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?

Take your tinker shopping

Take your tinker shopping

I remember the first time I shopped in a Fry’s Electronics store. I felt like a two year old in a candy store!

Keyboards at Weird StuffI was never a nerd, but I loved the cables and components that you can buy there. More than once I had a young man explain to me how a computer was built and what a motherboard is. Which did nothing for me, but just seeing these components is intriguing. If this sounds sexy to you, you might consider a visit at WeirdStuff in Sunnyvale. WeirdStuff feels more like a garage meets maker faire. You are surrounded by electronic equipment, both old and new. I actually found myself on memory lane browsing the aisles – VHS tapes, keyboards and cables. Do you remember the Cherry keyboard?

But Weird Stuff also takes your old computers and parts. Which I see as a great service to our fast growing electro trashing society.

This is one of the best stops on your tech tour in Silicon Valley!

Do you have a thing for computer parts?

Fly a drone or model airplane

Fly a drone or model airplane

I have never been intrigued with flying in fact I get really frustrated with flying video games. But, I find watching these little airplanes and flying objects fascinating.

There are few places in the Bay Area for model airplane flying.

If you want to pursue this as a hobby you might want to join Bay R/C.

Model airplanes at Baylands Park in SunnyvaleIf you are like me a watch-only kind of person, your best chances to see the little flyers are at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale (parking is $6 from March to October). Rancho San Antonio also has a field for non-gas powered model airplanes. Rules for model airplanes at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino

For those of you who like to get hands-on education, the Hiller Aviation Museum offers the Drone Plex. Each Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 12 pm there are demonstrations; from 1 pm to 3 pm you can sign-up for the flight experience – (an extra $5 for 20 minutes; museum fee is $16 for adults and $11 for seniors and youth, 5-17 year olds, under 4 year olds are free). The museum also has flight simulators.

 

Are you an aviation geek?

Garden for all senses

Garden for all senses

Charles Street Gardens SunnyvaleThe Charles Street Gardens in Sunnyvale opens its doors each Tuesday from 11 am – 1 pm. This is not only interesting for the curious gardener like me – always a pleasure to see what and how other people grow vegetables and more – but here the children’s garden is a special treat.

Kids are encouraged to feel, smell and touch the plants in a few raised garden beds.

The chickens that live in the coop next to it are a bonus.

Charles Street Gardens chicken, Sunnyvale
Do you garden with all your senses?
Come out and play

Come out and play

My son passed the age of playgrounds, but when he was a toddler and even up to young teen he loved climbing and sliding.

So, whenever I see a cool playground I remember the good times.

Slide at Las Palmas park in SunnyvaleThe playground at Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale is one of those fun, creative hang-out spots. There are two playgrounds right next to each other, one for toddlers, one for 4 – 12 year olds. And if you‘ve got a ball player, there is even a great grass field.

Head statue at the Las Palmas park in SunnyvaleThe bigger playground is surrounded by water and some interesting sculptures. In the drought they don’t fill the pond which makes the heads look even more fascinating, plus not having water around makes it safer for toddlers. If there is water collecting in the pond it is left-over from the rain we had recently.

Here is a review from Silicon Valley Toddler with a lot of risk management features:

http://svtoddler.blogspot.com/2013/09/playground-review-las-palmas-park.html

 

Which one is your favorite playground in the Bay Area?

Smell the blossoms in the Valley of Heart’s Delight

Smell the blossoms in the Valley of Heart’s Delight

“No brush can paint the picture

No pen describe the sight

That one can find in April

In the Valley of Heart’s Delight”

Poem: The Valley of Heart’s Delight by Clara Louise Lawrence

 

Postcard of automobile routes around Santa Clara Valley to view spring blossoms, circa 1940.Before there was Silicon Valley this part of the world was known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight. It used to be orchards everywhere. A few of these orchards have been kept, most a fractions of their original size, but still a pretty sight in bloom. Back in the 1940 there was even an automobile tour around Santa Clara to see the blossoms. In a postcard from that time the blooming times were stated as: Almonds: Jan 15 to Feb 15, Apricots: Feb 23rd to March 1, Prunes: March 15 to March 22, Cherries: March 22 to April 5

Cherry blossomsThe Heritage Museum in Sunnyvale has an Apricot orchard, but unfortunately they have already bloomed. Now it is time to see the cherry blossoms. A patch of the old Olson’s cherry orchard can be found at S. Mathilda Ave in Sunnyvale, near the tennis courts.

 

Do you know of any other orchards in the Valley of Heart’s Delight?

 

Follow the spiral/spiritual path

Follow the spiral/spiritual path

Walking a labyrinth is a tool for meditation and problem solving. One foot in front of the next in an ever bending path. It is hard to explain but it helps you focus, helps you find the answers within you.

When I explored my first labyrinth, I started with making photos of it. Someone from the church came out, took a look at me and said: “Oh, you are admiring it!”  “Yes,” I replied “and I’m gonna walk it too!”

It is both the beauty of the shape as well as a humble, meditative experience. I love that there are so many different labyrinth around, ones with a grassy path, concrete, sand or brick.  The labyrinth locator web site can help find one near you.

The Modern Labyrinth Movement was founded at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Here are two labyrinths, one inside, one outside, with interesting programs like: yoga in the labyrinth, and candlelit walks.

Entrance to the labyrinth of the Grace Lutheran Church in Palo AltoA copy of the Grace Cathedral labyrinth, which is itself a replica of the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth in Chartres, France,  can be found outside of the Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto.

So, how do you walk a labyrinth?

There are many ways to walk a labyrinth. Will it be a playful, spiritual, or meditative journey?

For example: Take a few deep breaths, enter with a question. The first step in sets the pace for your walk. When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like; listen intuitively for the answer to your question, then walk out again.

Wikihow

Have you ever walked a labyrinth?

Here are a few labyrinths in Silicon Valley:

Labyrinth of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo AltoUnitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 East Charleston Rd.
Palo Alto

 

 

Labyrinth of the Grace Lutheran Church of Palo AltoGrace Lutheran Church
3149 Waverley St
Palo Alto

 

 

Labyrinth of First Congregational Church Palo AltoFirst Congregational Church
1985 Louis Rd.
Palo Alto

 

 

Labyrinth of St John's Lutheran Church in SunnyvaleSt John’s Lutheran Church
581-583 E. Fremont
Sunnyvale

 

 

Labyrinth of St Thomas' Episcopal Church of SunnyvaleSt Thomas’ Episcopal Church
231 Sunset Avenue
Sunnyvale

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!

 

Lace it up

Lace it up

When I saw that there is a Lace Museum  in Sunnyvale, I put that on my list on things to explore.

 

I hesitated to go in at first because it said on the front door to call (408-730-4695) if you like a tour. But, since I was there I might as well check it out, right?

(It turns out I misread it, you only need to call if you are six or more, they will give you a tour if you are a smaller group, or even by yourself.)

I got greeted with the words: “Welcome to the Lace Museum. Would you like a tour?” Perfect!

 

I have to say, I learned so much! Thank you. I still have a hard time picturing how people make these delicate laces by hand. They do classes and I will definitely check out their Christmas fundraiser, where they sell ornaments made with old lace.

 

A laced vest that uses hair and silkThey have one exhibit piece that uses hair and silk as the lace material. And on another piece there are  scarab beetles incorporated into it. I had no idea they are so shiny!

 

Currently they have an exhibit about wedding dresses. But, these special exhibits change.

This museum is an all volunteer base, so please come by, get the inside scoop on lace and donate, because they do a mighty great job.

Have you done lacing before?

Downtown

Downtown

2014-10-23 16.28.53

Actually, to call Silicon Valley suburbia does most cities here injustice.

A lot of towns in the Bay Area have nice, revived downtown areas, with interesting shops and restaurants.

Mountain View’s Castro Street, Sunnyvale’s Murphy’s Street and Palo Alto’s University are great examples.. They all have their own vibe and I invite you to stroll and explore all of them. Los Altos has a few streets where you sure find something for the holidays for everyone, from the Lego store to upscale gift stores. To make a festive entrance Los Altos celebrates the Festival of Lights on 11/29 at 6 p.m.

Downtown Redwood City advertises itself as the Anti Mall. A good place to discover treats and gifts.

What is your favorite downtown in the Bay Area?