02 May 2014

California Dreamin'

2 May 2014--Over the past 2 weeks, we have visited several beach areas along the coast, basically along a 50 mile stretch north and south of us here at Seal Beach.  This is the Huntington Beach area, known for its surfing.  These were taken over a week ago, so it was still quite cool until the end of the day...thus the sweatshirts! Notice how much sand there is between the bike trails and the ocean.  I can't ever remember being at another beach that had so much sand!

We don't know the exact length of the bike trails along the coast, but as a minimum we could have rode the entire 50 miles without stopping if we had been up to it (not!).  They are wide enough that traffic can comfortably go each way, and still be shared by walkers, runners, skateboarders, etc.


Our little ground squirrels had the run of the place.  We were surprised to see them at the beach area (not on the beach itself), and so many of them.  They are clearly used to humans here, unlike at the base where you can't get close to them at all.

Check out the guy surfing in the 3rd pic...he actually recovered and didn't wipe out here!  haha

Every Tuesday evening they close down traffic on Main Street that leads to the pier and have a farmer's market, with lots of vendors, bands, etc.  The 2nd pic shows a home made dog carrier, he has a safety belt on (haha), and the 3rd shows 2 really big skateboards.

A few days ago we took our bikes to Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches, a really upscale section of California.  Redondo Beach actually has the highest per capita property prices in all of California, even exceeding Beverly Hills and the like.  It was really a gorgeous area.

Lots of fisherman, and lots of pelicans waiting to bed by them.  The 3rd pic was of 2 pelicans who found themselves caught up in some fishing wire.  Cathy and I were horrified as we watched them struggled for about 40 minutes trying to free themselves.  It seemed that one had the line caught around his beak, while the other had it attached to his leg, so every time the leg one tried to move/fly, the other had his head pulled forward and usually down into the water.  Fortunately, as Cathy was talking to Animal Rescue on the phone, they broke free.  The last pic shows a gaggle of pelicans out on the jetty.

A few of the houses abutting the bike trail.  Can't imagine what they go for!

You really don't see a lot of fat people here (haha), everyone is walking, biking, running, etc.  You can see in the 2nd pic all kinds of bikes locked up as people eat out, shop, etc.

These houses at Hermosa Beach show something interesting.  Almost all the houses here have their cookout and sitting areas out at the front of their houses versus the backyard.  They are all facing the ocean and the bike trails, so you could stop and talk to them quite easily.  I especially liked the house in the 3rd pic...that is a little waterfall running along the front.


Another little surprise for me...Almost everywhere here are these oil pumps and factories, like at the end of this beach in the 2nd pic.  From Huntington Beach all the way up the coast, there are oil platforms out in the ocean and generally across the street from the ocean are the oil pumps...they are literally in people's front yards!  I was surprised that with all the surrounding beauty, Californians ever allowed it.

The Manhattan Beach Pier had a small aquarium house at the end of it.  He got me when I wasn't paying attention (lame--haha).  It takes a Great White Shark 14 years to reach maturity, has a 1 year gestation period, and generally has anywhere from 2-14 pups in each litter!

This 1st is a pupfish, then a wolf eel, and then coral, which although it looks like a plant is actually a fish!

On Wednesday a couple old friends, in California on their way to Washington State, met us for lunch down at the Seal Beach Pier.  They bought an RV and took off a year ago...and also love it!!!

So yesterday was our last outing, to the Santa Monica Pier and down to Venice Beach.  There was probably more activity here than any other beaches we went to...but that could be due to the weather also..absolutely gorgeous say, in the 80s!!!  The 1st and 3rd pics are as Cathy and I are on the Pacific Coast Highway road looking down at the pier and beach.


Down at the Pier.

On the pier...Marie do you remember when Karen and I visited you and Wayne in Florida and I got the chance to do the trapeze?  What a trip!!!

Some entertainment on the pier, which is much subdued in comparison to the Venice Beach experience.  And that restaurant Cathy is standing in front of uses the Forrest Gump theme.

The trail here is 3 lanes...one going each way for bikes, and a 3rd on the right for pedestrians. They have done a great job along this coast developing public spaces.  Cathy was brave enough to actually test the water out...a little cold for her tastes, but not as cold as New England.

This was really fun to watch.  Seemingly out of nowhere, what seemed like thousands of pelicans gathered above the ocean for quite a stretch of the shoreline, and were in a feeding frenzy.  All kinds of people gathered to watch, as they moved up and down the coast.  I posted this picture just in case you couldn't watch the video, which is must better!

Feeding Frenzy!

From the Pier we drove the length of the beach down to "V" for Venice, that although it is only about 1 1/2 miles away was a totally different vibe than Santa Monica.  You might say "uptown" vs "downtown".  You could spend days just sitting and watching all the characters here!  I threw in some little people for Kristine! haha


This guy gets money with his Lazy Dog Show"..haha  The dog really just lays there, with an occasional feeding of hot dogs, while people put money in her bathing suit.  He seemed to be collecting a lot more money than some others, so this shtick was really a stroke of genius!!!

This guy was definitely a classically trained pianist...must have mental problems I think, because he was incredible!!!

The Pianist!

And some dancers!

Muscle Beach, where Arnold trained.  I am forever surprised at how so many men are delusional as to their physiques!!!  haha  From the ones on a beach with their guts hanging over their suits, to these clowns working out in full view of the public, flab and all....I just have to shake my head! Arnold they are not!  haha

Back to get the car, wrap up the trip here, and on our way to San Diego now!!!


  1. I love this blog !!! So many beautiful places to see. It is hard to believe that surfer survived that wave. I also really love the pelican dives!!!
    What beautiful sites for biking.
    lucky you

  2. that guy at the piano looks like my neighbor Ron with the long white ponytail doesn't he Cathy?

  3. Love the people on the beach. I could sit there all and just watch them.

  4. Some are these pictures are incredible, and I with Marie, love the feeding frenzy!
    And give those guys some credit, at least they are trying, lol

  5. The feeding frenzy was great!!! Couldn't believe how many of them there were, and that they just kept diving repeatedly...it was cool!