The Big Move

It felt like an ultimate goal of us eventually moving back to SoCal at some point in our life but as we got more and more settled in Alameda it didn’t look like it was going to happen. Then 2020 arrived and we were all at a breaking point after 15 months of working from home, remote learning, and sheer burnout. The kids had their last day of school on 6/15/21, movers are here today 6/17/21, and my last day of work is on 6/25/21. This next week will be a whirlwind of activity at the house with the handyman, gardener, housecleaners, and stager all prepping the house for listing.

Today, the movers arrived at 8am and we were in our minivan waving goodbye to Maya (KK’s best friend in the neighborhood) by 2:30pm. It was crazy to see all our belongings in a truck and a giant pile of trash left in the corner of the garage. Unfortunately, a portion of our belongings also didn’t make it into the truck so we had to say “see you later” as we drove away.

We made a similar drive up I-5 in our X3 in 2007 with the car packed to the top, our belongings in a moving truck heading to a storage facility, and a dog on my lap. It’s now 2021, 14 years later, and we now have a packed minivan, two kids, and lots of good memories to take home with us.

Things I will miss:

  • My friends
  • The cool breezes along my running trail.
  • Hog Island Oyster Co.
  • Watching the kids play outside with the neighbors

Things I look forward to:

  • Having my family and old friends close by
  • More space
  • Time off with the kids
  • Good food

Nido’s Backyard

The CHO girls an I went out for brunch for the first time in over a year. We met up at Nido’s Backyard for drinks and some delicious food. We had Stephanie over Zoom for part of the time too!

It was so nice to see everyone in person again after so long. It was also nice to eat at a restaurant with people again too!

One Year Later

It is March 17, 2021 and it’s one year ago that the Bay Area started it’s Shelter-in-Place order. Schools, sports, concerts, and Disneyland closed on March 13th and we had one last weekend out before everything else shut down. I can barely remember what it was like to be in a crowded restaurant or bar or a staff meeting of 25 people huddled in a small conference room.

Our numbers have gone down this past month and Alameda County finally got moved from the purple to red tier last week. The kids went back to in-person school on Monday (3/15/21) and they are happy to be there even if it is for only two days per week for 2 hours per day. They have to have a COVID test every two weeks, wear a mask throughout the school session, are not allowed to eat on campus, and have to come home for a noon-time Zoom meeting with the whole class.

Jes is still working from home and it doesn’t look like he’ll have to go back to the office any time soon. I am back at work all my working days and also started working some shifts at the vaccination clinic that opened up at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center last week.

All 4 grandparents are now fully vaccinated along with Joy, Jia, and myself. Johnny got his J&J vaccine last week and I’m pretty sure Jes and Jason will get theirs in another month or so.

We went to Hawaii last month for ski week and it was a nice change for us. Hawaii is still under certain strict rules but it was all worth it. In fact, we booked a second trip while we were still there and will be heading back there next month for Spring Break. Flights were cheap and we have enough points to stay at the Sheraton for free this time.

Disneyland announced that they are allowed to open starting April 1st and they will actually open on April 30th at a very limited capacity. I have no idea how much a ticket will cost and how long it will take to actually get a reservation.

Life is so weird right now and everything still feels like it’s in limbo. Changes happen so frequently nowadays that we just live day by day. We have had a lot of take out and delivery this past year and hope that it went toward keeping some local places afloat. Here’s a list of our usual places we eat and order from regularly: Off the Grid food trucks on Saturdays, Royal Indian Kitchen, Bowl’d, Thai Noodle House, Hong Kong City Restaurant, Angel Fish Sushi, La Penca Azul, La Val’s Pizza, a variety of pho places, and Trabocco.

The kids are still going to Kung Fu on Saturdays at Lincoln Park and swim at Aquatech on Fridays. We are down to one car after the black car finally called it quits in December. It just stopped turning on so we sold it for a few hundred last month.

I started meeting up with friends at outdoor places. Had an afternoon picnic at a park with Teresa and baby Eleanor on Saturday and then an outdoor brunch with Elaine on Sunday. They’re both vaccinated so it seemed less risky and it was so nice to see people in person again.

I hope that this summer will feel a little more normal but I won’t hold my breath.

COVID Vaccine

On 12/11/2020, Pfizer was approved for emergency use by the FDA. It was delivered to our hospital about a week later and my staff and I were placed at the top of the list to receive it. Most of my staff got their vaccine by 12/21/2020. A week later (12/18/2020), Moderna was approved and I got my first shot today. What a historic time in our lives. I feel lucky to be one of the first ones to receive it.

Eight Months of SIP

It’s November 13, 2020 and Election Day happened last week. Interestingly, we still don’t know who will be our president. Biden/Harris look like they’re in the lead but Trump/Pence are hanging on and fighting back. This year really is a mess and isn’t getting better.

Halloween was in SoCal for Alice’s Birthday. We went to Jia and Jason’s house to do a distanced scavenger hunt around their neighborhood. The kids still managed to come home with buckets of candy.

Right after, we all got into our Honda Odysseys and drove down to Carlsbad. We stayed in a hotel across from the beach, which provided a free shuttle ride to the beach along with umbrellas and chairs. The kids had a blast and the grown ups were able to sit and relax. The hotel was pretty quiet and the kids also ended up with the pool to themselves.

I guess we are all adapting to life with all the circumstances around us and the kids are resilient.