A couple of months ago I met my dad for chess and coffee at Le Boulevard coffee shop in Visalia, CA.
I had passed by this little gem of a coffee shop many times, but never got around to actually, ya know, stopping by there. But now that we have discovered this hidden treasure, we are hooked!
While sipping on an excellently brewed cup of liquid happiness amongst the Disneyland quality Main St. USA landscaping at Le Bouldevard, my dad pointed out that there was a love lock gate by the fountain.
A love lock gate??? What the heck is that??
Now, my dad is into lock picking, and as such is privy to the random randomness that comes with the twisted minds of lock pick enthusiasts. Apparently professing your love via locks is… a thing? Anyway, lets consult Wikipedia on this one… ahem:
A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love. Typically the sweethearts’ names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love.
Since the 2000s, love locks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide. They are now mostly treated by municipal authorities as litter or vandalism, and there is some cost to their removal. However, there are authorities who embrace them, and who use them as fundraising projects or tourism attractions.
The history of love padlocks dates back at least 100 years to a melancholic Serbian tale of World War I, with an attribution for the bridge Most Ljubavi(lit. the Bridge of Love) in thespa town of Vrnjacka Banja. A local schoolmistress named Nada, who was from Vrnjačka Banja, fell in love with a Serbian officer named Relja. After they committed to each other Relja went to war in Greece where he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu. As a consequence, Relja and Nada broke off their engagement. Nada never recovered from that devastating blow, and after some time she died due to heartbreak from her unfortunate love.
As young women from Vrnjacka Banja wanted to protect their own loves, they started writing down their names, with the names of their loved ones, on padlocks and affixing them to the railings of the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet. In the rest of Europe, love padlocks started appearing in the early 2000s.
So, of course, after learning what love locks are, we just needed to add our own love lock to that gorgeous gate on Mooney in Visalia!
This past weekend was a LOVELY rainy day, and we met my poppa for coffee, conversation, and some good old love lockery.
My poppa brought one of his locks for Tessa and Thyme, and let them choose where to place them on the gate. The girls had so much fun putting the lock on the gate, and I just know they will love checking in on their lock over the years whenever we stop by for coffee and chess!