Not only PEZ dispensers are displayed on the front lawn at 298 Leota Ave in Sunnyvale, there are all sorts of toys and little trinkets. The PEZ Pole is the description you get from Google maps, the sign on the pole says: Das PEZLER – a German collection? PEZ dispensers are pinned to a power pole. A lot of Santas from different time periods it seems, but also favorite Disney characters, snowmen and bunnies. The PEZ lunchbox knows: “PEZ makes you smile!”
The other things that made me smile are the dinosaurs fighting plastic soldiers – not the fighting, just the ingenious re-use of plastic toys! The dinosaurs are next to succulents which makes them excellent objects for a photo safari! But behold the giraffes assembled across from them! If you enjoy statues this place has you covered too! Buddhas sit together with Madonnas, angels, a menorah, and a dreamcatcher – a peaceful sight indeed.
Overall it is a great place to explore and discover. If you are tired of walking around in your neighborhood I suggest stopping by this place and let your kids count the PEZ Santas, or photograph other objects.
Thank you whoever put out the effort to entertain us in such an amusing way! You can email them at flowerpowercorner at gmail.com if you have any comments, ideas, or suggestions.
Where do you go on a photo-neighborhood-safari?
By the way, to all the PEZ aficionados, the PEZ museum in Burlingame is permanently closed. To see what it was like check out my blog post: Sweeten your Museum Visit
While looking for a hiking outing I stumbled across Shirley Temple’s grave. Not literally! A Google reviewer posted this as a landmark. I did not know that the famous child actress used to live in Woodside. I also did not know that she used to have quite the political career, most notably the ambassador of Ghana and Czechoslovakia.
Her gravesite is in the Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto. According to the website Find a Grave the Mausoleum is called: Adobe Creek Mausoleum, Building #3, Redwood Grove Section, Tier 2. Thanks to the reviewer who posted this as a tourist location on Google maps, I knew to look for it in the back of the mausoleum. I did not see any building names or numbers, but all mausoleums are located just past the funeral home.
Alta Mesa Memorial Park is not a hiking destination, but in my search I found a beautiful garden area behind the mausoleums that, although not very large, is a nice place to explore more inhabitants of the non-denominational burial ground.
Other notable burials include Terman and Shokley, both considered the fathers of Silicon Valley, David Packard, co-founder of HP, and Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.
Have you been to a graveyard lately?
Visiting hours for the Alta Mesa Memorial Park are from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
If you like cemeteries you might want to check out Colma – a town where the ratio of alive to dead is 1:1000. Be alive in Colma!
My lists on where to go exploring keeps getting longer. Wanderlust for local spots will always be my passion. To document this I started putting this in a book. Yes, this is as much a teaser as it is a motivation for me to finish 😀
Highlights of 2020
Anyway, in this COVID ridden year there were a few highlights, or at least hope for something better to come.
After the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor people took to the streets in mass protests for BLM. Here again is my list on how you can make sure that Black Lives Matter: Support Black Lives.
And let’s not forget about people that lost so much this year. While wildfires raged through most of the Bay Area and people lost their houses (Help the Fire Victims), the pandemic was the reason a lot of people lost their jobs and are in need of food relief programs (Feed People in Need).
I wish you all a great start into the New Year and hope everyone will have a happier life.
2020 is almost over, all we have to do is sit and wait. For another sit-in-your-car-adventure, I recommend going on the Shine Bright Cupertino light tour. Cupertino’s neighbors signed on to have their house decorations viewed as you drive by (or walk with your mask on). You can download the map of participating houses as a PDF on the City of Cupertino website.
If you liked last week’s post about Robertsville and their lightshow with music you might be delighted at number 21 on the map, 7733 Oak Meadow Court. Tune your radio to 92.9 FM while in the court and be entertained by the music accompanying the lights. You can watch a short version of this on my YouTube channel.
I was serenaded by the Muppets!
The best time to view the lights is early nighttime. Most lights get turned off at 10 pm.
Please be careful while driving and if you pull over, respect the homeowners and neighbors. Watch out for pedestrians.
Thank you Cupertino and all participating neighbors!
Whether you celebrate Christmas or have different traditions for the end of the year, I think it is always nice to walk or drive around and admire the colorful lights and blow-up figurines. I am thankful for the people who enjoy decorating their houses. One of these is a San Jose resident and maker of the Robertsville Lights display. Here more than 6000 tiny bulbs are showing off their sparkle from 5 to 10 pm. And what is Christmas without the tunes we all humm starting Thanksgiving clean-up? This enthusiast has you covered! Tune in your car radio to 101.7 FM while driving by.
The song list includes classics like ‘Little Drummer Boy’, little people pleasers like ‘Into the Unknown’ from the Frozen soundtrack, but will also surprise you with the ‘Star Wars Medley’.
I made a short YouTube video (1 minute) with Simple Plan – Christmas Every Day, Frozen 2 Soundtrack – Into the Unknown, Selena Gomez – Winter Wonderland. The music titles are usually around 3 minutes long.
There used to be an option for the walking crowd but with the current COVID-19 conditions they disabled the outside speaker for now. Enjoy from the comfort of your car and be considerate of the neighbors. If you can’t drive by there you still have the virtual option via YouTube videos on their website.
The lights are up until December 31st.
Address: 4233 Briarglen Drive, San Jose, CA 95118
I also enjoyed the page of Behind the Scene where they talk about how they made the trees. Thank you Robertsville Lights for brightening this season!
I don’t want to increase your stress level, but the Holidays are almost here. Every year I try to come up with some local gift ideas or stores, for example the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz.
A hodgepodge of ideas is the SJ Made pop-up store in downtown San Jose. Due to COVID-19 they offer you a chance to pick-up items that you purchased from their website. The sheer vastness of ideas, over 1200 products and counting, will make sure you’ll find gifts for everyone on your list.
These artists not only do pictures and postcards. There are flowers, cosmetics, jewelry, clothing and accessories, ceramics, and food gifts. And, apparently stickers and pins are a thing again.
It is great to see local artists get together and open these collective stores. It reminded me of Asheville or Portland. SJ Made is one of four micro-retail storefronts in the Moment mall. Next door are also The Source Zero, Aulala Design and BlackSheepMade to check out while you are on your shopping spree.
SJ Made 60 N. San Pedro St., San Jose
Monday, Wednesday, Sunday 12 to 4 Thursday 12 to 6 Friday, Saturday 10 to 6 Tuesday CLOSED
Walking around the neighborhood, as we all do, you might have noticed a box offering books. Little Free Libraries are not a new invention. All started in 2009 by the late Todd Bol from Hudson, Wisconsin. He built the first Little Free Library as a tribute to his mother. Friends and neighbors liked the idea and inspired him to build more and he gave them away. The idea took over and in 2020 they surpassed the 100,000 mark with more than a 100 countries worldwide participating.
You can find a Free Little Library near you from the Free Little Library website map, but not all free libraries are registered.
If you feel inspired to build your own free library the Little Free Library offers library boxes and also advice for building your own.
You do not need to leave a book in order to take one. I know a lot of people have decluttered their homes recently, but there was also higher demand on these books while your favorite book store was only online.
Considering the pandemic some free libraries now switched the books to offer canned food. Others made a seed library, so we can all start to grow our own vegetables.
Free libraries not only are a great way to share goods, some are also very creative little boxes.
Have you picked up a book from a little free library?
Interesting read about a a phone booth at the Los Gatos library: Call me Ishmael
Montalvo is Saratoga’s first address for art and culture. Did you know they also have a cactus garden? I stumbled on this treasure when I visited the Loneliness exhibit. It is tucked away in the gated part of the Italianate Garden.
Enter the gate and stroll past the rose bushes towards the fountain. The fountain creatures hanging there might not spit water right now, but are impressive nonetheless.
The succulents and cacti are imposing. Some so large they need to be propped up by a belt. Others stand tall like a monolith the size of a yard stick. The Phelan Cactus Garden was designed by Senator James Phelan in 1920 as a ‘showcase of interesting and unusual plants’. A magical little escape great for recharging.
Montalvo’s park hours are Monday – Thursday, 8am – 5pm and Friday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm.
Did you know about the Phelan Cactus Garden at Montalvo?
The Seven Seas Park in Sunnyvale became the latest addition in 2016 of inclusive play parks for all ages. This little park has even a splash park, a dog park, and a half basketball court. One of the fun discoveries is the wind chimes that line the small round path around a grassy field.
The sound sculptures stand man high and have mallets to invite you to play. I could not find any information about the artists. If you know who contributed this musical adventure, please let me know.
The landscape architects, SSA, did a beautiful job creating a nautical themed inclusive park. This park won the “Project of the Year” award in 2016 by the American Public Works Association.
Parking can sometimes be a challenge. Due to COVID-19 playgrounds might still be closed off. Check before you go and follow the recommended safety procedures.
Have you played the sound sculptures at Seven Seas Park?
If you enjoy funky interactive sculptures you should also check out the Wind Walk in San Mateo.