“How does Fred maintain work-life balance?” is a question I am often asked. My normal answer is that I enjoy doing marketing for a living. Of course, that answer never satisfies the questioner who normally pushes further and says, “OK, what do you do for fun?” My next reply is that I have great fun co-hosting the Pillars of Franchising internet radio show each week on Thursday. But, as you might think, that answer doesn’t satisfy the questioner who normally asks “How do you like to relax in a non-work related way?” My answer: Go to the beach. I grew up in the Midwest so my definition of a beach is a bit different than most Californians.
I break beaches into 5 separate categories:
1:) Ocean beaches
2:) Lake beaches
3:) River beaches
4.) Backyard beaches aka pools
5.) Mudhole beaches (as a kid living in the Midwest you find beaches where you can).
For this post I will discuss one of my favorite of all time beaches, Avila Beach, California 93424. Avila Beach is an unincorporated community In San Luis Obispo County about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Avila Beach is a very clean and sandy beach. The beach itself runs the entire length of the waterfront. The restrooms are clean. Dogs are allowed on the beach before 10am and after 5pm each day. There are quaint little shops, nice hotels and some great places to eat and drink. For me the highlights are the picnic tables and grill areas. You will need to clean the chracoal dust from the grill before you use it but there are charcoal dust bins nearby for disposal. Avila Beach is where I like to start January 1 of each year.
This past weekend I arrived at Avila about 7:45am to grab a picnic table with grill. There were 3 grill/table areas still available including my preferred table in the middle. Establishing my beachhead I unfolded the comfy chair and enjoyed the quietness of the beach. The sound of the ocean is relaxing and helps me to relax and enjoy the view.
Avila beach was empty except for a few early morning dog walkers and a few joggers.
Slowly, others appeared at the beach, some with the intent of poaching my spot.
Normally, between 9 and 10am I walk over to the stores for a cup of coffee. This past weekend artist and sculptors were displaying their artwork. According to my helpful coffee contact at Hula Hut, many of the same exhibitors this Saturday were at Art In The Park at Dinosaur Park in Shell Beach the week before.
Enjoying my coffee listening to the waves as the beach slowly fills up and the sun breaks thru the clouds always helps me balance work-life.
About 10:30am I lit the grill to get the coals just right for an awesome lunch. By 11am family arrived, bringing the food for a perfect grilled lunch. This past weekend’s menu included chicken, ahi tuna and of course shrimp on the barbie. Our group devoured the food and enjoyed each other’s company.
Spending time on the beach, listening to the waves, fighting off poachers and charring meat on the grill helps me balance work and life. For those of you who are wondering about the goat in the featured image, he wasn’t there on this Saturday, normally I only see him during the week, Kristin Selmeczy can attest to seeing him.
More beaches to come.