Stroller Hikes Weekly E-Newsletter: An Excuse to Party! (1)

Hello all!

I grew up in the country, and parties were few and far between. I wasn’t deprived of party goodies (mom’s Halloween candy stockpile, when she was sure we’d have more than one Trick-or-Treater, lasted us the whole year), but we certainly didn’t have the social contact en mass that parties afford here, in a more populated area. Whereas I couldn’t throw a Frisbee and hit a neighbor’s property line growing up, now I could easily throw a rock and hit a neighbor’s house – and I throw like a girl. Parties happen around here all of the time. Now beyond birthdays and holidays, there are celebrations just because it’s summer, a weekend, or Tuesday (formally known as Taco Tuesday on our cul-de-sac).

Max loves a good party, and asks about the next one often. He adores the sounds, attention from others, easy access to snacks, and change in routine that a party affords. Just as he looks forward to hikes so he can see other people, he looks forward to dinner time, expecting some friends to come over and the festivities to begin (though this usually happens only twice a week). No invitations are needed, and even a theme does not need to be clear – Max needs no excuse to party!

If you’re looking for a good party, look no further than your area for one. A lot of towns are offering summer music programs, and this weekend marks the anniversary of an historic event:

• This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the Moon Landing, so NASA is throwing a big party at their Ames Campus. There will be plenty of booths, activities, and entertainment. For more information, see http://moonfest.arc.nasa.gov/

• Stanford has a noontime Jazz Festival going on at Tresidder Student Union in the middle of campus. The pay meters for parking are not too spendy, and the campus is family-friendly. Performers include teen bands on up to world-class professional musicians. Shows start at noon on Wednesday, July 22nd, Friday, July 24th, Wednesday, July 29th, Friday, July 31st, and August 3rd through 7th, all week. The noontime shows are free. For more information, see http://www.stanfordjazz.org/events/specialevents.html

• Redwood City offers Music in the Park on Wednesday nights (6 to 8) and Music on the Square (at New Courthouse Square) on Friday nights (6 to 8).

• San Francisco offers Jewels on the Square at Union Square (wed. 12:30 and 6, Sunday 2): http://www.unionsquarepark.us/JewelsMain.html

• San Jose offers Sounds of the Row at Santana Row on Thursday nights (7 to 9): http://www.santanarow.com/events/

• Palo Alto offers Summer Jazz Concert Series at Stanford Shopping Center on Thursday nights (6 to 8): http://www.stanfordshop.com/Event_Details.aspx?ID=841&EID=101753&lmnu=2

• San Mateo offers a Central Park Music Series on ** nights (6-8): http://www.cityofsanmateo.org/index.aspx

• And there is so much more!

Of course, no one needs to leave home to party. We have parties with play-dough, rocks, and bathtubs around here! Who needs a cake, when you can make a mud pie? Also consider getting together with friends on a hike or Toddler Trek, below.

Here are this week’s events (note our new partnership with NorCal Bike Forum!):

Sunday, July 19th join William Symons and his kids at 10 AM for a leisurely bicycle ride down the Stevens Creek Trail. Meet at Sleeper Park, at the intersection of Sleeper Road and Franklin Road in Mountain View. The ride should be over by noon. This ride is suitable for parents with infants and toddlers, as well as very young independent riders. William will teach a brief safety class, discuss trail etiquette, and lead the ride to the Central Expressway Bridge (where train sightings are common!). Riders can ride to nearby cafes for refreshments or stop at the parks along the length of the trail, on the way back. This ride is provided by NorCal Bike Forums: http://ical.mac.com/WebObjects/iCal.woa/wa/default?d=5&u=rockyshores&v=1&y=2009&m=6&n=NorCal%20Bike%20Forums%20Family%20Rides.ics. For more information about the trail, see the Stevens Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/StevensCreekTrail/StevensCreekTrail.html).

Monday, July 20th at 10 am we’ll meet at John W Christian Greenbelt. Amy L. and little Adelina will lead a speed walk / jog along the lovely wide, paved greenbelt in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Dogs allowed but be sure they can manage on a faster-paced walk/run. We’ll take a break around the halfway point for the trip, to play at the large playground for toddlers, along the greenbelt. Meet at the pedestrian bridge on Ahwanee Avenue and San Junipero Drive (the bridge is just NW of San Junipero Dr.). Here is a Mapquest Map of the Starting Location (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/Ahwanee+Ave+and+San+Junipero+Dr+Sunnyvale+CA/). For more information about the trail, see the John W Christian Greenbelt Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/GreenbeltSunnyvale/GreenbeltSunnyvale.html). If you’re running behind, call Amy at 650-207-6556.

There are no Tuesday events (neither run nor hike) scheduled this week.

Wednesday, July 22nd at 9:45 am we’ll hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path going to the farm, and possibly go past it. The road is perfect for trikes or bikes, if toddlers or young children want to ride. Any baby transport will work. Meet at the main lower parking lot at the water fountain in front of the bathrooms (just past the entrance, turn right, then follow the road until it ends). 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. Lisa and little Samuel will lead this hike. If you’re running late, call Lisa at 650-892-8678.

Thursday, July 23rd at 10 am come for a hike with Jennifer and little Kayla along the paved mineral springs trail of Alum Rock Park for a little geology lesson and some history about this old spa region of San Jose. Meet by the YSI building. All types of strollers will work. For directions or more information about the area, see The Alum Rock Park Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/AlumRock/AlumRock.html). If you’re running late, call Jennifer at 408-470-0463.

Thursday, July 23rd at 4 pm join Debbie and little Max for a Toddler Trek at Mount Madonna in Watsonville. This is a wonderful mountain of cool groves of trees for the summer! It’s just a few minutes from Gilroy Gardens, not far from San Jose and Gilroy, so please don’t let the apparent distance dissuade you. Come for a short toddler-friendly hike along Miller Nature Trail, past Miller House Ruins. Toddlers will be encouraged to walk, run, and explore along this shaded dirt trail; backpacks/carriers are appropriate, for non-walking children. Climb on old steps or walls of this estate, view some albino deer, and collect sticks! Meet at the Miller Nature Trail parking lot (near the ranger station), at the Lower Miller Trail trailhead. To get to Mt. Madonna County Park, take the Hecker Pass/Highway 152 Exit from Highway 101. After about 9.5 miles on Highway 153 at the junction with Pole Line Road, turn right to take the main entrance into the park. Drive towards the ranger station. Bring a few dollars to pay for parking. If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082. This is a Santa Clara County Healthy Trails (http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/) outing.

Sunday, July 19th join William Symons and his kids at 10 AM for a leisurely bicycle ride down the Stevens Creek Trail. Meet at Sleeper Park, at the intersection of Sleeper Road and Franklin Road in Mountain View. The ride should be over by noon. This ride is suitable for parents with infants and toddlers, as well as very young independent riders. William will teach a brief safety class, discuss trail etiquette, and lead the ride to the Central Expressway Bridge (where train sightings are common!). Riders can ride to nearby cafes for refreshments or stop at the parks along the length of the trail, on the way back. This ride is provided by NorCal Bike Forums: http://ical.mac.com/WebObjects/iCal.woa/wa/default?d=5&u=rockyshores&v=1&y=2009&m=6&n=NorCal%20Bike%20Forums%20Family%20Rides.ics. For more information about the trail, see the Stevens Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/StevensCreekTrail/StevensCreekTrail.html).

Plan ahead: Stroller Hikes is having its annual camping trip on Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, September 5th through Monday, September 7th – Saturday and Sunday nights) in Soquel, just a few minutes from the beach and a half hour over the Santa Cruz Mountains from the Bay Area. We’ll play in the creek, hike, cook over the grill and campfire, and have some great outdoor fun! Are you interested in joining us? If you plan to join us for one or both nights, please e-mail Debbie at admin@…. More information to come!

Party!!!

– Debbie and little Max

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