Explore

What will you explore this week?

I want to explore new things and places and experiences.

Last week, Juliana and I went to explore the new Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino.

We literally live less than 2 miles from it and have watched the development grow over the last couple of years. We’ve also watched the traffic expand and have experienced longer wait times at lights and longer lines trying to move across town, but that’s another story.

Visiting the visitor center is an experience. There is underground parking with a parking attendant available to guide and direct you as you enter. There are three main parts to the center. As you walk in, you notice the all glass walls and gigantic doors. The first part has an aluminum model of Apple Park, where there are live hosts holding iPads for your use to experience an augmented reality version of visiting Apple Park, which is actually closer to visitors. The hosts were very friendly and shared stories about the building and how to navigate the iPad experience moving from building to building, and changing the lighting one might experience as day turns to night.

The middle part of the center (that sounds funny) housed the retail section, where you could touch, play, read, and view books, electronics, cases, bags, and clothes. There were friendly Apple employees ready to answer questions and to sell you products. I especially liked flipping through the product development history books, touching the high quality paper and appreciating the design aesthetics. The watch band display caught my eye, as well as the mega screen showing advertisements.

I also loved the natural sunlight streaming in through the glass walls.

The third part of the center was the restaurant. I found it odd that 6 employees were standing away from the service counter, with a couple employees working behind the counter. The line of friendly employees were ready to assist you with your order once you placed it on an iPad, I think. We didn’t order anything, however that would have been an interesting experience too, just to see how things work. I think I prefer the personal connection and conversation with the wait staff versus interacting with an iPad. I guess I’ll have to try it next time to experience the difference.

Everything was aesthetically pleasing and flowed together. Overall, I enjoyed the visit and will bring guests who would like to see it too and maybe grab a coffee.

xo Adriana

Lake Shoreline 

I don’t think of Shoreline as Lake Shoreline, but I saw a hat and a shirt today that had this statement written on them.  I think of Shoreline as this place by the Bay with goose poop that is land locked by the Google Complex.  

It is a little lake and people do enjoy being on and near it. I just think of it as a man made body of water and not as a lake lake, where you want to hang out. 

But today my opinion changed. The boys have been wanting to play together and have asked for a week or two if they could rent a paddle boat.  We finally made the time work today and their wish came true.  

We lived in the sunshine, again! As they paddled, I sat on the shore and read a book and checked email.  I was happy they were out together keeping each other company and I could relax for a bit and  keep an eye on them from my chair since the lake isn’t that big.  

             

Lots of kids were out enjoying paddle boarding, wind surfing, kayaking, and sailing. It was a gorgeous day again in California and I was happy to have a day at the Lake after all.

There are so many beautiful places in Silicon Valley and I probably am only scratching the surface. I wonder what other unknown outdoor places are waiting to be discovered. Do share if you have a favorite.

Life is good!

My Little Sunnyvale

IMG_6202I live in a nice, semi-little town of 147,055 people.  After all, it’s called Sunnyvale, which conjures up great images of a sunny little town, doesn’t it? It fits my personality and I love living here for so many reasons.

It’s not fancy and it’s not pretentious. It’s the Heart of Silicon Valley and things work really well here.  The city streets are nicely laid out and it’s easy to get around the 24 square miles that make up this city, even at rush hour. There are beautiful parks and public tennis courts and golf courses, a library, and a quaint, little downtown. If you need emergency assistance, help is on it’s way literally within minutes.  The CalTrain runs through the downtown and connects all the cities up and down the South Bay, Peninsula and into San Francisco.  There is a lot of growth happening around the city and hopefully one day our downtown will be completely revitalized. We’ve been waiting for over 10 years for them to finish the project and hopefully the lawyers finally figure out how to call a truce and get on with things that are long past due.

We have great community sports teams, schools, churches, theaters, public services and places to shop.  We have great diversity, with 26 different languages spoken at home from our elementary school students.

I love my neighbors and knowing that we all support one another and watch out for each others’ kids. We carpool together and have potluck dinners and our kids play in the park together.  We work together to teach our kids right from wrong and support one another when there are disagreements. We tailgate together at Stanford Football games and go to each others’ kids events.  We share stories and learn from each other, because there isn’t a parenting manual and usually our friends know best or have been there, done that, or going through it right now too. I love that we’re going through this life journey together.

In the heart of Silicon Valley, there are still good old fashioned families like ours, who love being home and hanging out and BBQing, volunteering in our schools and in our community, and driving kids to and from their various events.

IMG_6199
The parents enjoy chatting with each other and catching up on the field, on the courts and at the school events, and even waving as we pass each other.  Even though we’re busy, we still make time to connect and help one another, and for this I am thankful.

I am thankful for all the moms and dads who share the journey with me and help me to raise my kids. Like the dad who brought Charlie home from practice tonight and came in my kitchen to discuss whether we should let our boys bike to practice or not. I enjoyed the discussion and sharing ideas about whether this was a good idea or not. I liked that we listened to each other and decided to wait giving them this freedom and to continue carpooling to protect their safety.  I love that Juliana went to a friend’s house to bake cookies for another friend’s birthday today. And I love that Christian got a ride home from a friend after his practice.

I am thankful for the public schools and the teachers and administrators who are very passionate and willing to help teach our kids and go the extra mile, even sponsoring and chaperoning trips to Japan! How cool is this?

I love that Sunnyvale is our home and that we have built a foundation here, filled with love, neighbors and a community of friends who I enjoy seeing and running into across town everyday.

What do you love about your community and where you live? What part do you contribute to making your town great?

I hope you had a good day and are living it up, right now, right where you are.  Are you??  😉

Following the Light

I am fascinated by light and water. I wanted to go to the beach today and see the ocean, but the rest of the family was happy just relaxing at home. Even though I desired going out, I’m also happy when everyone else is happy and I’d rather be with everyone than be alone enjoying the beach.

So instead, I enjoyed playing cards with my sister for four hours, knowing we had no where we had to be and nothing we had to do. This was liberating! Today truly felt like vacation. Jeff read his new books, CJ played on the computer, and the younger ones were content just playing and hanging out together. We went for a bike ride and the kids played in the park, appreciating the warm air and bright, California winter sunshine.

20131228-211416.jpg

Around 4pm, we decided to get dressed and to go watch the sunset. We all loaded up in the car and ended up following the light through Silicon Valley, down through Half Moon Bay, and ending up in San Francisco. In the end, I got to see the beach after all. Thanks guys!!

20131228-214225.jpg

20131228-214249.jpg

20131228-214445.jpg

20131228-214557.jpg
I love this life, right now. And happy birthday to my BFF!!