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13 October 2002

We came to So. California to attend the wedding of Walt's cousin's daughter. And I :will eventually get around to a wedding report. But I want to look at the pix first. .

And I also want to talk about today. .

rentbike.JPG (33861 bytes)After lunch at the beach side café again (more oatmeal for me-this time with Splenda), we checked out the bike rental shack our room overlooks from its side balcony. Rates were reasonable and so we decided to rent bikes. We've never done that before!   We are about three or four blocks from the ocean beach here (the beach our hotel overlooks is on a small bay). So off we took on the bikes to go to the beach.

BevBike.JPG (41285 bytes)What a fun couple of hours! It's funny….I've never in my life done things on a trip. You know-stuff like this. I sit in hotel rooms, ride in the car, sit at tables and watch other people play. This time it was me playing. I took off on this mountain bike down the bike paths to Venice (saw the canals of Venice, California), and then to the ocean beach where there is an absolutely marvelous bike path that stretches forever. I don't know where it ends because we rode about 6 miles and then turned around to come back because we didn't want to pay for a third hour bike rental.

On one side of the path is the ocean and beach (vast stretch of beach as far as the eye could see, mostly uninhabited, save for little patches with groups of volleyball nets), and on the other side are the street markets of Venice, CA. Like Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, only bigger. Sidewalk vendors, shops crowded together, masses of people. I marked it as a place to walk through on our return.

The path winds around and is shared by skaters, joggers, dog-walkers, pram-pushers, and cyclists. The weather was perfect-sunny, but a nice cool breeze blowing. I felt like I could ride forever.

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We rode past the Santa Monica pier and beyond another 3 miles or so and finally, reluctantly, turned around and headed back., stopping to watch the waves crashing in on the shore, me once again marveling at how much fun I was having. When we hit Venice on the way back, we got off and walked the bikes through the shop area. It was hard to know whether there were more tattoo parlors or ATM machines. I swear every hole in the wall shop had its ATM machine-nobody was going to miss out on a sale for lack of sufficient funds!

I never dreamed there would be so many body piercing salons located in one place.

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My favorite visual, tho was "muscle beach." I had heard of this forever and imagined it was just a part of the beach where hunks hung out and flashed their pecs at each other. In previous eras it may well have been that. But what is labeled as "muscle beach" is essentially a small outdoor gym, with all the standard work-out equipment and yes, hunks, flashing their pecs at each other and at the crowds choosing henna tattoos from the nearby street merchant.

But that wasn't the visual. The visual was looking through the entrance arch to Muscle beach, seeing the "Muscle beach" sign to the side and on the other side, on the bleachers, one lone paunchy, middle-aged man sitting there with his belly hanging over his belt. Just too marvelous a photo op to pass up.

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We got the bikes back just in time and then cleaned up and went off in search of lunch, which we found at a great Thai place nearby (we drove).

This evening the family gathered at the home of Walt's cousin and his wife in Long Beach. Lots of food, lots of laughter, lots of camaraderie, and the standard 2 hour goodbye. I sometimes think we should start saying good bye at the beginning of these gatherings because then the in-laws (e.g. me) would not get so impatient that the lot of Baurs can't seem to ever say goodbye to each other.

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Walt's sister's S.O., Tom his S.O., and Walt

It is now after midnight and I am sitting in a totally darkened room listening to the sounds of three people sleeping. Jeri is here with her friend Marcus, both of whom are going to see The Big Voice with us tomorrow night. .

But I think I'm going to try to get some sleep.


Quote of the Day

We didn't have Popes. We had evangelists. Popes have big hats. Evangelists have big hair

Steve in The Big Voice

Photo of the Day

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One Year Ago
The Mama Caper
I wasn't sure whether I should expect a gun-toting fella trying to block our way, or whether there would be a police escort or what.

Two Years Ago
There will be bodies dropping all over the country when they read that after Steve’s laundry came out of the dryer, I ironed a shirt for him.’s true. It’s my dirty rotten little secret. I can iron; I just don’t iron.

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Pounds Lost:  76.6
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

URL 671.8 + 36
Blue Angel 171.1

(Yes, I really haven't ridden either bike since last week...
it's not just that I'm forgetting to update these figures)

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Created 10/09/02