I got up later than usual yesterday. I'm usually up before 7 a.m., even on weekends, but on this day I was able to snooze all the way to 7:30. After some coffee, breakfast and a couple hours of web surfing, I needed to face the facts. I had a column due and I didn't have much worth saying. Many would ask how this is different from other weeks, but I tend to ignore that type of unconstructive comment.
So I decided it was time for chapter two of "The Parks of Foster City."
I drove over to the other side of town, where the houses are newer and the parks are bigger. I began my adventure at . There were a few folks up by the snack shack but the only real activity was a men's soccer game by the small parking lot on Pitcairn. As I am out of the practice of bringing my own chair as I did years back for my kids' games, I settled into the dugout at the field on the corner of Pitcairn and Sea Cloud. I spent a little time in these dugouts when I was the junior assistant to the assistant Little League coach on my son's minor league team, so I felt right at home.
Although it was mostly quiet this morning, I remember the beehive of activity one would encounter here on a fall Saturday morning. The soccer season kickoff was always fun, with the little ones in their first soccer uniforms swarming the field behind their coaches carrying the team's banner. My son and daughter played soccer for many years in the outstanding AYSO program here in Foster City. I was always a spectator, but my wife and several friends dedicated time to coaching teams. A couple of my Foster City Mother's Club pals were referees for the league. I guess that is why they are in much better shape than me.
Soccer was the main family sport for our earlier Foster City years, but the kids also played softball and baseball. My wife and I enjoyed those contests but our most salient memory is of the chilly weekday evening games, with the wind whipping through Sea Cloud. Although I grew up with the upstate New York winters, several decades in California have turned me into a weather wimp.
As I wrap up my Sea Cloud notes, I ponder my next move. I plan to make Port Royal and Boothbay stops, either on this trip or a future one.
I've touched on the great sports programs two of my three kids have been able to take advantage of here at Sea Cloud. But since I'm on the topic, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention another - smaller in terms of participants, but certainly not in impact.
When my younger son Nick, who has Down Syndrome, wasn't watching his siblings in their athletic pursuits, he was at an exemplary soccer program for special needs kids called E-Soccer. It started 11 years ago at Boothbay Park and is now all over the Bay Area. It was not always easy to get Nick to focus his attention, but the coaches there worked wonders with him. Nick has moved on to swimming for his main source of exercise, but my wife and I were very lucky to have such a resource nearby and we'd like to thank all of those involved with E-Soccer.