February seems such a long time ago when life was on the fast lane and packed with activities. Little did we know that life as we know it will change overnight in a heartbeat.
The simple things that I loved to do yet took for granted have become dreams to hope for in the future. Eating out, shopping for fun, coffee dates with friends, Sunday worships and lunch with my family…. Not being able to go out and shop pinch a little but not being able to see my family and friends, and hug them hurt the most.
I am looking back to February because it is important to remember that good times happened, and will happen again in the future despite the uncertainties. It is good to remind ourselves that the best of times are yet to be. We just need to get through this and we will!
It is also very important to practice gratitude, that despite the harshness and despondency that surround us, we need to give praise for the hundreds of blessings in our lives.
For now, coronavirus be gone for a moment from my world, let me go back to happy times on my birthday month.
For my birthday this year, I did as I did last year on my birthday. I took the day off to drive to San Francisco. I went to my favorite neighborhood which is Clement Street. It is called “New Chinatown.” It is a charming strip of a street with several blocks of stores and restaurants serving primarily Asian food but other cuisines as well. Unlike last year, my birthday this year was low key. I started my day with coffee and bowl of wonton soup from Trader Joe’s before I drove to San Francisco. (On your birthday, you should get to eat whatever you want!)
I bought all kinds of dim sum from Clement before sitting down for a nice afternoon tea at Harvest Wheatfield Bakery. I enjoyed my Asian pastry then I also could not resist and bought more pastries to take home. As I enjoyed glorious quiet moments of having tea, I watched a group of senior women who met up to have tea, laugh and gossip. I thought that I would wish for me and my girlfriends to be like them when we retire and get to be their age. They looked like they were having a lot of fun girl-bonding.
Mr Sweetie then called me to say that he came home early and would like to take me out to dinner. I chose to have drinks and appetizers instead at a couple of restaurants. One was at Northlight, a neighborhood bar/bookstore where I indulged my tater tots and cocktail cravings.
Then we walked next door at Cholita Linda when I had another glass of sangria while Mr Sweetie had tacos. (Hey, it was my birthday!I get to drink! Ha! Ha!)
My birthday was simple but sweet. (In March, Mr Sweetie threw me a surprise party with my family! Friends also continue to promise to celebrate my birthday when this coronavirus is gone!)
My birthday was really jump started by my girlfriends who took me out for a drink on my birthday eve. I was not really in the mood to celebrate after paying $$$ on home plumbing repair but my girlfriends changed the mood for me by treating me to a sumptuous drinks and desserts at Executive Order in San Francisco.
My friend Alexis also gave a lovely present of box of macarons from Chantal Guillon in San Francisco.
Mr Sweetie surprised me with gorgeous two dozen long-stemmed pink and red roses at work, followed by a basket of bear and candies. It was funny because the basket went missing until late afternoon. (It was delivered at 9:00 am almost at the same time the roses were delivered.) While I got the roses early, the baskets were found along with office supply delivery later that afternoon!
Galentine at SF Museum of Modern Art
BFF is my Galentine each year and it has been our tradition to meet up at SFMOMA to catch up and exchange treats. As always she spoils me.
Amiga’s Birthday Coffee Date at Arsicault (SF)
Arsicault moved into my work neighborhood. It has been named as the best bakery in the US in 2018 by Bon Appetit. How could a foodie resist? I took my Amiga here on her birthday because she loves pastries. We both had savory ham and cheese croissant, and chocolate and almond croissant. To die for!
TRIP TO NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
It was a whirlwind of a work trip. I got to explore a little but my time was limited as it was storming and my energy was focused on doing an excellent job in Nashville. I decided to postpone writing about my trip to Nashville because 5 days after I returned from my trip, tornado has tragically devastated this fun-loving music city.
My heart goes out to people who lost their lives, homes and were seriously affected by this calamity. On the other hand I am full to gratitude for the Lord’s protection that my colleagues and I barely missed being caught up in the tornado!
Our Saturdays in February were packed with parties. These became our date nights.
Brother’s Surprise Birthday Party
It was a fun party with family and friends. Lots of delicious Filipino food. I brought Beef Enchiladas which were my sister’s request. It was hit. And my brother was happy!
A Lovely 75th Birthday Party
We attended Mr Sweetie’s uncle’s surprise 75th birthday. It was held at a beautiful venue by the marina at Zio Freddo’s in Vallejo, CA. Mr Sweetie’s cousin hooked us up and gave us a table by the window. It was a lovely sight to watch the sunset during the festive celebration.
A Dear Co-Worker’s Farewell Party
My co-worker left after 4 years of being at our department. She was our party planner and our work gave her a sumptuous brunch of lovely cups of yogurt and granola, a big tray of tofu banh mi, huge boxes of Arsicault croissants, Starbread, fresh fruit shakes, etc. It was a bittersweet farewell but we are happy for her promotion.
Ah, Superbowl! It was quite a long, frustrating, heart wrenching yet fun ride for us San Francisco Niners fans! We made it to the Superbowl only to lose in the end. The season was one of the most exciting ones. We hosted a party at our house but only Mr Sweetie’s parents made it. We were not disappointed as we had tons of Hawaiian BBQ, a nice bottle of champagne and dozens of cupcakes. It was all good in the end. We said “next season” but with the Covid-19 crisis… oh, well — next, next season, maybe!
LAST DINING OUT DATE NIGHT
Little did we know that this would have been our last date night at a restaurant before Shelter In Place has been declared. I wrote about our lovely sushi dinner at Coach Sushi on this post. I am glad that it was really a nice one as we do not know when we will be able to dine out again.
WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR
Looking back to February made me realize many things. One of them is to seize life today and this very moment as it is presented to us because we do not know what tomorrow might bring. I told myself that I will celebrate my birthday “next year” because I was not in the mood this year. I am so grateful that I did what I wanted to do anyway, and that my family and friends celebrated my day with me. Some of friends are not able to celebrate their special days this with their loved ones because of the pandemic.
Now more than ever, I am so grateful for the moments that I was able to spend with my siblings, BFF, friends and family. I am glad that I was able to see them last February over meals, drinks, coffee and museum visit. I am thankful for the financial blessings to afford a costly home repair that contributes to a warm, safe and comfortable home. I am thankful for my loving partner in life who showers me with love and pretty gifts. I am grateful for another year in my life. Looking back as the years pile on, I am full of gratitude for a full and happy life and for having all my needs met by the Lord. I am grateful for sumptuous feasts, fun gatherings, celebrations of life, sweet and thoughtful presents, for all the love.