Our Calm Before the Storm

I want to preface this post so I don’t get pushback. With months of Covid in action we now know that there isn’t one activity that is safe or risky, it’s all a calculated risk. We do know that wearing masks, social distancing, washing our hands and being outdoors as much as possible are things that we can do to help keep us all safe.

Since SDUSD hasn’t yet opened the doors to on-campus learning, we decided to take a tropical getaway before shit gets real. With that said, I put a lot of time in researching a place to go that was warm but most importantly a place that had all of the above precautions in place. I joined social media groups to ask questions and followed people who were already at the destination or had just came back. I also didn’t want to be in an airport any longer than necessary, so a direct flight was a priority. 

We decided on heading down to Puerto Vallarta, the weather and ocean temps were great, the resort was on top of all their safety protocols and the flight was quick and easy. The flight left San Diego early one morning and it was the emptiest flight I have ever been on, I think there were about 15 of us on the entire plane. The airport in PV was also empty and it was a breeze to get through. Our luggage was sanitized before we got in our private vehicle to take us to our hotel.

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When we arrived at the resort we were greeted with hand sanitizer and a glass of sparkling wine. Once checked in, we headed straight to the room, dropped the suitcases, put our bathing suits on and went straight to the water.

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This is where we stayed 90% of the trip.

If you are already judging me, thinking that I am irresponsible or some other adjectives that I can’t think of right now, then you should probably stop reading these posts. There were some OMG moments on the trip,  things that are crazier (in retrospect) than being on an airplane. I won’t go into explicit details because 1. I don’t know the age of all the readers and 2. my parents read my blog.

The first couple of days that we were at the resort it was pretty much empty. We stayed in the pool, drinking, chatting and meeting new people. There were beach vendors down on the sand but they were very respectful and kept to themselves if you didn’t want to purchase anything. We did however almost die (sort of kidding) with our first dip in the ocean, apparently there was a red flag waving (cringe face) but that was news to us until later. The water was warm like a bath so we swam out. Long story short, the ocean was more aggressive than it lead on. I was able to get under the waves and get to shore but Shawna got caught in it and lost her brand new sunnies, that was the most devastating part. But she will claim to this day that mother nature was playing dirty. So we made our way back to the pool where we stayed all week; The red flag suddenly appeared out of nowhere and stayed put the entire week.

Doesn’t look so threatening does it?

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Our room was your typical room but we had an amazing view. We were never in it aside from sleeping and showering. We fell asleep with the doors open but since their hours of operation have changed due to Covid, certain younger folks would take the party outside. The door then had to be closed to block out the sound of their drunk chatter and music. Yes, this trip made us realize that we are now “those” old people.

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The Resort had two sides, adults only and family. All together there are about 7 restaurants but they rotated the nights that they were open. Two of those restaurants required fancy attire and since it was hot and very humid we decided early on that we would only dress up one night. Shorts and flips were where it was at. The first night we ate at the Japanese place on the family side of the resort. Food was fine, service was great, that was that.

Every night there was some sort of live entertainment in the lobby. The lobby or lobbies were all open air.

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Day two we woke up, ordered breakfast and coffee and ate on our balcony. The only plans we had were to pool. Lay by the pool, play in the pool and drink in the pool. We ended up meeting a really nice couple from New Jersey and a couple from Idaho. We had a fun time visiting with them and decided to all have dinner together at the Seafood restaurant. Everything was going fine until the Idaho husband started getting flirtatious with me. {Let me mention that he was a police officer in Idaho who spent a lot of the afternoon talking about respect.} While we were sitting down after dinner he put his hand on my leg while asking “is this okay?”. “No, it’s not” I said and I moved away. Looking back, earlier in the day at the pool, his wife was making some adulterous comments which meant nothing to any of us at the time. Now we think it was all a plan in action to swing.  Different strokes for different folks, not our jam.  I also want to say that reading this you may think, so what if he put his hand on your leg, that’s not a big deal. But it is, it made me feel uncomfortable. Especially since we spent the day with each other as couples and had to listen about how A. he was a police officer and B. how he doesn’t deal with disrespectful people. He is the problem.

Moving on, we spent the rest of the evening with our new New Jersey friends listening to people butcher songs at Karaoke in the Lobby bar, and we could not wait for it to happen again later in the week.

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Next up we test our luck in the jungle.

Road Trippin {nor cal style}

One Monday morning we packed up the car and headed north. We zoomed through LA aiming for lunch in Pismo Beach but apparently we weren’t the only ones with that idea. Downtown Pismo was insane, especially for a Monday during a pandemic but I guess everyone was ready for a break. Not wanting to wait, we kept driving making our first stop in Morro Bay.

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We checked into a little motel and went looking for a decent meal. I made a deal with myself to get a cup of clam chowder at each coastal town we stopped in so I could be the sole judge of what town gave me the best one. A little known fact about me, chances are if I order clam chowder, there will be a glass of Chardonnay along with it. Like give a Pig a Pancake but with soup and wine. Anyhow, after hemming and hawing over menus we ended up at the Dutchman’s Seafood House. It was fine, the clam chowder was the best thing we ordered.

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After our sole meal of the day we wandered around and weirdly enough stumbled into a tasting room. Chateau Margene is parked on the main strip of Morro Bay, you can’t miss it and they had really delicious wines, pricey but good. The guy pouring was family of the winemaker, knowledgable and made the experience nice. They also had ports which had us swooning after each sip. The sleepy town slowed down with the sun so we padded back to the room to divulge in our dessert wine and chocolate.

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On the drive up we found out the new tasting procedure for wineries, and it really takes the fun spontaneity out the of wine tasting experience but alas, we are all alive to talk about it so….I made reservations for tasting at three different Paso Robles wineries.

We started at Eberle. We had a table on the patio with views of sprawling vineyards, the wine was good but we didn’t leave with anything. The highlight was the standard poodle we met as we were leaving, I may have suggested smuggling it into the car.

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Next stop was Pear Valley Winery.

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This was a nice time and the wine was pretty good. They had some sweet muscats that we just can’t find much of near us.

After a really rushed lunch and a pretty bad sandwich, we barely made our reservation at Brochelle. This was a quaint tasting room with some decent wines and a good Syrah. The girl pouring was very personable and it was fun chatting with her. Satisfied and happy we decided to head back to the coast for another round of clam chowder when we found ourselves at one more winery. Luckily a quick call from the car, Windward winery has a spot to seat us for one last tasting.

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Windward specialized in Pinot Noir’s and I am no fan of Pinot Noir’s, however either my palate is changing or we just had some really good ones. We did a vertical tasting of PN’s and they were all good, surprisingly.

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Finally back on the road, we drove through Cambria and stopped at Moonstone Beach for dinner.IMG_4613

We had a really good meal and their clam chowder was so delicious.

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We decided to end the evening in San Simeon. By the time we checked in it was time to crawl into bed and veg to the murder channel, sweet dreams.

Our next day would be a long car day taking us all the way to Sonoma.

 

 

Learning Curve

Every day we get up, drink coffee and shower. Every morning the girls have breakfast, get dressed, make their beds and head to their spot for a daily zoom meeting. Every day I do my best to get it all done; work, school, keep the children alive. The girls get in their academics, some creative art, physical activity, and we manage to fit in plenty of fun game time. We are amazing. At the end of the day we are wiped and stressed about not only how it all got done, but how are we going to do it again and again without going mad? Am I doing enough? Shit, they haven’t had vegetables in days…It’s okay that they’ve had breakfast for all three meals, right? They haven’t gone outside in two days because f*ck! it hasn’t stopped raining.

These are how the days go. There is crying and laughing, wine and sugar but we get it done and we get up and do it again, because moms are amazing!

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We squeezed in a field trip to Mount Laguna. Such a fun day!

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fullsizeoutput_b69We even brought snow home for a Kinder science experiment. Averi and I read the book “The Snowy Day” and the next day we went outside to see what happened to the snow we brought home; A built in lesson plan.

GoNoodle is a life saver.

I can really tell a difference between the days they get a good amount of physical activity and the days they don’t. They all show their hands at bedtime.

They also love the time we set aside to create. Whether it’s coloring, cooking or painting, I think it’s the only time of day that they are quiet.

Quiet is good!

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I think if you asked them what their favorite part of the day was, they would all say family game time. We have found a few new favorites. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is a lot of fun, (it’s meant for 8 years and older but Averi has gotten the hang of it, she just won’t win anytime soon.) We all love UNO, and the girls new favorite is, The Floor is Lava. They love this game,  I haven’t won yet so it’s not my favorite.

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There are some tears and a lot of “whyyyyyyys?”

As frustrating as it is being on, every.single.minute.of.the.day. They really love having us at their fingertips all day long.

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Well, most of the time.

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Birthdays

To celebrate the February birthday’s in our family we all went to Little Italy for dinner. Although the food wasn’t anything to rave about, the company was well worth it. The best part of Italian food is that we know we can order the girls pizza and skip the dramatics. You guys, they are getting older, when does their pickiness go away?

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Later that night Kaili started to deteriorate and ended up with a bad cold. It has now hit the entire house, besides me; takes a bow while simultaneously knocks on wood. 

A week or so later we headed to Vegas. While we were waiting to check in, we saw Jesus, probably.

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We hit the arts district where we had an incredible lunch at Esthers Kitchen.

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So good in fact, that we went back once more before we left.

Once my brother flew in, we hit the town. Music, food, dancing and all the fun that we have there.

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The next day we decided to hit up Frankie’s Tiki’s Lounge before heading to the strip.

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We were almost committed to riding on the high roller, but then beer pong caught our eye.

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On the way back to the hotel, we saw the most amazing rainbow.

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With that we headed to a casino to test our luck. Some of us were luckier than others. We met some nice folks, crazy characters and spent the rest of the night singing and dancing.

A great birthday month in the books.

The Best of What’s Around

It’s been years since I have seen Dave Matthews in concert, the young kids really throw a damper on late night concerts. He (Dave) didn’t even come to SD last year, side eye to you DM. So when I heard they were coming back I wanted, no, needed to go. I mentioned it to Shane, and then a few weeks later I  told Shane about it…and then I reminded Shane and so on and so forth. He, of course got us tickets…not without telling me how I ruined his “surprise”  and then I was beside myself with excitement for this day to come. It’s been about 6 or 7 years since we have seen them live and 21 years since I first heard them…woah, that ages me.

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I had more fun than Shane did. He hasn’t loved them like I have but we had a good time. We enjoyed  VIP access and box seats. In reality the VIP area isn’t really necessary for the price. It gives you a place to drink and free food to eat while a DJ plays top 40 music. But the seats, those are great. Nothing better than having waited service so you don’t have miss any songs.

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When I  was 18 years old  I went to Vegas to see the Grateful Dead. I was roaming through a hotel, not yet old enough to gamble or drink  but I tossed some quarters into a pull machine and I won, of course…and then I got the hell out of there. Funny the way it is.

When we arrived at the concert venue I was worried about getting sprayed with LSD water. I know, it sounds crazy but it was hot and I had heard that some concert “goers” would dose spray bottles and squirt random people. I was SO paranoid about that, I couldn’t enjoy myself. In reality nothing happened and I don’t know if that ever happened but I must have heard it somewhere. Then the opening band started, some new band called The Dave Matthews Band. They were so good and I instantly fell in love, bought their music and haven’t stopped to this day.