Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Our Great Adventure


It all began one late evening while reading CNET when I came across a news article advertising an upcoming event celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Macintosh computer. This event was advertised to have 7 of the original 10 Apple employees, over 100 members of the Macintosh team, along with key figures that were part of creating a personal computer that helped change the world. This event was taking place in the original hall where Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh for the first time. The evening would include 3 separate panels sharing their stories first hand to an audience filled with authentic Apple fans.

I have to admit, my heart started to race. I thought, “This would be incredible for my son!” As I looked over the details I soon discovered that the tickets to this special event were pretty expensive. But my hope wasn’t shattered just yet. As I considered my options, I decided to go for it, even if it meant I had to beg a little.

I quickly wrote an email to the sponsors of the event. I told them about my oldest son and his challenges and how he’s been inspired by Apple and Steve Jobs. I explained how Jobs’ quote is hanging on his wall and how he feels like the “square peg in the round hole,” yet my son is determined to change the world through technology. I then asked if they would consider sponsoring my son’s attendance to this event.

Now I knew this was a long shot, but a part of me had a really good feeling about it. In my heart I knew my son needed to be at this event, I knew that this could be life changing, it would give him hope and a vision for his future. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all really need.

To my surprise I had a response by the next morning. “Yes!” They would sponsor my son, not only that, but they were happy to give me a ticket as well. But that’s not all, Grandpa wanted to be a sponsor too, so he got us our hotel room and a friend who works for Apple gave my son an official Apple shirt and employee name tag. As giddy as two kids on Christmas morning, we were set for our great adventure to Silicon Valley!

We started our fun with a visit to the Computer History Museum. Oh, if only you could’ve seen my son’s eyes light up when he saw the original Apple 1 computer signed by “Woz” or the original pong video game. We had so much fun exploring this museum. I highly recommend it if you ever visit Mountain View, CA.

Apple 1 computer signed by Steve Wozniak, “Woz”

After that, we went to Google Headquarters and snuck onto their campus and took pictures of us on their Google bikes. Which if you haven’t heard, are these fun bikes painted in google colors. The bikes are laying all around the campus for employees to use to go from one place to another. All they have to do is grab a bike, ride it, and leave it for another employee to use. We were seriously “geeked out” over it.

Google bikes on campus

Google Campus: “Googleplex”

That evening we attended the amazing Mac 30th event, it was so fun to listen to the original engineers share their stories. My son has a true appreciation for history so he “got” the significance of being in this room filled with Apple’s historical figures. We thought it was so cool to see the once 14 year old boy, Chris Espinosa, who was among the first employees of Apple computers when they were still working out of the garage of Steve Jobs’ boyhood home. This once child was now an older gentleman, looking like a “grandpa” to my son’s delight. My son and I talked about how years from now he’ll be able to share with his own kids what he heard from these inventors first hand.

Chris Espinosa takes the stage

The band played a few tunes to start the event

The next day we decided to see historical sights in the area, first stopping by “The Garage” where Jobs and Wozniak started Apple computers. It was funny because we were one of 4 other cars there taking pictures. Even though this is an official historical sight, we tried to keep a respectful distance since Jobs’ step mom still lives there. Next, we stopped by Apple Headquarters, or otherwise known as “The Mothership” as referred to by serious Apple fans. Unfortunately for us, the security was much tighter but we were still allowed to take some fun pictures. Then to top it off we visited the original office of Google as we strolled through Palo Alto.

Original garage and home to Apple Computers

The “Mothership,” Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, CA

Google’s first office

After that we went to the final home of Steve Jobs and walked the neighborhood, knowing that we were walking on the same sidewalk where Jobs walked during many of his meetings. My son shared that, “Steve really enjoyed his walks”. I think my son feels a connection to Jobs. After all my son has been through, I think that my son has found a place where he belongs. Where “geeky” kids can be superstars, where thinking differently is rewarded and where his passion for technology can have purpose. So this walk, wasn’t just an ordinary walk, it was following the footsteps of a man he admired and dreamed to be someday.

Steve Jobs’ neighborhood. The sidewalk in front of his final home.

I wish I could adequately put into words how amazing this trip was for the two of us. Not only were we enjoying our shared passion of technology and Apple, but I had two whole days to pour into my son and to spend one-on-one time together. I have to admit, my kid is pretty darn cool! There were no doctor appointments, no homework, and no timeouts. It was just a mom and her precious son sharing their lives together on a once and a lifetime adventure. This trip was priceless. I wish I could do it all over again.




2 comments:

  1. How cool! I have a son who would love this too so I can appreciate what an awesome opportunity it was!

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  2. How wonderful that you got to do this together.

    ReplyDelete