When I moved from north of Chicago, IL to Las Vegas, NV, I got my first taste of the western United States. One of the things I was most excited about was the close opportunity I would have to go to California and visit all of the attractions such as Disneyland, and all of the famous beaches and communities.
Through many trips out to southern California I quickly found my place of peace. That one place on a vacation that you can sit, take a deep breath and relax. For me, that was Balboa Island. I do not remember how we found this place in our journeys, but I do know that we returned there each time we went back to southern California.
For a small cost, anyone can ride the car ferry over to Balboa Island (Newport Beach) from Balboa (http://balboaislandferry.com/). We used to make the stop here early in the morning as the shops first opened. We would walk around a bit through the shops then always find ourselves on the boardwalk relaxing drinking a morning coffee or whatever floated our boat.You can view more about Balboa Island here on their main site (http://www.balboa-island.com/).
I used to rely heavily on vacations to get me out of the day-to-day circumstance of what some call the “real world”. After working an average sixty or so hour work week for months at a time, when it came time for a vacation…I was GOING ON VACATION. This word offered separation from that day-to-day circumstance. Balboa Island let me rest at peace with the world. I don’t know if it was the ocean air, the boardwalk, the quaint European feel to the homes and area, or the kindness of the people I encountered when I was there. I certainly gave no thoughts at the time of Balboa Island containing some of the richest property values in the United States. That all didn’t matter to me. All I knew was, that this place felt like peace to me.
I remember one morning on Balboa Island, I was sitting drinking an early morning coffee when a seal meandered into the harbor close to the boardwalk and proceeded to bark very loudly and repeatedly. I went over for a look. What on Earth was this seal doing? Just as I thought this…a local came up and said, “He is looking for a handout. They banned people from feeding the seals here. There is a pretty hefty fine for that. This one is still looking for his handout. He comes back all the time.” I thought to myself…I wonder if he really is hungry. Was he looking for an easy meal or was he doing the same thing as me…just looking for somewhere to be at peace with the world.
——— Erik Sudberg