Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mom & Dad are Smitten, too!

My parents came up to SF for a visit yesterday. They had read my recent post about Smitten Ice Cream in Hayes Valley, and wanted to try it out.

The verdict: they loved it. :)

And, really - aren't they cute?!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A walk in Tiburon

Our team's training walk leader had volunteered our team to post flyers about the 3Day event along different parts of the event route. Today, a few of us went to Tiburon, while others posted flyers in San Francisco. We walked through neighborhoods and shopping areas, putting up flyers, letting people know that in two weeks from today, about 2,000 walkers will be walking on their street. The flyers are meant to let people know what to expect, as well as to encourage people to go out and cheer for the walkers along the route.

We met in Tiburon at 8:30 this morning. None of us tracked our mileage today, but we think it was around 6 miles or so.

We took some really fun photos today. Some of my favorite of the season, I think.

Me, Tanzeen, Sandy and Monica, sporting our matching jackets and skirts :)

We walked through the blacktop area of a local elementary school. They had a great big map of the United States painted on the blacktop!

Team Captain, Linda, hopping into San Francisco!

Various teammates standing on the states in which they grew up - Super Cute picture!

Group shot in front of the Bay

One of the flyers that we posted up in windows of local businesses

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today's 12-mile Training Walk

Today's Route

Today was another great training walk with the Warming Hut Hotties. We met at 7:00am at the Warming Hut in Crissy Field. The city was covered in fog. The Golden Gate Bridge could barely be seen. I had assumed that the fog would burn off at some point during our walk, but it never did. We all stayed bundled up in our multiple layers the entire 5 hours that we were out walking.

I actually really love walking in this weather, as I tend to get hot easily, and the fog keeps us cool. It also makes for a beautiful setting - especially while walking through some forested parts of the Presidio. A few of us thought that the Presidio resembled "The Forbidden Forest" from the Harry Potter books. :)

Hotties wandering around the Forbidden Forest

We walked into the Sunset District, over to what I think is the prettiest of all staircases in the city - The Mosaic Stairs. If you've never been, you should check them out sometime. Really amazing and beautiful. I was so caught up in looking at the names on the mosaic tiles as I climbed up that I didn't even realize how far I had climbed until I was almost at the top!

Mosaic Stairs from the bottom

Mosaic Stairs from the top!

We climbed even more stairs up to Grand View Park, which usually has an amazing view of the city. Unfortunately, the city was still covered in fog, and you literally couldn't see anything past the top of the hill.

We walked back into Golden Gate park, and before I knew it, we stepped into the AIDS Memorial Grove. I had read earlier that we were going into the grove today, but had forgotten, and honestly, wasn't quite mentally prepared when we entered.

I absolutely love the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park. I think it's one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Most people don't know about it. It's tucked away, and a bit hidden. But, once you find it, it'll take your breath away. (as it did to me again, today)

I hadn't visited the grove in a few years. I may not have been since going to a Memorial service for a friend, so I was quite taken when we walked out into it during today's walk.

Circle of Friends is a particularly beautiful spot in the grove. We all stopped here, and took a few moments to read the names and reflect. I'm so glad that we have this wonderful place in our city, but it still makes me so sad to think of all of those that we have lost over the years.

Circle of Friends

We finished our walk right before 12:30, which was a great pace, given the size of our group. Less than 2 weeks until our big event, and only two training walks left.

Smitten Ice Cream!!

Dick and I had dinner in Hayes Valley this evening (yummy sushi at Doma!). We walked around the neighborhood for a bit afterwards, and quickly realized just how close we were to Smittens Ice Cream!

Smittens is a *tiny* ice cream shop on Octavia Street. The shop is actually a recycled shipping container! Their ice-cream is actually made by scratch - to order!! They use a special "Kelvin Ice Cream Machine" which uses liquid nitrogen to make each scoop by scratch, to order! They literally pour in the ingredients - be it cream, sugar, butter, fruit, etc,. and make it right in front of you.

The Kelvin Ice Cream Machine at work

Their menu changes daily. I had a hard time deciding between salted caramel, strawberry, or vanilla. (I've had the chocolate before, and it was AMAZING!) I decided on the strawberry when I found out that it isn't offered very often.

Today's menu

Here's a cool video showing the process of how they make their strawberry ice cream!
So cool!

How We Make Smitten Ice Cream from Robyn Goldman on Vimeo.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Take me out to the Ballgame!!

Our friend, Pete, invited us to a Giant's game tonight! Super gun! I don't think we've been to a game in at least two or three years. Nothing like watching a Ballgame live - especially when it's at the gorgeous AT&T Park!!!

It was a fun game, made even better that the Giants won. :)

Thanks, Pete!! We had a great time!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meg & David's Wedding

Congratulations to Meg and David, and all of their kids!

Dick's sister, Meg, and her fiance, David, entered a local radio station contest earlier this year, and won a contest for a free wedding! They were married this afternoon in a lovely ceremony in front of their closest friends and family.

Dick and I arrived fairly early, and waited inside the room where the ceremony was to take place. We noticed a long table set up near the entrance with lots of equipment, and eventually realized that it was the radio station staff, getting ready to broadcast the wedding on the radio! About 15 minutes before the ceremony was to start, someone from the station came over to our area and asked if anyone wanted to be interviewed. I balked at first, but then Dick said, "Trina should do it! She's good at this stuff!"

So, there I went - I was handed a microphone, told how closely I should hold it to my mouth, and instructed to sit down. Next thing I knew, I was being interviewed LIVE on the radio! So funny. They had heard that Dick and I had come "all the way from San Francisco" and wanted to know why we were here, and how I knew the couple. I explained the the bride is my husband's sister, so of course we would make the trip out. They asked how long I had known the couple, and if I had any favorite stories to share. I mostly spoke about what a great family they were, and how they had "blended" their two families so well. David has 3 kids from a previous marriage, and Meg has two. I've always been very impressed with how well all of them get along and have formed a really amazing family together. They also complimented my dress, which I thanked them for, and I had to hold my tongue to not announce to them that I had bought it on ebay. ;) (Dick thinks that I should have, and that it would have made a good story!)

here i am being interviewed live for the radio show

The ceremony was quite lovely. It had moments sweetness (the wedding party consisted of Meg and David's five children), laughter (when the minister/radio jockey said something along the lines of "We're so glad you are all here - those of you who are here with us, as well as all of you in Radioland!") and lots of tears (at times, all 5 of the kids, the bride and the groom were all teary).

Meg and David's kids, and the ministers waiting for the bride and groom

Meg and David reciting their vows

And now I must speak about the hors d'oeurves - they served the most interactive hors d'oeurves I've ever seen. It was called a "Pork Puppy", which was a hush puppy filled with pullled pork. It was topped with a tube filled with BBQ sauce that, once squeezed, infused the pork with the BBQ sauce. Yummy and fun!

"Pork Puppies and Sweet Tea"

Congrats again to Meg and David, and to their entire family!! It was wonderful to see these two families come together as one. We wish you all a lifetime of happiness together!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

10-miles plus Extra Credit Hills

Saturday's 10+ mile route

Yesterday's 10-mile walk was really beautiful, and much sunnier than expected. We did one of my favorite routes - Crissy Field, through Fisherman's Wharf, along the Embarcadero, break at the Ferry Building, through the Financial District, skimming through Chinatown and North Beach, through the Marina and back into the Presidio.

It should be noted that it was the walk of the BEST bathroom breaks!! The beautiful Argonaut Hotel (always a Hottie-Favorite!, the Ferry Building and a really cute Starbucks in the Presidio! This is the thing - when you've been walking as many miles for as many years as the Hotties have been, you learn where all of the best, cleanest and nicest public bathrooms in San Francisco are. ;)

One of the highlights of the morning was definitely when we came upon the tents for the "Big Gay 10K". It turns out that Hottie Tanzeem's Brother, Moshibar and his partner, Will, were both running. We managed to find them pretty easily, and took this great group shot.

The Hotties supporting the Big Gay 10K!

As I mentioned, our 1/2-way break (which is usually also a food break) was at the Ferry Building - always exciting for great food options!! As usual, I went to the Acme Bread Co. for one of their yummy chocolate croissants. The cheese wheel is also a favorite amongst our crowd.

The lovely Alisa trying out her first Cheese Wheel

After our lunch break, we headed through the Financial District, where Hottie Monica works and takes her week-day walks. She shared with us the stairs that she routinely climbed and invited us to go off course to take in a few steep hills and stairs.

Sandy, Tanzeem and I joined Monica for the challenge of adding TWO HUGE steep hills/stairs to our planned route before the Broadway stairs. Crazy? Yes.

Tanzeem conquering the first steep flight of stairs

Sandy and Monica climbing up-up-up!! See that stairs leading up on the left side of all that greenery? Yep, that's the second flight of stairs that we added on!

We rejoined the rest of the group at the top of the Broadway Stairs.

After walking along Chestnut street, we went into the Presidio and had our last pit stop at the Starbucks near ILM. Super cute Starbucks with comfy chairs!

Tanzeem and Buffy relaxing in the chaise

It was a really nice 10-mile route, which was a nice break after doing 40 miles last weekend. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pink Party!!

Last night, two of my Warming Hut Hottie teammates held a "Pink Party" fundraiser at the Cat's Club in San Francisco. It was a really fun evening, with "walktinis", raffle tickets, auction items, and a Go-Go cage filled with pink helium balloons!

A bunch of the Hotties came to represent, and support Lori and Buffie.

Hotties all dressed up! (we hardly recognized each other with hair and make-up done, and wearing non-workout clothes!)

Earlier in the day, I remembered that I have very little pink in my wardrobe. I thought it would be fun to find a hot pink feather boa to wear with my zebra print dress. My facebook status yesterday afternoon:

I ♥ my neighborhood. Where else can you think, "You know, I'd really like to get a hot pink feather boa for the party tonight" and know exactly where to go for one?! :)

The hot pink feather boa did the job!

Sporting the hot pink feather boa!

Thanks, Lori and Buffie for organizing and hosting such a great event. I hope it was a tremendously successful fundraiser!!!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Milestone weekend!! 40 Miles and over $5,000 raised!!

It was a milestone weekend for me in regards to all things 3Day related.

I'm not sure which aspect I'm more excited about! They are both so exciting, and I think it's so cool that both milestones were reached on the same weekend.

Goal: $5,000.00
Achieved: $5,355.00

First of all, I must once again extend my heartfelt "thank you" to all of my friends and family who have sponsored me so far this year. Together we have raised $5,355.00 so far!!! My goal this year was $5,000, and I'm so thrilled that we have surpassed it already. Even better, I woke up Saturday morning at 5:15am (as I was getting ready to head out for our big 40-mile training walk weekend) to an email letting me know that we had reached (and surpassed) $5,000. It was a wonderful thing to wake up to, and helped me feel even more motivated to walk 20-miles on Saturday!!

And it just kept getting better! As I checked my emails throughout the next two days, I received a few more donations while I was out on our 20-mile/day training walks. Those additional donations gave me the extra motivation to keep going and even put a little more spring in my step. :)

This year's San Francisco 3Day for the Cure is September 9th through 11th. That means I still have just over 4 more weeks to train and fund-raise. Let's see how far we can go!

On to training news:

This weekend was the Warming Hut Hotties annual Back to Back Weekend! It's the pinnacle of our training walk season where we walk 20miles each on Saturday and Sunday to prepare us for the 3Day. After this weekend, the training gradually decreases so that we'll be prepared, but not exhausted by the time the actual event comes along. This team has been doing these training walks for 9 years now, and they've got such a great system!

The first day we did two loops of 10-miles each. The routes were planned so that some people could choose to walk either 10, 15, 18 or 20 miles for the day. A LARGE group of about 45 people met at the Warming Hut at 6:30am and we took off for our first loop at 6:45.

Saturday's first 10-mile loop

Linda reciting the safety speech in front of 45 walkers

Our walk went through the Presidio, down the Batteries to Bluffs Trail (this week, we went DOWN. Last week, we climbed UP!), through the Richmond, into Golden Gate Park, then looped back into another part of the Richmond and the Presidio.

Looking down on the Batteries to Bluffs Trail that we had just completed

Considering we had so many people, we made it back from our first loop, and back to the Warming Hut on time at 10:30am where we had a quick lunch.

Saturday was Hottie Tanzeem's Birthday, and she was surprised with cupcakes, flowers, cards and other goodies!

Happy Birthday, Tanzeem!

Tanzeem's Birthday Spread!

We ate lunch (and cupcakes!) and headed out for our second 10-mile loop at 11:10pm.

Saturday's second 10-mile loop

This loop went down Crissy Field, through the Presidio, into the Richmond, down towards Ocean Beach, UP the Land's End Trail, to Baker Beach, UP Lincoln Blvd, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and back to the Warming Hut.

Here's part of a group shot taken from Land's End Trail (the nice person who offered to take the photo didn't seem to be able to sqeeze everyone into the frame)

up, Up, UP the stairs on Land's End Trail

We finished the second loop (for a total of 20 for the day) around 3:00.

Which means.... go home, take a bath, ice your feet, take Advil, have a good dinner, drink lots of water, and go to bed early, because..... There's still another 20-miles to walk on Sunday!

Sunday's 20-Mile Walk

Sunday's 20-Mile was was EPIC. I said it last year, and I'll say it again! We walked from Fort Mason in SF, down to Crissy Field, across the Golden Gate Bridge, down to Sausalito, through Marin, all the way to Tiburon!! We ate a quick lunch, then everyone boarded the 2:55 Ferry back to Pier 41. We walked back through (a very crowded) Fisherman's Wharf for another 1.5 miles back to Fort Mason.

There were many factors that made Sunday's walk absolutely delightful.

Props, LOVE and Hugs to Alycia and Linda E (and their Husbands, Robin and Phil) for meeting us at Fort Mason at 6:30am and providing us with route support throughout the entire day. Not only did they provide their cars along the route (so a walker could hitch a ride in case of injury or fatigue) but they also provided us with homemade baked goods, delicious fruits, water, and many other goodies to keep us hydrated and well fed along the way. They even had warm focaccia bread that they baked early that morning so we could nibble on it at it's freshest! And if this all wasn't enough they brought cheering signs and wore pink boas to cheer us on all day long. I love these women. They both walked with us last year, and are taking this year off. I hope they'll both join us again next year!

The utterly fantastic Alycia and Linda - Route Support Extraordinaire!

Any time we have walked across the Bridge early in the morning has always been a great experience, and this one was no different. We crossed around 7:15am, so the sun had only recently risen, and the traffic and bike riders was minimal. It was cold and foggy, though, which I supposed helped us walk briskly to the other side. :)

cold and foggy Golden Gate Bridge at 7:15am

After we crossed the bridge (and after a pit stop at the Lookout Point) we walked down, around, and under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The underside of the Golden Gate Bridge - a view many people will never see

We walked through Sausalito to our approx half-way "lunch" break at the Mollie Stones in Sausalito. Linda and Alycia amazed us again with the amazing spread they laid out for us on the tables for us!!

Route Support Goodies by Alycia and Linda E

After lunch, we walked along the long, multi-use path. There were far fewer (rude) bikers this time (although we still managed to encounter a few) which was a relief. Also the weather was just perfect! Usually the Marin part of this walk is sunny and hot, but we lucked out this year with overcast skies. I think it made the walk so much more enjoyable.

After many more miles, we eventually made our way to Tiburon where we all met at Sam's for a quick lunch. (my group barely made it in time to order quickie appetizers before having to head out to catch the ferry!)

The Ferry Ride from Tiburon back to SF (via Angel Island) was a ton of fun. I think we were all tired, and a little bit delirious from the long walking we had just completed, and that resulted in LOTS of fun, laughter and pictures!!

Carol and Trina on the Ferry!

Hotties sitting outside on the Ferry

Me and Lizelle, who is propping up her poor (un-blistered!) tired feet!

Can you name the Hottie by their shoe?

After the Ferry brought us back to San Francisco, we walked from Pier 41 back to our cars at Fort Mason. We returned around 4:00pm.

Sandra's GPS showed us at 20.07 miles for the day!

Another walker brought their pedometer, which came in at 48,968 steps for the day!

So, that's the end of the epic-length blog post for an epic weekend of walking and fundraising! As I think about the long walks that we did both days, what strikes me is that what I remember most about them is not the long miles, tired feet or sore legs. Honestly, what I remember are the amazing people I walk with, the conversations we have, and most especially, the hearty laughs. I'm so lucky to be a part of this extraordinary group. Their dedication, spirit, drive and fun personalities kept me going all weekend long - one step at a time.