“A city of snakes, I see.” — Eddie Izzard
Earlier this year it was announced that the band The Juliana Theory was reuniting for a handful of shows. It was ten years ago that their album Emotion Is Dead was released, so the band was celebrating by playing the entire album and giving the fans a last hurrah. I was pretty excited because I enjoyed them when I was growing up and Emotion is a rather great album. It made the most sense to go to the San Francisco show because 1) my friends Tim and Fia live near there 2) they are also big fans 3) I had not seen them in a while and 4) it's California! Sheryl and I decided to go and started making plans.
As most of you probably know, Sheryl and I are geeks. We're both programmers. We both really like the Google products we use. She really likes the Apple products she uses. It was only natural that our trip would include visits to some of the geek “holy sites.” Tim works at Google, so he was actually able to take us on a mini-tour. There wasn't a lot to show us on the tour, but it was still cool to visit. It seems like a nice environment to work in, as expected. We saw these Google-colored bicycles all over campus. They're there for employees to use; just ride one to your destination and leave it there. At the end of the day the bikes get collected and redistributed. Their mobile operating system, Android, has each release named after a dessert (cupcake, donut, éclair, and froyo). When we stopped at the (actual) frozen yogurt station in one of the buildings, I had to tweet, “In your Googles eating your froyo.” :]
To top it off, Tim took us to the Google store. It's not really open to the public; you have to be with an employee to get to it. There were a lot of fun Google doodle shirts, Android shirts, and hoodies. I bought a gray hoodie with the Google logo on it.
Next we went to Apple headquarters and the store there (“The Company Store,” as it's called). They sold “I visited the mothership” shirts, which I told Sheryl she should have bought. There was not much else to do there, other than drive around Infinite Loop and take a few pictures.
For the rest of our geek tour, we walked by meebo, stopped at Facebook, and at Twitter. At Facebook there was a lego logo (say that five times fast) on the desk that Sheryl was trying to take a picture of. The guy behind the desk said we couldn't take any photos of that front desk area. She'd already got the photo on her phone, though. Shh. Tim pointed out the irony of Facebook being all “no photos, please”, given all their privacy issues over the years. I wish I had planned better before the trip, to see if we could have secured a visit/tour of Twitter. It had crossed my mind months ago, but then I totally forgot until we were in SF. We stopped by on Saturday, so we weren't hopeful for much. They have the sixth floor in a building downtown. No one was at the reception desk in the lobby, so we just got in the elevators and went up. Alas, the elevator doors did not open to let us out—had to have a keycard for that. Oh well.
Click photos to see larger versions.
We were allowed to take pictures of this poster on the wall, though.
This is as close as we got to anything Twitter, unfortunately.
Yes, we did more than just visit our geeky Internet roots!
We drove around the Stanford campus.
We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, parked, and walked out to the first tower.
We actually walked under the bridge at first, which was pretty awesome. Apparently the other side is only for bike traffic, though.
This emergency phone is on the bridge as you start walking out. I really like the “Don't do it.” Hope.
We drove along the Pacific Coast Highway.
We went to Half Moon Bay, got our feet wet, saw some of the sunset.
We went to Fisherman's Wharf and walked along the piers.
We saw the “World Famous Bushman.” Seriously, that's the title of his Wikipedia article. He hides behind branches and scares people walking by. We watched him scare a couple people and it was hilarious. The other side of the street was lined with people watching and laughing.
I wanted to take a tour of Alcatraz, but they were booked out a week in advance. This is as close as we got.
Then, of course, we went to The Juliana Theory concert on our last night there.
It was an awesome weekend with good friends, amazing weather, and beautiful sights. It was pretty relaxing, too, which is something I definitely needed. There are a lot more photos on my Flickr, if you're interested.