Friday night was stressful and wonderful all at once. My husband began a new job in late spring this year, so until Friday, I had not met his work colleagues. His new company is huge, surpassing the average company size of 20 he has had in the last decade. My husband needed months to meet everyone, and his company doesn’t hold large events often, as they must be multi-thousand dollar affairs. On Friday night, the entire company was invited out to San Carlos’ Hiller Aviation Museum for the annual holiday party. Hiller is a wonderful place, especially for toddlers, as it is relatively small, there are tons of models and photos, and there are plenty of interactive simulations and cockpits to sit and flip switches in. As a big fan of aeronautical science (I worked for NASA’s education department for three summers), I was in heaven. But in my little strapless dress, trying to mind my manners (it’s tricky to ease into a Blue Angels cockpit in heels) and remember the dozens of people I was being introduced to, there was a fair amount of anxiety.
The event caused me to reflect considerably on PR. The smiles and handshakes helped me feel at ease, and I found myself wanting to feel included, wanting to come back for more, and willing to take some risks in conversation. I immediately saw a connection between this night and how Stroller Hikes began in 2006 getting outside to meet new people, making close connections to those, like me, who were willing to risk a little more in conversation, enrich our experience by picking up our pace in a walk or run, and really engage our babies in their exploration of nature. Stroller Hikes was founded based on the principle that families should feel welcome and encouraged to explore their free public open spaces, getting exercise, becoming immersed in nature, and meeting others in a no-fee-required, no-membership-needed community.
Perhaps I am more sensitive than many I often revisit stores and restaurants largely based on the attention they’ll give me a smile or sincere comment goes a long way. This is especially notable this time of year, when the shops are busy and the weather can be gloomy. Although we recognize that the chilly, wet weather keeps many of you inside, we hope you’ll remember Stroller Hikes when the sun breaks through the clouds, for a family outing or coming out for one of our events. Stroller Hikes is a 501-c-3 nonprofit corporation that runs on donations. Our entire staff and board are made up of volunteers that lead due to their desire to reach out to others and provide a social, educational, and health resource to the community. Please consider supporting Stroller Hikes by donating money or volunteering to lead events we are still a few hundred dollars “in the red” this year. The easiest way to donate is through our secure PayPal account you can find an orange “Donate” button at the top of the homepage at StrollerHikes.com.
Please note that Amy L. will not be leading Monday 10 AM Sunnyvale Greenbelt hikes for a little while she’s extending her wonderful altruistic ways to a friend in need. She plans on resuming those hikes in the spring. While many of us are thinking about spring and New Year’s Resolutions, if anyone would like to lead weekly, biweekly, monthly, or even rarer events, please let me know. We’re in the process of putting together our calendar for next year, hopefully including events all over the Bay Area including several Healthy Trails options for those of you who are fans of this Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation program and are aiming to earn your Healthy Trails award after finishing 5 of the selected trails. Thanks to Amy B. for offering a cool bonus tomorrow an indoor holiday treat for the whole family, with a tour of Christmas Creche!
Here are this week’s events:
Monday, December 7th at noon join Amy B. and her wee ones for a stroll and playtime at her church to see their Christmas Creche. Even if you’re not religious, the expansive collection of nativity scenes will be delightful – so may styles, art forms, and variations on the theme from all over the world. There’s a children’s room with things the kids can play with and live music. If you are interested by can’t join Amy, come on your own — it goes from Saturday, December 5 through Wednesday, December 9, 2009, noon to 9 PM and is free! The address is 3865 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. Amy will wait outside the entrance at noon on Monday, December 7th; we’ll spend an hour tops, maybe less, depending on the children’s attention spans. Find more information at http://www.christmascreche.org/. Please call Amy at 408-368-7161 if you’re running late.
Tuesday, December 8th at 9 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a hike around Almaden Lake and down Los Alamitos Trail. Meet at the water dragon by the big playground near the bathrooms and swimming beach in the main parking lot near the intersection of Coleman Avenue and Almaden Expressway. No dogs allowed! Any baby transport or stroller will work. For more information about the area or directions, see The Los Alamitos Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosAlamitos/LosAlamitos.html). If you’re running late, call Loren at 831-227-6737.
Tuesday, December 8th at 2 pm join Amy B. and her wee ones for a hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino / Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path or a hilly, packed dirt route, depending on who attends. Both trails will go to the farm, and maybe past it. Any baby transport will work, and bikes or trikes can be used on the flat route. Meet at the upper parking lot where model airplanes are flown (just past the entrance, turn right, then left into the first parking area uphill from the lower two). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Call Amy at 408-368-7161 if you’re running late.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for Stroller Hikes today. Thanks!
-Debbie and little Max