“The computer has been pulling everyone in for a random secondary check today.” This from Customs and Immigration. As I enter the waiting area with everyone else in the GOES Program, the stewardess behind me is a little less forgiving, “Doesn’t this defeat the purpose?” she says. The line-up was huge but moments later someone from a backroom comes out and gives everyone their passport back. “Sorry folks, move along.” Yes. It’s good to be back in the U.S.
Still, even with the “search” I’m delighted to discover that from house to gate it took less than an hour. This means that I can leave the house even later than anticipated.
San Francisco, on the other hand, was a little less forgiving. I’d forgotten the delightful screaming frustration of using Garmin GPS in a strange city until mine delivered me to an endless loop in a parking lot just outside of the airport. I’m pretty sure that my destination wasn’t a pole in the middle of “Long Term Parking.”
What did we do in a world before GPS?
We found roads and stayed on them. I accidentally found El Camino Real (the one road I know in California) and stayed on it… until it delivered me to the hotel hell that is Silicon Valley. I couldn’t remember which Marriott I was in… and had passed 3 in less than a mile… they were squished between all the Holiday Inns, Comfort Inns, and random roadside lodges.
I find the one I am looking for… and the rooms are all little lodges in the woods, which is odd because I can’t figure out where the “woods” came from. Everything smells like cedar wood chips and campfire and I feel like I’ve gone to summer camp in the middle of the winter.
I’m in Mountain View, home of the Google and the Facebook. My commute is to Palo Alto, home of Stanford University and the heart of Silicon Valley… and so begins the San Francisco / Silicon Valley Adventures. Photos below are from Palo Alto.