Friday, July 27, 2012

Gold Coast Day 6 (Final Post)

To kick of this final Gold Coast blog post: a dying tarantula. 
 Friday was my last full day in California. :'( Even the air was cooler, as though feigning indifference to my inevitable departure.


Or maybe it was cold because we were in San Francisco, hiking along the Pacific Ocean. 

California blood runs thin.
 We walked on Baker Beach for a short distance.

Golden Gate Bridge in the fog.

Stayin' warm.

One of my little cousins (light blue hoodie) was so cold she wore two pairs of pants!

The boys walking bow-legged to avoid getting sand in their shoes. (It's futile.)

Mandatory group photo!!

Surf 'n' turf

The "mini-spinnies" doing their thing.

This is what I love about California: the landscape contains unparalleled diversity that is easily accesible no matter where you live. A thirty minute drive in one direction takes you to this amazing location. Drive in the oppostie direction places you in beautiful redwood forests with spectacular hiking trails. 

The possibilities and adventures are endless. Someday I will live here.

Uncle pointing out that we went the wrong direction.... oops!

Beautiful red-tipped plants.

This must have been a 400-step flight of "stairs"... phew!

We made it to the top!

The Golden Gate Bridge

For the last supper, Uncle Mike and us grandkids made a delicious meal: raw pesto with crackers, a gorgeous kale salad, and my brother made salmon with an amazing sauce.

This trip was an incredible getaway, back to nature and family. I hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gold Coast Day 6

Today, a sizable group of us went to Googleplex for lunch and a tour!

Close to Google was the Facebook headquarters, which were huge.

Google bikes.

On the lawn there were many different statues, some alluding to android, others were busts of people (no idea who this guy is)...


Similarly to Pixar, the amount of resources available to employees were luxurious and a bit excessive. Here is a garden - you can see lounge chairs to the left.

My uncle and our fantastic guide, an employee of Google. She works in finances at an undisclosed location (top secret!). We peppered her with questions and she gave us some interesting insights into Google and Youtube.

Robot statues.


This building was the main area for tourists and included a telephone booth and a google maps exhibit.

Cousins viewing the Taj Mahal.

We went to the Google cafeteria. Once you get into the building (you have to have an employee card), you don't have to pay for any of the food - you just take what you want. 

There was all different types of food imaginable. Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese... It was really good food, too!

My plate: Greek-style quinoa, Caprice salad, zuchini, watermelon, berries, and an orange-infused drink.

Dad's plate included sushi and tuna salad.

Not sure about the story behind this dino, but apparently people like to take pictures of it?

A little hard to see, but this is one of those pools that shoots a jet of water so you get a good workout without taking up much space.

So I saw this computer screen that was flashing images of the most famous people of the world posing with this guy called Meng. I had no idea who he was - maybe number three in command? Ends up that he was an engineer who started greeting visitors to google, and somehow ended up starting his own meme. Now everyone wants a picture with Meng and being a greeter is one of his official duties.

Playing around with a giant iphone.

Whiteboard messages

Google employees

The haircut bus. Need I say more? One of my uncles got a hair cut there... turned out pretty well.

So Googleplex was pretty amazing - it's designed so you could live there! Needless to day they're doing some amazing work as well.

After, my cousin G and I met up with Uncle Mike and my brother and we went to Cataract Trail in Marin Counting. It was amazing!

Looks a little like Mt. Shasta area.

Uncle Mike and G.
The hike was pretty much all stairs, all uphill. Uncle Mike is in amazing shape along with G, so my brother and I were huffing and puffing quite a bit.

Smile through the pain, brother.

This is what I love about California -- you don't have to travel far to see unparalleled beauty and go on amazing outdoor adventures.

The water was deliciously cold. Uncle Mike decided to jump into the pool. My brother was pretty nervous for him since it was shallow, but Uncle Mike is an adventurer so he did it anyway.

He survived!

Giving life advice

The flies were biting us, so we rubbed bay leaves all over our bodies to repell them. It worked fairly well, actually.

Caught mid-thought

Manly men are manly.

Four Hikers on Cataract Waterfall!
Hope you enjoyed this post - Day 5 was one of my favorites :)