A Sad Time

With 30+ million people unemployed, 100,000 US citizens passed away due to Covid-19 and now, the country is mourning and struggling with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police officers, it is a sad time. I wanted to post a note of acknowledgement of the pain and suffering many are going through right now. The violent videos from protests and George’s incident is heartbreaking. I hope the country can pull through together, safely and learn from these experiences to avoid repeat occurrences.

“Come up with a better way! … This ain’t workin’.” A video of a 31-year-old black man tries to calm down an older black men, then pleads an angry 16-year-old to find a solution. After years of attempts, be the generation that’s effective.

Change starts with you.

I always walk the walk so here is how I will do my part to improve those I encounter.

Help the Unemployed

Celebrating my nine-year anniversary with Stella & Dot, my many side gigs are challenging to be successful at given our current economy. Thankfully, I am in a better position than most people. I do not have a family of my own to support. I do not have to pay rent. I do not have student loans, car payments or other debt. I will continue to do my part of supporting local businesses to keep their employees paid. See a list of local restaurants I have supported during quarantine HERE. I will also continue to write reviews to share my experiences and menu suggestions with my Yelp network. I hope this encourages readers to try ordering takeout from these establishments. Be sure to call the establishment directly! Delivery services take a large percentage.

Pizzeria Delfina, Palo Alto, California

In regards to the travel industry, companies are slowly moving forward with promotions starting in July. This will result in more staff coming back to work to tend to guests when travel increases. I hope to serve both companies and my individual clients with an increase in travel sales. Thankfully, I have booked a repeat client for a hotel stay in July. I am open to booking guests for local travel starting this summer, preferably starting in July. This will be post shelter in place order. I will continue to adjust my willingness to book travel based on health recommendations and will never choose a commission over the well-being of my clients. If you do not have the means to travel AND travel safely, please wait for the responsible time to do so. Currently, unnecessary travel is still not recommended.

Stop the Spread

One of my customers made the news of having several of their long-term residents diagnosed with the coronavirus. A director also had the virus. She survived. The week I was planning on visiting these customers, I headed home from the Midwest immediately once they restricted visitors. The shelter in place order took effect exactly one week later. Since then, I have gladly stayed indoors with the exception of going to the farmers market, the grocery store and pickup takeout at least once a week.

Requirements to social distance and wear a mask have been obeyed. Masks were worn and required at my cousin’s funeral as well. I just came across a dear friend’s view on not wanting to wear a face mask. I disagree with her choice but I wish her and her family to remain safe.

Hand sanitizer is attached to my wallet, I have hand sanitizer in my car, I use it at every opportunity when it is offered wherever I go and I always wash my hands as soon as I walk in the house.

Say His Name

George Floyd. This man was subject to police brutality and died at the hospital after complying. Cuffed and on the ground, the police officer’s knee pressed on George’s neck for several minutes. George screamed for help, indicating he couldn’t breathe and requested water. Police video evidence is available.

I can honestly say that I have not done enough to peacefully support protests against police brutality, especially against the American African community. Black Lives Matter. My influential and dear friend in Atlanta has voiced her anger, concern and sadness with every report of injustice against black men and women in the United States. She has made me do more than just read about these issues. Here I am, saying his name.

George Floyd.

He’s important. He mattered. He was loved. He was not resisting arrest. He’s human. He didn’t deserve this treatment.

As my best friend is a police officer, and a white female, I can vouch that not all law enforcement are ill-willed or malicious.

As my former roommate, an African American male, have been subject to racial profiling, I can vouch that not all black men are ill-willed or malicious.

Respecting each other, not abusing your power and being a good, kind human will help make this world a bit more peaceful. Elect representatives that promise to fight for change. Vote, read and listen. I will do more of this myself, from home. Let’s acknowledge and mourn this hard time. Then let’s make a positive difference!

Rest in peace, George Floyd.

Let’s Hike – Dry Creek Regional Park

Once the rain cleared up, our first hike of the year was in Union City, California. Kicking off 2020 with a friend and taking hills head on prepped us for what this year had in store for us.

Start by parking legally further down the hill from the entrance to the park. You can start your hike in the neighborhood. Plan your route using this map.

We started with very little elevation. We passed a pond, passed thru a few gates and met other hikers along the way. Some hikers had dogs. What lucky pups! Be sure to watch where you step! There was a lot of cow dung on the trails.

Make your climb to the summit. Turn around and take in views of the San Francisco Bay, the peninsula and the Oakland and San Francisco skyline.

Try doing a yoga pose or two with an amazing backdrop.

On our way down, besides dung, there was a lot of mud on the trail. Be sure to take your time thru the mud. Leave an extra pair of shoes in the car and extra plastic bag to put your dirty shoes in to be cleaned later.

If you like to track your mileage and elevation, try RunKeeper.

Be sure to treat yourself post hike. Try Skillet’z in Niles.

Their Monte Cristo sandwich.

Happy hiking!

Related posts:
Let’s Hike – Alamere Falls
Let’s Hike – Pacific Grove & Lake Chabot
Let’s Hike – Paths in Santa Cruz

Hayward Demo

The tall building behind the Safeway on Foothill Boulevard in Hayward, California was the old city hall. It has been vacant since the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. I look forward to the “publicly beneficial uses could include housing affordable to a range of incomes, senior housing, local services, uses that generate tax revenue for public safety and other municipal services, temporary and permanent jobs, public plazas, walkways and public art.” HERE is more information.

Below are some progression photos of the demo.

Related posts:
Mervyn’s Demo – Hayward, CA
RockIt Char Grill – Hayward, CA
Hayward Improvements – Please Improve My Property Value

Grateful

“Gratitude helps you fall in love with the life you already have.”

I get to wake up with a smile on my face with the birds are singing, I am able to walk to the park and work out for free. I have food in the fridge. I have steady and reliable income. I have savings, investments, property and excellent credit. I have a roof over my head. I have unconditional love from friends and family. I am healthy. The people I love don’t have the coronavirus. Life is good and I am thankful.

Thanks to FitOn for the workouts.
Dining at home al fresco with Grgich Hills Estate. Mahi mahi with a lemon mint sauce.
Family time
LOVE my Sunshine!

I used to be on the go all the time. I used to have to schedule down time to make sure I rested. With shelter in place, it has forced me to calm down, relax, read more, cook more and save more. Normally, this One Busy Busy is non-stop – from Sacramento to San Francisco to New York. I am appreciating this low key lifestyle.

Golf lesson with Nelly in Sacramento, CA. He owns Nelson’s Catering!
San Francisco
Central Park, New York City

I am also thankful that the world is on its way to some kind of normal. The media suggests we will start seeing decreases in unemployment in July. Cities are discussing plans to shut down streets to allow restaurants more al fresco and social distancing seating. And airlines are promoting flights in July too. My repeat client is planning her birthday outing as normal. I am grateful that I was asked to book her birthday getaway to Bodega Bay this summer. An inquiry for Vietnam was also made this weekend. I am open to learning more about that region.

Another thing to be thankful for is the social media love. During this time of quarantine, I feel companies have stepped up their game and are responding more to their customers. They are showing love back to my posts.

Music can boost your mood. Check out Jay Shale.
AAA Via Magazine mentions going meatless
Gotta love SOLA!
Instagram love from Torciano Winery in Italy.

It takes little effort to like, comment and share posts. We all appreciate the love! Spread some kindness, ignore the negativity. By the way, thanks for visiting!

Happy Memorial Day!

First off, Happy Memorial Day to those who have served our beautiful country. Thank you for your service, dedication and sacrifice.

Last year, my cross country road trip ended in Washington, D.C. There is no better day than today to share some of the sites with you. There, a friend (now ex-Army soldier) and I explored our nation’s capital. We took the metro from Arlington, Virginia to the National Mall. We explored the grounds, walked around the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, found our countries represented side-by-side and stopped at the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

It was a warm day so dress accordingly. Please be respectful of the grounds and clean up after yourself and your pet. You may come across live music, political views voiced over loud speaker and look out for bicyclists, runners and yes, even segway users.

I was last in Washington D.C. when my ex-boyfriend graduated from Officers’ Candidate School with the Marines. He is now a pilot with a beautiful family of his own. May he always remain safe as he continues to serve.

Happy Memorial Day!

Travel Video Dump Thanks to TikTok

Are you OK?! Is somebody chasing you???…It’s 7 AM.

That is Stan’s favorite sound bite. Besides ads popping up on social media, Stan was the first of my friends to tell me about TikTok. I thought I wouldn’t get suck into another social media app. But here I am, scrolling and uploading videos.

I am pretty terrible at making my own lip syncing videos so I have been uploading the many travel videos I have on my phone. Since my Quarantine Eating – Dining In – 2 post, I was able to get rid of 100 files. Check out videos from the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, to ziplining in Auckland, New Zealand to amazing rock formations via the OBB Roadtrip thru Colorado.

For whiskey lovers.

Just 842 videos to go thru and possibly post. Have fun with it! Be nice to people just trying to have a good time. Yes, even Damion with cerebral palsy is being bullied. If you don’t follow me, follow him and show some support. He’s just living his life. With a great smile.

See you on TikTok!

Rollerblading – Day 1

Hey, do you know how to to roller blade?” In search of exercise that would be better for my knees than running, I thought of rollerblading. In numerous FitOn videos, skaters are moves during HIIT and agility workouts. Why not get a pair of roller blades? My roommate and I bought a pair that afternoon. My roommate and I bought ours thru Dick’s. My new pair of wheels are by Roces.

Thanks for sharing my post, Roces!

How did it go? Well, we started two days ago, I fell three times and my bottom still hurts. You can see two of the falls HERE on TikTok.

YouTube training videos have been watched. It is nice to hear that pros with 30 years of experience still fall. Elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards are on their way. And I even have another friend waiting for her blades to arrive. Support and friends to laugh with when you fall is always good.

At Buffalo Bill’s in Hayward, California

Have fun out there! Be careful! Use protection.

Quarantine Eating – Dining In – 2

Since my first post on dining in during this quarantine, I stated I was at 15,000 photos on my phone. Majority of those photos are of food, cocktails, beers and wine bottles. I have not made enough progress. My phone currently has 14, 924 photos. Here is a photo dump or Round 2 of what we have been dining on while in quarantine. Thanks to Pinterest for many of these ideas!

For Meatless Monday , this is cabbage and rice with a lemon mint sauce. I have been making variations of this dish for years. I believe I pulled the recipe out of Shape Magazine and it just stuck. It’s tasty!

More broccolini from the farmers market.

Garlic bread with the French bread that was for free from Safeway‘s Monopoly game. REMINDER – use your free coupons by May 28, 2020!

Homemade chimichurri sauce. Ohhhh, this is my favorite.

It’s so good, we added it to our breakfast sandwiches on an English muffin.

Honey glazed salmon. OMG, Pinterst, I love you. This was soooo good! Serve it with some coconut rice. The mango and coconut marinated salmon from Whole Foods is not good. Just sayin’. Make marinades yourself.

Homemade salsa

And butter cookies from left over frosting for a Christmas pudding that was still in the fridge. Some genius put Talenti Caribbean Coconut gelato in between two cookies to make them a nice treat. Yum!

Happy cooking! Tonight, we will have sausages and broccolini over the grill and a salad with a smoothie for dessert.

American Hotels

There is nothing louder than an American hotel; and, mind you, this is supposed to be a quiet, cozy, old-fashioned, homey place — ‘gracious living’ and all that stuff.” – HH of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

This post is NOT to encourage disobeying the shelter in place orders.

As a Marriott-Certified Travel Agent and lover of travel, I enjoy staying in hotels. You are in a new place, the housekeeping staff makes the bed and cleans the room for you and the hospitality is usually so welcoming. In my experience, most decent hotels are indeed quiet, cozy and homey. The disappointment Humpert is feeling is obviously quite different. I hope my clients enjoy their accommodations when I book them on their future travels. Here are some of my favorite American hotels.

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

This is by far one of my favorite hotels. I have experienced the spa, the restaurants and bars, the beautiful grounds, fitness center and their spacious rooms. Time and time again, the staff has remembered my name, they took good care of my car with their valet service and the value is always worth it.

The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel

On my road trip across the country last year, the friend I was going to stay with in Chicago had an emergency to deal with. I treated myself to staying at The Gwen downtown. The location is convenient, valet service is available, there’s a rooftop patio and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. The bathroom alone is equivalent to some over-priced apartments in San Francisco.

The Moxy, Downtown NYC

If you’re looking for a hip hotel, check out The Moxy. This New York location has a full bar, extra lounge and working space with high ceilings. The skylight allows natural light in. The room was small but utilized the space well with hooks all along the walls and folding tables and chairs. While in Louisville, Kentucky, I stopped in at The Moxy. The lobby was alive and well with a fireplace, a full bar and a taco window to get some grub.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Though not as luxurious at The Ritz or The Gwen, SpringHill Suites is a great option. The downtown Louisville location was my home for six weeks and they treated me very well. I had a nice corner suite with extra space, a view of the downtown towers and a large TV with free Showtime to get hooked on Billions. The complimentary breakfast every morning was stocked with fresh fruit, eggs, protein, waffles and cereal. The gym was spacious and had functional equipment.

American hotels aren’t that bad. Be cautious and always stay somewhere you feel safe. A friend and I moved hotels in Stockton, California when we saw prostitutes were working during the day in front of the establishment. Research neighborhoods and read reviews to get a better understanding of where your American hotel is located. I would be happy to help you with that once this pandemic is over and it is safe to travel.

Book Log

In quarantine, I have had more time to read. I have finished a couple of books. Normally, I am reading articles online or trade pubs I have received in the mail. I like free stuff. It is nice to escape with a book in hand to the political trail or the deserts of Africa or the many obelisks in Europe. I like to be able to pass on the books to other people. Thankfully, the neighborhood has mini wooden library cases in front of some houses. If you take a book from the collection, you should replace it with a new one. I love this idea!

Another idea I love was inspired by Serendipty, the movie starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. Two people meet and spend one magical evening together in New York City. They eventually separate but before they do, the woman writes her name and phone number in a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera found in a book store. If they are truly meant to be together, that same book will find its way to the man.

With every book I finish, I write my name, date and location of where I completed it on the inside cover. I have donated a book aboard the Golden Princess in the Atlantic Ocean. I wonder where it ended up. Perhaps I do this because I loved seeing who else read or checked out the book from the library as a kid.

I started a board on Pinterest of books I have read. I thought I would start a log here as well. If you see that I am currently reading a book I own and you want it for yourself, please let me know! I would just ask you to cover shipping.

Though Los Angeles County has extended their SIP order by three months, the Bay Area’s May 31st date hasn’t been postponed. Yet. I hope I will be able to continue reading for fun after the order has been lifted. We shall see!

Enjoy reading!

Currently reading:
Lolita


Up next:
Deaver, Jeffery – The Skin Collector
Irving, John – Cider House Rules

I have read:
Brown, Dan
– The Lost Symbol
– The DaVinci Code
– Angels & Demons

Chaucer, Geoffrey
– The Canterbury Tales

Coelho, Paulo
– The Alchemist

Collins, Suzanne
– The Hunger Games
– Catching Fire
– Mockingjay

Davenport, Kiana
– Shark Dialogues

Golding, William
– Lord of the Flies

Gordeeva, Ekaterina
– My Sergei

Greene, Heather
-Whisk(e)y Distilled

Homer
– The Odyssesy

Houston, James D. and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
– Farewell to Manzanar

Maguire, Gregory
– Wicked

Meyer, Stephanie
– Twlight
– New Moon
– Eclipse
– Breaking Down

Mitchell, Margaret
– Gone With the Wind

Obama, Michelle
– Becoming

Presley, Priscilla Beauliue
– Elvis & Me

Ripley, Alexandra
– Scarlett

Rowling, J.K.
– Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone

Salinger, J.D.
– The Catcher in the Rye

Semple, Maria
– Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Shakespeare, William
– Hamlet
– Romeo & Juliet

Steinbeck, John
– Of Mice and Men

Tautz, Jurgen & Diedrich Steen
– The Honey Factory

Walker, Alexander
– Vivien: The Life of Vivien Leigh

Villasenor, Victor
– Rain of Gold