FUN IN THE SUN
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. .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.