Niles, California

Niles reminds of me the butler in sitcom The Nanny. Locally here in the San Francisco Bay Area, Niles is a cute little town with antique shops, Bronco Billy’s pizza spot, a park, an old train car, salons and a Tyme for Tea. I heard first of Niles when I was in college. I enjoyed the film class that introduced me to Charlie Chaplin movies. I even bought a box set of movies from Amazon! Charlie has filmed several movies, including The Tramp, on the Essanay Film Studio lot there in Niles.

One of my favorite spots for brunch was called Essanay Cafe. It is now closed but it was a busy, little spot. Most restaurants are in Niles. The wait outside Skillet’z was long earlier this year.

On this particular visit to Niles, I was in the area for work. I had time to grab a bite to eat before my next meeting with my client. I drove down the main strip to scope out what was open. I ended up going passed Skillet’z and they were again quite busy. They don’t have any outdoor seating so I am not sure how they are servicing guests during this pandemic. I turned around, parked in shady spot in a large parking lot and walked to the Marisco’s taco truck.

I ordered three tacos con crema – one carne asada, carnitas and shrimp. Hands down, the carnitas were the best. It had a bit of crispy pieces. Some places leave that out.

I stopped by the old, green train and ready the marker. If you like trains, I would recommend going to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California. Such a cool spot! Just as my film class turned me into a Chaplin fan, trains became so much cooler to me.

After lunch, I continued to enjoy the tables the town or Bronco Billy’s has set up in the parking lot. I was able to keep an eye out on my car and I was able to work on my Surface. It was a nice summer day in Niles.

New Projects

One of the three new projects on my plate is keeping me very busy during this pandemic. I am a new Project Manager for a company building homeowners’ a new sunroom and patio cover. It is a product I haven’t worked with before and I am learning a lot. Besides learning how to work with my new coworkers, I am learning about the permit process and how it’s different per city. I am learning new SaaS products such as Podio and Monday. And my Spanish didn’t hurt in getting plenty of help from the crew. My tape measure skills could improve but I will work on that. My Honda Civic Si is stocked with a ladder, 2-foot level and pencils. A sketch pad to take measurements are also a must.

Our showroom is in Downtown Hayward but we service the entire San Francisco Bay Area and have done jobs in Sacramento and Santa Cruz. If you are looking to add square footage to your home or looking to work remotely in your backyard on a covered patio, Contact Me!

Work in Progress

2020 is halfway thru. The US people are approaching an election in November that can’t come soon enough. We went thru sheltering in place. We have also survived the loudest and most annoying July 4th. What do we have to show for it?

Kanye West announced he will run for the US presidency this year. People are gathering at beaches, not social distancing, all while cases reaching all-time highs in some states. And numerous burnt down homes because of illegal fireworks constantly going off. I can’t say it’s looking good.

What we do have control of is what we do as individuals. We can register to vote, send in our ballot and encourage others to vote. We can wear a mask to be considerate of other people’s well-being. And we try to live our best lives.

No socializing for me this holiday! I experienced curbside shopping for the first time with Best Buy. I was in need of a charger for my Microsoft Surface since USPS failed to successfully deliver my Amazon order. The placement of my item thru my passenger window as I sat in parking spot #4 and the CSR walking away was an interesting experience. Then, I headed to the grocery store for something to grill to somewhat participate this holiday.

Before that, I had a long workout session as the house with picking up some weights and doing a Strong Zumba video that is free on Amazon Prime. To my surprise, the Venezuelan hottie I follow on Instagram that is Michelle Lewin was in the video! I also took before photos and made a commitment to do more to get back to being a bit more fit. Nope! There is no way I’m posting those so don’t ask! This quarantine has me sitting on my bottom majority of the day and eating a lot. With four projects on my hands now, I cannot allow my health to take a backseat. I have to work it into my busy schedule. With that, I need support.

I started a new group on Facebook called “Status: Work in Progress.” We are all a work in progress. I had a FB group for when I did Bodybuilding.com fitness challenges. The challenges really motivated me. Per a response to my Tweet, they will no longer be doing the challenges. With this new FB group, I hope to motivate my friends to live an active lifestyle, eat healthy, and give them a safe, positive place to brag about their fitness accomplishments. I love seeing my friends post-workout pics. They motivate me. I am happy they are working on themselves, FOR themselves. This will be a safe place for that. No judgments, just support. Sweat is sexy!

If you’re working on your fitness goals, congratulations! If you haven’t begun yet, what are you waiting for? Comment below of how you’ve made progress recently in your fitness journey.

Back in Santa Cruz – Day 5

We woke up to the birds still chirping. It was welcomed this time. It was just like waking up at the house in the peninsula. There, the birds are often crows. These sounds are then usually followed by the many gardeners or machines for local home improvement jobs at 7:45 AM. It’s so early to be so noisy when so many people are at home. Next: coffee before I was temporarily alone in the house again. My roommate was coming down from the East Bay for her birthday.

After the long hike the day before, I took it easy on the morning workout. A yoga video via FitOn will have to do. Then, I finished up Dear White People on Netflix as I washed the sheets for Kim.

Kim arrived at the house and we soon took off to explore. This was my first day out and about. It wasn’t to go grocery shopping, pick up takeout, attend a funeral or go to a job interview. Frankly, I am not entirely comfortable with it. I hate wearing a mask and this social butterfly has learned to love to stay home. Since it was her birthday, we went out. Our first stop was Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Company. The wait to sit outside and social distance was estimated for 35 minutes. I gave them my name and phone number. I should receive a text when our area was ready.

We went around the corner to an open tasting room: MJA Vineyards. A ramp led to the entrance. Guests already occupied the few high tops outside. I slowly peeking in to see if the coast was clear to enter and no one was coming out. I stepped in. We were greeted and taken to the barrel room for our tasting. Two glasses and menus were laid on top of the wine barrel. The tasting tables were spaced out well and it was safe to take off our masks.

We were greeted by the Tasting Room manager. I introduced myself and immediately let her know that we are on the wait list for a table around the corner. We might have to jet. I offered my credit card immediately. Wine in mini glass bottles with sealed twist caps were presented to us. These tastings held more than a ‘taste.’ For $15, this was a good deal.

My phone buzzed. Our table at the brewing company was ready. Unfortunately we only got thru the first two wines but we were able to take the rest of the bottles with us. We moved onto the brewery.

We were sat on bar stools and a counter that boarded the patio walls. A pinned notice indicated that patrons only had an hour to spend there. No camping! Menus included snacks and beers available. No flights were offered. I went with the Devout Stout. Kim went with Seedless, the watermelon kettle sour. We also ordered the pretzel.

Both beverages were in a bottle. The stout was good and light. I bought another stout bottle to take home to share. The sour was light. In comparison, I would rather have a rose. The pretzel was huge for $5 and served with beer cheese and mustard. The pretzel was quite salty.

Undecided on where to go next, the beaches and parks were closed at 5 PM. I drove north on Highway 1 and took Kim on a spontaneous adventure. As a California native, you are sometimes expected to have done everything in your own backyard. As a Travel Agent, I should! As seen in travel guides and on social media, the swing at the Davenport Pier is Instagram worthy. I have never been. I drove about nine miles past Wilder Ranch Park and pulled to the side of the road to park.

Before seeing the pier with my own eyes, we took some photos on the train tracks.

Driving the train doesn’t set its course. The real job is laying the track.” – Ed Catmull. Opportunities and change is in motion right now. Let’s see where it takes us.

A safety railing was not lining the cliff. We cautiously approached the edge and we saw the Davenport Pier in real life. It was a long way down. The drop to the beach to visit the base of Alamere Falls is nothing compared to this. Down below, you could see a line of folks wanting to have their photo taken on the swing. Wearing only flip flops, it wouldn’t be smart to attempt the descent. The breeze picked up and there a slight chill. That was a sign to head back to Santa Cruz.

Since we were still out, we had to pick up dinner before staying in for the evening. There were a lot of options. Sala Thai was the winner. I remember having excellent pad see ew last year. An order of mango with sticky rice would also hit the spot. Kim had the peanut sauce dish with pork and crab rangoons. Sadly, the pad see ew wasn’t as flavorful as what I was remember and the mango rice was pretty dry. Maybe they were just having a bad day.

The rest of the night was sitting on the couch. Extraction with Chris Hemsworth earned a quick ‘YES’ from Kim for movie #1. It has received great reviews and I enjoyed the action scenes. Since it was her birthday weekend, Kim then chose Grown Ups with Adam Sandler. Salma Hayek looked incredible in that. Wow!

I prepared a bit for my meeting on Wednesday and I hit the hay on the couch. There were no confirmed plans for Kim’s birthday besides getting a churro waffle from Harbor Cafe in the morning. Let’s see what birthday options are available to use during a pandemic and on a Monday. A meatless Monday for me.

Related posts:
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 1
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 2
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 3
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 4 / Let’s Hike

Back in Santa Cruz – Day 4 / Let’s Hike!

Hellloooo, Weekend! The day started with Facetime call with my friend I was housesitting for. I posted a pic the night before of these two kitty kibble bandits that were caught red-handed on the porch when I was about to take in the cat food for the evening. Apparently, I was late in taking it in and it was their dinner time! I shooed them away with some banging on the sliding door and throwing some water in their direction. They left and I grabbed the food and water out there for the outside kitty. The raccoons are cute critters but some may carry rabies.

As usual, more FitOn workouts were done, completing the June challenge of completing 10 workouts. Nothing else official was planned for the day, text received at 9 AM confirmed company was arriving for a hike. It was going to be another beautiful and sunny day in Santa Cruz. Now, which hike to do? AllTrails is a good place to start. The app and website are free to start an account. Sign up for the Pro for $29.99 a year to download maps to stay on track, never miss a turn without service, keep friends and family notified of your status and location with Lifeline and 1% of their annual sales goes back to the planet. Not bad! I am considering signing up. I hope to get back to hiking once a month.

I usually select trails that end at a waterfall like Alamere Falls or runs along some kind of body water like we saw on Purisima. On AllTrails, you can read reviews of hikers’ experiences and sort them by how recently they were posted. With the shelter in place orders lifted, some recent hikers state trails have been overrun with brush, fallen trees or parking lots have been closed. The recent reviews for the waterfall hike in Aptos sounded less appealing. I selected Wilder Ranch. I mapped out our route of just under seven miles. We usually go for three-mile walks back at home and he has been wanting to go for more hikes and continue breaking in his hiking boots. Six miles sounded like a good distance.

Having had toast for breakfast but the man was hungry, I pre-ordered breakfast burritos from Harbor Cafe. Although I ate, I bought one to reserve for later. These ginormous burritos for $11 with bacon were tasty and filling. Add their chili verde sauce for some extra yumminess. I had mine later that evening and I couldn’t finish it. He gladly did.

We paid for $10 for parking. The lady at the kiosk told us where to park and where to find the tunnel to go under the highway to the trails. We could have found parking along the highway but I didn’t mind supporting the parks. He finished his burrito, changed into his boots, loaded up and we started our trek. Silly me, the navigator missed the tunnel by following the flow of traffic. We continued on the bike path along the highway. It didn’t feel right. I eventually asked other trekkers if we were headed the right way. She confirmed we missed it and we corrected our path. Eventually we hit some dirt and found trail markers. Off we went! Adding some extra yardage didn’t hurt.

We started at on the Engleman’s trail, then to Wild Boar, to Old Cabin, to The Enchanted Loop, to Twin Oaks then take Wilder Ranch back to the car. The route was breezy but with a lot of shade. I could see some redness on my hiking partner’s skin. Don’t forget to wear sunblock, wear a hat and sunglasses. I usually have bug repellent but I didn’t have any with me at the time. Thankfully I didn’t get bitten.

You will go over bridges, zig zag through medium-height brush and go thru groves with tall trees. Listen to the wind blowing through the branches and the slow creaks of the trees swaying. You will also want to listen for cyclists coming up and down the paths on the narrow trails. I have never experienced so much bike traffic on a hike before. Stay alert! As I enjoyed the dogs on the beach during my jog the day before, my favorite biker is the one that had a grey dog running behind him with so much joy. What a lucky puppy.

The man was going a bit slower than expected but I let him lead. I then realized that his new boots were giving him some trouble. I intended for us to do the whole Enchanted Loop but his feet were screaming that it wouldn’t be a good idea. Always listen to your body. By that point, we had already done six miles. The AllTrails estimation was a little off but we kept going.

From the Enchanted Loop, the Wild Boar trail was not marked. When we approached the second turn off, I estimated that it could be the correct trail. It was heading down so it should eventually run us to the bottom. We guessed correctly. I would have felt extremely terrible if it took us off course. Had I been a Pro member, no guessing would have been needed. We eventually made it to Wilder Ranch Loop and the end was in sight.

“Too much nature.”

At this point, my allergies kicked in. It has been awhile. Normally, if I am near a body of water, I am fine. But it was windy and some areas were very dry and I started to sneeze often. My eyes started to get itchy and I really wanted to blow my nose. Reminder: carry tissue (among other first aid items) with you! We didn’t have any. His feet were hurting and I just wanted to breathe. We were quite the pair at eight miles. Who knew we had almost two more miles to go.

Finally reaching the car, RunKeeper stated this was my longest hike at 9.79 miles and burned 927 calories. Sneezing up a storm, my dreams of stopping at a brewery for a beer on a patio had no hopes of becoming reality. I would not be the ideal patron post-shelter in place. We went back to the house. He had the last remaining beer in the fridge and I had some of my burrito, some water and took a shower to clean the dirt off me. I felt better by the evening.

We spent the rest of the night snacking on cheese and charcuterie and the cucumber salad I made. After some of Dear White People, we successfully made it to the third season of Ozark. My roommate started it before us and recently texted me that she just saw the most disturbing scene from the current season. I asked if it was worse than a scene from Mayans. I haven’t had to turn away from scenes from Ozark yet but apparently, I will! If you watch the show, which character is your favorite?

We went off to bed without raccoon encounters. However, the birds were very talkative! He likes the window being open so it sounded as if seventeen birds were perched on the electric wire just above the house. I eventually fell asleep but that was enough nature for the day!

Onto Day 5.

Related posts:
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 1
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 2
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 3

Back in Santa Cruz – Day 3

It was scheduled to be a cooler day than the past few days. Thanks to the encouragement of my favorite person and the opportunity of being in Santa Cruz today, I took advantage of the weather and committed to going for a run first thing in the morning.

I haven’t ran on the beach since October 2018 on Maui, Hawaii. I haven’t ran in three months to give my knees a break. My last big run was a half marathon at Disneyland Paris on my last birthday nine months ago. Before I left the house, I did a pre-run stretch video on FitOn, some squats and modified push-ups to warm the body up. Apparently, not warm enough! I am glad I brought my light Hawaii hoodie. The walk to the beach at 9 AM was a bit brisk. When the fog burns off in Santa Cruz, it could be really nice and sunny.

Pre-run

I was wondering how this run was going to go. I ended up doing a 5K along the surf. I didn’t care about my time. I just wanted to see if I can still wake up and just go for 3.1 miles. When I was training for the halves, the first two miles were the hardest part. I either didn’t want to do the run in the first place or my body wasn’t warm enough yet to kick into autopilot. After two miles, I gained confidence that I can go a bit further. Listening to the waves crash, feeling the soft sand under my feet and being able to cool off by making strides in the water helped me keep going. I want to give some kudos to the two young girls and the gent wearing a weighted vest running the same route and to the swim team doing land and sea drills. It was motivating. Seeing the occasional dog also put a smile on my face.

Yes, I can run on water.

I walked back to the house, did some abs and devoured the organic blackberries I bought from Staff of Life. Delicious! I also started to watch Dear White People. They do a really good job of talking about the struggles of racism, social media, self-esteem and more. Add being a college student on top of that and life can be so hard. I love the main character, Sam. What a strong and courageous woman!

This One Busy Bee of a woman had a call with a non-profit rep from Pennsylvania. I responded to an ad about volunteering to do virtual event planning consulting for a couple of hours via the phone. The rep had a general idea that involved gaming, e-tournaments, raffles and earning entries. I haven’t picked up a game console controller in forever. I recommended the rep to find someone with a gaming background for efficiency, perhaps someone on Twitch. He agreed. And frankly, I couldn’t work with someone that constantly interrupted me. I volunteered to un-volunteer. I hope he finds what he’s looking for.

On the other hand, I have had three companies respond to my job applications in the last 24 hours. My first day with the new contract work will begin Wednesday. I will also have a new customer for a new service I am offering. We will be meeting on Wednesday evening and I hope to have a signed agreement. It will be a very busy hump day. I will announce the new service once I have that signed document. It is restaurant related though! Stay tuned!

Octopus dish at Scala’s Bistro – San Francisco.

With a much busier week ahead than I have had in months, I have been lounging at the house watching Netflix and playing my games. As I write this, I am getting a little tired and am about to head down to bed to read. The Cider House Rules is pretty heavy with characters dealing with being an orphan, foster parents, abortion, incest and differences of how the wealthy and poor deal with their problems.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. More of Santa Cruz to come! I am looking forward to spending time with my loved ones here, go for a hike or two, cook for them and celebrate my roommate’s birthday. Wineries should be open. Cheers!

Caesar salad made w/items from Staff of Life.

Related posts:
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 1
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 2
Fitness Fun

Back in Santa Cruz – Day 2

As normal, I woke up around 7 AM. Not normal, I only had three or so hours of sleep. On top of that, I woke up on the couch in Santa Cruz, California. The kitties have been easy to deal with and thankfully, the wifi is back up and running. I brushed my teeth, got back to job hunting and finished up Raising Dion. I then moved onto the movie with Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx called Just Mercy. It is a good movie to see in today’s world with all the energy behind Black Lives Matter. Tears were definitely shed before noon on this Thursday. There is a lot more work to be done. HERE is a great article on 19 ways to fight racism.

In an attempt to shed more than just tears, (ahem, pounds!) I did two FitOn workouts. There is an ab challenge of doing eight videos over a certain time period. One of two workouts focused on my core. I then did the ballet workout again. It is one of my favorites. The windows were open to allow the ocean breeze cool me down and I could hear birds chirping to cheer me on. It is almost like working out in the park but with a lot more privacy.

I had a third call regarding some contract work and am awaiting an offer in writing. Fingers crossed that will come thru shortly. I am also waiting for more work for another startup. Travel is slowly picking up. I look forward to booking more travel guests. I am also hoping to book a wedding for 2021. Engaged couples, let’s talk! This One Busy Bee ended the call feeling I can take some time off from looking thru job postings and applying. It is quite time consuming but with dedication and effort, you will get replies. With only having had a ham croissant from Tartine in San Francisco, I then allowed myself to leave the house and to get some groceries.

There is a Safeway nearby and we usually go to Whole Foods on Sundays. Here in Santa Cruz, I wanted to support a local business: Staff of Life. They are the only locally owned certified green market in Santa Cruz. According to Swarm, I was last at this market in May 2019. I am happy to give them my money. They will also be opening a location in Watsonville soon!

SoL had one path for the entrance and another to exit. They labeled which stack of baskets have been sanitized and there is an employee designated to cleaning carts and baskets. I was about to fill my basket with organic blueberries, romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, chips, truffle cheese, salami and crackers. I had Persian cucumbers from the farmers market in Palo Alto back at the house and ordering takeout for dinner sounded like a good idea. I researched what I was going to get while waiting in line to checkout. Standing on floor markers to social distance myself from other customers, I decided on MG Sushi around the corner.

I picked up the two sushi rolls after ordering in the SoL parking lot. I asked for ponzu sauce on the side. I prefer it over soy sauce. Hit LIKE if you’re with me! I asked whether or not the sauce was in the bag as I shoved my credit card into the Clover system. I didn’t see any plastic ramekins in my clear bag of food. The lady confirmed it was inside. Sadly, I got back to the house and none was provided. GAH! Thankfully my friend had a nice bottle of it in the fridge. The sushi was hitting the spot.

Redwood Roll and Santa Cruz Roll

After a productive day, I plopped on the couch and played on my phone. Oh, TikTok, Facebook, ScrabbleGo etc. And here’s a confession: I play The Sims FreePlay on my iPad. I am on level 54 and my town is worth $21 million. I loved playing SimCity as a kid on the computer. At the same time, I attempted a few episodes of Stranger Things with Winona Ryder. I wasn’t a fan. I moved onto 13 Reasons Why which held more of my attention.

Without a nap, I took my low key evening to the bedroom and opened up The Cider House Rules. Thankfully, I was actually able to fall asleep.

Until Day 3.

Related posts:
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 1
#WereHungryToo – Santa Cruz – April 2019
Let’s Hike – Paths in Santa Cruz

Back in Santa Cruz – Day 1

Sheltering in place for months and being part of the 2.5 million unemployed, I am able to help a friend watch her kitties in a popular beach town called Santa Cruz. I am here for a week. Ten days ago, I stayed for four days and it was overcast. I stayed the majority of that period. This time the weather is much better.

With great weather, people are drawn to the beach. Beaches are still closed but to locals, they are enjoying the beach and laying out despite the signage posted. Not every person is wearing a mask. But it sure is beautiful.

To support local businesses and because I failed to go to the grocery store, I stopped at Cafe El Palomar. I peeked around the corner and saw patrons dining inside The Crow’s Nest. Not quite comfortable to dine in, I ordered at Cafe El Palomar.

I passed the larger group of adults and children dining outside. Other tables along the building were also occupied with about six feet of space in between. Kids were playing in the sand and teenagers were enjoying the beach volleyball court.

I went inside when it was clear of other patrons and looked over their large menu of appetizers, entrees, vegetarian and vegan items. I went with the taco salad with salmon for around $18. An order for a strawberry margarita was called for pick up over the PA system. I spontaneously added one to my order as well. I haven’t drank much during this quarantine. My two-mile walk almost made feel less guilty about enjoying one.

I took a different route back to the house and the kitties. The salad was good but the salmon was on the bottom of the salad, just above the refried beans. I was expecting it to rest on top of the salad. Nonetheless, it was filled my belly. Surprisingly, the margarita was not too sweet.

The rest of the day was filled with sending out resumes, ScrabbleGo, watching Raising Dion on Netflix and yes, TikTok for fun. Normally, I would be out and about exploring and meeting locals. I am not comfortable yet. Especially when a mask is mandatory and Covid cases are surging as re-openings of businesses are taking place. “California’s hospitalizations have risen in nine of the past 10 days, and are at their highest since May 13.” (Pennsylvania Real Time News, 6/11/20).

In an attempt to stay on my normal sleeping schedule, I headed down to bed at about 11 PM. I read a bit of my new book, The Cider House Rules by John Irving. I got sucked into TikTok again when I couldn’t sleep. I went up to the living room to try to fall asleep on the couch while watching more of Raising Dion. When it was 3 AM, the WiFi began having issues. I spent the next hour attempting to troubleshoot it. I eventually found the modem and the normal ways to fix it didn’t work. I eventually gave up thinking it was just an outage out of my control. I finally fell asleep on the couch.

Not being alone the entire shelter in place period, it is out of the ordinary being a home by myself. I don’t like it. I have grown accustomed to the new norm. Thankfully, it won’t be just Princess the Cat in the house in a day or two. I am lucky to have friends that trust my judgment to welcome my loves and friends into their home. Onto Day 2, with wifi that corrected itself. Sometimes things just work themselves out. Enjoy your day!

Related posts:
Back in Santa Cruz – Day 1

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