Hip hop dance class + birthday picnic + saying goodbye + bringing back Burner parties + slight return to normalcy

Last week was the closest I’ve felt to normalcy yet, and a big part was due to a jam-packed weekend of festivities. During COVID, I’d be lucky to get out for something just once in a week, but last weekend was one of those with back-to-back events that reminded me of life before COVID. Overall, there is a lot of optimism circling through San Francisco as several of our friends are already eligible for the vaccine, and it feels like the end is in sight.

Thursday: Dinner at Rachel’s in Oakland

The weekend started off with an early fun-tivity on Thursday. Rene and I headed to Rachel’s new apartment in Oakland to tour the new spot and have dinner. We laughed how her studio is pretty much an exact replica of mine in the layout. Rachel cooked us artichoke chicken pasta for dinner and we had some girl time catching up over the last 2 weeks.

Homemade artichoke chicken pasta dinner with the girls

Friday: Big hair change

The main event on Friday was getting my hair done. I go to the salon once a year to get it colored and I was long overdue. All my hair grew out from last time and it was back to virgin black, and I was excited for a big change…

"Before" hair with virgin black hair

This is my hair! It came out a bit lighter than I asked for but I’m still very happy with it. I wanted a dramatic change and definitely got it. I was so amped after my appointment that when Joe picked me up, I was running down the street towards him exclaiming “IT’S HUGE!!”… 🙂

"After" hair with mushroom brown

Saturday: Joe’s garden blooming + Rodaan’s birthday party

Saturday morning was spent on something fun…filing my taxes. This year’s taxes were more confusing than previous years so I woke up early and spent 5 hours sorting through everything.

Later in the morning, Joe and I spent time in his garden. Spring is around the corner and we’re finally seeing his hard work from the winter pay off. The sun is finally reaching the backyard and the plants in the wine barrels and on the ground are really starting to take off. Surprisingly kale/lettuce are growing very well, and there is more growing than we can consume. Joe is going for an “overgrown English cottage” feel and the new growth is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see it in full bloom over the next few months. I’m so proud of Joe and I’m lucky to reap the benefits 😉

Backyard garden in pacific heights with wine barrels filled with lettuce and flowers
Greenhouse for backyard garden

We took one of Joe’s cats outside to enjoy the garden as well. He is getting much more comfortable with the leash and is in cat-heaven every time we take him out, purring and overly stimulated by the new sights 🙂

Taking the cat outside on a leash
Cat exploring backyard

Later on, we headed to Alta Plaza park for Rodaan’s 30th birthday. I haven’t seen this group since our Clearlake trip in October, and we were all so happy to see each other and catch up again. We hung out for a few hours drinking white claws (it’s funny how beer has basically been phased out in SF to hard seltzer), eating Suzie Cakes (the best!), and playing with dogs galore.

Outdoor picnic with friends at Alta Vista
Couple photo at San Francisco park

We got back to my warm apartment after a chilly afternoon outside. For the rest of the evening, we made a homemade dinner including THIS vegan cheesy cauliflower recipe. I’ve been experimenting with nutritional yeast which is suppose to be a non-dairy cheese-substitute (although I don’t think it tastes very cheesy). But I still love the savory flavor and like how versatile it is – it really elevates any dish you put it in. 🙂

Homemade salmon, rice, and cauliflower dinner

Sunday: Hip hop dance class + goodbye picnic + Burning Man dance party at the Midway

Sunday was a full day of fun. In the morning, I met up with Kayla, Rene and Rachel for a hip hop dance class. Kayla recently moved to the Haight as well, and along with Rene we are all neighbors! Kayla found a hip-hop dance class in the Panhandle (which is a 5 minute walk for each of us). It turned out to be SO much fun! The music was bumpin’ and the environment was super encouraging/judgement-free. This was my first dance fitness class and I absolutely loved it. I haven’t been running much during COVID (I’ve been more into pilates/yoga), and the dance class was a great way to get my cardio in.

Hip hop class at Panhandle park in SF

The class flew by and before I knew it, we had been dancing for 90 straight minutes. I didn’t want it to end! I realized I’m not as coordinated at dancing than I thought – somehow I ended up in the front of the class and whenever I couldn’t follow along, I just did my thang. I may have taken the liberty to add one too many sassy high kicks 😛 It was so much fun and I’ll definitely be back!

Girls photo after hip hop dance class

Afterwards, I hopped in for a quick shower and got ready for an afternoon of partying. First off, Joe and I headed to Golden Gate park for an impromptu goodbye picnic for his good friends, Walt and Marissa. They are moving to North Carolina and we stopped by to say goodbye. I’ve gotten to know the couple over the last year and it’s always sentimental seeing friends move away. We will sure miss them!

In the late-afternoon, we headed over to the Midway for a deep house event hosted by Opulent Temple, a Burning Man camp with the most poppin’ events. I’ve been going to their events for a while now and they are always a good time. This was the first major Burner event of the year and it sure felt good to be back! There were a ton of people who came out; I think everyone was excited to finally be together for (hopefully) a full year of Burner events.

The midway outdoor dining event by Opulent Temple

Joe and I went to a similar Midway event last year, and we loved how the venue is spacious, well-organized, and keeps everyone safe. You basically purchase tickets for a rectangle that you can drink/dance in. Every had their own socially-distant area to party. I loved having our own space as it was more comfortable to dance and enjoy our food/drinks.

Joe eating food at the Midway
Dancing to deep house music

I’m so happy the Midway has been able to throw these events. It really felt like we were at a festival or something, although I do miss the mingling/meeting new people that usually comes with these Burner events. This was definitely better than nothing and the closest I felt to normal life in over a year.

Couple partying at the Midway

We stayed until sun down and headed home for a chill evening of recovery before the week ahead.

Sunset at party at the Midway

Have you done any dance fitness classes? Have you felt a return to normalcy?

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