Summerized Blog

Pool Parties, Pugs, Sheep Footstools

It’s been a little while. The weekend before last, we went to two pool parties. The first was a barbecue at Elisa’s family’s beautiful Sonoma spread. Her father is an avid gardener, and we enjoyed some of his strawberries. We took a dip in the pool, enjoying the pretty mountain backdrop. And that evening was a poolside birthday party for Carolyn in Danville. It was great to see Carolyn and Simon.

Last week, I spent a couple days in LA for a project kickoff meeting. Mira booked me into the chic Standard Hotel, which had some of those sheep stools Moss sells. I need one of those.

Wednesday, Mira and I scored some good finds shopping in Venice Beach, then met Kat for a nice dinner. Thursday’s meeting was fruitful, and we’re off to a good start on the project.

Last weekend, Jason and I went to Calistoga again, to relax in the big pool. We ate dinner at the Greystone cooking school (amazing spicy watermelon gazpacho, quail and couscous with lemony flavors, and fruity souffle).

 

Avon Walk San Francisco 2008

Last weekend was the Avon Walk, and it was amazing! A huge pink party
through the streets of San Francisco, our starting point was Speedway
Meadows in Golden Gate Park. Barely awake, early on Saturday morning,
Maria and I located Susan. We listened to a tear-inducing presentation
at Avon’s stage, given by
breast cancer survivors.

And the walk began.

The first cheerers were up early to encourage us. A little old lady watched from her corner window, waving a pink teddy bear.

Bikers for Boobs were out en masse.

As were Dudes for Boobs,

And, uh, these guys.

At frequent rest stops, support crews plied us with food and drinks, pink swag, and lots of encouragement. They were amazing. It really felt like people were thankful we were walking. It helped us keep moving when we were tired.

Saturday was perfect for walking — not too hot or cold. The view from the bridge was beautiful.

Cars and motorcycles done up with messages, streamers, balloons, etc. blared music along side the road to keep up the energy.

Some walker teams wore costumes.

Cheering committees woo-hooed around every corner. We took in beautiful views of the Sausalito and the waterfront.

At the next rest stop, a policeman pointed down at us sitting on the lawn, yelling "Freeze!" It got our adrenaline going. Ah cop humor. Several police departments, including San Jose’s, generously volunteered to help with the walk. Some even made up special pink shirts for the event. They were so much fun, and kidded around with us through the whole walk.

Jason met up with us after Sausalito, and accompanied us for part of a mile. We ate lunch at a rest stop, and walked through some wetlands where white birds were nesting. Arriving at Mill Valley, we reached Saturday’s goal, the 13 mile marker. My knees were so happy to stop. Jason drove us home.

After an evening of icing and resting, we were ready for more on Sunday.

Starting at Chrissy field, we skirted the waterfront for a while.
Climbing Nob Hill, restaurant patrons clapped and
high-fived us. Some held out bowls of candy.

These Elmo cheerers were around every corner on Sunday; they drove
around so they could keep up with us all day. Other groups did this
too.

After descending to Civic Center for a rest stop, we walked through
SOMA, and by interior design shops in Potrero Hill. Axis Cafe
gave out refreshments.

Walking, rather than driving, through so many parts of the city provided new, street-level perspectives on the neighborhoods.

Butterfly lady cheered us up steep Potrero Hill.

 

After climbing and descending the hill, we arrived at a special destination, the Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Center. It was touching to see one of the specific places that benefits from our walk. The people who met us there seemed so happy to see us walking.

Trudging through the Mission District, we lunched in Dolores Park.
Avon gave good nosh throughout the event. Walking through the
Lower Haight, along the panhandle of the park, and into Golden Gate, we
finally came full circle, to Speedway Meadows.

Our welcome was loud and enthusiastic — Elmo people were there, as
were the Dudes for Boobs, many people’s families, and so many others.

All the walkers kind of paraded back to the stage, with cheers all around.

Post-walk, Maria and I rewarded ourselves by eating a bacon avocado cheddar burger, and giant milkshakes at Sparky’s.

What an experience.

This walk had 3,200 participants and raised over $7 million, a new high for San Francisco! Team Udder Chaos raised over $9,000 of that. Some of that money will go toward immediate help for people in the Bay Area.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported my efforts to raise money. I thought of you throughout my walk. You are generous and wonderful.

Some people have asked me if it’s still possible to contribute. It is, for a little while longer; please click here to do so. I’m still trying to achieve my goal of $3,500.

Blockhead

A couple days ago, I woke to a soft clunking noise. It sounded like cardboard gently hitting a hard surface, over and over again. The noise continued for about 5 minutes, till I got up to check it out. Butters was walking backwards around the bathroom, with an empty tissue box stuck on her head. Yes, she required assistance to get it off.

*Yes, that is a Ratatouille tissue box. I’m not sure why, but that’s the kind our bodega carries.

Team Udder Chaos Update

So the Avon Walk is in 3 days. I can’t believe it!

Team Udder Chaos is excited. We suffered one major setback though. Marcia recently had a freak accident at her work; some building materials fell on her foot, and she was injured. Fortunately, she’ll be ok, and will be able to walk normally soon. But unfortunately, she won’t be able to participate in the walk. We’ll miss her.

I’ve been training over the last weeks, but have been a little negligent in my posting. One great walk was with Jason at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. We were surprised to find that there’s an absolutely beautiful redwood forest nestled between some hills there. Also, I don’t really associate deer and bunnies with Oakland, but they too made an appearance.

Thank you again to everyone who has contributed to my walk. It’s been really touching to get such support. My total is now $2905. Your generosity will be a great help to people suffering from breast cancer.

Soon I’ll be posting with news from the actual event!

Redwoods and Banana Slugs


Soda Gulch, originally uploaded by devittj.

The weekend before last, Jason and I went hiking again, to help me train for the Avon Walk. We hiked Purisima Creek Preserve, near Half Moon Bay, on a friend’s recommendation. Our friend was right — this is one of the most beautiful places in the area. It was a perfect day out — 70’s, and much of the hike was in the shade of tall redwoods. The water of the creek by the trail sounded refreshing, and there was a cool breeze.

We saw our first banana slugs; they actually look like bananas. They’re kind of cute that way. We saw 4 in all.


Banana Slug, originally uploaded by devittj.

Further along, the trail meandered up a hill, and became an idyllic sunny path fit for Winnie the Pooh. We saw birds, including a quail atop a small tree. And many butterflies.


Butterfly Thistles, originally uploaded by devittj.