SF AIDS Walk 2011

Brendan and I had a brutally early wake-up this morning as we headed across the bridge for the AIDS Walk in Golden Gate Park.  We signed up to volunteer because we are such good people and always looking to serve the community my friend A.Jay was working for the non-profit that organizes the walk, and she asked us to help out driving golf carts.  The promise of free t-shirts and free food usually wins Brendan over, but I think it was the golf cart that got him this time! 

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There were a ton of people.  Apparently 25,000.  At first it was hard for me to wrap my mind around what these people were doing: is there a winner? do they walk fast? can I run the 10k?  The answer to all of those questions was pretty much NO!  What!? Then what are they doing here!!???

Well… it turns out that “walks” are super big parties where corporations, employees, families, friends and supporters just come out and celebrate all of the fundraising they’ve done.  It ended up being SO different from the races I’m used to.  Big local companies came out and provided a TON of supplies and food for their employees that were participating. 

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A lot of the companies had catering companies drop off fresh breakfast before the walk and lunch after.  A bunch of people also brought full BBQs with all the fixins.  Crazy.  It was just a HUGE party.

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Brendan and I agreed that the Gap had one of the best set-ups.  They all wore really fun t-shirts, they gave out free Old Navy flip-flops to anyone, and they had lots of fun snacks like fresh taffy, Pop Chips, and M&Ms that were consistently replenished. 

It was really fun to be there in such a celebratory environment, and I am so glad I was there to support all of A.Jay’s hard work.  But… there were a few not so sparkly things about the event…

1. I had to wake up at 4:15am.  That is 7 hours earlier than I have been waking up lately.  Obviously my sleep patterns are extreme and need some work, but this was a tough one. 

2. This was not necessarily a Kaetlin-friendly event:

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There were a ton of dogs.  Big dogs, little dogs, FLUFFY dogs.  It didn’t bother me because we were outside, but it was a little weird for me.  I’m super allergic. 

3. I WAS FREEZING.  We got there when the park was still covered in fog, so we got pretty wet and muddy early on.  For some reason I just never got dry inside all my layers, so I was literally shaking for about 4 hours.  Then I started sneezing and now I have a sore throat!  Hopefully it goes away soon!

Overall, it was really fun, but we are POOPED.  Brendan and I came home and took a nap and ate dinner, and now we are going to hang out and watch TV. 

Thanks, Aje, for such a fun experience in San Francisco before we leave!

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