On a recent trip to San Jose I decided to check out the Overfelt Gardens. Within this local park is the Chinese Cultural Garden, a piece of land gifted by Frank and Pauline Lowe in 1971, to bring Chinese culture closer to the American people.
It is a very peaceful place with a couple of ponds and the geese population greatly exceeds the human park dwellers. I followed the path to the Chinese Cultural Gardens and was greeted by Confucius himself! I am sure he was meant to be surrounded by water, but the absence of it did not take away from his greatness.
A few more Chinese structures are in the park, but overall it is just a great place to unwind, walk around in some greenery and surround yourself with peacefulness.
Other features of the park are the Amphitheatre, a palm garden and the California garden.
Soon we will celebrate Thanksgiving and I thought it is appropriate to talk about a local farm.
Emma Prusch donated a substantial piece of land to the city of San Jose to be kept as farmland as the way the Valley of Hearts Delight used to be.
When I first entered the farm it was amazing to me that they have chickens roam around freely in the whole area. In the back there is an animal area where they sell chicken feed for 25 cents. So, make sure you have some quarters if you are entertaining young children. The animal area also has a pot belly pig, bunnies, goats and other fowl.
On Saturday and Sunday the farm offers pony rides ($10 for 10 minutes). Overall this is a great place for little children, with a playground, the animal area, and lots of space to run around.
The true farm experience is offered every first Saturday. The associated Veggielution is a community farm with the mission of connecting people through food and farming. Here you can help farming, cook or just stop by and buy the produce from the farmstand.
Everyone is welcome every Saturday and Wednesday morning to garden at Emma’s Kitchen Garden.
So, when you google Menlo Park you will get a lot of results talking about Thomas Edison. Who, it turns out lived in Menlo Park, New Jersey and that development was named after the Californian town.
The Museum of American History in Palo Alto is running a current exhibit titled:Thomas Edison and His Rivals: Bringing Electricity to America.
You can learn about American ingenuity and the rivalries between Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla, until February 18th, 2018. They also show a lot of different inventions from the three tech pioneers.
The subject is not surprising for the Museum of American History, which focuses on inventions and technology from 1750 to 1950.
The permanent exhibit features a 1920s general store, an early 20th century kitchen and outside a replica of an auto-repair-shop, a print shop and the marvelous garden.
It is a great museum to spent some time inside and outside. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.
Ever wondered about the building on top of one of the mountains near Saratoga? You can now hike to the summit (or drive) and learn about the history of this place.
Mount Umunhum one of the highest mountains in the Santa Cruz mountain range (3,486 feet) was once a sacred site of the local Native Americans. In fact, rituals are still performed here today.
The Mountain is easy to spot because of the radar tower on top of it. From 1957 to 1980 this was part of the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) defense system.SAGE was a network of computer systems that coordinated data from many radar sites and processed it into a single image of the airspace over a wide area.* Back in these days as many as 125 military personnel with their families lived at Mount Umunhum.
There are three parking areas depending on your intentions:
Jacques Ridge parking lot is the closest to the entrance of the park – furthest hike to the summit.
Bald Mountain parking area – from here the hike up to the summit is 3.7 miles
Mt Umunhum Summit parking area – 159 steps to the summit
We only did a short hike, from the Bald Mountain parking lot to the Guadalupe Creek Overlook 1.3 miles each way and then drove to the Summit parking area. But I would like to do the whole summit hike at one point. On the summit itself the views are amazing! We were there on a cloudy day, but on a clear day you can see from the Pacific to the Sierra Nevada.
There is also an audio tour app about the Stories of Mount Umunhum for free in the app store of your choice. You should download the audio tour before you go because there is limited cell service.