Torrential rains in San Jose – definitely NOT the ideal time for an adventure with the boys. But the elements all came together: a morning airport run, a day off school, AND the new Garmin GPS my older one thoughtfully, and generously, purchased for me as a Christmas gift. So off we went. Over the hill and through the woods to San Jose. Adventuring.

We asked the Garmin to guide us to Intel Museum. I had no expectations about what we might see or do there, and it turned out to be a perfect place to spend an hour with my teenage technophiles. The chips I try to make about are the crunchy, edible kind, and here I learned there are recipes for the kind that power my computer along with most of the world. Crunchy, yes. Edible, no. But infinitely smarter than ones made of sweet potatoes or beets.

The next planned destination was the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, with the biggest collection of artifacts of the kind west of the Mississippi, and another place I’d never been. But first, lunch. The boys wanted to find someplace interesting, atmospheric even, and used Garmin to find Antonella’s Ristorante, thankfully open despite the storm. Kid One, feeling flush with a big paycheck from extra Christmas hours offered to buy lunch. Kid Two promptly ordered the $12.95 Gnocchi Pesto, an adventurous move mostly because, only after the server left our table with his order, did he ask what pesto was.

Antonella’s was delicious and appropriately atmospheric, with gorgeous frescoes of Venetian bridges and Italian street scenes and stacks of empty pizza boxes piled high behind the counter. The pesto sauce was tasty – garlicky and surprisingly, creamy; my Caesar dressing was full of flavor but not too heavy, and Kid One made quick work of his French dip. Garmin did good.

The Egyptian Museum was good, too. They have an excellent collection of artifacts that provide a peek into ancient daily life: the beer vessels and flutes, a papyrus paper how-to, and learning about how highly children were valued. Food, fun, and family in a different era.

I was particularly taken with this portrait of an Egyptian mother. She seemed very real.

Long ago and far away, but not so very different from us now.

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