Let me start by saying that I LOVE Mexican food!
In fact, if I were on death row – Heaven forbid! – and had to choose my “last meal,” it would be nachos!
(My mother was born in Chuichupa, Chihuahua, Mexico; perhaps that’s why?!)
Anyhow, set a bowl of chips and salsa within my reach and it will soon become an empty bowl. So when Carrieanna told me of a fundraiser for MSQLP, to be held at Jose’s Mexican Bar and Grill in Monterey, I quickly said “Yes; I’ll be there!”
I am always happy to support the MS Quality of Life Project. MSQLP provides tangible services, like “sponsoring” — translation: “paying for” — swimming (a very helpful therapy for people with MS) at the Monterey Sports Center, as well as emotional and moral service, advocating for and educating individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, with the goal that they enjoy a good quality of life.
Andrea Dowdall, MSW MEd and Board President, and her staff – most of whom are volunteers – work very hard to make life a little bit easier for the local MS population.* And they do it with grace, sincerity and big smiles!
On a more personal level, MSQLP has always been very supportive of Carrieanna, especially in recent years, in her schoolwork and the challenges she has met and conquered along the way.
And Carrieanna is a great support to MSQLP. She currently serves on the MSQLP Board of Directors and she is greatly appreciated!
Tammy Jennings, another MSQLP Board member, arranged for Jose’s to donate 15% of all transactions from 3 until 11 p.m. on Monday, June 11th.
Jose’s is an easy walk and roll from Carrieanna’s house. For drivers, there’s a parking garage across the street, as well as plenty of metered parking.
We strolled in at 6:30 p.m., and the place was already packed with many MSQLP recipients and their families, as well as other diners.
After many friends greeted Carrieanna, we went out to the back patio to chat while waiting for a table to become available.
Overlooking the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, the patio was a lovely, quiet place to relax and enjoy the evening until the cooler weather, and a large empty table, nudged us inside.
As we were seated, the last of three musicians, Juan Sanchez, began playing his guitar and singing Spanish songs. His performance was great, and the crowd praised him frequently with their applause!
With margaritas and aqua fresca aloft, we toasted the success of this fundraiser.
Relaxing with chips, hot salsa and our beverages, we pondered the menu. There were so many tempting options; we finally decided on a vegetarian tostada (for me) and the taco and enchilada plate for Carrieanna.
The food was delicious, with ample portions. Of note: The refried beans are cooked with oil rather than lard. (Vegetarian-friendly AND tasty!)
The flan must have been delicious as well, because it was gone by the time we inquired at 8:00 p.m. Another time ….
We asked our waitress if Jose’s was always so busy on a Monday night, and she said “No.” The large crowd kept the staff very busy, but they were always pleasant and friendly.
During the evening many people asked if they could make a cash donation to MSQLP and, of course, that answer is a grateful “yes!” In fact, you can donate online by going here and clicking on “Donate” button on the lower left-hand side of the page.
*MSQLP serves Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties.
(MSQLP also has an online newsletter. The May 2007 edition is all about travel; I’ll be referencing it in a future blog post.)