Friday, July 31, 2020

Adventures at the Wong Campground

Since we couldn't go anywhere this year for our anniversary (for a variety of reasons), we still made the day special by setting up camp in our back yard.  I was really craving an outing into nature after much time being cooped up inside.  We pitched the tent like we always do, blew up the sleeping pads, made a camp fire, and played games.  It was totally corny, but how often do two adults get do this?  We cheated a little bit by making it okay to use the bathroom and the kitchen!  We went on a familiar hike earlier that day in the Angeles National Forest, which was a great getaway that offered fresh air, sprawling mountain views, and no crowds.  I was worried at first that this year's celebration would be dull compared to the past ones, but of course it never ends up being dull unless you see it that way.  We felt fortunate to have been able to do something different for our five-year wedding anniversary, even though we stayed local.  In light of current events, this day was epic in its own way.

While I was still sleeping, Wes made a trip to Perfectly Sweet bakery in Alhambra (which was one of the only things open at this time) to get some sweets.  I had been talking about getting a slice of our same wedding cake from Porto's again, but alas they do not sell their little cakes by the slice during the pandemic.  This chocolate raspberry cake was so moist and yummy though, and he also got both oatmeal cookies AND chocolate cookies, geez!  

We stopped by Gelson's (our new go-to for a crowd-free grocery shopping experience) for some packed lunch and drove about an hour into the Angeles National Forest.  We did a small portion of the Mt. Waterman trail to a nice overlook.  After being off the trails for weeks, it felt so good to be among the trees and to feel the breeze while sitting on the rocks.  Both Wes and I had been somewhat handicapped.  He was having some persistent weird knee issues that may or may not be related to an old injury, and I was 12 weeks pregnant. 

Being pregnant for the third time has been a very multi-faceted experience for me, especially with the pandemic layered over all of that pre-existing fear and anxiety.  We had seen the baby three times already, once at 6.5 weeks, once at 7.5 weeks, and once more at 10 weeks, so I was trying to cling to the sound of the heartbeat and the image of the baby moving about in the dark to stay hopeful.  However, with each passing day, I wonder if it'll make it.  The pandemic has kept us away from the world especially because of this valuable life that we have to protect.  Aside from keeping it a secret from most people, it's been isolating to be away from friends and coworkers in general. 

Wes was feeling pretty down on himself leading up to our anniversary this year, too.  For weeks leading up to this day, he was only going on short walks on flat ground and wearing a brace, icing the knee daily.  Compared to what he was capable of before, this felt very scary.  I was at times perhaps dismissive and resentful, which is where the guilty sentiments in the last blog post about our anniversary came from.  Looking back on this time now, I really appreciate him even more than ever for having the energy to uplift me when he was so down on himself.  He reassures me that things are going fine with the baby, even though he's been feeling very insecure of himself lately.  The knee problems are still there, but he was able to do this hike with a brace on and trekking poles.

The knee is still not what it used to be, but hopefully we can do what we can to protect it and to keep it strong and happy, just like the baby inside of me.  I think we just need to learn to adapt to these situations as our bodies continue to change with age and time.  This day, we both got a much-needed little dose of beautiful nature as a mental release from all of the stress!  It was worth driving out for.

We hoped to be back soon, but the heat has been downright ridiculous.  Oh well, I guess more time to rest and recuperate.

I slept on the way home (those first-trimester naps, haha), and when we got back, we pitched our tent in the backyard.  I took out our custom campground sign (previous gift that I gave to Wes) and leaned it against the tree.  It felt like we were really at a campground somewhere.

We were supposed to play some lawn games, but we ended up opening a bag of hot cheetos and eating them on the folding chairs, haha.

For dinner, we planned to make pizza.  Before we headed out this morning, Wes made the dough and left it on the counter under a towel to rise.  When we were ready to cook, we thought about grilling our pizzas instead of using the oven to be more "outdoorsy," but chickened out last minute because the idea of ruining our only dough which had been rising all day sounded like a risk we were not willing to take. 

The pizzas were so good!  We made one with anchovies and one with sausage and pesto.

Wes built a little fire.  It was nice to smell wood burning--it wasn't a campfire in the wild, but it wasn't something we've ever done at home either.

We played Scrabble in the tent and Wes won...narrowly!  Just kidding, I'll give him more credit.  He was actually being pretty strategic.  We were going to watch a movie as well, but we were both tired after this long day and ended up going to sleep.  

Waking up in the morning to see our familiar trees and fence was so cute.  Of course, I did get up three times during the night to visit the bathroom (conveniently located just inside of the back door!), but this was considerably less than usual.  There was one night that I went to the restroom six times... I think that I stayed asleep better in the backyard than in the bedroom, oddly!

Wes finally decided to try doing yoga with me the next morning.  After eating some cookies, we rolled out the mats and did a yoga for knees video on Youtube.  Afterward, we laid on the mats and stared into our tree of heaven (which I learned to love over the months), with our heads comfortably supported by cork blocks.  It was great, and even more fantastic when we noticed something we'd never seen here before...

...a woodpecker!!

We went inside and made breakfast on the stove and ate with silverware and real plates.  Why not?  Wes fully-cooked scrambled some eggs for me (so sad, I miss sunny-side-up or poached eggs!) and cheesy potatoes.  Although I've been craving some unhealthy things, I still stayed away from those!  

It was just the best way we could have spent the weekend given all of the situations at hand.  I think when we have kids, we will definitely be doing this more!  Mom and Dad got to do a test run and they approved ;)

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