Marking Time in our “VRBO”

24 Apr

24 April 2020.

Quiet location but little to do

The property is in excellent shape with plenty of room and nice décor. Well-equipped kitchen but the chef seems prone to overdependence on chicken and use of a slow cooker. Some beef would be nice now-and-then. Friday is, inevitably, pizza night. The wine cellar is good, not great, but quantities seem to be abundant.

Recreational opportunities are limited. The beach is open but in a cruel twist, the accesses are closed. WTF? The Activities Director arranged for sewing projects and there is a model train of interest to some. Wildlife viewing is occasionally possible from our digs. Quiet neighborhood a plus! 

Housekeeping is minimal at best and one has to ask for linens to be changed. 

Pretty sure kids would be bored here so best for a couples retreat.

Signed: Bored at the Beach

Here we are at the end of Week 6 of our self-isolation (we started on March 14). I rely on Ric’s pill minder to tell me the day of the week. We cook, we eat three meals, we take a good walk daily, we watch three TV shows a day (no binging). Yup, every day looks the same. Weekends have little meaning.

Does your week feel like this? Thanks to friend Brenda for posting this on Facebook.

I spend waaayyyy too much time online. If we were not following our WW eating plan we would have blown up like Macy’s balloons by now.

I find this sign a bit confusing. Can I go here or not?

We are grateful we can walk 3 miles roundtrip to the beach. Although we are allowed to walk on the beach, ironically the accesses are closed so we walk to the nearest point, sniff the breeze, admire the empty car park, and trudge back home. We see almost no one.

My friend in Ortisei can only walk 300 meters from her home, just enough to let her walk to the Post Office, grocery store, and pharmacy. In Rome, a friend reports they are limited to 200 meters from home. We are lucky.

I am still making masks (See Week Two draws to a close) and have gotten much faster. As of this morning, I had made a total of 40 for family, friends, and donations. I have eight more in production. Soon I will have a wardrobe of masks to coordinate with my outfits. We are likely to be wearing masks for a long time so we might as well embrace the style.

While the weeks seem to be passing quickly, some days seem to drag. I suppose it’s the Ground Hog Day syndrome.

In an effort to distinguish the days Ric and I have established some of our own traditions here in the Time of COVID-19.

Panino Monday: Every single day we eat an embarrassingly huge salad for lunch. We used to go out for lunch once a week and that gave us a break in many ways. Now we have a sandwich and chips for lunch on Monday for a change of pace. Whether a club sandwich as take-out from a local joint or one homemade from hand-carved ham, our week starts with comforting carbs. I heard today that McMenamin’s reopened. Maybe a burger this week. Yippee!

This young buck thinks he’s a bird. We are delighted to see them pop by.

Movie Tuesday: A movie at noon along with a big bag of popcorn sets Tuesday apart from the rest of the week. Super 8, Young Frankenstein, and It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood are among the flicks that have given a lift to Tuesday. In the coming weeks, an apocalyptic-movie marathon selected from this list.

Gardening Wednesday: Devoted to puttering in the yard, planting pots, and other springtime pleasures. Tuesday and Wednesday can be interchanged depending on the weather. Sometimes Ric ventures off-property to spend his pent up energy on blackberries and Scotch broom. Fun!

Shopping Thursday: Time to pick up the orders we have placed on Tuesday. In order to avoid going into a grocery store more often than necessary, we drive 40 minutes to Newport to do an 8:30 AM parking lot pickup at Fred Meyer, then stop at Chester’s in Lincoln Beach for a small order we place with them through The drive along the coast to Newport is stunning, all the more so early in the morning and with pandemic-light traffic conditions. Sometimes we stop in the Taft district of LC to take a walk to a scenic overlook that no one has closed. Yet.

Pizza Venerdi! Returning to our tradition from the Rome days, we are indulging in pizza on Friday (Venerdi) nights. It’s only Papa Murphy’s but it is, along with a rare beer, a treat for us.

Saturday is Towel Day and Sunday is Sheet Day so that I don’t forget when the last time was that I changed the linens. As the housekeeper is not coming at this point, we are on our own. CBS Sunday Morning is something I always look forward to.

This is what I call “The Factory” where masks are in constant production.

Ironically, Monday becomes “Wash Day” just like in the old days. Remember this old rhyme? Monday: Wash Day ~ Tuesday: Ironing Day ~ Wednesday: Sewing Day ~ Thursday: Market Day ~ Friday: Cleaning Day ~ Saturday: Baking Day ~ Sunday: Day of Rest.

How are you marking time?

This may be the attitude of many of you fellow introverts, at least for a while. Thanks to

14 Responses to “Marking Time in our “VRBO””

  1. kathyfromhouston May 22, 2020 at 13:53 #

    Laurel, I am late to the “party”. I read your blog soon after it came out, but something interrupted me, and I didn’t reply. I love reading about your adventures. We have much in common. We would have been in Ortisei right now. I am disappointed but hope to reschedule as soon as life gets back to normal. I have been catching up on “projects”, walking most days, doing yoga, and watching movies set in France and Italy. I follow “A French Frye in Paris” on YouTube. Corey Frye does walking tours in Paris and posts online. He is very informative regarding history, art, and architecture. He has quite a following. We need someone to do that in Italy – hint, hint!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel June 4, 2020 at 08:31 #

      Dear Kathy, I am also “late to the party” as I failed to respond to you quickly! I don’t know where the time goes during these strange days! The days fly by while the months seem interminable.

      What Cory Frye does sounds like work! I barely have the discipline to update the books, which I now realize will be peculiarly out-of-date for lack of a 2020 experience. We hold out small hope of going this autumn and will keep our plans alive until the last possible moment to make a decision. Mostly depends on if the countries will let us in without quarantine…

      Have fun planning your next trip! I always love to do that part!


  2. Terah April 25, 2020 at 16:46 #

    such fun to read. We are not that regimented. While we are encouraged to stay home and most facilities are closed, I get in 4+ mile walks along our nature trails and have thoroughly enjoyed our Texas Wildflower spring! Lloyd and I have dubbed “breakfast in the park!” Our maids still come on Monday mornings so we go to the kolache shop for takeout, go to a parking lot (at a store where we need something;) have breakfast and then shop for an hour or so just browsing. Masks on, of course, but hey, no makeup required! I actually think I was made for this. I love to meditate, play in my art studio, nurture my garden, and sit in the sun. Don’t tell anyone but I’m a happy camper! 😉


    • Laurel April 27, 2020 at 11:20 #

      Terah, They have closed our open spaces are trails to protect us from tourists. If they come, they cannot find places to park and get on the beaches and trails, so they are not coming. Nowhere to eat anyway, except for takeout, and hotels are closed by county and city order. It’s tough, but we cannot take 30K people showing up for a weekend of beach time right now. You are lucky to have trail access.


  3. chloe erkenbrecher April 25, 2020 at 09:42 #

    It’s starting to warm up here, so I can at least start my vegetable garden. This was not what we had planned, but then, nobody had this planned. I am happy to see that things are starting to look up in Italy, even though they are still on lock down.


    • Laurel April 27, 2020 at 11:17 #

      Warmer weather helps, especially when it is not too hot! Our dry spring is not a good omen for the season but it has been nice to get out and walk most days. The sun cheers the birds too, but their cheerful tweeting at 5:00 AM is a bit annoying!


  4. Marcia Kakiuchi April 25, 2020 at 08:00 #

    This is such an excellent post! At first I thought…..what! You’re in Italy! But quickly I figured it out and loved it. This stay at home order has been really frustrating for me as I normally go to the gym daily for 1-2 hours. Now I have to walk at least 6 miles a day or use my aerobic videos. We are gone in our RV now for 3 months. It’s better to have our own bed, kitchen, etc. during times like these. A few parks we’d reserved canceled so we had to reroute but so far, so good. So many iconic cities we are in and would love exploring ( like now in Little Rock) but can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel April 27, 2020 at 11:16 #

      I cannot believe you are enduring this in your RV! That’s not a lot of space; I’d be soooo frustrated to be traveling and unable to see the places I was visiting! When will you be home?


  5. Kim April 25, 2020 at 06:33 #

    I always love reading your stories. Miss you two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel April 25, 2020 at 06:43 #

      Thank you! Bummed we won’t be seeing you in June.


  6. Audrey Crocker April 24, 2020 at 18:32 #

    You are having to much FUN HA! HA!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel April 24, 2020 at 20:23 #

      Well, at least making the best of it!


  7. Janet April 24, 2020 at 17:58 #

    This brought a smile! Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel April 24, 2020 at 18:00 #

      Excellent! Thank you for reading!


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