Hearts Will Wander
I’ll admit it. I’m having a little love affair on the side. Not on my man. My heart doesn’t wander when it comes to G-man. I’m talking about a little fling with a beach town I’ve known for most of my life, but that has somehow sparked a new flame inside me.
I’ve pretty much been smitten with Shell Beach since college. I call it home and love the beauty, sense of community and quirky mix of homes and people that exist here. My heart tells me I belong here. But hearts are fickle things aren’t they? Recently I’ve found myself crossing paths more with another funky beach community up the road a ways.
I have fond memories of Los Osos as one of my dad’s best friends lived there for years and we often paid weekend visits when living up in Northern California. I remember watching the fog lift over Morro Rock, treasure hunts Uncle Russ staged for me in the back bay and even a few stories involving uncle Russ and my dad at the Merrymaker. Recently, though, I’ve rediscovered this old friend in new, wonderful ways.
One of the things I had on my “when I quit this TV job and am no longer working nights bucket list” was to attend many of the free concerts offered throughout summer at communities up and down the central coast. I’ve been checking them off one by one, but hadn’t made it to the Beer at the Pier music gathering in Baywood Park until last week. It sealed the deal. My little flirtation with LosOsos/Baywood Park had evolved into something more serious. I love this community. I love the funky character of the neighborhoods. I love the beauty of the bay and the views. And I am smitten with some of the awesome new restaurants here.
If you haven’t been to LOBP since before the sewer project started being talked about, you need to pay a visit. And from now through fall Beer at the Pier offers a perfect excuse. It happens every Monday from 5 to 7 p.m and Is one of the few music events that doesn’t end Labor Day. (You can find their schedule here). And your chance of a fog-free evening increase with each week from here on out. I say cut out of work a little early and experience Happy Hour at America’s most prominent Dive Bars, the MerryMaker.
In reality it’s a casual neighborhood watering hole...low key, friendly and comfortable. There aren’t many true-blue neighborhood bars anymore, but this is one of them.
Then I suggest taking in the music, the views and the vibe at Beer at the Pier. Paul Irving has done a great job of putting this thing together. You can get our beverage of choice at Back Bay Café, kick back and forget all about the fact there are still four work-days left in the week. Grab a bit at the Café or check out some of the awesome newer restaurant in Los Osos. I paid a visit to the Blue Heron and it is probably kind of sealed the deal of my love for this beach community. Great food. Great atmosphere. Great patio and great fire pit to enjoy before or after your meal. In fact, little Los Osos has attracted a nice mix of restaurants/bars/hangouts that are worth paying a visit: Baywood Ale House, Noi’s if you love Thai food, Nardonne’s serves up classic great pizza, and I hear Kuma Sushi is awesome.
We have so many lovely communities on the central coast, its easy to just stay close to home. But it’s also a lot of fun to take a walk on the wild side now and then and drive a few miles to see what’s happening just a short trip from home. When it comes to favorite haunts, you really can have more than one love.