On Sunday I spent the morning driving around the valley checking out the offices of various high tech companies, such as Yahoo!, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla.org (makers of FireFox) and Lockheed Martin. One thing I learned: high tech companies that look impressive online or in stores look very bland in person.
I then headed to San Francisco to check out Golden Gate Park (a target rich geocaching location), stopping by at the Cheesecake Factory in Palo Alto, where I had the most delicious burger I have ever eaten (the Smokehouse BBQ burger). If you ever get the chance to much on one of these I highly recommend it.
When I got down to Golden Gate Park it started to rain heavily. I walked around for a bit, but after 45 minutes I admitted defeat and retreated back to my car like a sad little wet puppy. My afternoons plans scuttled I decided to drive south on Highway 1 and check out the amazing views that road offers of the Pacific Ocean.
On Tuesday our operations group served us egg nog. The awesomeness of the nog has already been documented so I will spare you the details, except to say that the addition of brandy is brilliant.
On Wednesday my team and I headed down to the San Francisco engineering office and spent the day working in the city. It is always interesting to check out how other Google offices are decorated - it never disappoints. That evening a bunch of us headed out on the town for some drinks on the 39th floor of the Marriot hotel. Unfortunately there was a lot of fog so the views were unspectacular, however I was assured that sans clouds the view of the sunset would have been amazing. (warning: canadian reference ahead: non-canucks are advised to consult google.com), Since I have been trained by Polka Dot Door to use my imagination (thanks Polkaroo!) I was able to imagine the view and was suitable amazed, especially the blimps and flying manatees (my imagination may be a little out of control)
After drinks we all headed over to a restaurant called The Stinking Rose, which serves all things garlic. Seriously, even the ice cream has garlic. The garlic crusted prime rib was tres yum. After supper we headed back to the apartments, and early this morning headed to the airport.
This wraps up my adventures in Silicon Valley. The following picture gallery is all of the pics suitable for publication that I took on this trip. Enjoy!