The Return Of Balboa
Once upon a time we had a stuffed lobster that we originally bought to embarrass our then 16 year-old daughter. We purchased him at a restaurant in San Diego on a college scouting trip nearly ten years ago. We then asked numerous waiter, waitresses, and other assorted people if we could take their photo with our lobster - much to the chagrin of our daughter. It became quite the game on our week-long trip - who would make her the most uncomfortable (turned out to be cute waiters). Our daughter eventually came around to idea that Balboa was kind of fun and she began to seek out photo subjects. This continued over a number of trips in the ensuing years, Balboa went with us to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and a number of states in the U.S. He was sadly lost when someone took my backpack, in which he used to ride, a half dozen years ago.
I have since tried in vane to find a new Balboa. We visited the restaurant at which we bought the first one, none available. I checked E-Bay, couldn't find any. I looked at thrift stores throughout San Diego, nothing doing. We tried other stuffed animals, but they weren't the same and didn't last long. I missed the photo opportunities that Balboa created, but had given up all hope of having those chances ever again. This morning, the person who used to be so embarrassed by our Balboa episodes, presented me with one she somehow found. I couldn't be happier to have Balboa back in our travel lives. Expect to see more than a few photos of our new travel buddy in the coming weeks. He is shown here in his first official photo on the roof of our hotel with Balboa Park in the background.