Day 123 – 12/31 New Year’s Eve in Thousand Oaks, CA

This is the last day of 2020, what a crazy year!

2020 started awesome with my family here, they came for the Christmas of 2020, and stayed through the new year, so we rung in 2020 in a great way, with my family and friends all together.  It was great.  Then the first news of the virus came late January.  Also news from massive wildfires in Australia, which on top of the virus, put some doubts as to our ability to go on our planned trip there.  We did go, were as careful as we thought we could be then, and had a great time there, it was an awesome trip all around.  As soon as we were back the lock downs started, and pretty much all other trips for the year were cancelled.  No Mexico, No Alaska, No Brazil.  We formed our bubble of friends around May, and were fortunate to be with a group that was being as careful as we were (and are), and so we could hang out with no major worries.  We had been planning some bigger trips as well, but since we could not travel much, we decided to adapt our plans and buy the RV / trailer and go travel the country, bringing our own home with us, own bathroom, own kitchen, etc felt like a safe way to travel.  The school our kids go to gave us the virtual school option, and that sealed the deal.  We were going to take this crazy time of quarantine to travel the country in our RV and virtual school the kids for the year.  It also all coincided with me leaving my job and start consulting, so we had the freedom and ability to do this.  All stars were aligned, and here we are.  Things continue to get scary out there, more and more people losing jobs, getting sick and dieing.  It’s sad.  Hospitals are at max capacity, a new strain of the virus is out now, and not everyone wears a mask still, too many people still just living a normal life out there.  It’s too bad.  I feel so bad for all the people getting sick and not making it.  We are so fortunate to have this opportunity, and to be able to do this safely, and continue to be very mindful of the risks and what we need to do.  Here’s to hoping and wishing the next year is better, and that we come together to fight this and start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  But here’s to also wishing people have a healthy life, that they can enjoy the things they like, their families and friends, in health and safety.

Anyway, as I write this, California has 0% ICU availability, so things here are really shutting down.  It is a bit nerve wrecking that we have 4 more weeks in Southern CA, so we just need to continue being extra careuful.

Today, I woke up at 5am to use the bathroom, and when I looked outside, it looked like it had snowed.  I was like, what?  Wait… well, it had not snowed, not sure what kind of optical illusion it was, but it had not.  Maybe the moon light, shining just the right way, and someone’s blue light from their RV?  hahah..  Anyway… It took a while to sleep again, then at 6:30 a big wind gust pushed the awning and shook the trailer, so I went there to retract it, the wind was pushing the awning up, so I pulled it all in.  And I could not sleep again from there.

Since I was up, I started my routine.  As I was filling the carafe to make my coffee, the water pressure was very low, it was almost just dripping, so it took a while to fill it.  I thought maybe this was temporary, so didn’t make much about it.  Then when I used the bathroom later, no water at all. Uh Oh.  I went outside to check, and there was no water outside either, so it was a problem in the campground.  The wackiest thing is that when I turned the faucet outside that would be the feed to the camper next to us (vacant) it was hissing, so I put my hand in there and air was actually being sucked in to the pipes.  Crazy.  Some leak maybe down the system was causing this vacuum type of suction.  I turned our pump on and was glad we had a bit of water in our fresh tank from the trip here.  We always fill up a bit to use on the road for our stops, so we have some for basics, but not for a shower.  I went back inside and continued working on posts.  I was able to finish writing posts, I am all caught up.  Woohoo…. I just need to get back to actually posting them now, it’s been almost 2 weeks now.

Everyone woke up just as I finished writing the posts, so great timing and likely why I was able to finish :). No distractions.  I made sure they knew about the water, so we had to use very little to make sure it’d last for essentials.  Then I went for a run.  I had a nice run, great weather, clear blue sky.  It felt great as I ran along the road, with no-one there.  I enjoyed the views of the valleys and mountains, even seeing some mountains further away that had snow on top, quite an interesting contrast.  It was also cool that a commuter train passed right by.  On the way back from my run, I saw the guys working on the pipes still, digging a hole.  They were there when I had left.  I asked the guy about the problem, and he said they’d be able to fix today, but just not sure how long it’d take.  Later on, I was walking around and other guy told me this impacted the entire campground, and that it’d likely take all day to fix.  Yikes.  I told Carol and she was not happy.  She had some product in her hair and wanted to rinse. Hahahaha…. I could not shower after my run, so had to just change and put some more deodorant.  

We got everything ready to go to her cousin’s house.  We are staying there overnight, and maybe an extra night as well.  He’s in Thousand Oaks, which is 1 hour from the campground. Carol had planned this for a while, and we made arrangements to wear masks the entire time we are together.  It will be weird, but we just have to do it.  We packed everything, desserts Carol made yesterday, Lentils, clothing, stuff for Maggie, and we were ready to go around noon.

The drive there was nice and easy, very pretty too, with lots of mountains and valleys.  Traffic was flowing, but was busy.  Bella wanted to try In and Out Burger, so we left the highway to hit one up, and when we got close we could see the line went up like 5 blocks, that’s just insane!  We kept driving and Bia saw a Chick Filet, so we stopped there.  This is the second new place they wanted to try.  Everyone liked their meals, but Bella said her Jack in the Box burger was better.

We got to Thousand Oaks in just a bit over an hour, it is a very nice area.  Before we headed to Alex’s house we went for gas, then went for a car wash and then to his place.  He lives in a nice area, in a cul de sac, and his place is very nice.  It is three levels, so the top is the master bedroom, the middle is the kitchen and living room, and the bottom is guest room, a work room, bathroom, and a pretty nice balcony.  We got the tour right away from Adam.   Alex and Adam are super nice, we are very thankful for the invitation to spend New Years with them.

After we settled down, Alex took me to a store to get some beer, and for a quick tour of the area.    It is nice here, calm, very suburban, with the mountains around and lots of green.  Then when we got back, we all chatted for a bit and I went to take my shower, shave, and get ready for the night, it was almost 5 already anyway.  Oh, it felt good to shower in a regular bathroom hahahah… Everybody started getting ready, and just chilling and chatting.  We started having some drinks.  Adam got some appetizers going, and we hung out, it was a great time just chatting and chilling.  We talked to some family and friends through the day and evening as well.  We talked to parents, siblings, friends, talked to Alex (my son), etc… and continued chatting here and having drinks.  And then Alex and Adam set the dinner table and we had a great dinner.  We sure laughed a lot, and talked for a long time.  As midnight came, we toasted to the new year, the girls were still up and happy.  There were no fireworks, or big party, but we were together, safe and healthy, and that’s what matters this time.  Then we talked some more and ended up calling it a night a bit after 1am.  I was pretty tired, so I went down with the girls and we started getting ready.  Carol helped put things away and clean up.

And that was our New Years Eve night, just relaxing, eating good, having drinks and talking and laughing… all while having our masks on, indoors, inside the house with relatives.  It sucks to have masks on with family, it was weird… but, we felt it was the right thing to do.  Better to see them and wear the masks then not see them at all.

Happy New Year everyone!  Hoping 2021 brings you health, and joy.  Stay Safe!

Leave a Reply