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  • Writer's picture Jana

The Great Escape, Seven Weeks in the Making. Coronavirus Update - Day 51 and Counting...

I could tell yesterday that I was itching to escape. It has been seven weeks since we have been anywhere, except in our immediate neighborhood. I told the kids that we had to get out and see something different. They were up for it and so was I! I have heard the traffic in LA is non-existent now. Since that is the biggest deterrent for most people in this city, I felt we had to take advantage of this opportunity, that will (hopefully) never present itself again. It came to me that we might want to take the short 30-minute drive (which would normally take 60-90 minutes on a Saturday, pre-COVID 19), to our old neighborhood, Cheviot Hills. I thought it would be nice to be in the car, have a change of scenery and maybe visit some friends there, observing social distancing, of course. We fortified ourselves with a yummy breakfast and off we went. The trip was a breeze. It was hard not to think about what life would be like if traffic in LA were always this light. Except for the Woolsey Fire, in 2018, I had never seen the roads this clear. Once we arrived in West LA, our first stop was to see Phyllis, a dear friend of mine, for close to twenty years. Phyllis lived across the street from us in our old home. We had a splendid time in her front yard. The kids ran around and played, as did our pugs. It was so comforting for me to be with an old friend. From there we went to Louises', one of our old haunts when we lived in West LA, and picked up a pizza for lunch. We were all excited because we hadn't had Louise's pizza since we evacuated to Cheviot Hills during the Woolsey Fire. Once we had our pizza in hand, we headed to Shelley and Greg's house, back in Cheviot Hills. We set our picnic blanket out under their big shady tree on the front lawn. We ate pizza, laughed, and told stories. Shelley's daughter Sydney was there, too, which was a special treat, since we haven't seen her since she moved back from New York. The kids climbed their tree, drew pretty pictures on their sidewalk with chalk, and ran around (the boys causing more mischief than I had bargained for). This was our first experience with social distancing visits. We have stayed strictly in our own home and neighborhood, not socializing with anyone. It was so nice to be with old and dear friends, back in the neighborhood that I lived in for so many years, and to have a different kind of day. I am not sure we will be escaping again anytime soon, because there is nowhere to escape But it was nice for one day, to feel like things were just a little bit normal, visiting with people whom we love so much.

To fortify ourselves, we started the day with everyone's favorite Banana Pancakes

Fitzy and Miles sharing a little cuddle time in the laundry basket.

Stopping by Garin's elementary school in our old neighborhood.

Enjoying the spectacular day on Phyllis' front lawn.

Fitzy enjoyed visiting with Phyllis' black pug, Jeff Ricky, whom he hadn't seen since we moved in 2017.

Our first COVID 19 picnic.

Catherine drawing a picture for Shelley and Greg's refrigerator.

This is what COVID 19 get togethers look like. Together, yet apart.

The boys climbing Shelley and Greg's tree, of course.

Staying 6 feet apart.

A COVID 19 goodbye hug.

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