San Jose and Surrounding Communities!
San JoseClick thumbnail to view full-size
San Jose in Winter
My husband and I flew into beautiful San Jose, California on a Thursday and were immediately amazed at the perfect weather. We used to fly the Nerd Bird provided by AA, but had to spend time in Dallas this trip. That particular flight no longer flies out of our hometown. San Jose is gorgeous from the sky. It looks extremely populated and crowded from the air, but is pleasant and appealing on the ground. The trees are numerous and provide a green influence throughout the valley. This is a great location for a vacation!
We checked into our hotel and then met a friend for lunch at a local Chinese restaurant in a nearby shopping center. I was taken back by the abundance of bright flowers in the area as we approached our eatery. The sun was bright and the weather mild. The weather in San Jose can be extremely damp and cold in January. We were pleased to see the dry side of the local weather.
Late in the afternoon, with some free time on our hands, we rode into the mountains on our way to dinner. Just five minutes from our hotel, we discovered a road winding its way up a steep hill. Meandering for several miles, as the sun was setting in the distance, we saw several farms as well as stately homes with acreage. We were surprised to stumble onto a lake hidden in the niche of a mountain. A park ranger was planted at the entrance of a small parking lot on the lake, to collect a parking fee from potential boaters. As we drove down the mountains, I must admit that I was having some serious thoughts of moving to California! Our tour of the countryside was memorable!
Morgan HillClick thumbnail to view full-size
Los GatosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Delightful Morgan Hill
Just a few miles down the road from San Jose is an appealing little community. Morgan Hill is small, but made for the tourist. The main drag is lined with shops and restaurants. Ragoots hosted our dinner, an Italian spot that we're familiar with. The meal was delicious and the atmosphere warm and conducive to chat.
The first thing we noticed as we drove into town was that the Christmas decorations and lights were still up. The white lights added a magical touch to this quaint California town. White snowflakes decorated the street lights to add their own glimmer to the night life. The sun had just set and darkness was falling like a blanket over the festive streets. What a perfect time of day to enjoy Morgan Hill.
Before dinner, we walked up and down the main street to do some window shopping. Some of the shops were still open on this Thursday evening at just past 6:00 p.m. I made a small purchase before the shop doors closed. We saw several mushroom statutes that were hand painted and placed on the sidewalks as points of interest. We were slightly amused that there were some vacant shops still filled with Christmas displays. They seemed to prefer the Christmas spirit over empty windows created by vacant shops.
Parking was not a problem. We found several vacant spots behind our restaurant. The traffic indicated that many of the restaurants were drawing customers for business. Foot traffic was light perhaps due to the chilly night air.
Los Gatos on Friday
Los Gatos, another nearby community, seemed to be the place to tour Friday afternoon. We ate lunch at Steamers, our first time. The atmosphere was very relaxing and warm. The service was superb and the meal well presented. I would gladly visit again. Two hours later, we emerged well fed and ready for some shopping.
We spent the afternoon strolling the streets and shops of Los Gatos. Most of the stores are upscale and very appealing. Scattered up and down the sidewalks, we saw bowls of water for the dogs. This town is extremely dog friendly. Paw prints on the sidewalk in front of the shops mean Rover is invited to walk in too. We saw many dog owners walking their canines up and down the street. Some sported more than one dog.
The shop selection is varied. There are dress shops, kitchen shops, candy shops, gift shops, and coffee shops. Many store owners have double doors leading into their establishments. The streets were not crowded, however some of the popular stores were filled with customers. The parking lots are located behind the stores and provide alternate entrances.
Los Gatos is located on a hill surrounded by mountains and covered with beautiful homes. The mountains overlook the San Jose area and Los Gatos, a prime spot for real estate. Our return to San Jose took just a few minutes via the freeway, not long at all. It was a relaxing afternoon and we look forward to a return trip.
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Cafe in San JoseClick thumbnail to view full-size
Goodbye San Jose
Friday evening, we stumbled on a small cafe near our hotel for a late meal. This restaurant had great food and interesting decor! It was bright and cheerful and fun. Even the pen we used for signing was fun! Check out the photos and see what you think!
Our flight left very early Sunday morning. We heard that rain and bad weather were on the way so were glad to depart early in the day. We found San Jose to be hospitable this year. It is a pretty place to see in your travels! If you haven't been, you might want to spend some time in San Jose.
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE'?
- San Jose: Information from Answers.com
San Jose, California Once a quiet, medium-sized city at the center of a thriving agricultural area, San Jose was transformed in less than 30 years
- San Jose, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia