Friday, June 20, 2014

"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay..."

Day 3: Actually, we weren't sitting on a dock, nor were we in the bay, we were in Laguna Beach and on Balboa Island. But, I'm getting ahead of myself...

While Haime were living in California, we were located in a part of southern California, known as the "High Desert." Specifically, Spring Valley Lake in the Victorville area. Now, this will mean nothing to most of you so let me try and give you a picture...Obviously, the map only illustrates Victorville's proximity to major cities so let me go for a "mental image" based on actual events. Haime and I moved to Victorville as a result of his receiving a promotion through his work. When we went out there for a "meet and greet" and for us to find a house/school for the boys/and a potential job for me, Haime did the "meeting and greeting" and I did the rest. On the first day of my search, I found myself stopped in the middle of a pretty major road because a tumbleweed, the size of a Volkswagen beetle was blowing across the road...I do not lie! Some of you might remember the controversy surrounding the Apollo moon landing whereby some "naysayers" argued that the landing did not take place on the moon, rather it was some place in the desert southwest on which the "Giant leap for mankind" was taken. Well, after spending a day in Victorville/Hesperia/Apple Valley, I was thinking they might have had it right!

Spring Valley Lake
Apple Valley Sundevils
Fortunately, we discovered a little piece of paradise and called Spring Valley Lake home. I got a job with Apple Valley High School as an assistant principal then later took the reins as principal of the Sundevils. I have to admit that our time in California was among the best years of my life, I miss it still.

Now, back to our story, on day 3 of our "California Dreaming" vacation, Haime and I had breakfast together then parted ways. Oh stop, it wasn't a permanent parting, the plan was for Haime to spend a couple of days visiting his sons and grandchildren and I would spend more time with my "sista," Candee and her hubby-extraordinaire, Bob. When I met Candee, she was an amazing math teacher at Apple Valley High School and when I became principal, she agreed to step back into administration and became one of my assistant principals...I would have been lost without her!

Laguna Beach
Candee and Bob drove to Newport Beach and the three of us set off for two of my favorite places...Laguna Beach and Balboa Island. Even though Balboa Island is actually part of Newport Beach, we decided to head south to Laguna, first. We got about halfway there when traffic stopped on the Pacific Coast Highway because 4-5 navy helicopters were doing a practice landing near Crystal Cove. Fortunately, we were only stopped for about 20 minutes and it gave us an opportunity to visit and begin to catch up with each others lives.

Bob and Candee
This is the point where we found the
"wish rock" and the location of
the pic of Bob and Candee
Some of you may know, Laguna Beach is well know for its GAZILLION art galleries and studios. It is also a beautiful example of the Southern California coastline. While we were doing a bit of exploring, we came across the rock in the left pic. Notice the striations? According to Bob, a noted rock-hound, this is called a "wish rock." The story goes that if you find a "wish rock," you can keep it only until your wish comes true, then you have to pass it along to someone who then makes a wish and passes it on to another person. Bob actually gave me a much smaller "wish rock" and told me that I could only keep it until my "realistic" wish came true...I'm still trying to come up with a wish.

After walking around Laguna and visiting some shops/galleries/etc, we decided to head back to Balboa Island. If I could have a perfect place to live, in retirement, Balboa Island would be a top runner. I say, in retirement, because getting on and off the island during "rush hours" would be a HUGE pain! Once on the island, however, there is really no need for a car. There is a market, a Catholic church, restaurants, bars, shops, library, fire department, etc. It epitomizes a village. Unfortunately, it is CRAZY EXPENSIVE! However, Haime and I love to visit, whenever we get an opportunity. Dad's, pictured above, is a Balboa Island landmark and home of the Balboa Bar and the monkey tail...I won't spoil it for you but I will say these are two must haves that should be on everyone's bucket list!

Finally after spending sometime on the island, it was time to head back to my home-away-from-home, the high desert. I am so incredibly blessed to have these wonderful people as friends. There just aren't a lot of people who would drive 11/2 to 2 hours, each way to come get a "visitor" to their home. They are special people and I love them both!



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