What Have I Been Missing?

San Pedro downtown

There are so many reasons to come to Southern California, and San Pedro is one of the best. While here, you can go non-stop or choose to kick-back. There are no rules, and the life is easy. San Pedro’s local calendar has everything from art and entertainment to sporting events, to ocean gazing. There are countless activities in-between, and endless ways to languor a day away in the California sunshine. Regardless of whether you are the go,go go type or the more layed-back sort, it’s all here for you.

Needless to say, we still live in a real world, even if situated in paradise. Recently, the Vagabond Inn had some much needed repair work done on the roof of our southwest wing.

The rains finally came and once they arrived there was no more denying that it was a job whose time had come. The roofer, Bill a local guy, commented on how much he liked living and working in San Pedro. I understood completely, but he went on to tell me how he uses the area as if he were on vacation.

Twenty-seven years ago, he and his family were guests at the Vagabond Inn for a week. A Midwestern guy, who had never ventured far from his home state, was taken aback by the lifestyle and beauty of the area. When he first came to the west coast from Akron, Ohio, he told his wife he wanted to live somewhere that would remind him of vacation all the time.

Apparently his wife and kids agreed, and they decided to return a year later and call it home. They’ve been here nearly three decades. He is active in local events and has a seat on the Chamber’s Board. Best of all, for us consumers, as a merchant, he really takes pride in serving the community.

What Bill and his family appreciated most on their first visit, among numerous things, was the great location of the Inn to access events around Southern California. He watches the San Pedro calendar of going ons and goes about his time off as if he were an out-of-town visitor. Thousands like him have given California its unique personality.

I asked Bill what he and the family did on their first trip out this way. He lit up like I was asking him about falling in love with his first girlfriend. He told me there was something for every member of the family. His son and oldest daughter went para sailing above the Pacific. While the youngest wanted to see where the movies were made, so they took the short drive up to Hollywood for the day.

They all went off shore “fishing” – according to Bill he was more intrigued and enchanted by dolphins than fishing for anything They harbored in Little Cave Lagoon for a picnic lunch and passed the afternoon snorkeling. He said he realized that he could do this whenever he had free time if he lived here.

I chided him a little and asked if he actually finds time to do the things he moved here to do? His tan should have given it all away, but he spends more time on the water than he imagined and loves getting family visitors to show off the beaches, museums, shops, history, hiking trails as if he owned the place.

Listening to Bill brought me back to my own reasons for moving to San Pedro. Some of which I hadn’t thought about in awhile. What happened? How could I let day after day get by me without hands on appreciation of the plethora of activities to engage in just outside my door? Business had taken front row seating and I had lost some of my reasons for being here in the first place. While I was making sure others had a good stay, I had neglected my own stay!

On my days away from the Inn in the past I’ve put aside my mountain bike or dolphin watching in trade for errands and mundane chores. My local buddy Bill opened my eyes again to all that I have been shutting out. I live where people vacation, and being busy is a great thing, and I’m grateful for it, but being busy with my own bad self has to be a priority.

The next day after my conversation with Bill I was off to play in our beautiful backyard known as the Pacific Ocean. When another day-off comes up, I’ll take in the new showings at the galleries downtown. After that I might hike up Lookout Hill with a lunch in my backpack and meld into Nature. I haven’t been over to Catalina for awhile. . . You see where this is going? I’m back to actively loving where I live with the fresh eyes of a tourist. It simply took another tourist of twenty seven years to remind me.

Are you living someplace with treasures that enrich your life? Comment below and let me know if you take advantage of where you live or take it for granted.