We are enjoying a weekend in Silicon Valley, where our son is playing in a Northern California Volleyball Association tournament. We’re staying at the Hilton in downtown San Jose, next to the convention center, all within walking distance to the Tech Museum for Innovation, San Jose State — and Original Joes.
Despite the long ride for a tournament, it’s important to expose the Sierra Foothills’ kiddos to the Bay Area, including Silicon Valley, most of the parents on his team agree. It’s a competitive league and a good learning experience. Most of the kids will go to college — and most will settle somewhere other than in the foothills.
Even the locals have their own commutes to deal with — from Danville in the East Bay to Mountain View — for the Mountain View Volleyball Club, for example. “We’re in the car for an hour,” a mom told me during one of the matches.
We’ve made it a point to expose our son to Silicon Valley. Two summers ago, he went to summer camp at the Tech Museum. He enjoyed the program and made friends with some Bay Area “STEM” (science, technology, engineering and math) students. We stayed in Los Gatos, on the west side of town.
I like showing him around Silicon Valley, reminding him that it is an “economic engine” for all of California, including the foothills.
After returning to California from Denver, I graduated from Saratoga High School in the ’70s and watched “Santa Clara County” grow into Silicon Valley. Later I went to Cal, and after graduating, I wrote about Silicon Valley for The San Francisco Chronicle and CNET as a founding editor in the ’80s and ’90s. My dad worked for SRI International, a well-known research center near Stanford.
The “Baja Bay Area,” as some locals call it, has great weather compared with the fog of San Francisco. It’s also a quick trip across Highway 17 to the beach at Santa Cruz.
We’ll head back home on Sunday afternoon. Our son will hunker down for his his high school finals. (Two of his classes were at Sierra College, but those ended last week).
Our trip is a reminder that no matter where you call home, you’ve got to make a road trip for the most fulfilling experience. We’re a mobile society nowadays.