Bike to Work Day 2019

For some reason, Bike to Work Day in Palo Alto falls under the purview of the Safe Routes to School team, so while I was planning three “Getting to High School” events for our middle schools, Rosie was knee-deep in BTWD and the end of day bash. I was set to work at the Wilkie Way station early in the morning of May 9th. I enlisted Bruce to make pancakes, taking over for cyclist extraordinaire, Rob Robinson, who’d done it in past years. It was a busy morning, so I don’t have a lot of photos, but he’s one of the early crew setting up.

The station saw tons of riders and we made batches and batches of pancakes. BTWD is no small event in Palo Alto! The Branches of Bryant folks had decorated their trees for the event and had their own station.

The Bike Away from Work Bash was a working party for me — I was charged with photographing the event. Here are a few of my photos of some of my biking friends and colleagues: Rosie and Rob, Cynthia, and Maylyn:

Book Club in Carmel

My generous friend Christina hosted our book club at her house in Carmel the weekend of March 17th and we had a fabulous time. We spent some time talking about the book (Bad Blood about Theranos — crazy story) but more time just hanging out, taking long walks, and eating delicious food. I don’t have any photos of us, but I do have a couple of the beautiful scenery.

Miscellaneous January 2019

A few random things from January. Ezra gets a little snuggle from Sophie. Not sure if that’s just resting cat face or if she’s screaming to be released.

We made a cake and celebrated Rob Banning’s birthday from afar. Maybe next year we’ll be close enough to share his cake with him.

My friend Erika opened her own sewing studio in Palo Alto and invited some of her friends to test out some classes. I was lucky enough to snag a spot in the two-part Intro to Sewing class. We made a sunglasses case the first night and a pillow case the second. Being the least crafty person in the world (and someone whose sewing machine sits unused in the garage), I was very proud of my pillow case. And I love the bike themed fabric she chose for me.

Christy’s 50th Birthday

Turning 50 was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, of course, better to turn 50 than not (!) and all the usual keeping-things-in-perspective stuff. On the other hand, 50 sounds really old! I don’t feel 50. Turning 40 didn’t bother me, but 50 did. But, time rolls on.

I did have a great day. I got a new bike which I’m very excited about.

Bruce and Finn picked out flowers and a cake. Emmy and Sophie love having fresh flowers in the house.

And the four of us had a lovely dinner at Sundance (a local steakhouse we’ve been wanting to try). We all ate so much there that we didn’t get to the birthday cake Finn had picked out for two days! So, the celebration continued.

Christy’s LCI Seminar

In mid-September I took an LCI seminar to become a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor. It’s a lot of work and time — two full weekend days plus several hours on Friday afternoon/evening. Each participant is assigned two topics to teach — one solo and one in a group. Luckily I’d prepared curriculum for students before so I had some experience. However, my solo topic was drivetrain maintenance (!) which is not something I’m an expert in. It all went pretty well though and was really interesting. We had a really supportive group of participants and a chill lead instructor. And my neighbor and friend, Maria, was also in the seminar so that helped. Here’s a picture of the two of us the day we accidentally wore matching shirts.

I have a few pictures from the on-bike portion of the training, where each of us took turns leading a ride as if we were teaching a group of students.

Here’s our whole group including the instructors and newly-minted LCIs.

Cari’s Visit

I’m out of order here because my pictures weren’t well organized, but on June 5th Cari came to visit for a few days! We had so much fun riding all over town that I didn’t manage to take many pictures. I did get a couple when we visited Bruce for a tour of X. He had a little fun with the visitor badge.

I have to admit to dragging her all over for some boring stuff — to the hockey rink for Finn’s jersey fitting and the next day to the City Schools Traffic Safety Committee meeting (doesn’t that sound like a barn burner?!). But we also managed to get in a nice long ride (14.4 miles) along Stevens Creek trail, and before she left we rented electric Lime Bikes for a little jaunt around Palo Alto.

It was super fun having her here under much better circumstances than her visit last September to help when Bruce was in the hospital.

Christy’s High School Reunion

My class (1987) didn’t plan a 30 year reunion last year, so we did a little belated one in April 2018. It wasn’t a huge group, but a nice critical mass. We met in Paso Robles since we had alumnae coming from northern and southern California.

I drove down with my first best friend, Paige, who lives a little north of us now. It was really nice to get to spend the time with her and catch up.

Most of us rented a house together, and all of us did a walking wine-tasting tour which was really fun and a nice way to keep mixing up the group so everyone got to talk to everyone else. Here’s a picture of the group at our first stop on the tour.

And one obligatory selfie, compliments of my friend Lourdes.

Inaugural Palo Alto Bike Party Ride

With all of the negativity we’d endured for six months of construction of our newest bike boulevard, I thought it was time to bring the fun. I’d been thinking about trying to get some low key family rides going with friends, and then one day my friend Rosie and I decided to just do it.

I felt like I needed a flag and we had our usual split on responsibilities: I found the graphics and Bruce brought it to fruition with a piece of tarp, PVC pipe, and a lot of spray paint.

We attached it to my bike, added rules of the ride to the trailer, and I headed out to the festivities.

It was a short but fun ride — just the length of the controversial Ross Road and back. Fun group!

Peace.

Final Fairmeadow Walk & Roll Day

My final Walk & Roll Day as Fairmeadow’s Safe Routes representative took place on March 21st. I enlisted the help of my artistic friend, Nadia, to make a tree trunk, and the kids added leaves with their favorite way to get to school. It turned out pretty good!

Our fantastic principal was even game to wear the traffic cone costume, which the kids loved!

Christy’s Birthday 2017

When my birthday rolled around this year, we didn’t really have a plan to celebrate. Or rather, I didn’t have a plan but apparently the rest of the family did. The boys sent Bruce and me out on a dinner date, and while we were gone they got everything set up for a birthday cake celebration. So sweet!

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(It totally looks like I’m about to sneeze right on that cake, doesn’t it? I didn’t.)

We took some silly pictures after dessert.

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It was perfect.

PTA Award

I’m going to toot my own horn here for a second. Last month I was on a team of people recognized for our work with Safe Routes to School. It was unexpected and, of course, nice to be honored. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the ceremony because it was on a Thursday from 4-6 pm, which is the absolute busiest time of our week. My friend Tiffany sent me pictures though.

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And I got a certificate.

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Spring Walk & Roll Day 2017

Way back at the beginning of the school year, I chose to have our Spring Walk & Roll Day in March instead of April because a) we had rain in April last year and b) April is when the standardized testing is happening and I figured everyone already has enough to worry about. Well, point b) was fine, but, unfortunately, we still had to fight the rain. I was really worried we’d have an unsuccessful event, but with the helpful ideas of a veteran Safe Routes rep, we managed to pull off another great W&R day.

It was a family affair — Bruce and Finn both helped make the poster and man the tables.

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The poster was a huge success!

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Here’s a video that shows all the post-it notes that the kids drew. I really was surprised at the outcome — such enthusiasm and creativity!

Weekend in Laguna

I got to sneak into SoCal for a weekend in Laguna with Cari in March. It was beautiful and relaxing. I have no pictures of us, but several of the beautiful landscape.

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Also, here’s one from the airplane showing how temporarily¬†green California is.

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Alex’s Memorial

In November, my sweet cousin Alex passed away after a lifelong battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and various other illnesses. His life was a lesson in¬†perseverance. In addition to adversity the likes of which I can only imagine, there was adventure, poetry, and most of all, love. His parents’ and siblings’ dedication to him and his care and well-being are the most beautiful illustration of family I’ve ever seen.

His memorial service was planned for the end of January in Orange County, so I flew down for the weekend. Luckily, Cari was available so we spent the time together before the memorial on Sunday afternoon. The weather was perfect (and a welcome respite from all the NorCal rain). Cari and I went on a couple of walks and spent as much time outside on the deck as possible. Here are a few pictures.

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I don’t have any pictures from the memorial service because I was too busy catching up with family and friends. It was a lovely time and I’m glad I got to go.

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Birthday Weekend in Pasadena

It all started in October when Bruce and I were graciously invited to the Kings/Sharks season opener in San Jose. The Kings lost the game, our starting goalie was seriously injured, and after suffering through the Sharks skating through a giant shark mouth, I texted my friend Sherry to say how much I missed Kings games. Sherry texted back that I should come down for my birthday because there was a game that day. I laughed it off as impossible, but it stuck and lo and behold we made it happen!

So, on December 9th we left about mid-day to beat some of the traffic. We were a little nervous to leave the kittens at home for the first time, but they were in good hands with Detchemendy/Eide family taking care of them. Here’s Julia giving some love to Emmy.

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After finding and settling into our little Airbnb house in Pasadena, we went for dinner at Zankou.

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It was sooooo good.

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In the morning I got up for an early walk which was chilly but beautiful (and not as chilly as I’m used to now!).

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Then we had breakfast with Bob, Vanessa, Reba and Thomas at Du-pars. Great to see them and enjoy some yummy pancakes and french toast. I forgot to take pictures until the very end when Finn was, apparently, grumpy over some slight. It’s a terrible shot, but I’ll put it in anyway for posterity’s sake.

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Soon it was Kings game time. It was a 1:00 game and Sherry had a surprise for me, so we left Pasadena really early. The surprise was a picture with Luc Robitaille, my favorite King. (It was a season ticket holder event with the new 50th anniversary monument that had been rescheduled to the 10th because of rain. Good luck for me!)

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After the picture, we visited the team store (stocking stuffers for the boys) and had a drink before the game started. It was a great game — not too stressful and the Kings won 4-1.

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While I was at the game, Bruce and the boys met Rob and Chapin and went ice skating at the Pasadena Ice Rink. Chatty Finn even managed to get a reluctant Chapin to try skating, so success all around! After that Bruce took the boys to visit the Bates, where I met up with them after the game. We had a lovely visit with Colleen, Darryl, Emily, and of course, the boys’ favorite, Molly.

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From there we hustled up to to Altadena for the Christmas Tree Lane lighting ceremony. We’d missed the Pintos’ pre-party but saw some friends briefly. It was super crowded! But such a fun hometown event.

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We managed to catch up with the Bannings for a few minutes so I got a shot of the kids together.

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And, more importantly, we found Erin who was going to babysit the boys while we went out for a celebratory dinner with Cari and Rob.

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We finally settled on a restaurant (Little Beast in Eagle Rock) and I actually thought to have the hostess take our picture, which never happens. Actual documentation of an adult outing, yay!

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We had a lovely time, exactly what I was hoping for to celebrate our birthdays.

The next morning, Cari and I got to have a walk together — in person, not by phone! I was happy to get some extra Cari time, knowing she had a busy Sunday and I wouldn’t see her again. As an aside, we stumbled on not one but two Little Free Libraries on our walk! They were numbers 24482 and 30115.

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After that, we cleared our stuff out of the Airbnb and drove up to the Heffernans’ for breakfast. Jerri had to work that day so she invited us up for a visit before she had to leave. Here’s a shot of all the kids.

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Our last stop was a park play date to catch up with long-lost friends. So many Cottage, Aveson and neighborhood friends showed up! Bob, Vanessa and Thomas came too for some added family time. It was a lovely meet up for us. I was too busy visiting with everyone to take many pictures, but here are a few.

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After a late lunch at Ginger Corner Market across from the park, it was time for us to go home. I got one last picture from Christina of the kittens getting some love, so we knew they were doing well.

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Our drive was long as usual, but thankfully traffic was pretty light. We were all exhausted, but it was a perfect birthday weekend.