San Jose & WWDC 2017

Several weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend WWDC! This year it was in San Jose, rather than San Francisco, which I was a bit bummed about, but I decided to do some exploring!

As I was landing I noticed these gorgeous purple trees, called Jacaranda, that are the same as the ones Nathaniel and I discovered in Lisbon last year! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I guess these trees are pretty common in places with climates like Portugal and Southern California, but my Colorado heart was so happy to see them again!

I stayed very close to the convention center, and nearby was a beautiful Catholic church and a couple museums. I didn’t have the time to go inside because of the conference, but walking/running by them was lovely. There’s also a bit of street art (both the walls and ground) nearby.

If you can, walk along the Guadalupe River Walk a bit. I tried running down it and ended up hitting a dead end one way, but it goes pretty far through the town, and has nice street markers on the ground. One of the parks along it even has a giant Monopoly board on the ground!

As far as food, here are a couple good spots I’d recommend:

Get an interesting cocktail (I got the Habanero Matador) and the octopus at Firehouse No. 1.

If you need some Italian comfort food, go to Original Joe’s.

Happy hour at Mosaic is reasonably priced. I got tuna tartare, pot stickers, and a cocktail (Firecracker Sour).

If you need food late, try Cafe Stritch. This is the jambalaya.

If you want a silly-named Mexican drink, look no further than Chacho's. This drink was called "No Panties" 😂

Definitely get an ice cream sandwich at CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me), where you can choose 2 cookies and your favorite flavor of ice cream, and even get things like sprinkles around the circumference of the sammy.

Don’t forget more dessert at Milk & Wood, where they have interesting popsicle flavors that you can drizzle chocolate and other toppings on 😋

Now, because this isn’t a blog about technology or coding, I won’t go into crazy details about the conference, but here are some of the highlights:

  • The keynote is always fun, because they announce new technology. You can, of course, live stream it, but there’s just something about actually seeing Tim Cook in person and being there in a room full of nerds.
  • Michelle Obama came and spoke! I love that she’s encouraging women to keep working in STEM. Plus I got interviewed for the local news while waiting to see her speak. 😜
  • They have a series of lunchtime talks throughout the week. We got to hear from:
    • Hidden FiguresChristine Darden and how she excelled in a career at NASA.
    • The Quadfather - a man who became a quadriplegic at a young age, and how programming and technology makes his life so much better.
    • iLuminate’s Miral Kotb, who combined her love of coding and dance to create light up costumes for blackout dance performances.
  • On the Thursday evening, there’s always a big party with a concert. This year they got Fall Out Boy, so my inner high-schooler, One Tree Hill loving heart and Disney girl were all happy 😉
  • The swag was fun! Developers got black Levi's denim jackets, and pins! If you went to special events, they had extra pins to hand out, as well.

A Walk Through a Glass Garden

Can you believe I have lived in Boulder my whole life, and I only just recently went to the Denver Botanic Gardens? Pretty crazy, right? I often find it hard to escape my Boulder Bubble for much, but I'm glad I did for this. Right now there is an exhibit featuring the amazing glass art of Dale Chihuly. If you've ever been to the Bellagio in Vegas, he's the guy who did that gorgeous glass flower ceiling there. The Chihuly Exhibit is up for just another month or so, but if you can get down there, I highly recommend it. Hopefully I can drag myself to Denver again before it's gone ;)

I thought it looked like a collection of planets.

Of course the visual appeal is amazing, and if you like pretty things, you will love this exhibit. But what really struck me about this is how much patience and passion Mr. Chihuly must have. Each individual piece of glass takes time, focus and devotion. I found this quote on his website:

“The process is so wonderfully simple, yet so mystifying.”

My photographer man - the shadows those made were pretty amazing!

It really is just different colors of glass, so it is "simple", but each piece is unique, even if you use the same colors or techniques, and I'm sure that one slight misstep will cause either a bit of a disaster (it is glass after all) or a beautiful mistake. I don't think that someone who didn't love what they did would say this.

Now I say that I am impressed with his patience. He must spend weeks if not months on some of the larger pieces. I don't think that I would have the endurance to do what he does. But it is not my passion. If he hated the glass, he wouldn't be successful like he is today. Because this is his passion, it doesn't matter if it takes every hour of every day to create the next masterpiece, it will be completely worth it. May we all be so lucky to find something in which we can spend every waking moment completely engrossed.

I feel extremely lucky to be able to witness art and beauty in this world. How crazy to think that each person is unique, and one different event in their life could have been the difference between living a "normal" life, and being able to share their work with the world. A huge thank you to Dale Chihuly, for reminding me that the world is still a wondrous place, full of beauty, where following your passion is worth everything.


P.S. Thanks to who found this entry and liked it enough to reach out to me! Learn more about Dale Chihuly here.