Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Down in the Valley

Silicon Valley that is. 

My mommycation began two Thursdays ago when I went to visit my husband in CA.  It lasted four nights and five days. A brief time in my 1,070 days of mommyhood. Even though I was away from the girls that didn't mean I stopped being a mom and missing or calling-repeatedly, I might add-just to check up on the girls, to talk to them, or to see their smiles on Skype.

My first night in San Jose we had to have dinner at Chevy's.  I had joked with my husband that that was a stipulation for me to fly to CA.  We had eaten there the last time I had been out to CA.  The chicken flautas with jalapeno jelly and the shrimp and sweet corn tamalitos made my mouth water.  My husband and I shared the fried ice cream for dessert.  It was the story of dueling spoons.  We clunked spoons laughing and fighting for the last bite. 

There were so many silly, lighthearted moments that night.  I miss those the most when my husband is away. I also miss those comfortable moments of silence where you don't feel the need to talk.  Just sitting near each other is enough.

Since he had to work on Friday I had the entire day to explore San Jose (after sleeping in) by myself. No schedules, no routine, no to-do list. 

I am known for getting lost and I felt some trepidation driving around San Jose on my own in a rental car but I am glad that I did.  The whole area had such a relaxed and laid back vibe.  The surrounding hills looked like they had been molded out of gingerbread dough.

The people are very proud of their heritage and really tried to preserve it without reeling you in with touristy showmanship like you sometimes find in other areas.  They were very respectful of their past.

I visited Kelley Park which had a zoo, a Japanese Friendship Garden (modeled after the Korakuen Park in Okayama), and a Historic Park.

The Friendship Garden was tranquil.   There was a young couple who seemed newly in love smooching and whispering on a bench by the water.  They were looking at each other as though they wanted to memorize each other's every look.  I almost wanted to snap a picture of them.  They made me remember those first feelings of  new love where you get those fluttery feelings in your stomach and you feel giddy in your chest and you feel as though you are not really connected to the ground.  Remember those?

Historic Park contained original and reproduction buildings from the area's past and was charming.  There was no one walking around the site which was set up like a small town. None of the buildings were open or so I thought.  I found out later that the hotel actually was and housed an exhibit and store. The streets were deserted except for some workers.  It almost looked like the lot of an abandoned tv set.  I had wondered if I was even supposed to be there until I saw another man, presumably a tourist, meandering around.

I think there is something fascinating about old buildings and history in general.  I love thinking that the buildings and artifacts of our past have endured.  Real people who loved and lived and felt the same emotions as us once walked through those doors or handled those objects and it comes alive for me.  Forget the peeling paint or the rust or the dust that has settled through the years. There is something about the pieces of what we leave behind that reassures me that the past is never really gone. 

I didn't visit the zoo in Kelley Park but I did meet some local wildlife.

Meet Slithering and Rinaldo:
Slithering was much more cooperative of having his picture taken than Rinaldo.

I thought Rinaldo was pretty cute running circles around the rim of the garbage can chattering away.  Around here squirrels run away from humans, but not Rinaldo.  In fact, he was pretty territorial about that garbage can and seemed to be staking his claim when I tried to take his picture.  At one point, I swear he bared his teeth at me and it was NOT in a smile.  He wasn't so cute at that precise moment.

Ever think about what heaven would smell like?  I hope it smells like the San Jose Municipal Rose Gardens. 

I also visited Mission San Jose and walked around the museum, church, and grounds before picking my husband up from work.

The Franciscan mission had been founded in 1797 at an Ohlone Indian village.  The 1868 earthquake had destroyed many of the mission's buildings including the church which was rebuilt in the 1980s.  The  tombstone pictured aroused my curiousity because the woman who died was 19 (and married) and the bottom of the tombstone read:
To us for Eleven months
Her Pleasant smile was given
And then she bade farewell to earth
And went to live in Heaven.
I assumed she must have only been at the mission for eleven months.  It was a puzzle.  It made me wonder more about her.  How long was she married?  Did she have children?  What did she die of?

I had to leave to pick up my husband and never stopped to ask and it has been gnawing at me ever since. 

I was actually late picking up my husband from work anyway because I got lost.  By the time I arrived, he was a solitary figure standing outside of his office building. Getting in the car, he just shook his head and smiled. 

I can't believe how many things I saw and how many memories I made my first day.  I saw all of this with no rushing to see the sites-just lazily wandered around.  My husband had planned the rest of the trip as far as what we were going to do and see so I just got to sit back and enjoy.


Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

The photos are awesome and your trip sounds like pure bliss!

Aging Mommy said...

You saw so much of San Jose in just one day - and all of it looks fabulous, wonderful photos. Sounds like a wonderful trip.

Daisygirl said...

Gorgeous photos! I would so get lost too...on my trip I had a GPS to get me around it was wonderful!

Your first day just sounds amazing! I love that your husband new you got lost and was smiling without even saying anything...haha!

Lourie said...

What a wonderful day. Even if you did get lost. Don't feel bad. I get lost easy too. Us together would be the blind leading the blind. hahaha.

Joy said...

It was so much fun!

Lourie-my mom used to use that saying all the time. It still cracks me up because it is really true when it comes to me and directions.

The Empress said...

What a wonderful time away. I love going anywhere, it's so good for you.

A pleasure to meet you, I'm following you now, you take some very very nice photos.

The Drama Mama said...

Talk about bliss. Being able to soak in the sites and sounds without childrens shrieking? Bliss. I can tell you had a wonderful time.

Post a Comment