Dorothy was right when she said “There’s no place like home”, but nothing beats a long awaited vacation. I hopped on a plane last Friday ALL ALONE with no husband, no kids and three days of complete freedom ahead. I was nervous to leave my three wee ones behind. But worries faded when the wheels touched down in San Francisco and I found my ride, my sister, Christine. She’s graduating in Palo Alto this spring from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Christine (a.k.a. “Teeny”) may be ten years younger than I am, but her advice is ageless and her sense of adventure is awesome.
Christine and I had the best kind of visit, with no schedule to keep and three days to just go with the flow…something that seems to come easy in California. Our travels took us to Alice’s Restaurant, a biker hotspot in Woodside, California serving the “Best Specialty Burgers in the World”. We took the 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach, making stops for shopping at the Inn at Spanish Bay and lunch at the Stillwater Bar and Grill on the Pebble Beach Golf Links 18th hole. This was the quietest and most relaxing part of the trip, as we shared an incredible $50 grilled cheese sandwich. (ok, maybe not $50, but it was pretty pricey for cheese between two slices of bread).
We ended that day strolling and shopping in Carmel, California before returning to Palo Alto for an outdoor screening of one of the best movies of all time, Grease. Students gathered to watch the movie on an inflatable big screen in one of the courtyard greenspaces at Stanford’s brand new, 8-building Knight Management Center, a $350 million gift from Nike co-founder and Stanford MBA, Phil Knight.
But the highlight of the trip, by far, was watching my sister perform in Stanford’s annual GSB Show, a long-standing tradition at the Graduate School of Business. It’s an entirely student-written and student-run performance made up of videos, skits and hilarious song and dance numbers that spoof student experiences at the GSB. Think Glee meets Weird Al Yankovic with strong SNL influences…for entrepreneurs in training. My sister took the spotlight a few times, playing a “mean girl” on campus dressed as a “queen bee”…
Another highlight was this rap video featuring Stanford Graduate School of Business Dean, professor and Economist, Garth Saloner, whose daughter is a first-year student at the school. You don’t have to go there to appreciate his suit-and-tie rap skills in this little number called “Big Sexy Hook”. Thanks, Christine, for an awesome trip and a healthy reminder of life beyond suburbia.