As my leave of absence draws to a close, I thought I’d talk a little bit about what my days look like in California. N leaves for work before 5 am & gets home around 5:30 pm, leaving Odin & I plenty of time for adventures. Our weekends are pretty busy, so we often stick a little closer to home during the week. It also helps keep my spending in check since I’m not collecting a paycheck while I’m down here. Luckily, there are plenty of fun things to do for free, or cheap, in the East Bay.
If given the opportunity, I’ll generally take it pretty slow in the morning. I love a making some bulletproof coffee & catching up on social media on our back deck. I feel a bit guilty starting the day in such a lazy way, so I was excited to join the East Bay carpool for Monday, Wednesday, & Friday morning workouts with November Project. There’s a solid group that makes the commute from the East Bay to downtown SF. I was stoked to meet the organizers at The Crate Escape at the end of August, & get added to the carpool’s group text.
Odin & I usually leave Richmond around 5:20 am to pick up a few people in Berkeley or Oakland before heading into the city for the 6:30 am workout. Coming from Calgary, it’s hard to comprehend the insanity that is rush hour in the Bay Area. Without three people in the car, there’s no way we’d ever make it to the workout on time. With three people, we can use the carpool lanes to cross the Bay Bridge. It’s a major time saver.
I love my November Project workouts in Calgary, but I’m even more grateful for them here. Before coming down, I totally underestimated how much time I’d be spending alone. Odin is a great listener, but I definitely appreciate the social aspect in addition to the workout.
Afterwards, we head back over the bridge to drop everyone off & I usually treat myself to a coffee at Blue Bottle. It’s definitely a bit of a bad habit, but their coffee is irresistible & I won’t have access to it for much longer.
Mornings in the Bay Area are generally foggy or overcast, so I try to use those hours for blogging, grocery shopping, editing photos, or researching our weekend activities. On days that I don’t workout in the morning, I still try to get up reasonably early to get all this out of the way. I love the sunshine & try to take advantage of it as much as possible, especially since I know I’m going back to much colder weather in Calgary.
If it’s really hot & sunny (like today! It’s 31 C in Richmond), I’ll head to the pool to journal, read, or write. N’s community might as well be a resort. There are two pools, two hot tubs, a gym, & several ponds surrounding the condos. It’s a little oasis. It also backs onto the San Francisco Bay Trail. There are ton of great parks & beaches a short walk away. Odin loves the Bay Trail, so we use it often.
If it’s not quite pool weather, we tend to go exploring. I’ve tried to cover as much of Berkeley & area as possible. The Rosie the Riveter museum is about a 20-minute walk away & so is a large off-leash dog park where Odin can go swimming. When we first came down, we often went into Berkeley. This whole area is extremely dog friendly, which made it easy to get to know the area without feeling guilty that I was leaving him behind. Within the neighbouring cities, there’s a wide variety of hiking trails, city paths, & beaches. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon. My favourites all have incredible views of SF & its beautiful bridges. I also love to go for a drive up the crazy hills around Berkeley & El Cerrito. On a clear day, you’re rewarded with a killer view around every bend.
I usually start dinner before 5 pm so N & I can spend the evening together. Since he has such early mornings, we tend to go to bed pretty early. As a night owl, it’s definitely a big adjustment for me, but I think I’ve been pretty good at it.
We’re really lucky to have a park with BBQs within walking distance as well as an awesome local brewery. We’ve had a couple dinners in the park over the last couple weeks & we often head up to Armistice with Odin for a game of battleship on their outdoor patio & a couple beers.
So there you go, a day in my life down here in California. Our weekdays are substantially more laid back than our weekends, but I like to think we’ve used our time well. It’s been an amazing few months of exploring!