Validad.com was invited to spend three months in Silicon Valley for networking, getting to know SV, etc. For various reasons I was sent there for the first part, together with NiHe, who will spend all three months there.
After a very comfortable flight to Washington and a not so comfortable second flight to SFO and a short shared-van ride I arrived in Sunnyvale at ~22:00. The first thing I noticed was the minimal street lightning (I could barley read my map (yes, a paper map) and the street signs) and the nice smell of various plants / flowers. Also there was no place to get food (at that time, and on that route, I later found a few places), but luckily I could raid the community shelf at my airbnb-home (Nutella in a plastic "glass"). My place was quite near the Sunnyvale Caltrain station, and even nearer to the Plug and Play Tech Center - very convenient.
On my first proper day I got myself a bike and did some shopping (mostly groceries, but also a prepaid non-name smart phone, and a small Lego Millennium Falcon). The next days were spend working on Winxle in our "office", i.e. two desks in a big open space shared with other startups. No sunlight, no fresh air, but at least a nice terrace, where we spent our lunches in the hot weather.
I also managed to find a near Yoga place, Yoga @ Cindy's, which had a very cheap three-week all-you-can-Yoga promotion running. The only downside was that it was hot yoga (~35°C), so there was a lot of sweating on my part... But I still managed to go there three times a week, which was very nice - and good for my poor back.
Speaking of my poor back, after a few days of sitting in the abysmal chairs provided by PnP, I built myself a standing desk my borrowing one of the Lack tables that were collecting dust in the office. This was discovered a week later by PnP staff, who didn't really approve (but in a very friendly, Californian way), and provided a proper standup desk instead.
I attended two Perl meetups, one with SF.pm and one with SV.pm. At the latter I gave a talk (actually a mashup of two talks). As the SV meeting took place at NVidia, I got one of their self-destructing visitor badges, and managed to smuggle it out of the high security area.
I made four trips to San Francisco for touristy things (driving down Lombard Street, cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge, shopping for vinyl on Haight Street, accidentally seeing an airshow as part of Fleet Week, ..), which were fun. But as a city, I prefer New York to San Francisco, because it's much denser (even Queens!). The hills also didn't help while cycling :-)
All in all it was a nice trip, I learned quite a bit about startup culture in Silicon Valley, wrote a lot of code, ate a lot of sandwiches for dinner, and did quite some shopping (in thrift stores, gigantic super markets, local farmers markets and of course record stores).