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 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

Quarantine Eating – Take Out – 1

Meatless Monday is followed by Takeout Tuesday, then by Wine Wednesday, Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday. Takeout Tuesday is to encourage people to order takeout once a week to support local restaurants. Many of my friends in the restaurant industry are struggling and are part of the 26 million who have filed for unemployment. If a restaurant is offering items to go, it is with a skeleton crew. Many folks are cooking and baking up a storm while in quarantine. To change it up, order some takeout every now and then. Your favorite establishments will appreciate it.

Shelter in Place has us going to the farmer’s market and grocery store once a week. We usually order take out once or twice a week. The recent social media post of a GrubHub invoice for a restaurant shows that the delivery service company takes 60% of the order sales. That is crazy! My order from GrubHub yesterday was for a favorite spot of ours in the East Bay called Sons of Liberty Alehouse. My order of the fried chicken sandwich, garlic fries and the brussel sprouts were delicious. Inside the paper bag that was stapled closed was a message from SOLA to their customers asking to call directly. Yes, moving forward, I will be ordering directly. For the most part, we have.

Below are restaurants we have supported in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SONS OF LIBERTY ALEHOUSE
*The last time we will be using a delivery service. Sorry, Drivers.

Thanks for sharing, SOLA!

PIZZERIA DELFINA
Ordered directly maybe every other week. Get the prosciutto pizza with anchovies. Sooooo good! (Pictured above.)

THE CHEESESTEAK SHOP
Located in the Castro Village Shopping Center in Castro Valley, these sandwiches are consistently good. Get the King with sweet peppers. Yum!

TAVERNA
Oh, Taverna. You were a treat. They are offering an a la carte menu and two family style dinners with all the delicious sides for $80 or so all in. We had the chicken combo and we were in heaven. The staff is incredibly friendly and they have turned their dining room into a market to pick up Greek goods, and possibly toilet paper!

TAQUERIA at EL RANCHO SUPERMARKET
We have had their tacos for Taco Tuesdays. The deal is four tacos for $5. I also spontaneously picked up their super nachos with al pastor. The only thing weird was that they nuked the to go container to melt the cheese. It was definitely hot and still tasty. I just thought that was odd.

TARTINE
Though located in San Francisco, it is a nice outing during the week to go pick up their delicious country loaf, morning buns and croques. One week, we picked up a ham quiche. The sun dried tomatoes were a nice surprise in every other bite. They run about $55. That’s a whole lot of eggs! The country loaf is delicious with just butter or to make the best BLTs ever!

MADEMOISELLE COLLETTE
If you love pastries, this is the spot! When this SIP first began, this was our first take out order. Pastries, a croque and avocado toast. It was definitely a treat. Try their breakfast menu as well. There are three locations on the peninsula.

FEY
We dined at Fey just before SIP began and we finally treated ourselves to two orders of pot stickers, greens beans and fried rice. We normally go for a bigger spread than that but let’s not get crazy. These are weird times. The hostess is always friendly as usual. She didn’t even take my phone number or credit card when I called directly to place an order. Be sure to call them directly and not thru any apps. She said ‘thank you’ several times on the phone and in person. (Sorry no pictures.)

FAVORITE INDIAN RESTAURANT
Oh, so good. I usually get their tandori chicken, butter chicken, rice, a whole lot of raita and a mango lassi. I believe they deliver using their own staff. Once they open up, the buffet offers a great variety of items as well.

Other mentions:
Shirasoni

Support your local restaurants!

Easter 2020 in Quarantine

Another holiday has passed while in quarantine. Last year’s St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated wine tasting in New Zealand and aboard the Golden Princess cruise ship. This year’s St. Patrick’s Day was the day when the Shelter-in-Place order began. Yesterday was Easter. My roommate and I always like to have a little fun when we’re together. Easter Sunday was no different. Bunny ears were in place.

We began with doing an Ole Henriksen Hygge HydraClay Detox Mask via an Instagram live. I am no beauty expert but lately my face feels like it needed some attention. What better way than do it with my fun roommate and share it with whoever is bored at home as well? We were also enjoying a Fieldwork Brewing Company beer. The Orange Parfait was delicious.

A couple of friends viewed it but my friend, Christina, in San Jose, California joined in. It was my second Instagram live group chat during this SIP. She is also an Arbonne representative. They offer skincare, bath and body, makeup and nutrition products. I have not personally tried it myself but I look forward to her sending me some samples to try. Contact her for more info! I haven’t seen her since the NKOTB concert last year. Life happens.

With a decision to go pick up sushi, we played Uno to finish our beer and sober up. We have a running tally of who is winning. When someone reaches 10 wining games, the loser owes the other a poke bowl. This competitive One Busy Bee owes her roommate at least one bowl so far. I am trailing.

We placed an order at Shirasoni in Alameda, California. It was about a 20 minute drive but it has been over a month since I have had sushi. It was well worth the drive. If you have been following my blog, you might remember that the Shirasoni location in Brentwood, California helped me gain my first Stella & Dot customers. I would set up in the lobby on Ladies’ Night once a week and ave my little display of a few samples. They now have three locations. I am happy I can get my Happy Roll even during a pandemic.

On a beer kick and looking to bring back some tasty beers to my favorite person in the world, I was thinking we could pick up some beers at Faction Brewing. Unfortunately, they were closed. Alamanc Brewing was alive and well. A listing of what was available wasn’t easy to review or order online so you had to call. Like a great roommate, Kim did just that. The nice gal on the phone described what was available. We picked up an apricot sour to go with our super early and filling dinner. Then I went with the kolsch and a lager she described as a close second to a porter or stout with some interesting flavors. We drove over and they delivered it to my car. All Kim had to do was describe what kind of car and they brought it to us. What service!

I decided that we can’t wait to get home to eat our food. My crispy Happy Roll would be soggy and I would not be happy about that. I drove us to the edge of the island in between Rock Wall Wine Company and Faction Brewing and we set up a little picnic using towels that were in my car along the chain link fence. The perfect view of the San Francisco skyline made it complete. We were not the only cars around. There was a good 30-40 feet in between pairs of folks who were also looking to get out of the house. We maintained our distance. It was nice to be outside, enjoying the view and the sun. People are also out and about in parks with dogs and children. We are also maintaining our distance there too.

Then, it was time to head back. Laundry was done, I didn’t win a million dollars yet thru the Monopoly game, my Sims got some attention, I completed a crossword puzzle and then the evening ended with completing Season 2 of Billions with Paul Giamatti, Damien Lewis and Sons of Anarchy, Maggie Siff.

I hope you all had a wonderful, safe and holiday weekend. Support your local favorite retailers!

OBB’s List – Louisville – Mar 2020

As much as I like whiskey, Louisville, Kentucky was never on my list of places to go to. My trip to Lousiville was supposed to be a 2-day trip, turned to 10 days to 28 days. I had a lot of time in the Midwest.

On my way home from Louisville via a United Airlines flight, I came across a list from a girls’ trip to Seattle last year. It made me think I should do similar lists for everywhere I travel. People love lists! Comment if your favorite spot make the list?

Fave Louisville Restaurant Week Meal
Neighborhood Services at the Omni Hotel – I almost never order the chicken. It is the simpliest meat to cook at home so I usually want something else to eat when I dine out. The chicken was on their special menu with no other choice for an entree. It was surprisingly good and moist. The combo of a big salad, chicken and ‘mini’ baked Alaska was delicious and quite the deal! Plus, it was walking distance from my hotel during the winter.

Fave Meatless Monday Meal
The Chopped Salad and Mac & Cheese Bites from Great Flood Brewing Company was one my favorite meals during my stay. I had it once a week and it had to be my last meal in Louisville. I had to tell the bartender how much I enjoyed it. For once, I went to a brewery for the food, not the beer.

Most Memorable Restaurant
Le Moo steakhouse was advertised at the Louisville airport. It’s a funny name and has an interesting decor. I had a cocktail and the Steak Diane with delicious mashed potatoes. What made it really great was the friendly customer service. It has been slow and the bartender and bar back were open to chatting with me.

Fave Cocktail
At the end of the tour at Michter’s, they took us up to the third floor at the bar. Our little group had a reserved area and we were instructed on how to make a cocktail. As a Bartender, a cocktail with only two ingredients is easy as pie. It was nice and refreshing.

Fave Whiskey Tour
Old Forester was just two blocks from my hotel and it was quite informative. With having gone to a handful of distilleries, what set made OlFo’ stand apart from the other distilleries was the size of the facility, the modern space, the advertising on the wall, how stacks of barrels were in the middle of downtown and the very tall still.

Fave Beer
According to my UnTappd profile and log, I really liked porters in Louisville. The bartender at Great Flood Brewing Company gave me a taste of the Maple ’37 Porter at 6.4% ABV. I also liked the Dark Star Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Company downtown. At 5.6% ABV, it was a tasty companion to the fish tacos. Cheers!

Best Hotel Feature
For two weeks, I was given a nice corner suite at the SpringHill Inn & Suites downtown. My room had a view of downtown but the space was nice. I was to do yoga in a living room and the room had a large television. I angled the TV from the desk where I worked to the bed where I watched Billions thanks to the free Showtime on demand they had.

Best Part of the Louisville Slugger Museum
With the museum, batting cages, an opportunity to hold bats profession baseball players used during games and the gift shop, I enjoyed the factory the best. Your group could be large so listen in. In some spots of the tour, it could be rather noisy. You will see how the bats are carved and take in the smell of fresh wood. See my full blog post HERE.

Best Part of the Muhammad Ali Center
If you’re a boxing fan, stopping at the Muhammed Ali Center would be great for you. As a bonus, if you’re a AAA member, you get a discount. That wasn’t my favorite part. As an Elvis Presley fan, I really liked seeing the robe he gifted the boxer in traditional Elvis showmanship. A lot of history and interactive exhibits. I just thought it was a little busy in terms of placement, not in attendance.

Most Memorable People
My main reason for going to Louisville was to attend a wine event and network with a local company we hope to work closely with. It was so much fun and I may be one of the youngest people there. Nonetheless, we had many laughs, toasted many delicious Italian wines and I met a lot of wonderful, friendly and welcoming women. It made me miss my Women Wednesday events. I hope to one day be able to do those again.

Memorable Moment
During my first full week of being out in the Midwest, my dear friend, Dr. C. Zapata challenged me to participate in the #DoneIsPerfectChallenge. It was a challenge to stop waiting for the best lighting, when you feel you look the best or for the perfect environment to get something done. What often happens is that it doesn’t get done at all. I did the challenge and majority of my videos were of myself during my travels to talk about anything I want. I was often in my hotel room but sometimes I would be at distilleries, near the river or even at two places mentioned above. It was fun to do and I haven’t done videos often before. Now that it’s done, I wouldn’t say I increased my videos but I did get something new done. See the videos via my Facebook page.

Thank you for reading! Please Pin anything you liked.

What other categories would be of some interest to you?

Related posts:
OBB List – Seattle – May 2019
Traveling Log

OBB Weekly – 3-24-20

One week in, two to go. That is, if an extension of the quarantine is not in place, But it seems Trump wants to reopen America. Too soon? I think so. Per a live video I watched of my dear friend, Dr. C. Zapata, in Seattle, she is encouraging people to lead and share informative posts and videos during this time. You have gained so many skills in your years of living. Believe it or not, not everyone in the world knows what you know. You might as well share this useful information for people to decide to follow your lead or modify it somehow to customize it to their life. Share what you know!

Jerry, did you know that the human head weighs eight pounds?

Let me see how I can enlighten you in Travel (again, not encouraging travel right now), Event Planning not encouraging gathering in groups), Food (no, outside dining) and Motivation.

TRAVEL

My Places I’ve Been board on Pinterest currently has 303 pins. I can say that not all places Pinned are linked to this blog but that’s the goal. Again, I am not encouraging travel right now but if you are thinking of a destination that you have been wanting to go to that I have visited, I would be happy to chat with you about my experiences. Being your Travel Agent would be a bonus.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – January 2018

Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, one of my favorite things to do is recommend what to do in San Francisco. I enjoyed my time as a Concierge at The Argonaut Hotel at Fisherman’s Wharf and speaking to future guests about planning their itinerary for a romantic getaway or a family trip. I loved the notes (the tips were appreciated as well) from these happy guests. It really does mean a lot to us in the service industry when we are praised by our customers. Management doesn’t always see it and often times, the pay isn’t great. I think what we do is a valuable service.

Again, please abide by the shelter-in-place orders and stay home. Another way to escape is to get lost in a book. I am not a fast reader and feel there are so many articles released that I need to keep up with so I often am reading online instead of holding a hard copy book in my hands. Last night, I finished “Becoming” by former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. It is the closest thing we have to a Queen and royalty in the US, in my opinion. It was wonderful to read how a girl from Chicago living in a small home with multiple family members achieved in school, as a lawyer and survived as a mother for two terms in the White House. No one would know exactly what it was like for her unless she shared what she knew. Thanks, Michelle.

EVENT PLANNING

I have been working events for many years. It started with my days in Advertising where every advertisement that was launched was an event. My biggest success there was helping to relaunch the Texaco brand in the Southeast. I was still in college, commuting from Pacheco, California to San Francisco every weekday and had a restaurant job on the weekends. I know how to balance my time and get things done.

I may not have had the time to do events lately with my commitments to a day job, but I am open to 2020 events once we are allowed to gather in groups. I am happy to say that my Brides and Grooms have valued my assistance. Please see my Raves. If you have ever hosted a party at your home and were pulled away from conversations with your guests because you needed to refill the ice, reheat or re-fill the apps or take out the trash, having party helpers will allow you to enjoy the event. Communicating, reconnecting and enjoying yourself was the whole point, right? If you can afford the assistance, please do reach out.

Seaside, California – September 2019

#WEREHUNGRYTOO

I will never claim to be a Chef but I do know what I like. And I like all food and beverage. I love dining at hole in the wall spots and I love beautifully plated tasting menus. If I know one thing, it’s that my taste buds rule me. I had another successful Meatless Monday yesterday with a salad and a homemade kumquat vinaigrette dressing and quesadillas with green salsa plus chips and hummus for snacks. Then this morning, we had no dessert in the house and I went to get donuts. Sugar donuts are my favorite. Who’s with me?

Donut Delight – Menlo Park, CA

If you love to eat as much as I do and do not have loads of disposable income, when the dust settles, consider working in the restaurant industry. If you aren’t into serving or bartending, consider being a host or hostess or back office needs. It is a great way to get exposed to what happens behind the scenes of a great restaurant and try new food. If you make friends with the kitchen, they will often ask your opinion on some dishes, you will have to try every single dish in order to sell it to guests and you are often offered family meal, a free communal meal for the staff, or a free or discounted meal during your shift. Hourly pay and a singing taste buds – it’s a win-win.

Oosterdam by Holland America

MOTIVATION

I am lucky to be quarantined with one of my favorite people in the world but some people are by themselves or are really struggling being with their own family. “If I wanted to be a 4th grade teacher, I would have been a 4th grade teacher,” one of my friends post on Facebook. I am not a mother so I cannot imagine what they’re going thru. I wish you mothers continued strength! What you can go thru is a connecting with new and old friends through social media. Dr. Zapata also spoke about being useful in your community. I normally am not out and about and know many folks that live in Hayward, my community is mostly via social media. I have my roommate and my coworkers but the people I can connect with that are far away, I can do so via social media. I spoke with my cousin in Kauai via FaceTime and friends are connecting via new platforms like Snapchat (‘bappletree’). New friends can be made via Facebook groups.

Pliny the Elder on Untappd

The same doctor friend invited me to a Facebook group called This Girl is on Fire. You had me from “FIRE.” I was able to introduce myself and what I do and am now chatting with some local ladies. I also took some time to visit the other Facebook groups I am a part of and commented and got involved. When all you have is time, there are endless possibilities to connect with folks. I would just recommend being genuine about it. It goes a long way and you may find yourself with a long-time but distant friend. Ain’t that right, PD?

PD and I have never met in person but we know quite a bit about each other’s lives. Sometimes, you just need someone unbiased to vent to.

Follow on social media
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Right Now

It has almost been a week since the Bay Area has been locked down and right now the Republicans are looking to save big corporations versus the small businesses and its workers. Hospitals are running out of supplies, UPS workers continue to work to keep products moving, more and more restaurants are closing and I still have not found toilet paper.

Two weeks are left of this mandatory quarantine and it has been the longest week. Thankfully, I am able to work from home but many of my friends and loved ones cannot. I am concerned about their well-being and how they will be able to survive. There is no definite end in sight that we can look forward to.

I am fine. I have food, shelter, water and company. I wanted to highlight some real stories of real people that will not specifically make the news or thought of specifically by our politicians. But I see you.

Cugino & Cugina
My Cugino is a great bartender here in the Bay Area. Like many other establishments, his employer is closed thru April 7th. He also works in sports. With all large events cancelled, including this year’s Olympics, that stream of income is also unavailable.

Cugina & Cugino – Monterey, California – 9/1/19

My Cugina, Cugino’s wife, is an emergency room nurse. Like many of those in the healthcare field, they can’t work from home. They are on the front lines and are easily exposed to the virus. Unfortunately, my Cugina did get sick, but thankfully she did not test positive.

My Niece in College
I have attended graduation ceremonies for my niece throughout the years. We even recreate the same pose since she graduated kintergarten in Pleasant Hill. She was supposed to be moving on from her junior college with a ceremony this June. Given colleges have shut down but some still offer online classes, commencement ceremonies have been cancelled. It won’t be the same with a virtual ceremony. I am sure this 4.0 smart girl will do just fine, but I am disappointed that she won’t get celebrate. I am sure she is too.

Ex-Coworker Marries in Park
During my time at the Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco, now currently a ghost town, I befriended a coworker who now lives in New York City. Two days ago, he married his Bride in Washington Square Park. HERE is a video clip of the those around them and they even had a news article in the Daily News. Love wins, wouldn’t you say?

Waiting for a Divorce
I have definitely been there. You wait for that court date to finalize that divorce. My cousin is waiting as well. But now her court date has been pushed back due to courts closing. Resolutions are postponed – alimony, child support and funds that could help move things along during this time for people will need to wait a tad bit longer. People in jail are being released and the public requests halting arrests in non-violent cases. Businesses are being boarded up. I am hoping a time of rioting and theft will not occur. Where would we put them?

SFPD
My best friend is a cop and she cannot stay home with her two kids, my niece and nephew. She is risking her life every single day on the normal. Now, continuing to be out and about when the shelter-in-place order has been issued. I would hate for her to get into a confrontation for issuing a citation (which there have been none) to someone not following the order. And there are plenty! Friends have posted people are picnicking in the parks in groups. Please stay home. Don’t be THAT person.

FaceTime on different coasts – Feb 2020

Island Living
I just spoke with my dear cousin on Kauai. She says the island has under 30 ICU beds and little to none ventilators. My father and stepmother are on Maui with three hospitals. Tourists are still coming to the Islands and they really should be staying home. This is not OK. Now, these all tourists and returning residents will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. I am OK with that. Friends are posting that they love the tourism but just not right now. Stay home, People.

When your cousin from Kauai visits the mainland, you play like you were kids again.

Friends in Hospitality and Restaurant Industry
Oh, my heart goes out to all of them. I know very few people in the hospitality and restaurant industry that live more than an above-average lifestyle. They don’t work double shifts to get into their Ferrari or $3,200 a month studio at the Jasper in San Francisco. They go home to a small apartment that is shared with multiple people and often live month to month. Two more weeks of no income means they will not be able to pay rent. Counties are gathering to vote on assistance and stop evictions due to loss of jobs during this time but nothing has been finalized.

Met up with a former restaurant co-worker in NYC. Oh, the smells off of a hot plate.

As much as I love food and beverage and most of my blog posts are on food, I am doing what I can to support my favorite spots. If they offer take out, I will take advantage. If they tweet, I do not mind retweeting to my followers. When it’s safe to do so, I look forward to doing what I can to help revive the business and of course support my friends that own and work in the industry.

Pesto Gnocchi – Osteria Toscana – Palo Alto, California

I wanted to share these stories of different folks to communicate something real and how the corona virus is affecting their lives. You may not know them and they may not matter to you, but they matter to somebody and that’s why you should stay home, quarantine and even after all this has passed, wash your hands!

Gramercy Tavern – New York City

“You should read this.” A business partner recommended Setting The Table by Danny Meyer. We were in the middle of opening up a restaurant in San Francisco. The restaurant has come and gone but not the opportunity to dine at one of Danny Meyer’s restaurants whiles in New York City. It was a Sunday afternoon and fears of the coronavirus hasn’t completely taken over Manhattan yet. I stopped in for a drink.

Up the front steps and through the single door, you find yourself in a small square of a waiting area. The hostess asks if she can be of some assistance with a smile. Like always and solo traveling, I ask if the bar is open seating. I get my answer and weave through the low, circular tables to the bar top. I grab a seat at the end next to an enormous stick arrangement propped on the bar top. With an attempt to avoid over eating and just walked a block from Cosme to celebrate International Women’s Day, I reviewed the drink menu and inquired after bar snacks.

bappletree – love this.

The menu listed cocktails at $19 a pop and a few snack options at the bottom. What called out to me, coming from quite some time in Louisville, Kentucky, was the Four Roses bourbon cocktail called Cruising Altitude. With the decrease in travel due to COVID-19, I thought it was appropriate. It was made of Four Roses Bourbon, Forthave Apertif, Michelberger, Absinthe and lemon, served up. Tasty.

I also ordered two servings of the perfectly pickeled veggies that they conveniently had behind the bar. One day, I will have a full meal here.

Like many restaurants in the world, they have closed down due to the virus. Danny Meyer has laid off 80% of his staff, he is donating his salary to a fund to help his workers and it will take a month to hire and train staff (CNBC article 3/20/20). Being from the hospitality world, my heart goes to the hard workers going through a tough time, being laid off and concerned about how they will pay for rent. I look forward to dining out again on a regular. Hang in there!

This is not a post to encourage going out and disregard lockdowns. However if you can financially support your local restaurant through DoorDash, UberEats or pickup, please do so. And when it is safe to travel and dine out again, please let me know if Gramercy Tavern is on your list to dine at.

Travel note: Kill two birds with one stone. Gramercy Tavern is on the same block as Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace is.

Follow on social media
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

OBB Weekly – 3-17-20

My view from home – Hayward, CA – 3/16/20

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As my roommate would say, ‘Happy Beer Day.” Unfortunately, the world has been greatly affected by the coronavirus outbreak and I draft this from the comfort of a bed in a quarantined county in the Bay Area. We are on lockdown. Many bloggers are posting lists of what you could with your time at home. Here, I will try to keep your spirits high and something to look forward to. The world has gone thru worse times and as long as we take the precautions, we will get through this. And when we do, we can get back to traveling the world, be social at events, dine out and go back to the gym!

TRAVEL

A year ago today, I was aboard a cruise ship and had a day in wine country in New Zealand. Today, I am still dressed for the holiday but not in wine country. I do not think I am alone here with the wineries shut down as well. With hopes of being able to travel in September, an itinerary for Ireland and Scotland is in progress. Thanks to Google and Pinterest and a dose of Amazon Prime playing Irish documentaries, I am gaining a lot of information regarding these new regions to me. As I enjoyed working on New Business in advertising, learning new things is enticing to me.

I failed at being a Shenanigator today. But these roommates like to dress up!
Princess Cruises – New Zealand – March 17, 2019

Have you been to Ireland or Scotland?
Do you have any tips or blog posts on your travels there?

EVENT PLANNING

Did you know that Hobbiton has event space? Lord of the Rings fans would love it.

One day, when we have overcome and are able to have gatherings of 10 or more people, think of the events you will be able to attend! Tickets for multiple concerts have been purchased with hopes it won’t be cancelled. And an Airbnb cabin has been reserved for a family reunion in South Lake Tahoe in August. A friend’s family wedding has been postponed as well. Companies have been doing well in reacting well to the cancellations so far. It will help when it is time for them to be rescheduled. If these companies treat you fairly, please do re-book with them when the time comes.

Filipino parties are always more than 10 people. – Salinas, CA

What is the first event you are looking forward to participating in once the ban is lifted?
What events online are you participating in?

#WEREHUNGRYTOO

With many friends in the hospitality industry, I see so many posts of concern. Workers rely on tips, on being busy, turn those tables. With mandatory closures and offers for drive-thru, pick up or take out available, the sales is something, but it won’t be enough. Dining out is an experience.

My most recent meal out was at Fey in Menlo Park, a great Chinese restaurant. With no fear and a welcoming smile, we enjoyed the dinner as usual. Before that, I was in Lousiville and enjoyed a steak Le Moo. Dining at the bar came with great conversations with the bartender, Erin, and the barback, Andrew.

Le Moo, Lousiville, KY

Above: flame-broiled prime sirloin, bourbon-sauteed mushrooms, skillet-fried mashed potatoes, sauteed asparagus, bourbon-veal glace; prepared medium.

If you are stocked with Top Ramen and cereal for days, consider ordering out once a week. It may mean the difference of closing up shop for a local small business. Please see any of my #WereHungryToo posts on places I recommend. Use the search box to the right if you are searching by city.

What are your favorite local eateries?
Do you know you’re a regular?

MOTIVATION

As much as I love dining out, I love to work out. With the Bay Area Lockdown, I am more than happy to stay at home and work out using the FitOn app. They have monthly challenges to do X amount of workouts in a month. They have just launched the WFH Challenge of doing 15 workouts by April 30th. The app is free and even has celebrities to work out with like Gabrielle Union. Watch out, though. She talks a lot during the work out. She is saying things that we are all thinking so it’s a bit humorous but it could be distracting to some. The pilates videos with Cassie Ho is always a challenge for me. No weights needed. Try it out! Just because you’re stranded at home is no excuse to not work out.

How are you staying active during this time?
What online fitness stars do you follow?

Follow on social media
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

OBB’s List – Seattle – May 2019

The Market Theater Gum Wall

Two friends and I went to Seattle for Cinco de Mayo weekend last year, thanks to an Alaska Airlines sale. While on a 2020 United flight back to the San Francisco Bay Area from Louisville, Kentucky, I found this list recapping our mini vacation. Did your favorite spots in Seattle make our list?

Fave Meal
Rocket Taco

Fave Cocktail
⁃ Ruby Red Margarita at Anejo Restaurant & Tequila Bar – Nikki
⁃ Barrel Aged cocktail at The Smith Tower – Me

Fave Beer
⁃ Dry Apple Cider – Nikki
Pike XXXXX, an Extra Stout – Kim
⁃ 9.9% barrel aged barley wine – Me

Best Hotel Max Feature
⁃ Free beer – Kim
⁃ Morning coffee & beer – Nikki
⁃ Location – Me

Best Part of the Underground Tour
⁃ Tour guide – Nikki
⁃ Comparison pictures/location reference – Kim
⁃ Skylights – Me

Street level
Underground

Most Memorable Seattle ppl
⁃ Adam – He called cocktail napkins ‘drink pillows’ at The Smith Tower bar – Kim
⁃ Sergio – Nikki
⁃ David at Pike Brewing Co – Me

Best Coffee
Anchorhead – Kim & I
⁃ Hotel – Nikki

Memorable Moment
⁃ fish over our head (See videos – Day 1, Day 2)

I am a Travel Agent. I would be happy to help you plan your next trip to Seattle, Washington. Contact me!

See other posts:
Spontaneous Seattle
Seattle, Here We Come!
Brunch on Cinco de Mayo

Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter