I left at about 1:10 from my apartment. Changed trains once, got to Millbrae around 2:20; CalTrain arrived at 2:30. (The train left SF at 2:00; if there'd been a Bart train about ten minutes earlier, I could got the train at its start point.) I arrived in Santa Clara at 3:30, where Robin, ilanarama's sister-in-law, picked me up. They live right next door to Great America, which does a nice fireworks show, and have a great view of it from their front lawn, so they host a party. I went last year also, but this year they had something like 40 people--over half kids. The one childless couple was just announcing their pregnancy, but eventually two other single people showed up, so I wasn't totally solo.
The fireworks were good; the finale was a little insane, and brought on a chorus of car alarms; and after the finale, a lone firework went up about five seconds later, for no apparent reason, and perhaps twenty seconds later another one.
The next day I hung out with Robin and Ilana's brother Oren; midday we went to Great America, where I didn't really do much for my $25, since mostly it was spent watching the kids doing kiddie rides in kidsville. Excuse me, Paramount's Great America. Excuse me, Nickelodeon Central Paramount's Great America. (The endless branding and advertisement within the park really pissed me off, actually.)
At the party the night before, someone who had heard about my 2.5 hour journey to get there suggested I should just Bart to Fremont (which is the same line I'm on) and bus or something to Santa Clara. So on the way home, Oren went ahead and drove all the way to the Bart at Fremont, which was I think about a 20 minute ride for him, and then I just had a 30 minute Bart ride and a 15 minute walk home. Which is obviously a lot better, but I feel bad about making them go through a 40-minute round trip. But since CalTrain isn't running on weekends, there aren't many good options (they run a substitute bus, but it makes few stops, so I'd have to get to San Jose from their place, which is about as bad as Fremont). So I may start visiting them more often via the Fremont route, since that's WAY shorter and way more flexible about departure times (so I don't have to worry about missing a train and leave excessively early to be safe).