Bowl on a lawn

Bowl on a lawn

Pauline explaining lawn bowling at the Sunnyvale Lawn Bowling ClubHave you seen my list of 50 things to do in Sunnyvale? Number 36 on the list (not in any order) is Sunnyvale Lawn Bowling. The club invited me and a group of my friends to come check out the game. Joe, a lawn bowl Hall of Famer, and Pauline were our coaches for a beautiful Sunday afternoon lawn bowling session. We learned all about the Jack (a small white ball) and the bowls that you roll at the Jack.

A game easy to learn – and hard to master. Joe, explaining lawn bowling at the Sunnyvale Lawn Bowling Club

 

Joe and Pauline were constantly helping and correcting us, but in a fun way. This sport is also relatively inexpensive. You have to join a club near you, but they usually let you use their bowls for a while to try out the right size for you. I think every club around the area has a drop-in policy where you can check out the game.

 

There are quite a few places in the Bay Area to try out lawn bowling.

Rossmoor Walnut Creek Lawn Bowling Club

Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club

Oakland Lawn Bowling Club

San Jose Lawn Bowls

Santa Clara Lawn Bowls Club

Sunnyvale Lawn Bowling Club

Palo Alto Lawn Bowls Club

Santa Cruz Bowls Club

San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club

 

who is closest?Our whole group had a fun time, and we all agreed we would love to bowl again.

Thank you again Joe and Pauline for a great Sunday afternoon!

 

Have you ever bowled on a lawn?

Play! with art

Play! with art

The new exhibit at the Palo Alto Art Center is called Play! An artful approach to make us realize that we all need to be more playful.

Installation at the Palo Alto Art CenterThe first installment entering the gallery reminded me of my son’s wish when he was younger that he wanted a rollercoaster in the house. The slide came out of the wall and connected with colorful paths up and down the wall.

The most fascinating installment for me was the moving globes. Nils Voelker’s Bits and Pieces  felt like they are doing a dance for us. Nils Voelker’s Bits and Pieces at the Palo Alto Art Center

My son retreated to the nook, folding origami objects.

Andy Warhol’s and Billy Kluver’s Silver Clouds at the Palo Alto Art CenterWe all enjoyed Andy Warhol’s and Billy Kluver’s Silver Clouds. We spent quite some time throwing the silver balloons towards the fan.

The Art Center also offers events around the theme of playA Season of Play offers a lot of family workshops from integrational playdates to stop-motion animation.  

 

Where do you go and play? 

Let everyone play

Let everyone play

Since 2015 Silicon Valley has a truly inclusive playground in Palo Alto’s Mitchell Park; the Magical Bridge Playground. The design is uplifting, you see all children embracing the fun. There are different climbing and sliding options, a fully accessible tree house for role play, multiple installations to experience sounds, and a nice shady picnic area.

Plays tructure at the Magical Bridge Playground in Palo AltoThis is by far the coolest playground I have ever seen – and mind you I’ve seen a few. The great news is that they are expanding. The Magical Bridge Foundation plans to open up another magical playground in Redwood City late 2017/ early 2018. Please consider to donateEntrance to the Magical Bridge playground in Palo Alto

 

Have you been to the Magical Bridge Playground?

Find the path to run

Find the path to run

This Saturday (5/13/17) is the 16th Annual Los Altos Hills Pathways Run/Walk. It’s a 5K, 10K or 1M Fun Run.

This year’s motto is ‘Color my run’ and if you participate you will get a t-shirt to color in your way and a coloring book. The event starts at the Westwind Community Barn and runs through the Byrne Preserve, a hilly and challenging endeavor.

Los Altos Hills pathIf you prefer to explore Los Altos Hills pathways without a crowd challenge I advise you to get the pathways map from the Los Altos town hall ($4). This pathways system is quite unique in it’s vastness and it is used by school children, walkers, horseback riders and bicyclists alike. So, please observe the 3 Cs – common sense, courtesy and communication and enjoy your path.

 

Do you know of any hidden pathways in the Bay Area?

 

Ask what you can do

Ask what you can do

Last Saturday way more than 1.5 Million all around the world took to the streets to show unity against the new government that threatens so many of our American rights.

Whether this was your first march or, like one sign read: “I can’t believe I’m still marching for this!”, this marked a new beginning.

Now the question arises: What’s next?

Get involved

I think the first step to keep the momentum going is to organize a group of like-minded, get to know your neighbors and/or volunteer in your community. The greatest strength comes from compassion.organize

10 different actions for the next 100 days – form the official women’s march team
The indivisible guide
– lets you search by zip code for groups in your area

Next steps salon –  a web site to help on community building

100daysaction.net/ Bay Area artists response to Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office

Find your cause and volunteer

Volunteermatch.org

Idealst.org

Handson Network

 

Contact your representatives, get virtual active and vote

www.house.gov/representatives/find/ – find out who your representative is and contact them with concerns

Call the halls – a guide to citizen advocacy

There are a lot of campaigning communities, here are few:

Avaaz

Sum of us

Move on

Change.org

Stay angry. Care. Be compassionate.

Or like  Aziz Ansari put it in last weeks SNL Monologue: “[…]if you look at our country’s history, change doesn’t come from presidents. Change comes from large groups of angry people. And if Day 1 is any indication, you are part of the largest group of angry people I have ever seen.

 

What is your next step?

Walk the trails between Bay and posts

Walk the trails between Bay and posts

The BYXBEE Park in Palo Alto is named after John Fletcher Byxbee, a local engineer, who first recommended developing the Baylands as a public park.

The park lies behind the Palo Alto airport and is part of the Baylands Nature Preserve, one of the largest areas of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay.

People here appreciate the long, flat trails for a nice walking, running or biking workout. The unique mixture of tidal and freshwater habitats makes this a welcoming terrain for birds of all kinds.

Art installation in Byxbee Park, Palo AltoThe art that is displayed might make some people wonder: Posts that start small but grow in height, lining a small path up a hill.

These 72 posts made from concrete highway barriers symbolize the mesh between former landfill and new nature sanctuary.  Art installation in Byxbee Park, Palo Alto

 

The artists Peter Richards and Michael Oppenheimer in a collaboration with the landscape architects Hargreaves Associates, developed this 29 acre park and won the national ASAL Honer Award in 1993.

Have you ever pondered about the posts at Byxbee Park?

See petrified in wine country

See petrified in wine country

We went to Calistoga as kind of a pre-Christmas treat. One thing I know is that I have to come back! First, I did not get to try out the famous mud bath, (maybe I wasn’t ready for it?), the wine tasting rooms looked cosy and the lunch we had at the Culinary Institute was divine!

What we did do was go and see the Petrified Forest.

Over 3 million years ago a volcano erupted and covered the nearby redwoods in ash. Mineral rich water seeped down and the silica replaced the cells and made huge trees into fossils.

Petrified tree with concentric splits (parallel beaks along the trunk) at the Petrified Forest in Calistoga.We did the self-guided tour that showed us not only the petrified woods, but also some other current trees, like the beautiful red barked manzanita.

This was a fun excursion, and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the wine country. Admission was a bit pricy, adults $12, Juniors $8, but we did have fun outdoors.

If you are looking for an interesting stay they also offer a vacation rental.

Have you ever seen petrified wood?

Discover the sound of joy

Discover the sound of joy

Can you remember the last time you were on a swing? The tickle you felt going up into the sky?

 

Now imagine a swing that makes a pleasant sound, different by how fast you go. But it gets even better, it’s a collaborative tool to show that you can make great music working together.

In San Jose, at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, a new installation provides exactly this experience.

Ten seats, four instruments (piano, harp, guitar and vibraphone) and fun for all ages:

http://www.musicalswings.com/

 

A project from Daily tous les jours, an interaction design studio bringing us collective experiences in public spaces. San Jose is the last stop in this traveling exhibit, ending October 2, 2016.

 

Mixed in with airplanes and construction noise, I felt happy.

 

Swing on by!

 

When was the last time you were on a swing?

Sunnyvale Orchard Treasure Hunt

Sunnyvale Orchard Treasure Hunt

Before Silicon Valley this area was mostly orchards. There are still some places where you be reminded of this. I made a treasure hunt taking you to some of these places.  Enjoy!

 

You can do this alone or in a group, or even with competing teams. I attached the questions as a pdf, so you can print them out and off you go!

 

Please don’t google the questions – where is the fun in that?!

 

Duration: about 1 to 2 hours

Distance:  about 2 miles

 

Starting point: 490 W California Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (please obey parking restrictions)

  1. What is the Historical Landmark at your starting point?
  2. How old is the current structure?
  3. The neighborhood between Matilda, Maude, Bayshore Freeway and Fair Oaks Ave is named after a garden pest. What is it?
  4. Continue south towards El Camino. On the corner is a shopping center. What is the name?
  5. Write down the year C.J. Olson opened.
  6. Who is quoted saying the following: “My parents moved from San Francisco to Mountain View when I was five… Silicon Valley for the most part at that time was still orchards — apricot orchards and prune orchards — and it was really paradise.”
  7. Find the Heritage Museum of Sunnyvale. What trees are preserved in the Heritage Park?
  8. Make a picture of you / your group as a tree.

 

Send the answers to untilsuburbia AT gmail.com

 

Here is thePDF: sunnyvale orchard

I’d love your comments if you did this treasure hunt. Thanks!

 

Summer Water Fun

Summer Water Fun

Growing up in Germany summer break always meant hanging out at the pool. So my first idea for my sons summer break was this indoor pool I always wanted to check out. Luckily I did some research first and found out that this particular pool is right now only open Friday thru Sunday for recreational swim.

Well the weather is pleasant and warm enough for an outdoor pool.

Have you ever seen Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure? Remember San Dimas?

waterslideWe are right next to Raging Waters, part of the trifecta water parks.

It was excellent to go on the first day of summer break since not all schools are on break at the same time. We mostly enjoyed the wave pool. But when we were ready to slide we walked right up to it! Excellent start dude!

 

Now let’s see what we’re going to do with the rest of the eleven weeks.

 

Do you have any fun activities planned for the summer?