Leilani Marie Labong
Before I sign off for the long weekend (although I've been mentally checked out of this week since, oh, Monday), I thought I'd leave you with a few Memorial Weekend space fillers to close the gaps in your plans. Until next week, wishing you beau temps for your barbecues!
There's a full moon coming up later this week—on Thursday, May 27, to be precise—and, in keeping with traditions that date back to ancient civilizations and cultures, the Bay Area is playing host to a few full-moon events that reinforce the kumbaya connection with the outdoors. Even if you're not influenced by lunar phases, some nighttime nature exploration is bound to alleviate something—a bad mood, a little cabin fever, lower back pain...whatever. Just get out there and let the moon illuminate your adventures.
Ever since trainer Jackie Warner, the star of Bravo's Work Out, tried to entice a potential paramour with the information that her abs have never been as solid as when she was surfing, I've been meaning to brave the Bay Area's less-than-ideal ocean conditions (remember, I'm from Hawaii, so the standard is high) in the name of shredded abdominals.
Because of the impending apocolypse, it's probably a good idea to brush up on your foraging skills since it's likely Bi-Rite or Whole Foods won't be up and running when the big earthquake hits. (Or maybe just until universal healthcare gets fully operational and meds are available to all.) Tellur Fenner of the Blue Wind Botanical Medicinal Clinic in Oakland teaches regular foraging classes in public parks and gardens across the Bay Area (the next classes happen this weekend in Berkeley and Oakland) that combine light hiking with hands-on instruction on California's edible and medicinal plants.
A new e-bicycle touring company has opened in the Napa Valley. Change of Greenery, based at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa, provides an eco-friendly option to the popular pasttime of winery-touring with its fleet of electric cycles. Yes, this means that pedalling is an option, for those who don't mind a little exercise with their wine, but there's also "throttle" mode, which means you can reach speeds of up to 18 mph without exerting one bit of leg effort (the 250-watt motor and lithium-ion battery do all the toiling for you).
Having done my fair share of road travel (about 30 years' worth of car trips around the West), gas prices are always interesting to me. The steady increase brings back memories of a 10-day road trip I took in August 2008 from San Francisco to Jackson Hole, WY that nearly sent my boyfriend and me into bankruptcy. I also remember, with great fondness, a road trip a few months later, in December 2008, to Zion National Park via Tucson and Las Vegas, during which we enjoyed prices as low as $1.46 per gallon (yes, this also coincided with the economy's downward spiral, but we were still happy for the consequential rock-bottom gas prices despite the world's gloomy forecast). Almost brings a tear to my eye.
Granted the bike-to-work concept is a bit, as the Australians say, "like falling off a log," especially for you day-to-day pedalers, but methinks tomorrow's 16th Annual Bike to Work event is meant to inspire commuters of the four-wheel kind (and yes, that includes bus riders—maybe you'll trade the dank recesses of Muni transportation for fresh air and a little invigorating exercise!). If you cycle the well-traveled corridors—along the Panhandle and the Wiggle, for example—you'll hit Energizer Stations that will hand out some pretty good schwag, including water and commemorative canvas bags (I still use mine from past years to haul groceries and gym clothes. Not at the same time, but you get the idea.
With San Francisco's iconic annual foot race just 10 days away (May 16), I thought I'd deliver this gentle reminder for as-yet unregistered runners, walkers and float maneuverers—costume-clad or not—to sign up. And, not just because I'm a total teetotaler or a stick-in-the-mud (both of which I can be, often), I'd like to bring to light the Bay to Breakers' official stance on booze without incurring a barrage of boos, hisses and lobbed rotten eggs or tomatoes. Don't shoot the messenger, people.
From the website:
Not much could get me out in the waters at Mission Bay—I'm from Hawaii so unless the aqua is topaz-blue and 70 degrees, I ain't dippin' one single toe in it. But, dangle a stack of pancakes—dripping with that wondrous amalgamation of syrup and butter—in front of my eyes and I'll brave the current surrounding that industrial area anyday. Even better that I can put a nice sturdy kayak between me and the drink at the Paddle for Pancakes event this Saturday. Start at the boathouse at Mission Creek Sports Park at 9:30 a.m., where you'll get on-land instuction for kayak maneuvering and safety.
If you're reading this on Sunday, May 2, you're probably not one of the 2,000 wet-suit-clad triathletes who will be jumping off the San Francisco Belle steamboat that ferries the Escape From Alcatraz competitors to the famed prison island to start their sprint-length race. That's quite alright, because who says you have to push through a 1.5-mile swim in the freezing-cold Bay waters, a hilly 18-mile bike ride around the city and an 8-mile leg race through Golden Gate Park just to make your Sunday worthwhile? Here on 7x7's Get Out blog, we like to applaud those who honor their athletic limitations.