Friday, April 29, 2011

Here In Monterey! (Seaside, Actually)

Rachel and I arrived in San Francisco, CA very late last night (in the wee hours of the morning, truth be told) and were promptly picked up and carted away by Shelley Wilkinson, our most gracious host, chauffeur, cook, and tour guide (not to mention West Coast Chairperson for TEAM CJ). We wasted no time completely collapsing into bed when we got to her and husband David’s house in Seaside but my body wouldn’t let me sleep past 6:00am Pacific Time (which is 9:00am Eastern) so it was another short night.

I’ll be napping as soon as I get done with this post!

Rachel, Shelley, and I went down to Monterey to check out Cannery Row, scope out wineries in the area, and find lunch. If you find yourself out here, I strongly recommend you stop off at the Pacific Grove Chamber Of Commerce Visitor Center across the street from the Science Museum and have them tell you stuff. They love to do that kind of thing and will give you awesome coupons to use at area establishments; like free appetizers at local restaurants, discounts for whale watching (might use that Monday), and maps. (I LOVE MAPS!!!) They also have a statue of John Steinbeck and Rachel couldn't help flirting with one of her favorite authors!

We used said coupons at a place on the bay called Fish Hopper Seafood & Steaks and had a VERY yummy lunch that included clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl (almost can’t come out here and NOT get that at least once), calamari, and artichoke heart. Rachel had fish, the name of which I can’t remotely remember (I had never heard of it before but it was good!).

We ate outside on a deck overlooking the bay and watched the waves come in and out and various birds do the same.

Then we headed around the bay to get a look at the “beaches” and snap some pics of the water smashing against the rocks but we didn’t stay out long as it is unseasonably cool with a brisk wind that made it a bit uncomfortable to be out for too long. What was amazing was what looked like this pink creeping flox (although I think Shelley said it wasn’t flox) covering a good portion of the hills up from the water. The blanket of pink wrapped all around the southern point of the bay and was striking to say the least.

Rachel was strongly reminded of the day we were in Daytona Beach after Charlotte’s Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World and CJ was sitting in a chair on the balcony all day, just enjoying the peace of the water. We asked her if she wanted to come in several times but she was comfy and we let her sit.

I agreed with Rachel and that photo is my Facebook profile pic again for a while.

Next was the short trek to the Fitness Expo to pick up race packet, shirt, and bus pass for the marathon on Sunday. It’s a smaller race overall (if you can call 13,000 participants small!) which translated to a much faster check-in experience. Strange but I was actually wanting more of “The Gauntlet.”

On an aside, here's a video of some of what we're in for.

Tomorrow we will join up with James Staudte and family for a day of Aquarium exploring and carbo-loading later at Shelley’s house. Some of the staff of the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition will be coming over to the pasta-party and we’ll be presenting them with a check for 25% of the funds we’ve raised so far. Donations are still coming in and we’re so grateful to everyone who has helped.

Speaking of that, time for another bit of a family story:

“Yulisabel (Yuli) is a 3 year old with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). She routinely needs rides to treatment (a considerable distance) as her father works and is the main driver and supporter for the family. She has a 4 year old brother and they live with 3 other families in a house on the outskirts of town. They share one bedroom.

Yuli loves to listen to the radio. Her mother also has music on her phone and she puts it up to her ear and this young girl is mesmerized. Her mother has recordings of her son singing and Yuli making noises around the house which keeps Yuli happy during the long rides to treatment.”

Yuli’s is one of four local Monterey Bay area families who will benefit from TEAM CJ’s FUN-raising efforts this week. We always like to say that we aren’t finding a cure but we are helping to make an un-bearable situation more bearable. Please don’t forget that YOU are a big part of that “WE.” CJSTUF couldn’t do it without your help.

Wanna help some more? Demand for what we do has increased dramatically this year as word of our mission and success has gotten out. We are already on track to receive double the number of applications we received last year and we would like to fund them if possible. If you’ve donated to any of our events, that’s wonderful and we’re not asking you for more. We ARE asking that you tell your friends and families about us and see if they’ll send us just 4 bucks ($1 for every year of Charlotte’s life) or a multiple thereof: $8, $12, $16, etc… You’d be amazed how it adds up. Here's the link

As usual, Rachel and I can’t thank you enough for helping to keep Charlotte’s legacy alive so we can “take care of the living.”

Love on your little ones like there’s no tomorrow.

I’ll blog atchya later.


p.s. Finally: Good luck to all doing the ASK 5K tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the Parents of Lois and Abbie as they begin their own marathon

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