Thursday, July 28, 2011

Topic #2: Ocean

     I love the mountains, but my passion doesn't halt there.    
     As you drive through Old Topanga Canyon Road, you wind along the asphalt among the modest village of homes, schools, eateries, and shops tucked beneath the trees. Then out of nowhere, you find yourself peering dead-on to the ocean shore, seeing little more than the color blue. Blue skies, blue water. . . . .with nothing between you and the Pacific but your car and the traffic light. The temperature drops almost 10 degrees with each transition from valley, to canyon, to beach, and the air changes from city smells, to trees and dirt, to salty sea aromas.

Muscle beach exercisers

Patrick icing his joints after the hike
     There are miles of seaweed free beaches along the Pacific Coast Highway, and the choice is at your finger tips, depending on the type of environment you desire to surround yourself with. I'm always impressed with the beauty of rocky boulders wedged into the shore sands with the white capped waves crashing up around them. It's a peaceful feeling spending a day on one of the secluded areas with the perfect opportunity to close your eyes and focus on the sounds of the ocean, then opening them to see the occasional dolphin, looking back to admire the mountains behind you. But one of our favorite places to spend an afternoon of fun is Santa Monica, especially when we aren't equipped with supplies, like when we used to bike there once a week.
It's amazing what you can do with a backpack and self timer-- still mad I forgot my tripod!

"Mango, Mango, Mango, Mango"

     The Santa Monica Pier is like a year-round fair. The 3rd Street Promenade is only a block away; a lively place filled with performers, restaurants, a mall, and outlet stores. The people-watching is phenomenal, not that other places in L.A. are lacking. Next to the pier is Muscle Beach, equipped with plenty of athletic gatherers practicing their trades: acrobats, cheerleaders, dancers, and gymnastics. It's almost a guarantee to have the opportunity to watch a show of some sort while you sit on the grass eating your hot dog on a stick, fried cheese on a stick and freshly made lemonade found at the cramped stand packed with teeny-boppers dressed in old-school outfits where they literally don't even batter it until you order it. The pleasure comes from a combination of it all. Sounds such as, “Mango, mango, mango", the excited screams from the rollercoaster, laughter, waves, and seagulls singing . . . . . . . . Never depressing. The gathered smells from the ocean water and fried food mixing in harmony are inviting to not only the nose, but also the stomach. And the water? Well lets just say, it will definitely wake up the senses, and then numb your aches and pains!

Adam Sandler went here in "Bedtime Stories", but we were enoying it long before watching that movie!

You can watch them dip your order, form blisters making the lemonade, and the Pepper Jack Fried cheese is amazing!
We all participated in writing an origianl fairy tale story as this one-act-play-lady animated and acted it out! So fun.
Never a dull scenary. . . .
They had little puppet shows here
This guy was serious about strutting his junk, I've never seen a man roll up his shorts. . . .at all. . . .much less so high!
This pretty bird hung from my finger by it's beak. I thought it would hurt, but he was very gentle, and climbed his way onto my arm as a perch. Then his bird friend laughed at me!

Becca becoming a hat-person

     Our first beach day was spent having some much needed girl catch-up time with Amy and Becca in Long Beach on the bay shore. Long Beach is such a cute little town and since Becca had become engaged, married, AND opened a pub with her husband in the last 2 years, we had many things to discuss. She's such a fun and happy spirit and I love being around her. Quinn's Irish Pub is their new baby and it's a great little place worth making a trip to if you're ever in the area.  We then spent the next two afternoons next to the pier in SM soaking in as much sun as we could before it was time to head to dinner. It's dinner time, and you'll have to hold on to the edge of your seat for its description in my next entry.

My california girls in the Bay
Patrick changing on the beach. It was so funny.
At the mall next to the Promanade. I had almost forgot how extreme television advertising is in the L.A. area. It's not only
entertaining, but helps you stay so in-the-know!

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