San Francisco, 7-Nov

We spent a large part of last Monday at UC Berkeley, and today was mostly spent at Stanford. Campus Mondays, I guess. Since we were leaving early enough, we were able to catch a limited-stop train to Palo Alto, which made the trip feel quite short. After getting off, we found a Marguerite bus waiting for train passengers, so we boarded and rode it to the Visitor Center. Going in, we saw a half dozen people behind the desk ready to help. Melody exclaimed, “There are so many of you!” We picked up a map, confirmed there would be a tour later in the morning, and headed towards Hoover Tower.

Not knowing how long we would spend there, the first thing we did was go up to the top of Hoover Tower to look around campus. Red tile roofing almost as far as you could see.

 Stanford Quad as seen from Hoover Tower

Stanford Quad as seen from Hoover Tower

After descending, we wandered through the rooms dedicated to Herber Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover. They were both geology students, which is how they met.

We went back to the Visitor Center and relaxed a bit before the tour started. Our guide was a senior, and like other Stanford tour guides, spoke while walking backwards. He's a member of the Stanford Band, which is unlike any other university's band; they don't march, and anyone who wants to join can be a part.

Our tour went up across Hoover Tower and the front of the Quad, proceeded to the new Engineering area, came through the Quad (including going into Memorial Church), then went up to White Plaza (near the Bookstore), where it ended. It was a great place for the tour to end, since we could then go into Old Union to have lunch at the Axe and Palm.

Having satisfied our hunger, we wandered past Meyer and Green libraries, then cut over to the Quad and walked down the middle of the Oval, admiring the view. Next stop was the Rodin Garden. Cast statues are interesting because it's not unusual to see scupltures you've seen in other places, and that was the case here. The museum itself was closed, but even so, you could normally peek in the windows to see the Thinker. Unfortunately, that's on loan now, so we weren't able to see it.

 Stanford Quad as seen from the Oval

Stanford Quad as seen from the Oval

 Rodin's Fallen Caryatids carrying an urn and a rock

Rodin's Fallen Caryatids carrying an urn and a rock

We then headed towards the Mausoleum and wandered through the cactus garden. I had never been to the Mausoleum, so it was interesting to see.

 Angel of Grief, near Stanford Mausoleum

Angel of Grief, near Stanford Mausoleum

Enough with playing tourist, it was time to go to University Avenue. We made a beeline to Gelato Classico for a snack. After that, it was time to find a café to sit down and take advantage of some free WiFi. We ended up at University Coffee where we got drinks and a snack, all while in great architecture and atmosphere.

A great way to end the day (and essentially the trip) was to have dinner with Mike and Lisa, whom I've known since my Stanford days. It was good to catch up with what they're doing. All too quickly, it was time to head back to the train station.

As we tapped our Clipper cards, it ends up that one of our cards was showing that after the train trip, we'd only have $1.50 left, but Muni fare is $2. We didn't have time to add money at the kiosk, so we hopped onto the train and I did some research. Fortunately, you can go negative, but you can't use the card again until you have a positive balance, which was OK for us since we needed to add money for the BART trip to the airport.

We did get to the Muni train and tapping on showed that everything was OK even though there was a negative balance. Unfortunately, the train kept starting and stopping; ends up there was a problem, so we needed to switch to a new train. After that it was smooth sailing all the way back to the room.