08 July 2015

Getting acclimated

Our first full day in Cupertino, we had some mundane things to take care of. We needed to pick up our rental car, find a grocery store, have lunch, then meet the kids around 5 at Google for a campus tour and supper.

We talked a bit about it with Linda before she left for work and she said that we wouldn't be able to get a cab to go get our rental car...she suggested we use Uber. We'd never used Uber before...

First, I got registered and downloaded the app to my phone then I put in pick-up and drop-off info for a ride. From the time I started registration until the driver dropped us at the rental car place took 40 minutes. Sweet!

Unfortunately, when we got to the door of the rental car place, we saw the sign saying the location was closed and had moved to another location. We managed to catch the driver before he got out of the parking lot and he took us to the other location. Once we got there, it took longer to get the rental car squared away than it did to get the Uber ride.

We stopped at Lucky on the way back to Linda's and had breakfast with the stuff we bought there, even though it was almost noon by then. We hung out, read the paper, journaled, etc for a bit, then decided that if we were going to meet the kids for supper at 5, we should eat lunch sooner rather than later.

My Maps app said the Andes Cafe wasn't too far from where we were and it sounded like the kind of hole-in-the-wall sort of place we like, so we headed there.

Where Maps said it should be was nothing but houses. If one of them was actually a cafe, it didn't have a sign.

Maps said that Judy's Kitchen was in the next block so we thought we'd try that. We did find that one but it was Szechuan food (not what we thought with Judy's Kitchen would be) and not really what we were looking for.

Giardiano Chicago looked close. Maps directed us to a dead-end road in a residential area without a business in sight.

We ended up back at the Lucky to get sandwich parts and make our own. In their deli section, they had these pre-made giant subs that came with mayo and mustard packets for $6. The sub was big enough for us both to have 2 lunches and we wouldn't have to worry about having leftover bread or condiments when we left for home. That with some cookies made a good lunch!

After lunch we took a nap, watched some Netflix then left for the Google-plex. We were early so we wandered around some, met up with Ashley and waited for Eric to get off work. He checked us in, got us our visitor badges, and started our walking tour of the campus.

It's an amazing place! It's huge, for one thing. There are Google bikes (single speed, retro-type) strewn around. If you need to go to another building, you just hop on a bike and ride it there. When you're done with it, you just leave it wherever and someone else who needs it will take it somewhere else.
Yellow and green Google bikes are everywhere for employees to use. The tent behind the racks is for bike repairs...personal or Google.

There is a sport complex that includes basketball courts, football/soccer fields, an exercise circuit, a little mountain bike course with a jogging trail over the hills in the background. There is a gym with fitness classes and exercise equipment. There is a laundromat. There are multiple cafeterias. There was a constant stream of buses stopping at various places to pick up employees and take them toward home. There was even a guy whose job it was to call out each bus' destination. Each floor of the buildings has a break area stocked with chilled water bottles, coffee, espresso, juice, snacks, milk, tea, etc.  There are nap rooms.
Part of the sports complex.

All of it is free to employees.

Eric took us to one of the cafeterias for supper. There are no cash registers there. Employees can eat 3 meals a day, 7 days a week if they want...no charge. He could even bring us as guests for free, although there is a limit to how often an employee can do that.

We got there right at opening and there were huge lines at all the stations. The crowd was oppressive but well ordered. We all picked up whatever we wanted and took our trays outside to eat.

We chilled at home for the evening then called it a day.