Living high on the hog in a Pre-Pandemic 2020

A year ago today I was up to some pretty crazy shenanigans. I went to an indoor restaurant with friends! And we shared a plate of appetizers! It was a beautiful cold March morning working at Santa Anita Park and between races and work stuff(You know, like petting horses), I chatted with my friend Amy in the owner’s lounge. Amy had some snacks from the free canapes buffet for racehorse owners in the owner’s lounge. I may have even snagged a brownie from the buffet midway through my shift. Buffets and sharing appetizers; What is all the craziness! We were living it up in a pre-pandemic life world.

pre-pandemic life
I never imagined I wouldn’t pet a horse, I mean one of my coworkers for a year.

Signs of the pandemic were around the racetrack if you looked closely. There were rumors about the Coronavirus spreading. To combat this tiny little virus, hand sanitizer stations had been installed all over the front side and backside of the racetrack. Doors were left open so there were fewer contact points. But besides that it was business as usual on a crisp winter’s day; Degenerate gamblers and beautiful fast Thoroughbreds. Those pre-pandemic memories see a world away from where we are now in March 2021. I never, ever imagined I would be furloughed from my job for an entire year.

Yet here we are, the beginning of March 2021 and we survived one full year of living through a global pandemic. For me, it’s been an unbelievable year and not because I started my own guided hiking service or summited Mt Whitney for my 40th birthday. It’s definitely been one hell of a year and I don’t really mean that in a positive way. Although I can say I have spent a lot of good quality time with my pets. As much as I love our plethora of animals I miss my pre-pandemic life.

pre-pandemic life

In January 2020, a global pandemic was the last thing on my mind as we traveled through India, rocking in the New Year on the tropical beaches of Goa India. I had never in my life witnessed such a crowded beach scene as we shared in the New Year’s revelry with family halfway across the world. . It’s a crazy thing to look back on a year later. All those drunk party-goers hugging their friends, kissing loved ones under the fireworks of southern India. Remember when we were not afraid to stand six feet away from a stranger? It may have only been a year ago but man does it feel like a different time. I feel so blessed we were able to make a pre-pandemic trip to India to make memories with my boyfriend’s overseas family. I feel like it will be a very long time before it’s safe to travel internationally to Asia or anywhere near that corner of the world again.

pre-pandemic life
Remember when we hug could hug family back in the day?

Here we are the spring of 2021 just dawning on us and I’m one of the lucky ones who still has the ability to taste and smell, something I never thought to take for granted before 2020. I mean I guess we live in a world now where I consider myself lucky because I can still smell my dog’s farts. That is the world we live in here in 2020. Aside from dog farts, I can also smell the sage under my feet on mountain trails and the pinion pines under the snow on crisp mountain mornings. I feel blessed that I’ve spent this global pandemic mainly out trekking miles on the trails. We are so lucky to not be in the congested cities starring at four apartment walls all day long. During this pandemic, I have hiked a lot of miles (And been paid for a ton of those miles) in 2020.

pre-pandemic life
Pre-pandemic hiking with friends. Before we were 6 feet apart.

So what do you miss most from your pre-pandemic life? Obviously hugging grandma is at the top of my list. Going to work at the marketing job that I adore under the green art-deco grandstand of Santa Anita Park has to be second. I so miss my real job in the horse racing industry and going to work not dressed in yoga pants. I miss having a reason to leave my yoga pants in the closet. I have a whole closet full of business clothes collecting mothballs and cat hair.

Remember naked sauna burpees?

One thing I miss from my pre-pandemic life is spa days. I was lucky enough to travel to the eastern Sierras five times during this pandemic and every time I drove through June Lake past, The Double Eagle Resort I had an incredible yearning to visit their Creekside Spa. Okay, it was more than just a yearning. I had to keep my Subaru between the lines on Highway 158 towards Silver Lake amongst the golden aspens. I had to try my best not to swerve into the Double Eagle’s parking lot and head straight to the eucalyptus sauna, leaving a trail of dirty sweaty hiker yoga pants in my wake.

I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed a good hot sweaty sauna. Even if through the sweaty mist I’m pretty sure I saw a rather large naked Korean woman doing a handstand next to me last time. I could not make that shit up if I tried. Yes, when relaxing at the Korean day spa it is not unheard of to have a rather large naked Korean woman doing burpees next to you in the mist. Maybe it’s a cultural thing but I just don’t get how it’s normal to do a handstand while naked in a sauna next to a random stranger.

Hashtag Supermarket Sushi Problems

Fresh sashimi at home.

Living in a resort town so rural that it does not have a sushi restaurant means I have to make my own sushi at home. I know, I know, hashtag, snowy mountain ski town problems. One thing I miss about pre-pandemic life was the chance to go out to sushi dinner with friends or my boyfriend. The closest thing we have to sushi in Big Bear Lake is sashimi from Von’s. Yes, I will shamefully admit I have been that desperate a few times in the last year. For the most part, I don’t sink so low as to purchase supermarket sushi. I have to be in a desperate place where I just need a baked crawfish roll in my mouth right now to sink to that level where I grab supermarket sushi made with surimi.

I do however sometimes make my own Sushi Protein Bowls at home in my mountain kitchen. Sometimes I can not take the madness of not having sushi in my face anymore. During this pandemic, I have perfected the art of making somewhat authentic sushi dishes that I would normally order off a sushi bar menu. Owning a does help me make my own spicy ahi rolls at home.

I remember pre-pandemic life when after a long day on my feet walking over seven miles in heels at work, I would go out for a relaxing sushi dinner with friends. Chatting with friends and coworkers over an Asahi beer sounds so damn good right about now. These are the simple little things in life I took for granted before 2020 puked Covid all over my favorite

2020; Welcome to grocery hell

Here in 2020, some people say this miss buying toilet paper. I miss being able to shop for just the basic groceries I need to make a healthy dinner. Every time I visit our small-town grocery store I’m lucky if I can find half the items on my list, like Seriously, half the shelves are always empty and shoppers are stacked on top of each other attempting to shop. I’ve never liked people who are close talkers to being with. This pandemic makes me feel like I need to put a sign on my ass every time I go out in public, Six feet away bitch!

I’ve always been a germ-a-phobe and that was before a worldwide pandemic. So yes, I am that person who will bitch at you in line at the supermarket if you are not six feet away from me. Yes, I will give you a dirty look if I see you squeezing all the avocados and then putting them back on the shelf with your dirty covid hands.

pre-pandemic life

Some people bitch about this pandemic and have an issue with wearing their Donald Trump Face Mask every time they go out in public. That does not bother me one bit as I truly want to keep my friends and family safe from nasty Covid germs. I feel bad for that eighty-year-old man in the rascal in the grocery store (Even though he just cut in front of me in line) I don’t want to infect him (Even if he is an asshole) if I happen to myself have Covid and be asymptomatic. I do miss that one time a month I shopped at Costco in my pre-pandemic life and there wouldn’t be a line that wrapped halfway around the store.

Here we are a year into a global pandemic and pre-pandemic life seems so long ago. The small things I use to take for granted like wearing lipstick to work or hugging friends seem so long ago now.

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