Carol and I decided to break up our trip north by spending Wednesday night in Santa Barbara. We took off from LA later than planned and also found a super cool Mexican place along the way, so we were fit to drop when we finally checked into our hotel at midnight. This was to be the trend for the next three nights…
On Thursday morning, we rose late, I got an hour’s walk in through downtown while Carol luxuriated.
Santa Barbara, California
On our way out of Santa Barbara, we dropped into Whole Foods Market for some picnic lunch – I thought I had died and gone to heaven! It’s such a shame that all this beautiful food is out of reach of the people who need it most.
Whole Food Market
We had a relaxed drive up the coast to San Francisco. I have wanted to drive Big Sur forever, so I was rally excited to finally tick that off my bucket list. It was absolutely gorgeous and Carol and I laughed and sang all the way (when we weren’t on the edge of our seat listening to Carol’s audio book thriller!).
We got into San Francisco too late for happy hour (and dinner) but we found our beloved H&SCA buddies well underway in the bar and there was a rousing round of reunions. Roger, Chuck, Jim, Arlyn, Lynn, Keven and Debi, Bill, Mark, Cliff, Ray, Arthur, Laurie and many other familiar faces. I was so thrilled to see everyone again.
On Friday morning we enjoyed a nice breakfast courtesy of H&SCA and got underway with the program, which was a brief presentation from each member (30 attendees) about their fondest memories of their time with the association and current status/future plans etc.
I had my moment in the H&SCA sun to introduce the crew to the Metabolic Symphony Program. The reception was very positive and I was grateful for the many offers of support. I was also really pleased to hear about projects that other members were involved in that were making a contribution towards reducing obesity and the growing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes.
After the meeting concluded for the day, a few of us went for stroll through Chinatown and up and down the steep streets of San Francisco – the only place in the US with stairs for footpaths!
San Francisco, Chinatown
When we got back, we had a few moments in the room to patch ourselves up and then out again in a convoy of cabs to the De Young Museum to take in the live jazz and have a few drinks. The cab convoy then took us to the North Beach Restaurant where we embarked on an intimate (and expensive) dinner for 16.Kev, Lynn, Roger and Elfrieda, Chuck and I kicked on a bit at a bar around the corner. Another late (1am) finish.
The Crew downtown
Up and at ‘em at 8am the next morning in time for a disappointing breakfast at Hotel Monaco. We had the second round of H&SCA presentations – Carol’s energizing mediation/dancing workshop was a highlight. We enjoyed a hot H&SCA lunch and worked our way through final announcements to officially close down the association. Sniff! The President’s decorative gavel was presented to Roger and Jim and Arlyn gave us the last financial report. The end was nigh.
The mood was lightened by a game of ‘President’s Gift Kringle’ where each member was given an opportunity to choose (or trade) an item from the H&SCA Board’s eclectic collection of items contributed by past Presidents. I managed to relieve Ray Aldrete of the very cool Star Trek ‘communicator’ pin he had chosen from the collection. Woot!
After a micro nap in the room, we were summoned to the lobby again to continue H&SCA Member activities down at Pier 39. A wine and cheese river cruise around the harbor taking in the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the AT&T Baseball stadium followed by a sumptuous (and hilarious) meal at the famous Boudin Sourdough Bread Museum.
The diehards gathered in Jim’s Presidential suite to watch old H&SCA home movies and reminisce. As the clock struck 2.30am, those still standing (or sitting) bid a final farewell and slunk off into the night…. H&SCA is dead, long live the H&SCAns.
H&SCA’s Last Stand
Thanks for the good times! See you all again soon.