This year’s Pilgrimage to the Apple Headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino is of the DIY variety. In past years Apple would have updated the Company Store website with information about extra opening times for WWDC tourists, but this year they didn’t.
Traditionally there were several busses organized by Scott Knaster. I don’t know if his reason for not doing it this year was lack of a WWDC ticket or lack of confirmed opening times. Either way his professionally organized tour did not come to pass this year.
Yesterday I called the phone number mentioned on the Company Store page and on the third try I got through. I asked about opening times and the gentlemen at the other end of the line confirmed to me opening times on Sunday: noon through 5:30. When I asked why they didn’t update their web site:
Unfortunately the web site is not under our control.
I’m always trying to make an effort to try and meet friends working at Apple ahead of the stresses of WWDC. So while I was going by myself I planned an additional week ahead to do that. But this year I am for the first time bringing my employee/colleague Stefan. So keep cap the costs of the trip I had to make the compromise to fly in on Friday before WWDC week. This way we’d still have a few days to get to terms with jet lag as well as visit Apple HQ on the weekend.
From previous research I knew that the two public transport options would be by bus (several hours) or by Caltrain. But there the pain is to get from the train station to Apple HQ. In previous years I was able to hitch a ride with somebody renting a ZipCar. But this is no option for me because to use that you need to have some sort of subscription. Which I don’t.
So I went with Hertz. I opted to reserve a car with a “Hertz Local Edition” subsidiary close to our hotel. At first I went for the smallest car, around $40.
What I hadn’t thought of is that the restaurant on Apple’s premises would be closed on weekends. In 2011 I had a burrito, in 2012 I had one of the most amazing Sushi. But no Caffé Macs this year. BJ’s Brewhouse appears the most highly recommended alternative, supposedly within walking distance from Apple HQ.
And there was another thing I noticed: Either nobody at Apple likes me any more, or everybody is too busy to meet me. If it is the latter – which I dearly hope – then this is bound to be one of the most amazing WWDCs of all time.
Sitting at Frankfurt Airport, waiting to board my flight to London Heathrow, I then decided to switch from the smallest car to the largest category, an SUV for like 8 people, coming in at slightly below $100. I made the change and wrote this blog post, while being connected with the 30-minute-free WiFi … bam! and right at this point the 30 minutes was over before I could post it.
400 miles away, on the third country we touched today, on the small local airport of London Heathrow you get 45 minutes free WiFi. So I set a Timer via Siri to remind me before that runs out. And hit Publish.
PS: Apparently Apple added the company store opening times – not to the store’s homepage – but to the WWDC info page itself:
The Company Store at Apple headquarters in Cupertino is open to the public.
June 9: 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
June 10–14: 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
June 15: Closed