Welcome to Walkabout International!
Walkabout International has been in the forefront of promoting healthy regular exercise, social camaraderie and discovering new places since its inception in 1977. We have conducted over 25,000 walks covering more than two million people-miles – or the equivalent of walking around the equator over 80 times – for tens of thousands of “soles”!
An all-volunteer non-profit 501(c3) organization offering over 850 local walks each year along with, low-cost day and overnight trips, parties and potlucks, holiday celebrations and other activities. Come join us where your interests lead you while selecting from our numerous walks and hikes of varying levels.
Rita Balliot Remembrance
On September 3, Rita passed away quietly at her board and care hospice in Bonita, where she had lived for the past 8 months. Her quick onset Alzheimer's disease robbed her of the mental acuity which she was known for in serving for 35 years as Walkabout's treasurer. She went placidly into an euphoric state, remembering people until the end, but seemingly oblivious of matters in the world around her. Most uncharacteristic for Rita, who was known for being direct -- even bombastic -- but intensely loyal to her friends, and unflinchingly devoted to Walkabout International.
Rita was raised in the L.A. area, by the distinguished Tapper family, including a brother who rose to be assistant attorney general for California. She was widowed by Bill Balliot, who she remembered fondly. Rita was always involved in finance, including serving for decades as comptroller for San Diego's Clean Team, a small business on Pacific Highway. Between her work and Walkabout, Rita found tremendous fulfillment in her life. She ruled Walkabout's financial sphere with an iron hand, insisting that trip accountings balance, bills were paid on time, and budgets met. This was not without its curiosities, however; for years she insisted that no expenditures be made in late March so that she could get an accurate picture of expenses and income as it existed at the end of March, before April brought a new fiscal year. She resisted replacing outmoded balance sheet categories on computer reports. And yet every year she got the job done for us in a Rita-sort-of-way.
Rita lived in a mobile home overlooking SR 94 near La Mesa. She was proud of owning her own 3BR home after years of renting, although she really lived in about 2 rooms -- her office which overflowed with Walkabout records and her bedroom, which she shared with a succession of beloved cats. Her car looked like a mobile Walkabout office. For a professed "walker," she drove everywhere. Years ago, when joining up with a Walkabout trip to Chicago, Rita rented a car so she wouldn't have to walk to the commuter train station with the group. She showed up on the tour about twice -- for an opening reception and a going away dinner...but she swore she had a "fabulous" tour with us. Even when she led her famous and detailed day-long bus tours and the bus burned up (once) and terminally broke down (at least once), she pronounced the trip "fabulous" and moved on.
Rita loved to shop catalogs and was perpetually buying imprinted giveaways with Walkabout logos to hand out to prospective and current members and anyone who needed another flyswatter, luggage tag, flashlight or pen of the month. When Rita retired from her "real" job, she staked a claim for a desk in the Walkabout office, plopped down and became a fixture. She tried to herd the office volunteers into servitude and then spent the day chatting with anyone who happened by in our one-room office. She haggled over the phone with vendors, credit card companies and restaurateurs over menus which she seemed to memorize with total gastronomic recall. She spent years with Weight Watchers losing the weight and putting it back on with an enthusiasm that out-Oprahed Oprah.
Rita travelled like a star with other tour companies and on her own. On a recent self-designed trip to DC, Rita and Christine Shelton booked a suite of rooms in a classy Georgetown hotel and went everywhere in cabs. She was a champagne girl on a diet-soda budget. She didn't do this often, but she did it well. In 2014 Rita was the first to receive a brand new Walkabout award "Volunteer Extraordinaire" for her exemplary service to Walkabout. She deserved the award and the BBQ dinner that went with it, and it was a timely honor given her untimely end.
If Rita could have "Walkabout" tattooed on her, it's likely she would have done so. Her email address had the word in it. One of her last wishes was to donate $1000 to Walkabout, and with the grace of Theresa Hawkins,
Rita's professional power of attorney, she made it happen. Each one of us has a debt to be paid to Rita -- for keeping our financial ship upright in good times and bad. For all her rough edges, she was still a diamond at heart, and I'll miss her.
Please join us for a memorial walk. Refer to the walk listing Saturday, October 22.
POSSIBLE DAY TRIP
A historic Spa south of Riverside with multiple hot springs, pools and a mud treatment grotto. There are both outdoor and indoor areas in which to relax and rejuvenate. November 2016 or Spring 2017 trip, depending on interest shown. If you are interested, please call the Walkabout office (619) 231-7463 to add your name to the interest list.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29
11 AM TO 2 PM
Mark your calendars now for Walkabout International ‘s annual potluck picnic and auction to be held at East Mission Bay Park (same location as last year).
The park is located on East Mission Bay Drive just west of the I-5, use Exit #22 Clairemont Drive. We will be in the Playa II cover shelter (gazebo), south of the former visitors center, north of the Hilton Hotel. Look for our bright blue banners & signs. There is plenty of free parking in nearby lots. Walkabout will provide beverages, ice, cutlery, napkins, cups, and plates. You can bring your family, friends and neighbors: all are welcome.
We need each person to bring three things:
- Food to share for the potluck (Be sure to bring plenty food to share, usually 40+ attendees, main dishes preferred.)
- Contributions/donations for the auction
- Your checkbook or cash to pay for someone else’s donated treasure at the auction
We will start off with a casual to moderate walk along the bay before lunch. There will be a short meeting about Walkabout’s operations presented by our President, Bob Buehler before the auction. As usual our cheerful auctioneer, Dan Haslam will entertain us with his fast talking as he tries his best to move all those treasures to new homes. Auction favorites include plants, homemade baked goods, gift certificates (restaurants, hair salons, movie tickets, etc.) books, gifts you want to “re-gift”. Prefer things that can be consumed rather than stored on a shelf. Things to avoid donating to the auction: artwork, clothing, electronics (unless in excellent working condition), anything not in good condition.
Come on down for an entertaining fun afternoon for good food and great company!
Call the office (619) 231-7463 to sign up on the potluck interest list with your name, how many in your party and food contribution.
We continue to need office volunteers and new board members.
WALK LEADERS NEEDED
If you are interested in these specific opportunities or any of our volunteer positions, please call the office (619) 231-7463.
Receive help with write-up, contact us with YOUR ideas for walks, etc.!
- Balboa Park with ranger tour
- Free Tuesdays at museums in Balboa Park
REMAINING 2016 WALKS, EVENTS & TRIPS
|North Carolina and the Biltmore||October 4 - 11|
|San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, and Dana Point||October 19 & 20|
|Annual Meeting Potluck & Auction||October 29|
|Thanksgiving Restaurant Dinner||November 24|
|Thanksgiving Shelter Island Walk||November 24|
|Christmas Brunch; Gift Exchange||December 25|
Please call our office (619) 231-7463 for details about any of the following.