Trip of Giants - San Jose

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July 27th 2010
Published: July 30th 2010
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Touch-screen art
We hopped back in the hire car for a drive to San Jose today. The GPS was a godsend, directing us onto the right lanes along the 101 and freeway with five lanes each way. Only one spot on the return did it go wrong and forget to tell me to stay left, so we did a little turn-about in a side street. So we got to the Flea Market after about 60 minutes, to find it not on. Yep, despite having a number of pamphlets describing it as being open dawn to dusk, none of them noted that its only on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Anyway, I've sent an email to the web contacts.

So we drove into San Jose, parking near the Tech Museum for only $20 (!), then took a walk around to see what was there. A long walk up broad, pretty avenues was very clean and picturesque, but had a strange lack of people. It was after 10, but hardly anyone around. We found a Safeways shopping centre cnr 1st and San Fernando and bought bakery stuff and drinks for lunch. Then on to the Tech museum.

The Tech Museum of Innovation gets
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Directing the flow of water into the buckets using your shadow
five stars. This place is awesome. A huge range of tech subjects: water resources, genetics, flight, robotics, computer chips, space. Everything with real hands-on interactive learning stuff. We're not talking just a picture or TV screen, we're talking hands-on problem solving like changing the electrical leads for a model car to make the lights turn on in a demo of computer chip applications.

We spent about 3.5 hours in there and didn't go everywhere. A lot of stands had scanners to scan your ticket, and register for information, political support (eg choice for pig implants), and it all uploads to your own personal webpage. I had a picture taken of my face and superimposed on a bunch of people demonstrating for clients' choice for animal implants. Maybe later I'll get my web page setup and include the link 😱.

After the tech museum, we tried to find the visitors centre by the convention centre. The map showed it to the west of a big block. A long fruitless walk around the biggest block in town revealed nothing, so we sat at a bus stop to catch the DASH, a free shuttle that circuits part of the town area.
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The kids in the twenty or so screens talk about basic engineering principles which you can copy with the hands-on toys
Only we were on the southeast side and it circles clockwise meaning it drove past us going the other way. I went into the entrance to the convention centre to get help and there found the visitors information stand. So next on the DASH, and finally we got to the other side of the route, which actually wasn't that far to walk only we were a but buggered after marching around the big block.

On the northwest side of the DASH route, we walked a few more blocks to the northwest, then northeast and still didn't find much in the way of a shopping centre, with still not many people around. So we gave up and made our way back to the car and then hotel.

We found the carpool lane good value: it was close to 4pm and the five lanes were pretty full. We could carpool with more than two people on board, and that lane went much faster than the others.

Dinner was at Chevy's again. Joseph and Liam were able to have their cheeseburgers (they'd run out last time - imagine running out of cheeseburgers?), and Joseph and Ky shared an enormous chocolate brownie and icecream dessert. I tried the Don Ramon tequila sampler, consisting of three shots of different ages of tequila served with salt and lime (remember to rrrroll the rrr when saying Ramon). That went nicely with a Tecate beer from Monterrey Mexico.

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30th July 2010

Thanks for visiting San Jose! Unfortunately their isn't much shopping Downtown, but you would definitely enjoy Santana Row about 2 miles away. If you come back in about a year, you'll have a lot of great shopping options on the west part of downtown (around San Pedro Square). If you like the tech museum, you may also like the children's discovery museum around the corner and the San Jose Museum of Art across the street. You also have many great restaurants and cafe's around downtown (I'm a big fan of Bijan's and Morocco's).

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