Insight

Napa Valley to Venice Beach & a Black Camaro

Gareth Davies
By Gareth Davies 3 min read
06 May 2024

In 2022 we had to wonderful experience of joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation folks in Nappa Valley, California. A team offsite to bring everyone together as the pandemic moved to our rear view mirror. The vineyard setting was stunning and the conversation insightful. But the adventure wasn’t over I’d purposely booked my return flight from LA, meaning a road trip of epic proportions was to come. The following story captures my trip…

Design has taken me on some wonderful adventures, but few have been as beautiful, epic and refreshing as this one.

The route I took down to LA to catch my return flight.

1st Leg – Nappa Valley

Heading North from San Francisco,  we arrived at the charming Nappa Valley, America’s wine country. Jet lag (and strong wine) was very real so after an early night, I prepared for our presentation. Charley (Content Lead) and I represented the design & web team. Showcasing the impact of first 9 months at CNCF. From the new CNCF.io website, to our new digital reports viewing numbers, event creative and various other community engagement increases.

Gareth & Charley presenting the design & web team impact so far.

2nd Leg – San Francisco, Silicone Valley and Apple HQ

In saying our goodbyes, we headed back to San Francisco where I explored for a day, then made my way to my return Dubai flight from LAX airport. Making the most of it, I hired a black Chevvy Camaro, aimed for Palo Alto and the mythical Silicone Valley. Where I made a pitstop at the new Apple Campus and picking up some rare Apple merch from the original Apple offices, Infinite Loop. More on that here.

Checking out San Francisco, Silicone Valley, the Apple Campus and Infinite Loop.

3rd Leg – Hitting the coast road to LA

Then it was time to really hit the road. I was to begin the most stunning road trip of my life down the Californian Coast Road, through majesty of Big Sur, the beautiful woods and Pacific ocean.

In fact I stopped for so many photos, at night fall I was advised to turn back and find accommodation as there was no hotels or phone signal for several hours. It was Labour Day weekend, hotels were fully booked. But a lodge took me in for a reasonable price and I got some much needed rest to pick things in the morning.


An unforgettable drive down coast road & Big Sur to LA.

Final Leg – LA & Venice Beach

The next morning I continued down the coast passing Morro Bay and the stunning views. Then hitting the 5 and eventually arriving in the busy streets of LA. I parked up at Venice Beach, toasted with a celebratory beer, and grabbed accommodation for the night.

The next day, I cruised around LA, accidentally finding some of the cities most famous locations, from Beverly Hills to Warner Bros studios, to Hollywood and then over to the airport. Where I waved good bye to the Camaro, checked in for my flight and enjoyed a beer at the sports bar before catching my flight back to Dubai.

It was a trip i’ll never forget, a huge thank you to the team at CNCF for the invite. It’s inspired me to explore more states across America and I can’t wait to visit again.

Experiencing new places through travel whilst working with great clients is one of the blessings of what we do. Have you been on any amazing work adventures recently? Or perhaps any road trips? Let us know via email or the socials. I hope you have enjoyed this post and feel free to get in touch, or read more articles below.

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