Saturday, June 13, 2009

Alameda wanderings

TEAM: "ARE WE THERE YET?"
Well, we're on our way, but today we were in Alameda!

I'm sitting at my computer grabbing a minute to write about our Alameda walk. This weekend is shaping up to be very full indeed, so I don't know when I will have the chance to write later. This adventure started when Curtiss and Barbara ( our Sacramento team member ) read about a flea market at the West Marine in Alameda. Since they had just gotten a new MacGregor 28, Curtiss was keen to take a look at what bargains there were to be had. Alameda being a pretty level, and picturesque setting, team "Are We There Yet?" saw it as the perfect opportunity to train.

When we arrived at West Marine we saw a pretty poor excuse for a flea market in the lot. It consisted of about 10 guys selling their junk. One guy saw me and yelled out "You're here! You're here!" I thought, what the *+%@ until I realized I was wearing the team sweatshirt with our name on the front.

"Now that you're here give me $800 for the motor and get out of here..."


Well, after that warm welcome we were glad to see Barbara and Curtiss arrive. I think the plan had been for Curtiss to spend the day shopping at the flea market while we gals, did our training. But.... unfortunately for him... there wasn't that much to see, so we gained a photographer for our walk. When Jill arrived from Moraga, we did out stretches and headed out.

The numbers of times I have been in Alameda have been pretty infrequent. With the exception of Coast Guard training Patti and I got before we went to Spain, you could count on one hand the times I have been there. What I know about it though, is it is an island connected to the mainland by a tunnel and two bridges (I think). Looking up the history I see it was part of a land grant to the Peralta family. Don Peralta (a big name in east bay politics probably is from this old California family) . I also see... The Island of Alameda was created in 1902 when a tidal canal ( the "Estuary") was created joining Oakland's harbor with the San Leandro Bay. With this move, Alameda was put on the map as an important shipping port. There used to be a big Naval Air Station on Alameda but that was shut down in 1997. Now the remaining military presence is the Eleventh Coast Guard District Pacific Coast Headquarters. Glenn and I were lucky enough, several years ago, to be invited to a change in the command on a Coast Guard ship. Lots of pomp and circumstance...




Besides this there are a collection of homes and business, many Victorian Queen Annes, some California mission style, some new condo developments all squeezed pretty close together. It is a great walking area because there is a lot to see. At the end of the walk Barbara commented (more than once) "I can't believe we walked 8 miles. the time just flew by."
I agreed. It was a great way to spend a few hours, in the company of friends, checking out new sights and sounds. We picked a few spots to take a group shot - thanks to Curtiss. I had brought along a photo of Allison so the team would be complete. One spot we stopped was the Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge. We saw it when we were driving in and made a point of walking back so we could pass it. I think Curtiss had dreams of a cold Mai Tai - but alas, when we got there the sign said, open at 5pm.
At the end of the day, we headed for lunch at Acapulco on Lincoln. There needs to be a new name for a Burrito when it is the size of a watermelon...

When I got to the house and stepped on the scale before taking a shower I was horrified to see my weight 3.5 lbs higher than the last time I weighed! That was some burrito - and some walk!


I am looking forward to the next team training walk. I bet the next time... we will be looking at 10+ miles - and maybe this time the Tiki Lounge will be open!

SPEAKING OF FEET....

You know the team is donating countless hours and miles of training to participate in the Breast Cancer 3 day. But did you know that collectively between us we have now invested in at least 10 pairs of shoes! (Let's not even get into the walking pants, shirts, socks etc...) The shoes as you can imagine are pretty important. Just for me, I have tried one pair that failed miserably and when I found a pair that worked, bought 3! Patti has three shoes that failed. They fail when they pinch there, slip there, cause blisters in other places. So Patti is now going to break in pair 4! I am assuming Barbara has at least 1 pair, Allison the same and Jill at least one. I have a continuing level of respect for the committment of both time and money, it takes to do a walk like this.

As if 60 miles in 3 days wasn't enough, in order to get there, you have to train, and prepare. I will not begin to pretend I mind, because I truly feel as if I have been given a gift everytime I hit the trail or road (ESPECIALLY when it is with my team!)

But I am asking for your support. DONATE what you can to this great cause. You will be doing more than just donating to a very worth cause... you will be giving encouragement to the whole "Are We There Yet?" team. And we could use that encouragement when pair 4 of shoes fail on us!

We all thank you very much...and we want to hear from you if you want to come to our Wine event in August!

DONATE!