The title of my first blog post comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson and nothing says La Jolla more than this quote. The inspiration for creating our first GPS audio tour, La Jolla-The Riviera of California, is rooted in the passion to get out in the wild, fresh, coastal air and get moving. We are very excited to recently have our walking tour go live and share the back story of La Jolla where you can truly soak in the sunshine and take a dip in the ocean along the way!
I count myself very lucky to have grown up in the glory of La Jolla. I was raised in a very enthusiastic, extroverted tennis family. My father won the National Doubles Paddle Tennis Championship in 1947 and my parents inspired a love for all racquet sports in all three of us children. As the old photo in the Thunderbird reveals, tennis obviously was our racket. (Pardon the pun!)
We led a bit of a divergent albeit colorful life. My father sadly developed an advanced form of multiple sclerosis in his twenties and, unfortunately, there were no treatments at the time. Despite his unimaginable struggles, it did not diminish his positive mental outlook. He lived his life with robust joy and a contagious joie de vivre, living every day as if it was his last. His glass was always half full and he inspired all of us in enormous ways. We were very blessed to have him as our hero!
Our sporty family believed in getting outdoors, running on the beach, diving in the ocean and really taking in the coastal experience. When my dad was given a rather dire prognosis for his M.S., he decided to quickly check off some bucket list items while he still could. So off we went to live a year on the other Riviera, the French Riviera! My parents picked up our family and with three grade school children, off we went on an adventure to take in the beauty of coastal France.
My mother had a deep passion for the beach too. She rarely missed a daily beach walk and my dad loved the majesty of La Jolla Cove where I would take him in his wheelchair. Sometimes on hot sunny days, my brothers and I would wheel my dad directly into the ocean (we had an old, rusty wheelchair for just this purpose) at La Jolla Shores. Though both my parents have passed, their memories surround this tour and they would have had a big kick walking this path.
Undoubtedly, creating this tour has connected me back to my birthplace of La Jolla in ways I did not anticipate. Gretchen Rubin, in her Happiness Project podcast, advises her listeners to Be a Tourist in Your Own City because, according to her research, people who build social connections to their community are happier. As she notes, being a tourist isn’t just a state of being active, it’s also a state of mind that we can foster to create a healthier and more creative life. So get out, explore La Jolla (and your own city), make the connections and create a richer experience for yourself. Make the Shift Happen!
This my first blog and I welcome your comments and thoughts. I’d be delighted to hear from you!