evening, at first plan to have dinner at Japan town but I took the wrong bus going different direction and it's getting dark. So decide to take bus back to hotel. Burger King as dinner to night. 💤
Then take short tram ride up to crooked street at Lombard. Walk down and up to take picture and experience the crooked street..amazing. Then walk to the other road to take bus 30 which I thought gonna go through Golden gate but not. So, change the plan (again) to go Palace of Fine Arts instead. The chauffeur is very helpful, drop me close to the place and explain how to walk there. After Palace of Fine Arts, take bus 28 right to Golden Gate view point on this side and walk to the bride to reach the first part and walk back. Having some snack here before moving to golden gate park then to see painted ladies at Alamo square. Many people are there with their dogs and chill out evening. See some parents drop their teen kids there and pick up later
Start the day by walking to union square and china town then to tourist information to buy 3 day pass (32USD) so I don't have to worry about transportation any more. Then, have to change plan as there is long queue to take the tram. So, I take street bus number F instead. The bus run up to ferry square and run along pier road, which is very nice scenic. I got off at the end of the route at Fisherman dwarf natural museum, walking out to the pier to see some display of fisherman history a bit. Stop by at visitor center for restroom. This trip i met quite many friendly and helpful Americans. When asking anything, including choosing coins from my mini bag to pay bill, they are quite willing to help out. Then walk along bay beach seeing athletes rehearse swimming in the bay...very impressive. Then walk up to Ghirardelli chocolate (original place) to buy some chocolates as souvenir. Experience the water fill-up which does not allow drinking from the tab easily..don't know how to drink.
Waking up at 7am, it's still dark.. In my country, it's already bright sunshine at this time! 12 degree this morning but expected to increase during the day..hmm difficult to prepare what to wear... Breakfast in room from the grocery last night.
Last night walking along market street, lots of people. There are a few street music playing along market and powell street, too. Nice weather. But also lots of the poors asking for money. One old guy cough on the street, a young guy who walked behind him spoke out loud asking the old guy to cover his mouth and requested not to spread the virus in public 😱 This is something we won't see in my country. Also I went to Target to buy things for my niece, experiencing self pay at the machine..well...similar to those we tried at Germany anyway but I still not used to it and it took some times to do it. Hope I will get used to it from being here a few days. But I guess it may or may not come to my country though as the current self filling with the gasoline still have not worked much for many people.

21 October 2017

Arrive San Francisco around 3 pm. Wait quite long for immigration process as there are only 3 officers. But this time, they are quite friendly. My background coming to USA many times already makes me pass the immigration process real fast. I took BART train to San Francisco city area. The ticket purchase process at ticket machine is strange. I have to ask an American nearby to help explain. We just put the money in and press reduce the money value until it matches our ticket price. Reaching my hotel which locates in a very good location. Right center of city. Since it starts to get dark (6pm) Then walk to buy things from my niece order at Target, Disney store. At first gonna walk to buy comic book but it seems a bit far and so many black men and the poors asking for money. So, i decide to turn back to big street with more people area for safety. Only a few hours walk, it's already dark. Get some grocery at cvs store and back to eat at hotel room.

21 October 2017

Stop for a 2 hours transit at Taipei International airport.
Taking off at lunch time with great weather. This trip goes with EVA air. Got a chance to try its lounge at Suvarnabhumi airport. Very nice one with less people than TG lounge.