Great Strides Walk 2015

What a great day we had yesterday for the Great Strides Walk (to cure cystic fibrosis) in Oxford, Ohio. And what a contrast to last year, when we weren't just rained out but gullywashered out. And yes, that's a word. I said so. No need to look it up. 
While a little rain came through early in the morning, the skies cleared well before people started registering. With music performed by the Worley Boys and lots of enthusiasm and esprit de corps (yes, I used a little French on you, merci), everything went off without a hitch. 
The lovely Robin and I (along with the rest of our team, McCane's Miracles) were there on behalf of our grandchildren Calleigh and Ryder, who are still too young to grasp what was happening and why. But they had fun. 
And another young member of our team, Ezra Keeton, stole the show by joining the band to sing some country song I didn't know. But man, she was so cute. When the song was over, she wouldn't surrender the mic. She didn't seem to mind the spotlight at all. 
The report at the end of the walk was a great one, too: A total of nearly $19,000 raised to find and fund a cure for cystic fibrosis, and some donations still being processed will add to that total. Sure would love to see it get to $20,000! And Robin and I were so happy to meet our goals of $500 (here's Robin's page if you'd like to help us add to the total) and $3500 (here is my page). And our McCane's Miracles team total so far amounts to $6,198! Thanks so much to everyone who gave, walked, volunteered, and participated. 

Pier Market, San Francisco

You make me walk all over God's green earth, I'm gonna want food, and lots of it. That was my sentiment--and pretty much that of our whole party--on a recent visit to San Francisco that included a walk from Fisherman's Wharf to Pier 39 and all along Pier 39. So we stopped for dinner at Pier Market, hailed as "Best Seafood in San Francisco" by KRON 4 TV's "Best of the Bay."
Truth be told, it was a mixed experience. Nina consumed her crab legs (above) with alacrity, and Robin's chowder was delicious. However, Robin's crab cakes and my chicken breast (give me a break, I'm on a careful eating regimen right now and didn't want to digress, okay?) were overcooked.
The service was excellent, however, and the view wasn't bad either. And the company--well, there's just nothing better in life.

Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39

My recent trip to San Francisco in the company of the lovely Robin, our son Aaron, daughter-in-law Nina, and grandkids Miles and Mia, included a couple rides on the city's historic cable cars and a walk around Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.
We paused to marvel at the amazing baked bread concoctions in one shop along the way (below).
We listened to an amazing one-man band and met a few living statues. We watched a street airbrush artist. I snapped a photo of Alcatraz Island (in the distance--not the far distance--below).
The best part of the day, though, was just being with each other, watching Miles and Mia delight in things, talking as we walked, laughing, and holding hands. 
We also gawked at the sea lions, who have only been gathering there (in the hundreds) for the last few decades. And, oh yeah, we ate and bought a couple souvenirs. 
It was a great time in a uniquely lively place.

John's Grill, San Francisco

On a recent foot-and-cable-car tour through San Francisco, I happened upon John's Grill, a seafood-and-steak restaurant that is not only (according to them) "one of the city's oldest and most famous establishments," but is also the "home of the Maltese Falcon."
According to the hostess, John's Grill is where Dashiell Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon. It is also a setting in the great detective novel (which, of course, became a film starring Humphrey Bogart).
Aaron and I (we had ducked into the restaurant together, while the rest of the family waited outside) looked at the menu, which was too rich for our blood. But the hostess allowed us to take a quick tour through the place, which occupies three floors.
On the second floor is a display case where we found the falcon himself! And other related memorabilia. Though we didn't stay long, it was a blast seeing the place--with its dark oak paneling and authentic period furnishings, still evoking the days of Dashiell Hammett and Sam Spade. 

John's Grill is located at 63 Ellis Street (between Stockton and Powell, just a few steps away from the Apple Store, which we also visited...of course) in San Francisco. 

Super Duper Burgers, San Francisco

Last Sunday after church in San Francisco (see this post), the lovely Robin, Aaron, Nina, Miles, Mia, and I stopped into a Super Duper Burger place in the Metreon, between 4th Street and Yerba Buena in San Francisco. Super Duper is a northern California thing.
They do things differently at Super Duper. They offer fresh, quality produce, meat, dairy, and buns, sourced from area sources. Their signage is all produced locally. Not only their food but also their packaging is 100% compostable. Their beef is humanely-raised, 100% vegetarian-fed (from family-owned ranches), and ground fresh daily. The buns are baked by an artisan baker in San Francisco. Other products are similarly thought-through. The price is, consequently, higher. But the food is good (though the garlic fries Nina ordered were too strong even for her!). And they keep their promise of creating "fast food burgers using slow food values."

Los Paseos Carnival

Soon after the lovely Robin and I arrived in San Jose, California, for a weekend visit with Aaron, Nina, Miles, and Mia, we got to meet Miles and Mia at their school (Los Paseos Elementary) as class let out for the day...and a big ol' carnival began.
The carnival raises funds to help support the school, which we're really grateful for (it's a great school for our precious ones). So we helped support the cause and had a blast doing it.
Miles and Mia showed aptitude for the bubble ball (above) and climbing wall (below). They both enjoyed the bounce house and baseball swings. Miles tried the basketball and football throw and played Laser Tag with a friend. Mia got her face painted and a sparkly arm tattoo. Both ate a prodigious amount and variety of food. And Miles went home with a new goldfish (with his dad's help) and Mia (with her mom's help) with a stuffed minion doll.
It was an impressive event, and we enjoyed every single second.

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Favorite Travel Pix: Two Young Beauties

A few years ago, we traveled to our nephew's wedding in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the company of our grandchildren Mia (left) and Calleigh (right). The two cousins were just hanging out, enjoying each other's amazingness, when someone (I can't even remember who) snapped this photo. Isn't it gorgeous?