Things I’m Looking Forward to Doing Post COVID and Cancer

2020 has been such a strange year for everyone but I think my year has been a tiny bit crazier since I was diagnosed with leukemia. There are so many things that I miss since I’ve had to live in a bubble but instead of focusing on the negative, I’ve decided to make a list of things that I’m looking forward to doing once again.

1. Jumping in the ocean. I asked my doctor the other day if they’ll be taking out my PICC line when I move to the maintenance phase of my treatment and he said yes! Boom Shakalaka – that means I can jump in the ocean soon! And he’s like well you know the ocean is very cold right now. I was like I know but I’m just planning for the future and possibly a trip to Hawaii when it’s safe to travel again. But I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without swimming in the ocean and this mermaid is craving a magical dip.

my happy place

2. Eating poke. Beacause of my treatment, I’m not allowed to eat raw fish and it’s torture. Every time my mum asks what I want to eat my answer is “poke” and then she says “you can’t have poke” and I say “but that’s what I want”. Anyway, I’ve tried imitation crab “poke bowls” to try and satisfy the hankering but it’s not the same! I want spicy ahi from Tamura’s.

this photo makes my mouth water

3. Dancing. I miss dancing Tahitian and hula so much. I can barely walk up stairs, my muscles are all shot and I have bad neuropathy so I couldn’t even fathom trying to dance right now but I will get stronger and will shake my booty again.

I’ve been following this TikTok famous woman on social who was diagnosed with leukemia a month before me. She’s an incredible mother of 5 young kiddos and has had such a rough cancer journey as well. She’s a dance teacher and has been dancing through her treatments and I’m so inspired by her positivity. But sometimes it makes me sad that I can’t dance like she can. My body just isn’t strong enough at the moment. I have to remind myself of that quote “comparison is the theif of joy” and just believe my body will heal miraculously and I will dance again.

miss my ori sisters too

4. Traveling. This is an obvious one. I’m used to traveling allllllll the time that it’s been so bizarre to just sit at home for months on end day dreaming about different cultures, food, architecture and people. My Pinterest is full of adventures to be had. I’m thinking Paris, Greece, and Prague, or maybe Thailand and Kuala Lumpur or New Zealand. The list goes on and on honestly… I am open to recommendations.

Dublin with my momma a couple years ago

5. Hiking. Like I said above, I can’t even climb stairs without it feeling like Mt. Everest so I can’t wait for my body to be strong enough to just even stroll through nature. I miss trees, fresh air, playing word games with friends on the way up and the views at the top. I also love that I feel closer to God when I hike.

trees make me feel small

6. Going to a Broadway show. When I was 10 years old my mum took me to New York for the first time and we saw Annie Get Your Gun with the incredible Bernadette Peters as Annie Oakley and I FELL IN LOVE with Broadway. My eyes were glued to the stage and I sat in pure wonderment for two hours. It encouraged me to pursue acting and shortly after that trip, I auditioned for a local summer program where we performed Into the Woods. I was cast as just a woodnymph (aka chorus background nobody) but it kicked off a passion for performing and I participated in many musicals for years to come. For my 12th birthday, my parents surprised me with FRONT ROW tickets to see Annie Get Your Gun at the Paramount in Seattle. We were so close the actors were spitting on us and I brought my best friend who’s a redhead and the main actress pointed to her as they took their bows and said there’s the next Annie and winked at us. It was so special.

My mum and I have been watching a lot of cheesy movies on Netflix lately but they’re set in NYC and it makes me want to visit so bad. As soon as I kick this cancer’s butt and covid gets under control, we are booking flights to the Big Apple and are going to as many shows as possible. Starting with Mean Girls.

Lady Liberty in all her glory

7. Visiting museums. I enjoy museums, fun installations, and art pop-ups. I like learning new things and all but one of my favorite things to do in an art museum is rename the pieces. You know like a super old Renaissance painting that should be named “Cardi B’s WAP” or something stupid to spice it up. LOL. I’ve considered curating my own pop-up museum but that sounds like a lot of work. It’s still on my bucket list for when I have more energy and/or win the lottery.

Not sure I quite understand contemporary art but I try

8. Social gatherings. I miss my friends. I want to throw a dinner party. I want to have a glass of wine in a bar. I want to eat chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant. I want to go to a baseball game. I want to attend a picnic at the beach. I want to dress up and dance the night away at 80s night at the Belly Up. I want to hug my bff.

< 3

I have high hopes for 2021 and just pray that we can all get back to a “normal life” soon. Ok your turn – what are y’all looking forward to doing most?

Shoots den.

Quarantine Memories: Salvation Mountain

Sitting here getting chemo thinking about all the places I’d rather be.

Y’all already know it’s killing me to not be able to go on adventures. I’m making a list of places I want to go as soon as I get the ok from the doctor. Hurry up covid vaccine. Until then – everyone wear your masks. Please and thank you.

We went on this trip a couple years ago but I still feel like it’s worth sharing.

There’s this trippy painted mountain in the middle of the desert past Palm Springs. We decided to go during summer and it was well over 100 degrees. That meant we had the mountain almost to ourselves but we couldn’t last long in the heat. We were there long enough to snap some epic photos though. Take a look:

Salvation Mountain
On the mountain
In the mountain
Trying to survive the desert heat

After we hopped back into the air conditioned car we drove to the nearby neighborhood called “East Jesus” which was another strange sight. The only photos I took here have my ex boyfriend in them unfortunately except this one:

But it doesn’t do it justice so go look it up. We felt like we were in a weird Tim Burton movie and kind of like we might get murdered. So we skedaddled out of there pretty quickly and camped Joshua Tree. I’ll share some J Tree memories sometime soon.

TTFN

Quarantine Memories: Mt Rainier

I’m gonna switch it up and not write about cancer in this post because after all this blog is called Trips and Salsa. Here’s one of the trips I went on last year:

I was in Seattle for a dear friend’s wedding and decided to stay in town a few extra days to see family and friends. I also wanted to take a trip up to Mt Rainier since I couldn’t even remember the last time I was there, if ever.

I grew up in Seattle with a gorgeous view of all of downtown and both Mt Baker and Mt Rainier, so I saw it every day but moved away at 18 and I miss those gorgeous giants.

My friends Caroline and Jess were up for the adventure too! So off we went…

First stop was Grove of the Patriarchs. I wanted to see this bridge.

We you can only cross one person at a time.

It wasn’t much of a hike (1 mile) which was nice but was GORGEOUS and not like any hikes I could go on in Southern California.

Then we made our way through the park to Reflection Lake. What a beaut.

Then we made our way to the National Park Visitor Center where we watched a movie about the park and ate lunch. How could we not get Rainier Beers to drink on Mt Rainier?!

Then we hiked to Myrtle Falls. It was another easy stroll but a lovey trail. I felt like Julie Andrews because the hills were alive with the Sound of Music.

It was a fun day with two great friends. Glad I extended my trip to trek up the mountain I used to stare at daily. ❤

Quarantine Memories: Last Year’s Superbloom

Usually this time of the year, Amelia and I go chasing wildflowers. Due to our current situation with Coronavirus, our flower frolics are put on hold. As scary as things are at the moment, it’s also kind of nice to have down time to reset, take care of ourselves, reconnect with old friends and family, reflect on memories and set intentions for the rest of the year.

I can’t wait to go on adventures again but to tide ourselves over until we’re allowed to roam freely, here are some images from last year’s superbloom.

Lake Elsinore has rolling hills painted with poppies. I can’t help but say “poppies” in the Wicked Witch of the West’s voice.

Peep that adorable mini adventurer

Since I have all the time in the world now, I’m going to go through the archives and find some old adventures to share with ya’ll.

In all seriousness, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. And thank you to all the people who are risking their lives by going into work during this time. Your service is appreciated.

“Flowers bloom after rain falls”. We’re currently experiencing a massive rainstorm and can only hope for an epic superbloom after this.

Red Rock Canyon

Amelia and I are always on the look out for cool adventures to do near us. We scour Pinterest for ideas and often times get discouraged because it seems like we’ve done all the cool things in Southern California, which clearly isn’t true but we still have a hard time finding new places to explore. So I was stoked when she presented me with this one.

Disclaimer: I also have a hard time sharing locations of cool places because I hate when secret spots are no longer secret. I remember when we would to go Lanikai Beach on Oahu and there would only be a few other people there and then it was put in all the magazines are top 10 best beaches in the world and then it was jam packed with tourists at all times. But if places weren’t geotagged, I wouldn’t know where they were either. So you’re welcome, 4 followers of mine.

The hike was super easy to get to. It’s the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Lake Forest next to a Ralphs. You have to pay $3 to park and the entrance is easy to locate.

I just read that there’s a lot of mountain lion attacks on this hike so maybe don’t go, or at least be on the look out. Haha I wish I would have known that before we went but oh well. The hike itself was mellow. It was pretty flat without a lot of incline BUT there were a million mountain bikers which made it difficult to hike because we kept having to pull over to let them by.

The total hike was about 4.2 miles and took almost two hours (depending on how much time you spend in the canyon). We heard that it was a good spot for sunset and we arrived to the canyon a little before sunset but I was worried about daylight because it took us a little longer to hike in that I had expected.

The hike looked pretty basic brown dirt and unexciting dying brush and trees and we were wondering how on earth a canyon that looks like Utah or Arizona would just appear but it did! Look how EPIC!

We started hiking out and it was getting dark fast. Bats started flying around our heads. I kid you not. And then we heard creepy sounds and it truly felt like a Halloween Hike. The last 15 minutes we were hiking in the dark which made it even spookier. We used our phone flashlights and made it out. So I don’t really recommend it for sunset unless you have flashlights and enjoy night hiking. For three girls and a baby, it was a little much.

The best part of making it out alive was that there’s a McDonalds across the street! I crave orange soda after I break a sweat so this was a win for me.