Traveling to the heart of Silicon Valley, when in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, you’ve got to be the typical tourist and check out the most esteemed internet companies in America! And that is exactly what we did for the first half of our day.
In the 1960’s the Silicon Valley exploded with high-tech innovation for years to come, far from what it was originally known for… prune orchards (I don’t even like prunes). The first place we visited was the Facebook Headquarters! It looked like your average fancy business office, but the street of which it was located was comically known as Hacker Way. To inquire about tours or meeting Mark Zuckerberg himself, you may want to call their number for more information,(650) 543-4800. We didn’t have the time of day to do that but we took a rad picture in front of their “Like” sign!
After Facebook HQ we took a visit to the Apple Campus. We wanted to get a sneak-peek at their new and improved Apple Campus 2 which is in the process of construction now. The new campus is said to have; an office, research, and development building comprising approximately 2.8 million square feet; a 1,000 seat corporate auditorium; a corporate fitness center; a central plant; research facilities comprising up to 600,000 square feet located east and west of Tantau Avenue between Pruneridge Ave and I-280; and associated Parking. We weren’t allowed to get a picture of it but this is an example of what it’s supposed to look like in the near future:
After Apple, we stopped by the Google Campus! This was particularly exciting for me because of the movie, The Internship. Such a funny and inspiring film! Again, we didn’t take a tour but we did get to see those cute little bikes that they road in the film! Everything was colorful and looked like a ton of fun! The best thing about Google is that it has many different campuses so you don’t have to be in California to check it out. There are plenty of other high-tech or internet places to visit in Silicon Valley as well, you definitely have your fair share to choose from. Silicon Valley notable companies.
And then, where do these places get their interns from? Most likely Stanford University! You can bet we went there too, but to see their church in particular. The church at Stanford was built as a memorial to Senator Leland Stanford who passed away in 1893. Stanford University itself was built out of inspiration from the premature death of Stanford’s only child, Leland Jr. 2 months before his 16th birthday in 1884. The church and most of the original campus was built by 28-year-old architect Charles A. Coolidge who had used a Romanesque style with carved natural stone, massive columns, low rounded arch ways, and red tiled roofs. The cruciform design of the church also incorporated an impressive clock and bell tower with an 80-foot spire (more on the history). The church was absolutely gorgeous. Everywhere you looked, something seemed to be towering above you but not menacingly, rather invitingly. Rainbow colored stain-glassed windows shown the Californian sun and an organ sat proudly in the back as you walked in.
We did eventually stop for a lunch break, and when in Silicon Valley it is a rather suburben-esque town so it is mostly chain-food restaurants or a few mom and pop shops that are readily available if you happen to be in the area with an empty stomach.
The last place to visit on our list was the Winchester Mystery House! I was incredibly excited about this tour! To read on a more extensive history on this, please check out my other blog with the Ghost Seekers of CNY and read about the Haunted Tours. For now, I will give you a brief history. Sarah Winchester; widowed with the loss of her child and many other family members in the year of 1883 at the age of forty-four. Inherited with twenty million dollars plus an income of $1,000 a day and a grief-stricken heart, Sarah was desperate to protect herself from a believed curse that was placed on her family. She went to see an alleged medium who told her, her family was cursed by the many spirits who were killed by her Father-in-Law’s famous Winchester Rifle. The mansion is like a fanatical twisting, turning, fun-house. It is said that the house was built this way so that Sarah could confuse the malevolent spirits that were said to be haunting her.
With that wicked legend, I was psyched to see this mansion! There are three different tours to chose from. We chose the Mansion Tour which allowed me to see the most iconic pieces of the house, but you can also choose the Grand Estate Tour which shows you absolutely EVERYTHING! Let’s not forget, there is also the Flashlight Tour which happens at night with the lights off, only guided by… you guessed it! Flashlights. I didn’t run into any ghosts on this tour but it sure was entertaining and interesting.
And that successfully concluded our day in the San Francisco Bay Area.
To catch up on the previous day, check out Day 1 of my trip in Northern California here.