San Jose, CA
Last time we looked at the more popular tourist sites of Greg’s home town but really, San Jose does not easily lend itself to tourism outside abject worship of assorted technology businesses. Only so many people want to drive by Apple HQ. However, when you know where to look, there are actually quite a lot of good times to be had. Luckily, Greg has “normal friends” (yeah, that’s always a relative term) who we hung out with around town. So here’s what we do to have fun -
Not only a SoCal activity, we first cut our teeth on Disc Golf under the tutelage of our old Coast Guard buddy, Tom. Technically, this is in Oakland but like we said before, city lines are blurred and no one really understands Oakland anyway.
The World Champion San Francisco Giants:
Some other team has won the series now? Yeah, whatever. We’ve been waiting a while (like 54 YEARS) so we get to use it extra.
Aren’t the giants in San Francisco? Technically. That’s why we get to ride the CalTrain. Formerly Greg’s way of getting to high school and now his way to avoid driving drunk back from a baseball game. Outside of the game itself, the stadium is worth the trip.
And the bridge you saw was the Bay Bridge, which is the lesser known bridge that connects San Francisco to Oakland. It’s also prettier than the Golden Gate at night as the Golden gate has almost no lights on it.
“And wait”, you may say, “you’ll go to San Francisco to a baseball game but don’t you have a hockey team in San Jose?”
Greg – Well, yeah.
Disembodied audience voice – “Don’t you have a pretty darn good hockey team in town?”
Greg – Technically, yeah, I guess. I don’t really follow hockey.
Disembodied audience voice – “WTF!?”
Greg – Dude by the time the Sharks got started I was in high school already and if you haven’t exactly figured it out yet I’m a bit of a nerd alright? So aside from fencing, racquetball and ballroom dancing I had room for exactly one sports team to root for in my life. The Giants were around when I was a kid and they let me come to a game at The Stick for free on Boy Scouts day. It isn’t a good reason, but it’s as good as most people have for caring about a team.
But speaking of Sharks…
Mind the pool sharks:
If some accountant for Apple tries to hustle you into a game of pool, don’t fall for it. You’ve been warned:
When Greg’s girlfriend at the academy visited his home town for New Years he took her here. That girlfriend is now his wife. While Greg won’t say there’s a direct correlation between the two, the lady had good enough of a time to forgive the fact that he had sported a goatee for the holidays.
This place is either fall on the floor funny or a bust depending on the show. They have more on nights than off and when they’re on, they’re great.
Does San Jose have its own city amusement park? Yeah, sure. Do they have their own personal raging waters theme park? Of course! But let’s be real here people: on a Friday night when hanging out with your friends the place to be was Golfland.
Probably not going to make your agenda but it’s never far from Greg’s mind. Despite earning a college degree at a national service academy Greg continues to refer to this place as not only the best education he ever received, but also as the physical location of the place he calls home. Before leaving on this trip it was the last place he insisted on going, even if it made us late to depart. If you’ve got a son and you want them to have the best education humanly possible, it would be hard to do much better than the Bell.
With all these choices at our doorstep, when our sailor friends flew in and had only 12 hours in town we decided to go with our newest local discovery –
Bocce ball is awesome in the fall. One because San Jose always experiences a late summer so the temperatures are perfect. Two because you can drink good wine, eat fine cheese and play a fun game that doesn’t require complete sobriety to be good at. Three because, unlike another certain British game we could mention *cough* Lawn Bowling *cough*, the balls are not made intentionally lopsided just to drive you mad.
The day Spa
Or you can always curry brownie points with your spouse -
Looking at all these activities it’s not so much what we were doing as whom we were doing the activity with. In the end, that’s probably true of most people’s home towns and why they are so enamored with them. Home is where your friends are; it’s where you are loved.
Like we said, Auckland would fit in just fine with the bay area. The people, the food, the culture could all easily be assimilated. Except for the legalized prostitution, that might raise a few objections.
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!