Work from Home Diary 12: Eating in Restaurants & Sunburns at the Beach (SoCal Update)

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  I apologize that it’s been more than a month since my last update in early May titled Work from Home Diary 11: My Thoughts on TWG Turning 7 Years Old Today.  For today’s update, it’s not about work, but about my roadtrip from Northern California down to Southern California to visit my parents.  I haven’t seen my parents since the end of February and I had to cancel my last trip down to visit for Mother’s Day Weekend (read PSA: Don’t Cancel Airline Reservations through Citi ThankYou Portal; Cancel Directly with the Airline).  Laura and I have been staying safe the last few months and so have my parents, so we felt like now was a good time to visit.

I’m not sure about the state you live in, but in California, every county has different rules regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic and which businesses can open.  In Sonoma County (where we live), restaurants have only been open for takeout and delivery, but in Orange County (where my parents live), restaurants are open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.  It’s probably been 3+ months since I last sat in a restaurant and I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much (I got used to eating every meal at home and cooking dinner most nights of the week), but boy was I wrong.

Image source: https://atlanta.eater.com/2020/4/23/21232907/atlanta-georgia-restaurants-opening-dining-room-april27-2020-covid019

Turns out, I love going out to a restaurant to eat lunch and dinner!  Right now, the weather is really nice outside, so we try to eat outside on the patio whenever possible.  The dining experience is a little different than before and each restaurant operates slightly differently in the way they do business.  Some restaurants pass out paper menus while others provide a slip of paper with a printed QR code so you can use your phone to view the menu.  Waiters wear gloves and masks and the tables are spread out to promote social distancing.  I don’t mind the changes and enjoy seeing how each restaurant operates.  I look forward to dining at some of our favorite restaurants in Sonoma County as soon as those restaurants re-open for dine-in service.  This is a great excuse to use up the $250 Hilton Resort Credit for restaurant purchases.

Since I grew up in Orange County, I love going to the beach.  There are so many wonderful beaches to chose from, but we always love visiting Balboa Island in Newport Beach.  It is peaceful and not too busy, so it’s easy to find a parking spot and is only a short walk to the sand.  If you have never visited, I highly recommend spending a sunny afternoon sitting on the sand, walking around the island (probably 30-40 minute walk) and stopping for a frozen banana or Balboa Bar on Main Street #endofcommercial.

Image source: https://www.visitnewportbeach.com/vacations/balboa-island/

Long story short, we spent a few hours at Balboa Island this past Sunday and I *thought* I had put on enough sunscreen, but apparently not.  I tried to stay under the beach umbrella as much as possible, but the sun’s rays still found me.  Sun burns are part of life and I will try to do better next time.  Even though the sunburn will go away in a few days, the memories of relaxing on a sunny beach will stay with me much longer.  I believe the beaches in Northern California recently opened or will open soon, but those beaches are no comparison to the beaches in SoCal.

Restaurants and beaches are 2 of my favorite things and I am very happy to have them both back in my life (if only for just a few days).  Is there anything you have been craving to do since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.  Have a great day everyone!

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