Ihave actually lived in Toluca Lake for exactly one year, as of April 8! There are so many things to love about living in this community. I’ve always loved how walkable it is and how many small businesses there are to support, but since the quarantine went into effect I’ve been so in awe of how everyone has banded together. People are making it a priority to support our local businesses. Everyone is out walking around to get fresh air, keeping their distance from each other but still waving to say hello. It’s pretty amazing.
Luckily, I am still employed by my full-time job, so working from home has been keeping me busy. It’s definitely hard not to go stir-crazy, though, so I’ve been trying to get creative with my downtime, focus on my wine blog, read books, and FaceTime with friends and family. I run a wine blog called Wishes and Wine on the side, and I’ve poured a lot of energy into that as well. The wine industry is hurting right now, so I’m trying to share the education I’ve received to help more people make great decisions when purchasing wine.
I think the biggest challenge was right at the beginning of all of this. I flew back from a vacation at Walt Disney World on March 16 and immediately started working from home. It was hard to get adjusted initially, but I tried to schedule my days out and build some habits, like getting outside for walks and taking breaks from staring at the screen.
Honestly, standing outside in that long Trader Joe’s line has been sort of a way to stay connected. Everyone’s out there in their masks, six feet apart, but there’s a real sense of togetherness about it. I’ve purchased wine from Spin the Bottle and waved at the employees from outside the window and gotten coffee at Sweetsalt. I’m also keeping up with the Nextdoor app, which is probably even more handy now than it was before. The online wine community has been really incredible through this. Another wine blogger launched a website called SupportOurWineries.com, where wineries can list what deals they’re offering all in one place. There are tons of virtual tastings and online happy hours, so it’s been nice to see everyone rallying together to stay positive.
If you’re able to, please keep doing your part to help our local businesses keep their lights on! The longer this goes, the more repetitive it all starts to feel, but we’re all in this together. If there’s a business you’d be sad to see go, chances are they could use your support! Also, next time you’re about to pick up that bottle of wine from a huge corporate wine company, consider picking up or ordering something from a smaller production winery — you may find something new that you end up loving.
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