Farewell 2020 paper in a typewriter

Farewell to 2020 – My Year in Review

This past year has been one for the history books. More likely than not, it has also been a year that most would choose to forget. 2020 has been a year filled with uncertainty, anguish, and disbelief. Many will want to wish a fond farewell to 2020. However, there were some good times and experiences that I can reflect upon now.


In early March, I went with some friends on a foray to Tijuana. Who knew that would be the only time I left the country this year? I hardly count these trips as foreign travel because Tijuana, Mexico, is practically my backyard. However, the food and drinks were delicious and cheap. Caesar’s never disappoints, and the Telefonica Gastro Park has plenty of options to keep you enthralled. That day was refreshing for the soul in a time before lockdowns and stay at home orders. The United States declared the pandemic the following week.

March also saw my son come home from college for Spring Break. He never returned. Classes went virtual, and distance learning is the new normal. I’m glad that he is at home with us and safe. The spring semester will be online, so perhaps back to campus in the Fall of next year?


June saw an unplanned road trip to retrieve my sons’ belongings from the college dorms. We had a small window with a specific day and hours to get his stuff. We veered off-course and made the return trip home leisurely.

With Trevor having never seen San Fransisco, we headed there first. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge was a sight because people lined the entire span (both sides) protesting after George Floyd’s killing.

San Fransisco

We took in the Painted ladies, Chinatown, gorgeous views of Alcatraz, and drove up and down several sphincter tightening streets. (Thankful that I wasn’t driving a manual transmission.) Now I realize why cars have an “oh shit bar!” To cap that exploration off, we went down the most crooked one of them all, Lombard street, and its eight hairpin turns.

A quick drive through the colorful and energetic Castro area led into the funky and vibrant Mission District and a late lunch at the famed eatery, La Taqueria. According to some, home to the best burrito in the United States. Luckily they had reopened for takeout service with social distancing protocols the week before. 

Stuffed to the gills, we left the city by the bay and made our way to my niece’s place in San Jose for the night.

Highway 1

Feeling alive and recharged, we tackled the next day anew. Monterey was our first stop, visiting Cannery Row and strolling along the Old Fisherman’s Wharf.

The 17-mile scenic drive around Pebble Beach and the coastline was spectacular. The iconic Lone Cypress (Pebble Beach’s logo) stands strong and defiant against the wind and waves below. I recommend that you squeeze time into your schedule for this short drive.

We spent the remainder of the day driving the historic Pacific Coast Highway down to the Central Coast. Highlights included the Bixby Bridge, McWay Falls, and countless coastal and ocean views. Don’t forget to stop and see the elephant seals in San Simeon.


I took my first flight of 2020, one way from San Diego to Syracuse, New York. Having been cooped up at home for several months, this was a welcomed break in the routine. The job at hand was to drive a vehicle from upstate New York to California.

As Bugs Bunny stated, “I knew I should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque.” I channeled that for inspiration and made a fun pandemic road trip taking in new sights I had not seen before. My first stop was New England.

Here are my highlights from each state.

Vermont – Covered bridges, Greenery everywhere

New Hampshire – Beautiful vistas, Nature views

Maine – Seafood in Portland and Bar Harbor, I stayed in a hostel, tried and loved Potato donuts, Acadia National Park, Met up with an old friend

Massachusetts – Chowda and Oysters at the Union Oyster House in Boston, Overpriced fried clams in Essex, Gloucester fisherman memorial

Rhode Island – sampled a Del’s lemonade, Providence twitter meetup – no go

Connecticut – Mystic Pizza, Lovely quaint town

New York City – Driving through Manhattan and bridges

New Jersey – Skyline views from Hoboken and walk along the river shore.

Pennsylvania – Philly cheesesteak lunch at Pat’s King of Steaks. Not hungry enough to eat at Geno’s Steaks also (next time) 🙂

Delaware – quick entry and exit

Maryland – Heavy rain from hurricane remnants and several car accidents on the road

Virginia (northern) – Social distanced happy hour with a high school friend and beers from Aslin beer company, Nice stay at my sister’s house/homestead/farm. I watched a rabbit be dispatched and then another prepared for dinner. Quite tasty!


Virginia – Norfolk, Met up with an old friend, Saw his new sailboat, awesome seafood dinner at Stony’s Dockside Bar and Grill

North Carolina – I stayed with another old friend on the outer banks in Nags head, quality beach time, seafood extravaganza (crab & oysters)

South Carolina – I was headed home instead of going to Charleston and then Savannah. Before reaching Columbia, my wife encouraged me to turnaround and continue my road trip further south. I drove through Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (who knew), Stopped at a Bojangles for a chicken biscuit and iced tea to see what the raves are all about.

Georgia – I ate at a Waffle House for the first time. It wasn’t the greatest. Mask wearing and distancing also were not the greatest concern in this state.

Florida – I drove south to the end of the road (mile marker 0) to Key West. Highway 1 runs north to south from Maine to Florida. I visited with my Dad for several days. I made a trip to Everglades National Park with a high school friend on my way out of the keys.

Alabama – I devoured a serving of fried green tomatoes with crawfish sauce and a plate of gulf oysters at Wintzell’s in downtown Mobile.

Mississippi – I was seeking out some crawfish from Taranto’s and was told they were not in season? I was still full.

Louisiana – Cafe Du Monde for an iced coffee and beignets. Billy’s Boudin and Cracklins in Lafayette for some tasty first-time treats. Hurricane Laura’s destruction passing by Lake Charles.

Texas – My first stops at Buc-ee’s and Whataburger

New Mexico – fireworks and billboards galore

Arizona – I got into Tuscon late and was too tired to get a Sonoran hotdog. I skipped Saguaro National Park to head home early.

California – I bought Carne asada from El Sol and Kennedy’s markets in El Centro to grill up and finally reached home. We liked El Sol meat and marinade better.


Hawaii reopens and I took a trip, Free PCR Covid test experience, near-miss on having to quarantine.


Birthday, election day, I left Oahu on November 23rd (home for Thanksgiving), booked the first ticket for 2021

Farewell to 2020

I didn’t have a sourdough starter recipe or make Dalgona coffee concoctions like the rest of the world. But in the months not listed, I became a wizard and mastered my Instant Pot while at home. I’ve done a lot of cooking this year.

In a nutshell, 2020 wasn’t filled with an abundance of travel to far-off lands like years past—one day trip to Mexico, two road trips, and a flight to Hawaii. We are all safe and mostly happy learning how to deal with pandemic times.


  1. Great wrap-up, David. I followed most of the trips and developments on Twitter, but nice to recap. Those road trips would’ve been a whole ton of fun! Also pretty cool that you were able to meet up with many friends and family.

    1. I am thankful for the connections I’ve made over the years, and the chances to see family was a bonus. The longer road trip surely was my highlight of the year. Happy New Year to you and Ellie! We are all survivors of 2020.

    1. Those streets are scary! But it was a great experience showing my son the city by the bay. It’s a shame that we couldn’t meet up in Rhode Island. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year for you both.

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