OK, I have to make a confession. As I look back at 2020 I have to say it was actually really great. I mean there was this thing called Coronavirus and it was horrible, and many people died, and everything got locked down, and I am going to probably get it now because I just mentioned it’s name, but the thing is I am still here.
I don’t mean to belittle the seriousness of COVID19, but the thing is Coronavirus has been this weird thing this year that has kind of loomed over my head all year. It pretty much has threatened every day to kill me, but then I wake up the next day and I am still here, so I am like OK what I am going to do now? So, if you are told you are going to die everyday but you don’t die, what do you do?
Apparently, you do a lot of things. I had great plans for 2020. Back in August 2019. I found this great Groupon deal to China. It was going to be awesome. It was 12 days, and it only cost me $900 per person, which was an awesome deal because the price included airfare, transportation, hotels, tours, and even some meals. It was called the Golden Triangle tour and it was going to go to all these awesome places: Beijing, Xi-an, Suzhou, Wuhan, Hangzhou, and end in Shanghai. Only problem was the deal was too good. Apparently, Groupon sold too many vouchers and I wasn’t able to book. The company that sold the vouchers was very nice and they promptly refunded my money.
I could have saved the money, but I already had the time off and when you work in Law Enforcement like I do, it can be really hard to get a day off so we tried to figure something else to do. We looked around on Skyscanner and found a really good deal to Europe.
One of the things we thought might be fun was to start the year off by going to the Rose Bowl Parade. Kind of funny back then everyone was worried about Bernie Sanders protestors getting too crazy.
Then we went to Spain, the Vatican, and Italy and had an amazing 12 days. Just as we were leaving Italy, they got their first case of COVID19. Unfortunately a week a day after we arrived home Europe was closed to the USA.
In early February we went to Knott’s several times and celebrated the Peanuts Festival.
In mid-February I went to a Technology conference in Long Beach and got to meet Guy Kawasaki, who was one of the first employees at Apple and then got to party with Naughty By Nature.
AJ and I also went to a pirate show in Buena Park, because why not?!
The end of February was the Dickens festival and I remember Reid and I had some really good root beer.
Also, Chief Gonzalez got officially sworn in. He is a pretty cool guy. Fun fact he used to play for the Dodgers.
In March I knew things were getting bad when they issued us N95 masks, the real ones, not the KN95 masks that look like someone glued two coffee filters together.
We were fortunate to have gone to the temple the day before they closed down all sessions. It was kind of surreal because it was the most part a very normal session. I had no idea it would be the last visit for the year. I am glad I had some family names to take with me.
Everything shut down but food was apparently still deemed essential so we ended up going to a Farmers Market.
To be honest I am not really good sitting in one place, but everything was closed down. This presented a dilemma but the thought came to us. If nobody wants you, all you gotta do is go to where nobody wants to be. So that is when we took our first of several trips out to the desert. What we found is that while most of the desert is dusty, there are some cool, even colorful things in it.
Food rationing thing became a thing, so I tried some MREs. They were OK, but they had way too many calories.
Video about MRE #14 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dT_AsUTCzU
On our trips to nowhere we discovered the dinosaurs are not really extinct, lakes never really dry out, and apple pies are awesome.
In May I had planned to go to Mexico but by May almost all the plane routes were being canceled.
If we couldn’t go South we decided we were going to go North. Wyoming was the perfect place to go during a pandemic. On on particular day we drove for a whole day and didn’t see any other person. We did see lots of interesting things and even learned that the whole state almost was named Lincoln.
Video about Wyoming: https://youtu.be/ytBbpK6KxtM
In the end of May planes started to move again, so we decided once more going South, but a little East, which we learned gets you to the big easy. There were no Mardi Gras parades but we still learned about Louis Armstrong and Huey Long in Louisiana. God must have known we needed some extra protection because when we got to the capital we found a prayer group that insisted on giving us a blessing.
Louisiana Playlist : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdWkYCvJAfk&list=PL49TjrNcERSfR3ONP7wr4rYvne1vZuQAD
The prayer must have worked because when we got home they opened up the Mt. Rubidoux trail again and we were able to get the best sunset of all of Riverside.
The first week of June was rough at work. Dangerous protests forced us to board up our downtown station. Several businesses got broken into and I had to work for a week in a very dark office.
We coped by once again going to the desert and found inspiration by visiting the Noah Purifoy Museum.
In the mountains we found a museum dedicated to the history of vehicles and the power of an avocado.
I also learned that San Clemente has some of the best clam chowder you can ever find.
At the end of the month I decided I needed a new suit so I went to the LA Fashion District the day before LA county shut down outdoor markets.
We found freedom by leaving the country and tried to go to Mexico again. It turns out that they were always waiting for us with open arms. We played on the beach and had banana pancakes.
In the end of July I learned I needed to renew my Mexican passport, but I live in the USA so that meant I had to go to the consulate office in San Diego. Many things were closed down but I we were able to find a place that sold chocolate shakes and camel burgers.
In August Denise’s dad was curious about Mexico, but then again he was always known as the red headed Mexican on his mission. The trip was good, we went to Rosarito and had tacos, can’t ask for more than that.
For Labor Day we went again down to Baja and found a a creepy Devil house, but considering everything else, it wasn’t that shocking. What did surprise me was that we learned Radio Shack is still alive in Mexico, I guess someone still uses strange batteries.
We also found out that Baja isn’t the only cheap place to get lobster. We found a pop up steak and lobster place in Redlands.
Balboa Park in San Diego opened and we had a little family reunion party and visited a model train museum.
We found out that the farmers market were still out there and so was the swap meet. Not sure where all that stuff comes from, but it gets there every week.
We tried the “best burrito” in Laguna Niguel, was not that great, but they did have a very pretty garden and beautiful flowers at the botanical preserve.
In October the Mexican planes were flying again so we went to Mexico City and Quitana Roo. We followed the Mayan trails out into the jungle and ended up at Xcaret, which is this amazing jungle theme park in Mexico.
We also got invited out to Arizona and I took a very nice walk in the town of Guadalupe, which is part of the Yaqui Tribe Nation.
We attended a Halloween tasting event a Knott’s and had a drive by trunk or treat event in our church parking lot.
The presidential election was not until November, but it was decided we all would get mail in ballots in California, so for me the election was over in October.
I tried applying for some new jobs, didn’t get them. I am doing pretty good where I am, but it would have been silly of me to not have tried to do better if I could.
If you are still here and keeping count by this time we had already been to four different states and 4 different countries (5 if you count the fact that we had to layover in France). By why not add one more?! Turns out that not many countries want Americans these days, but Turkey was OK with us and so we went there. Besides being amazed by the Haggia Sophia I am now in love with apple tea. I realize one day my stash will run out and that will be a sad day.
We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with my mom and the we went back to Rosarito, because nothing is open in California.
We went to this Christmas party at Knott’s, we had tickets to go twice but the Governor “pulled the brake” and apparently that meant even outside stuff got shut down.
I went to Disneyland, but it was not very happy, in fact I would say it was kind of depressing. Anaheim used to be a very busy place. Now it is full of cones, but no cars, which doesn’t make sense.
We spent AJ’s birthday at the Speed Zone, which was also closed down the day after we left. Why is it everything seems to close right after we leave?
The desert never closes, my guess this is because only the Pedrozas go out there. We found Anti Communist Parks, a town Roy Rogers built, a volcano, and the real Calico.
Finally we ended out the year in a small fishing village called Puerto Nuevo in Baja.
So what about COVID19? Well, it is still out there. It is still dangerous. Should I have stayed indoors? Probably, but I didn’t, and the thing is I am still alive. Since March I have been tested about twice a month. Nothing has shown to be positive, if it did I would stop moving immediately, but it is weird because I know I have at certain points come into contact with people who have had the virus, but I guess the Lord protects the foolish because we are still OK. We do take precautions, we avoid large crowds, and we do wear masks out in public. I know it is controversial going out these days, but the thing is that I feel like I can’t put my life on continual pause. I feel like I gotta do what I always do and that is to adapt. Which is also my secret for 2021. I have no idea what this year is going to bring, but whatever it is I will deal with it.