Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Way to San Jose

Most people have a little store of humming tunes, a list of 'standards' that come to mind absent-mindedly when they are present-mindedly doing something else. One of the songs in low-rotation on my jukebox is 'The Way to San Jose' by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, most famously sung by Dionne Warwick. Dionne's often asked me if I know the way to San Jose, and in my little sing-songy moments I've asked myself the same question. Then, the other day, I realised with no little shock that I had no idea how to get there! How could I have lived all these years and not bothered to find out?! Criminal!

So...for those of you who live in my city, at's the way to Sane Jose:

Taking the centre of Brisbane (or CBD) as a starting point you have two options. You can catch the Airtrain at Central to the International Airport. Alternatively, you can drive or take a cab. There are a couple of ways you can go, but remember, Dionne says we're looking for 'peace of mind', so let's take the more scenic, riverside Kingsford Smith Drive route.

Follow Queen St till it becomes Wickham. Keep going, through the Valley, Newstead and Brekky Creek until swinging right onto K-S Drive. Look at the boats. After about 2km, turn left onto Nudgee Rd (did you know that Nudgee is an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of ducks'?). Get onto the E-W Arterial and hang a big fat right at the big fat roundabout. Now you're on Airport Drive. Follow the signs to the International terminal.

I'll let you take care of your flight arrangements. Quite a few flights go to America. Luckily, you want one going to Los Angeles, which is normally the first mainland stop anyhow. The pilots will do most of the work on this leg of the journey and their routes are subject to change, so I'll just give you a rough directional guide:

Once on the ground and thoroughly poked, prodded, interrogated, blood-tested, tissue-typed and body scanned at Los Angeles International Airport, you have a variety of travel options to San Jose. Amtrak offers a train journey on the Coast Starlight line, starting at Union Station and conveniently ending in San Jose. There's a bus service from LAX that'll take you to the train. You can also fly and take the bus. Not simultaneously.

The hell with that, though, let's drive. The quickest route is up through State Rout 5, but we're going a longer way, taking in San Luis Obispo .

Leaving LAX hang a left on S Sepulveda. Take the Imperial Hwy West I-105 E ramp towards Imperial Terminal. Merge near Norwalk. Get onto the I-405 towards Santa Monica. Then one of the reasons for coming this way, the 101 at Ventura.
Keep going to CA-1 N exit near Hearst Castle. Hang a right onto Toro St, then right onto Higuera, just past Monterey. Turn onto Santa Rosa, then right back onto the CA-1 at Walnut. Left on Toro. Merge back onto the 101 and drive baby, drive...170 miles. Merge onto CA-85 N via Exit 377A toward Cupertino. Merge onto CA-87 N toward Downtown San Jose. Take the Santa Clara/Julian St exit 6, then the CA-87 exit on the left. Exit 6B approaching Julian, right onto West St James, 2nd left onto N Market and the first right onto Devine!

Now you know the way to SAN JOSE! Welcome!
(Warning: directions may differ depending on your point of departure.)

Alternatively, you could just stay home and listen to the song.