Portrait

Pine Glen Condo Part I

Pine Glen Condo Part I | Summerlin

Here we are smack dab in the middle of pandemic. I’ve never experienced a crisis this directly before. The weird thing is, EVERYBODY is experiencing it. This is not one of those “That only happens somewhere else.” situations. This is happening worldwide simultaneously. Never before has the world been so connected by a common effort, to defeat the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

I’m staying optimistic throughout this ordeal as long as I possibly can. We all know the economic hardships that are coming down the pipe. Will the worse case scenarios come to fruition? Sure, there’s a very real possibility that my job is on the line. Vegas doesn’t do well in downturns. And, man do we have a downturn coming! Right now every casino in Las Vegas is closed! The bigger casinos are taking care of their people, for now. The smaller one’s, not so much. This will take awhile to dig out of this hole.

The last recession Las Vegas had was in 2008. Home prices finally reached their pre-recession prices in the last two years. That’s nearly ten years of recovery! So, what did we do? We bought a f*****g condo, in FEBRUARY! I’m not sitting here shitting the proverbial brick, yet. Besides, there’s no toilet paper anyway.

I’m cautiously optimistic, however. I have some skills to offer in the digital world. I’m not going to create the next Twitter. But, I can compete graphically and I have my real estate photography thing. I also believe this downturn is going to rebound much faster than previous recessions. This isn’t an isolated dip where another market or economy can step in and fill the gap. This is a lowering of all markets on the same level, more or less. Sure, some markets will gain faster than others, but everyone is in the same bucket on this one. Every market will have demands and surpluses once the coronavirus clouds part ways.

Instead of a time looking outward into the darkness, it’s time to take a look at the light within. We have nothing in this world except the love of those within our little bubbles. I’m loving every single moment of this home buying journey with Dana and Feiya. I’m being real conscious of how we, as a family, make decisions and contribute to our new home. We do pretty damn well together. I’m so fortunate.

It’s not always sunshine and unicorns. We have our moments. But we’re always aware we’re three individuals working together for one common goal. Living in peace and happiness. We except each other for who we are and we elevate each other with our little quirks and nuances. Always seeking calm waters.

If these times have shone me anything, it’s to pause, breath, and enjoy the moment. I am so grateful for having these two humans in my bubble.

This is a song Feiya and I listen to in the car. It just seams to be a good song for a day like today.

The camera I used today was my Ricoh GRII. I should have used my A6000. Next time.

Makino | Las Vegas, NV

This is an exciting time for us. This week our offer for a small condo in Summerlin was accepted and now we are going through the buying process. I’ve worked in real estate for 8 years now and I’ve never felt more like an idiot. :0 I saw hundreds of transactions take place when I worked for Green Banker in Burlingame, CA. but, all from the sidelines. We do have a very smart agent here in Vegas and we’re grateful for that. She’s been guiding us through the process very well and I consider her my friend, so it’s been a lot of fun, to boot.

Our condo was used as a rental for the past 14 years. It has never been updated since the complex was built in 2002. So, we visited a flooring and kitchen/bath supplier today. I was knocked on my butt again! I’ve always rented and have only bothered with a few minor household repairs. Talk about a fish out of water! We did consult with a contractor prior to going there. That helped, but not a lot. We do have YouTube, however. Dana is very gung ho about doing a lot of the repairs/upgrades ourselves. I’ll be sure to write about our adventures here.

So, today we celebrated a tiny bit by going to Makino Sushi and Seafood Buffet a little ways from the strip. As usual the food and service didn’t disappoint. I really like their sushi and ramen bar. It’s a real treat to have both great sushi and delicious ramen on the same buffet. A little pricey for the offerings, but still affordable on an occasion. Like today!

I took some photos of Feiya while we ate our celebratory lunch. She was a good sport today. So, she received boba and sushi! I took these using my go-to Ricoh GRII.

Glendale Thrift Stores | Glendale, CA

This is exactly where I was hoping this blog would go. I wanted to start catching our more candid moments. Feiya is constantly doing something crazy everywhere we go. It’s a riot. We try to get her to act “natural” but, it never lasts. One minute she’s doing something insanely goofy and the next she’s pouting because we didn’t get boba tea yet. Total drama queen. It won’t be long before she discovers the drama clubs.

Last weekend it was just Feiya and myself for an afternoon of antics and thrift store shopping. Dana had a ticket to attend a religious conference in Glendale, California. We left Vegas early in the morning on Saturday and made it to Glendale in time to have a nice lunch before the conference started. The three of us picked a Thai Food restaurant in the downtown area the night before. We weren’t disappointed.

After lunch we dropped Dana off at the community center where the conference was at. That left Feiya and myself a few hours for some adventures. One of our favorite pass times is going to thrift stores. Everywhere we’ve traveled over the past year we have reserved time to visit the local thrift stores. Feiya loves hoodies and sweatshirts that are from the local colleges, schools, and landmarks. We also shop for shoes. She has nice collection of Vans and Converse. All under $15 each. ;). She loves it, because she knows I hardly ever say know when it’s at a second hand price. She’s getting a good eye for finding the good stuff. We have a lot of fun.

After thrift store shopping Feiya and myself found a chain Udon noodle shop at the mall across the street from our hotel. The portions were generous. The food was good and we had enough to take back to the hotel and make use of the fridge and microwave in our room. I had coffee and noodles for breakfast!

Our plan was to get up and head back to Las Vegas Sunday morning. It rained all day Saturday and they were calling for more on Sunday. We didn’t see any point on sticking around Sunday morning. So, we hit the road bright and early. I was looking forward to hitting the couch to watch some football and editing the Saturday pics that afternoon. Somewhere near Pomona the water pump in my van decided to call it quits. The only shop open was the Pep Boys on Foothill BLVD. They saved the day!

It was a 6 hour layover while the repairs were being done on the van. There was a Mexican restaurant next door and lo and behold, two thrift stores just a short walk away. The stores were rubbish and we didn’t find anything, but we had a fun morning/afternoon. And I was able to get some extra shots. Not bad for a rainy day in Southern California!

Just a little photography geek talk: I used my Ricoh GR II on this trip. I had my Sony A6000 with me, batteries charged and ready to go, but I didn’t even turn it on. Anyway, I changed the focus setting in the Ricoh sometime on Saturday. This is the camera I used in China last year. When I was over there I was having focusing issues. I figured out what was wrong and set the camera to fix it. The focus is slow in that camera, but works pretty damn good. Well, for some reason I decide to change it back. What f*ck was I thinking? So, that’s the reason why some of these pics are focused weird. I really don’t mind how they turned out. They look ok. Maybe even a little creative.

Listening to- Baby Blue by the Scanners.