Birthday celebration ends with traditional crab feast

When L first moved back to Menlo Park and John was a teenager, the birthday tradition with her parents was to have a joint celebrations of their two birthdays, always with a crab feast, given that the delicacy would have just hit the market for the season. (The commercial crab season starts at the end of November.)

That tradition was revived this year with John, Julie and the kiddos along with good friends Cathy and Mike.

Grace and James rode their scooters to the school down the street – the first time unaccompanied. And refused to have their beverage on the cups they’ve each had since toddler age. The kiddos are growing up…

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Second day of coastside fun translates to balmy walk to Mavericks

The Adventurers read on their iPhones that it was 37 degrees this morning in Menlo Park, but they were coastside where it was a balmy 60 with no wind.

They started the day with a walk to Cafe Mezza Luna, a sister property to the Italian restaurant they dined last night. They will add it to their Half Moon Bay choices along with Dad’s Luncheonette and San Benito deli.

They then walked along back roads and beach to Mavericks, a stroll where The Mag encountered lots of dogs along the way and got to zoom, zoom, zoom along the sand. They ran into their friend George from Pilates who was there with his wife and friends.

They finished the birthday trip with a stop at the Cozzolino tree lot where L stuck to her guns that a “tiny tree” was sufficient this year. No all day decorating for her. Stephanie Cozzolino snapped their photos. And got a perfect bow on D’s head…

Walk/easy/3.75 miles

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Birthday escape to the coast starts with Half Moon Bay walk – and a stop at Dad’s

The Adventurers and The Mag made their way to the Coast this morning for a birthday overnight to celebrate L turning 70, an age they are loath to wrap their arms around.

The started with a nice 4-plus walk south from Kelly Avenue towards the Ritz Carlton and back. It’s the kind of walk that’s perfect for the weekday when the crowds are absent. Conditions were breezy but not cold.

L had been thinking about lunch at Dad’s Luncheonette, which they’d discovered last June. Totally scrumptious burgers along with a selection of beer  and wine in a can. Who could ask for anything more?

They’re staying overnight at the Inn at Mavericks where they have a large room with fireplace and a nice little fenced backyard for The Mag. The real treat – it’s nice enough to sit outside, even though the calendar says Dec. 8….

Walk/easy/4.25 miles

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A churchy kind of Sunday starts December

The Adventurers spent the morning through lunch time at Trinity Church where there were lots of activities this morning.

As he has for over 30 years, St. Nicolas, played by Dick Livermore, paid a visit during the service. He talks to the children about who the Bishop of Myra, canonized as St. Nicholas was and he’s many good deeds.

Lunch followed the service with Trinity Hall bursting at the seams. Great to see such a huge turnout. The season of Advent in a liturgical church precludes the singing of Christmas hymns until Christmas, so songbooks were based around for a community sing.

Another resurrected-from-the-past tradition, was making Advent wreaths. As many people did, the  Adventurers chose to talk home their kit and construct it at the kitchen table. Maybe the first Advent wreath L has had since All Saints days…

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Visiting Santa with the kiddos at Stanford Shopping Center

Hands down the Santa at the Stanford Shopping Center is the best. Gracie has been visiting him since she was one year old and most of the subsequent visits L has attended, missing last year because she was in New Zealand.

So it was a special day to resume the tradition this year. Whether Gracie really believes in unknown, but it was clear she was happy to visit the Santa who has been her Santa for her whole life.

James, on the other hand, was all in. He started the conversation (yes, this Santa actually has long conversations with the kids, particularly when you’re not there at a busy time) by talking to James about the times he’d seen him before while James showed his all the previously years’ photos, including the one where he was howling. “So embarrassing,” said 6-year-old James.

They ended their Santa visit as they have often done before with a meal at Max’s where there are enough food choices for all, including James who has announced he’s a vegetarian…

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Coyote spotted during a hike in Stulsaft Park

The Adventurers deviated from their usual pattern when they have a Maggie free morning. Instead of hiking in a park that prohibits dogs they visited Stulsaft Park which has a large off leash dog area. They reason: they were up for a short not long hike and the Park is close to the groomers. They’ll be back with The Mag in the future!

The trails are shaded with some good pulls up a number of hills. The highlight was spotting a coyote which was on the other side of a fence. It stayed still and stared at them. In the photo, it’s close to the center just above some red foliage.

D also poised in a chair that was made to look like a Golden Eagle.

Some park history: In 1951, real estate developer Morris Stulsaft gave Redwood City 38 acres for the park that now bears his name. He knew about the mercury deposits in the area, but felt that the City was welcome to them. Redwood City eventually made about $19,000 from cinnabar mining operations in the park. Dedication ceremonies for the park were held on September 6, 1952. In the 60’s, the Park Department cleared and landscaped the tie, developed picnic areas, and constructed a service road, a bridge and restrooms.

Hike/easy to moderate – a number of good pulls up steep hills/2 miles

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Morning walk to Pasadena’s Robinson Memorial before heading north

The Adventurers took one last walk around Pasadena before hitting the road this morning. It was a shorter walk, a loop that included City Hall and All Saints Church, where L worshipped during her South Pasadena years. The City Hall walk took them by the Robinson Memorial, which neither of them had seen. He’s important to L not just as a baseball pioneer but also fellow UCLA alum. Here’s how the website Atlas Obscura describes the Memorial:

“Though Hall of Fame baseball star Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia, he spent his formative years in Pasadena, attending John Muir High School and Pasadena Junior College in the city. And while Jackie’s exploits as the man who broke baseball’s color barrier are understandably more well-known, his brother Mack also made sports history during the 1936 Olympic Games, taking the Silver Medal in the 200 meter sprint, behind teammate Jesse Owens.

“This memorial then, pays tribute to both of the Robinson brothers. Jackie looks towards Brooklyn, NY, to symbolize the destiny waiting for him 2,800 miles to the east. His elder brother Mack, who returned home to little fanfare and a city job which was later taken from him in retaliation for black residents going to court to force the desegregation of municipal pools, faces towards City Hall, reflecting his complicated relationship with his home town.”

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