To me, nothing says ‘happy’ more than going to the beach. Whenever I feel down, I need to get out, or I need some Zen time, I head to the beach. It always clears my mind. Luckily, I live right by the beach! Unluckily, it’s Long Beach. So going for a walk there is still great. But if you want the real beachy feeling, you have to head out to Orange County beaches.
So for the last two weekends, on my way home from teaching German school, my son and I decided on a whim that it would be the perfect day to go to the beach! So instead of switching onto the 22 that would take us to Long Beach, we stayed on the 55 all the way down to Newport Beach. Destination: Balboa Pier. Because Balboa Pier is quieter than Newport Pier and only at Balboa Pier do you get Ruby’s on the pier!
You can’t beat a cherry on top!
Usually, eating at the end of a peer is not affordable for regular pocket books (unless you’re on a special date), but Balboa Pier makes it possible! With that cute little building, Christopher pretends he’s on a boat in the middle of the ocean. While on the “boat,” he gets a paper car to build, which is the highlight of the entire lunch, and a milkshake with a cherry on top. Literally. Can’t beat a cherry on top.
And while my son has fun putting stickers on his paper car (he gets a car AND stickers!), I get to sit back and just enjoy the sun, my burger and fries, and the wind. The birds are singing (well, I assume that’s what seagulls are trying to do at least), the waves are gushing, and the french fries are sending out their aroma. Life couldn’t be more perfect than at that very moment.
And as we walk back over the peer and watch fish being caught, the wind blowing through our hair and the sun shining on our skin, I am thinking to myself: “Life may be way too expensive here, but you can’t really complain TOO much about living in California.”
Granted, I miss living in Germany. I miss the REAL cold (not to be confused with the California cold). I miss the snow. I miss piles of leaves in my back yard. I miss having a backyard with real trees to shed all those leaves! I miss forests in my town to take walks in. And I will never have that again. But since I don’t seem to be able to change that, I might as well enjoy what I am “stuck with.” And let’s face it: Having the ocean as your backyard is probably the most ridiculous first world problem you could come up with.
We proceeded to sit down in the sand. While I relaxed on my towel, Christopher enjoyed the playground. Isn’t it nice to have a playground right on the beach? Then we build a sand volcano before we strolled back to the car. What a beautiful day. These days always build me up.