We all know what the COVID pandemic has taken away from us. There is no discounting the lives lost and the sacrifices families have had to make on so many levels. But there are the simple things we miss that are important too.

I myself am trying to find the humor in all of this, just to keep my sanity. So while I sit at home each day working, taking care of my family and watching the world outside from the inside, I have finally realized one of the things I miss the most. If all this ended tomorrow what would I do first?

I would go to a bar! Does anyone else miss the camaraderie of making plans to meet your friends at the local pub or restaurant and having some cocktails? Just the feeling of getting there, giving everyone a hug and hearing the bartender say, “What can I get for you?” It’s just not the same sitting at home with my martini shaker and empty glass waiting with olives. Even if I make the best cocktail ever, I still don’t have my favorite Coronado bartender with me, nor do I have the surroundings of our local restaurants providing the hospitality I get just being there.

Now let’s look at the home side of being the bartender and the drinker. This is where we are suffering the most with our local restaurant ban. Maybe this only applies to me, but does anyone have your children counting your drinks? I have always labeled myself a “cheap date” because I have about a two-drink limit and I am ready for bed at 10 p.m. Yet my 18-year old daughter is compelled to ask me, “Mom, how many glasses of wine have you had?”

Am I not at home? I am not driving anywhere. And I am in my pajamas by glass No. 1. Somehow, this is frustrating instead of fun.

I’d much rather be in a bar on Orange Avenue having the bartender counting my drinks and cut me off when she feels I have had enough. Then at least I know I am dressed in actual clothing, I am out with friends, and they will call me an Uber because I would not drive!

So as I stay at home cooking or ordering take-out, and sit at my pretend bar at my kitchen counter, I am missing all of our local bartenders, wait staff and delicious foods from Coronado restaurants. I have always appreciated the dining choices on this intimate island. Not only is the food incredible, but the people who work so hard at each venue are sorely missed. I was thinking about going to my favorite haunts and taking a few pictures and making some of those cutout people we see at the football games. At least then I will have a friend sitting next to me at my kitchen bar sharing a drink and conversation.

When the pandemic ends, and it will, let’s all mark our calendars to make a date for dinner and drinks at our local restaurants and bars. They miss us as much as we miss them.

If you can find me, first round is on me.

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