While I unfortunately had to celebrate Canada Day this year by sitting through LinkedIn tech training most of the day (What, no Poutine in the caf? Come ON! :), I was lucky enough to start my new tour of duty down south on a short week, due to that most hallowed of US celebrations: Independence Day (Fourth of July) – the historical day that the United States formally severed ties with the monarchy that we Canucks still cling to for the wealth of all us commoners up north.
My original plan was to bike on over to the Shoreline Amphitheater (right next to the Google campus that I pass by en route to work each day) where I understood there were some pretty spectacular fireworks to be enjoyed – however as luck would have it, I connected with former Primate and fellow Canuck Tim Hunter and his family.
Our plan for the day was to visit Bacon Fest in San Jose, however after hearing that tickets for the day were no longer available, there was a snap change of plans and we opted to head out to lovely Gilroy, California, to take in a free local fireworks display.
Prior to Gilroy, however, I got the chance to hang out at Casa Hunter, do some swimming, program robot turtles, play some vigorous Kinect Disney Adventures on the XBox with their daughter Astrid (who’s a pretty mean thrower-of-fruit-at-Gorillas) and eat, what else but, yummy burgers – a Fourth of July tradition.
Gilroy was pretty fun. The event was held at the local high school, and was obviously a big attraction, because there were lots of people around – setting up camp on the grass, the bleachers and even watching from out of the backs of their trucks. It had a bit of tailgating kind of vibe, with families bring lots of food and drink, cooking on small portal bbqs, etc. While there may have been a larger display going on in Mountain View, Gilroy was a really nice slice of heartland America fireworks watching and I really don’t think I’d have traded it for standing around with a bunch of other import tech workers standing around watching them in Mountain View – as nice as I’m sure they were.
On the way home, thanks to a couple missed GPS directions, we ended up at the top of one of the very swanky communities in the hilltops just outside of San Jose (still not sure exactly where though). It turned out to be a timely accidental discovery of a great place to go for any future firework watching. From a good vantage point like that, you can see all the fireworks displays in a massive area of the bay down below.
And yes … Gilroy may be familliar to you because it’s the garlic growing capital of the world – and the air in Gilroy most certainly smells of garlic. And it is awesome