With the temperature heating up and the sun shining brightly, our Bay Area based SENREVE team has been itching to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. But with shelter-in-place orders still largely in effect, we have been challenged to get creative in reinventing our “normal” summertime activities. Let us take you on a journey through some of our favorite California-inspired staycation ideas. Read on to gain inspiration and get to know some of our incredible team members!
Subin Kim, Product and Strategy Manager
It’s hard to replace a trip to LA — indulging in international cuisines and unwinding with Koreatown karaoke — but Subin shows us it’s all about the company you have.
My roommates, Stef and Sachi, Sachi's younger brother, my boyfriend and I call ourselves the Bunker Buddies and have been quarantining together during these last couple months. Most Saturday nights, a couple of us take turns cooking a gourmet meal for the Bunker Buddies crew based on countries we have visited / want to visit. For Spain, we had bacon wrapped dates, blistered shishito peppers, and homemade sangria. For Japan, we had a DIY sushi / sashimi night with miso soup and sake pairings. For Korea, we had 6-hour braised short rib, stir fried glass noodles, and flavored soju cocktails.
Bienvenido a España featuring blistered shishito peppers and homemade sangria
Post one of these Bunker Buddy meals, we started talking about how much we miss going to concerts and streamed some of our favorite live performances from YouTube. After a couple soju cocktails, we decided to sing along with the TV, which then quickly evolved into a queue of songs we wanted to sing and dance to.
With bars and concert venues closed, we decided to bring the party to our apartment. Sachi bought a disco ball that makes our living room look lit in every sense of the word. We turned on the TV and tapped into our inner Queen-Bey "Single Ladies", belting every Backstreet Boys song, and ending the night with "Closing Time" (promptly at 10pm PT to be mindful of our neighbors). We had such a blast laughing and dancing together and even inviting our households to join us virtually over Zoom in subsequent weekends. COVID “can't stop us now, we're having such a good time, we're having a ball!”
Matt Ziser, Head of Operations
Did you know that California is the state with the most national parks? Recent park closures haven’t prevented Matt from enjoying perks of the outdoors.
Our annual camping trip with friends got canceled this year due to COVID, so we decided to try and bring some of the camping trip “home”. We have a beautiful, yet seldom used firepit that we determined would make a great stand-in for a campfire, not to mention a cauldron for one of camping’s greatest pleasures, s’mores. We pretty much had all the equipment (these fancy extendable roasting sticks and a fire) so all that was needed was a quick run to the store for graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate...we may have also thrown in a bottle of one of our favorite wines.
Taking in a beautiful sunset with the best camping combo, Chardonnay and s'mores
What better way to wash down that sticky, chocolate goodness than with a cold glass (or two) of Chardonnay? We also set-up the outdoor speaker and played some campfire tunes...by the time the sun went down, we almost forgot we were still at home and not at some remote campground. In the end, we both agreed it was a lovely way to spend a night “away” at home during this quarantine.
Kristiana Sanchez, Store Manager
Closed beaches and pools? No problem. Grab a drink, play some beach tunes, and visualize the serene San Diego sunset as you lounge in your own inflatable pool.
When quarantine started all the swimming pools closed in my apartment complex and of course we got a huge heat wave! I was inspired by a few of my friends to beat the heat by buying an inflatable pool that was big enough to fit on their apartment balconies (ground floor), and I had to try to do it myself.
I made a run to Walmart and bought my mini pool, some summer drink ingredients, and snacks and headed home to prep my balcony pool day! It was so relaxing to at least dip my toes in the cool water while my husband barbecued that evening. If your apartment pools are closed, an inflatable pool is worth the $15 investment!
Fay Yu, MBA Intern
If California wine country is calling but you can’t make the trip, grab your quarantine crew for an equally enjoyable and slightly more affordable at-home wine tasting.
When Napa and Sonoma began opening their doors through restricted reservations a few weeks ago, you bet I jumped on it immediately — enjoying a lovely 90-minute socially-distant picnic at Chateau St. Jean. But with reservation spots filling up quickly and limited party sizes, my 5 housemates and I decided to move the experience to our little backyard. On a sunny East Bay Saturday, we split up to source (1) meats and cheeses from our local Trader Joe’s and (2) wine from our local wine shop, offering an incredible 7 wines for $70.
An international selection of 7 diverse wines from the local wine boutique, Vino
That afternoon, we set up our tasting table in the yard, laid out our beautiful charcuterie board and began the 7-wine tasting series. It was so nice to be able to enjoy each wine fully (knowing we only needed to walk ourselves 10 feet back to the house) and take turns reading the cheeky tasting notes written by the wine shop. The afternoon rolled into the evening. As the sun began to set, the string lights turned on. Sipping on our last bottle — a rich Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon — we collectively agreed on how incredible and affordable our at-home wine tasting was.
Summer vacation is looking a little different for everyone this year. Do you think you'll give these ideas a try? What are some activities that you have been enjoying at home? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. We're always looking to add more activities to our own lists!