June gloom is how Californian’s see this month – due to the relentless heavy fogs along the coast and sometimes even inland. Surprisingly, we had a few gorgeous days at the start of the month, so we took to the streets, parks, and sandy beach walks soaking it all up. Today, the fog has rolled in as expected, and we are once again indoors, wearing sweaters and socks and all things winter related.
For this very reason, I felt the need to share some beautiful things to help stay focused on positive thoughts…
I’ve been a bit grumpy lately over the fact, the U.S. has relapsed, causing all states to retract parts of their post-lockdown phased openings. Not to mention the fact, we’ve been banned from travel to Europe. This too has caused my mind to hurt.
Last week, I did a bit of staycation, where I ventured 20-60 miles out of San Francisco to explore parks and small towns mostly by driving through, hoping to find similarities in places in Europe I so miss.
This list naturally caught my attention, about places in America’s western region where one can experience a bit of Europe. This also works well for all those stuck in the U.S. since the lockdown. Just remember to wear a mask, if you plan to drive through these towns for the fourth of July weekend holiday.
Where in your neck of the woods can be compared to a European destination?
I’ve been craving salmon almost every day and normally, I’d oven-grill one with ginger, butter/olive oil, salt/pepper and that’s it.
This morning, I found this recipe I want to try, which is very close to the way I grill mine – except there is feta cheese and orzo and a whole bunch of other wonderful components. So, here you go – in case you want to attempt the same recipe for tonight’s dinner:
Diving into this week has been most difficult after the staycation last week. But the world as we know continues to evolve, and although I stayed out of touch all last week, I am now fully immersed in all things.
So to kick off my official back at the office routine, I decided to start off with interesting topics to share:
Last week I had no intention of being online for work or play while I took a few days off to come to terms with a milestone birthday 2020 style.
I did my best, drove out of town, day trips mind you, to places I haven’t been and some places I have and got a glimpse of how much different things are since the lock down. I was disappointed in some places, where folks did not wear their masks, and other places where too many people were grouped together for dinner or lunch. I felt very nervous, especially since the U.S. is not on track with recovery or making conscious efforts to adhere to the rules to help slow down the virus. As a result I am afraid that we may be headed for another lock down if we continue to play as entitled as we are bred in this country.
As it stands EU has rightfully banned American travelers from going abroad and who knows which other nations will follow suit? But I am going to pause this thought right now and instead share some bits of good in all the weirdness around.
Day one – Fort Baker in the fog – we drove from the city very early in the morning and was able to walk around as if we had reserved the entire place to ourselves. It was cold and windy and very foggy but nevertheless, a great kickoff to the staycation.
Day two of my staycation, we drove to Calistoga downtown, which is about 60 miles or so from San Francisco. Arriving at seventy-thirty in the morning so that I could leisurely walk through the neighborhoods, and breathe in the fresh air. Calistoga’s small town feel was what I have been nostalgic about recently – remembering childhood family getaways to the hot springs, or pools.
I noticed an elderly woman, maybe in her late 80’s stepping out of her white picket fenced home and very determined began walking ahead of us and then stopped in front of what appeared to be Veteran’s Memorial. I stood ten feet apart from her to see what it is she was looking at and without asking, she told me that was her husband’s name on one of the plaques. Which prompted me to ask about him serving our country and she told me the story, about WWII, and the injuries he sustained, and the health issues he had thereafter. He died in 1964 she said, which left her a widow for 56 years. We said our goodbyes afterwards, and I watched her walk back the same path. I hoped that I made a small difference in her life of loneliness.
Day three – we went on a Park adventure – across the Golden Gate again, to Marin this time or proximity in search of public parks and although we explored all the one’s listed here, my favorite was McNear Park – which currently is open but not populated due to the pool being closed. But nevertheless, it is definitely a place that I’ll be frequenting when I am longing to be in Hawaii 😉
Day Four – We stayed local and bought things for projects around the house, which I’ll share with you later.
Day Five – We drove up to Sonoma, to walk the fields filled with vines, so lush and so up close, it takes your breath away.
Have you yet experienced a 2020 style staycation? And if so where and when?
I decided to take this week off – from work and even the new /strange lifestyle we’ve all been living since the social distancing and all. It is a staycation naturally, where I had to find creative ways to be outdoors and away from San Francisco’s dreary ‘summer months.’ In case you don’t know, San Francisco has the coldest summer with heavy fog, drizzle, wind and nothing but gray.
I’ll be talking about the staycation next week, once I’ve put my concept together on how to present the blog post to you all. In the meantime, just know, I am still cooking at home, in the evenings and this recipe is the winner for tonight’s dinner: Yes mother, we are having chicken 🙂
It has been a week – on a personal level, with a car break in, plumbing issues lost driver’s license, and health related concerns, and yet I am buying a bouquet of flowers, and sprucing up the house, to do my best in staying positive or even optimistic. Photographs of pretty things help, especially these lovely ones.
Hang in there if you are having an equally tough week.
Although many states, or countries are lifting the shelter in place to boost moral, moods and the economy, I am still considering staying more at home, and focusing on projects around the house which will certainly boost moods or moral if done as suggested in these topics of decor interest on this Wednesday.
I live for side dishes – and with each meal plan them carefully so to use up the freshest of ingredients I purchased from the grocers. Which is what led me to this list of side dishes to consider adding the perfect to the simply meal.
I normally shift between roasted tomatoes, cabbage slaw, roasted peppers, roasted potatoes and sometimes rice.