On Catalina Island with Shinazy
There’s a feel to Beach Towns. I live on the San Francisco peninsula, where I try to live as if I were in a beach town – this takes effort. Living in a beach town you just connect with other people – that’s simply how you live life.
I’m on Catalina Island, the 26 miles across the sea Santa Catalina Island. I’m here with my sister and brother, we’re on our Third Annual Sibling Reunion. We arrived yesterday afternoon from Long Beach, after staying on the Queen Mary. Once you leave the Catalina ferry dock, you can sense you are in a Beach Town.
We asked the cab driver where he eats when going out and he recommended the Buffalo Nickel. Our GPS showed it was near to our condo, when actually it was a 20-plus-minute-up-the-hill-no-sidewalk trek. And, of course, we go lost. We stopped a man named Campos and asked for directions. He told us the Buffalo Nickel has a shuttle, he then called them; and told us to wait by the two palm trees. A few minutes later, a van arrived. This pick-up service is offered to everyone and when your meal is over; someone in the kitchen will drive you home. Would this happen in your downtown? Not mine, but remember this is a Beach Town.
The next morning, while walking to the Zip Line, I stopped a man driving a golf cart, carts are the major mode of transportation on the island, and I asked the man if we could pay him to drive us to the Zip Line. “No problem, hop in.” and off we went. It was his day off, he was driving to the store, and although the zip line was out of his way . . . well, this is what folks do in a Beach Town, they do favors for each other and for strangers. Folks do this without thinking about pay back.
Wherever you are, you can make that place a Beach Town. But How? Well, talk to the person behind you while you stand in line. Chat with the store clerk about something other than what you intend to buy. Hold open the door for the person entering or exiting. Offer to take the vacationing couple’s picture. Try talking to folks you just met . . . You will be surprised how open people are and how much joy you will get from the conversations. You, too, can live life in a Beach Town.
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