California Beach Pics
The beach has been calling to me lately. I took a few days off my busy schedule of work and school and decided to get some fresh air along the California Coast. I've been visiting some friends who live in the Southern California area near Santa Monica and they let me take over their spare bedroom for a while. In exchange, I've been buying food for all of us and cooking up a lot of breakfasts and dinners. While they are going about their daily business, I've been driving to the various beaches and then enjoying the many excellent beach bike paths on rented bikes and rollerblades. Below are some pics of the beaches I visited.
Santa Monica Bike Path
On Monday, after a quick breakfast and visit to UCLA to take some pics, I headed down to the Santa Monica beach bike path. There is beautiful stretch of pristine concrete there that is level, smooth and perfect for biking or blading. I started in the Venice Beach area and then skated for an hour until I got well past the Santa Monica Pier. If you ever get a chance to get around this area, I highly recommend it. It is fantastic place for people watching. It is the very melting pot of the world. Young and old, beautiful and beastly, from all walks of life, this is a very unique and interesting spot, especially for photographers.
Venice Beach Bike Path
Tuesday, I took a walk down the Venice Beach Bike Path and shopped for a few souvenirs. I was surprised how many people do not work on week day. The Venice Beach boardwalk is full of little vendors selling all kinds of trinkets and goodies. While some of the stuff is just generic chinese made cotton printed shirts and hats, there are many vendors selling unique handmade goods. People can make amazing art from wood, cans, bottles, and other recycled materials. I took a few pictures, but one guy actually demanded payment for the privelege of taking pictures of his booth and artwork. I did not want to pay him or anyone else for pictures, so I just deleted the photos and put the camera away for the rest of the day.
Marina Del Rey Bike Path
Following my basic plan of getting out to a different beach each day, on Wednesday I rode a rented bike along the Marina Del Rey bike path. This is a much different experience than the beach paths that run along the sandy beach. The Marina Del Rey portion of the bike path runs along streets and of course, the Marina. There are not nearly as much people watching opportunities, or shopping for souvenirs, but instead there is a calmness and serenity to this community. I love this area and if I could ever afford to live here, I would.
Playa Del Rey Bike Path
Thursday, I went for a bike ride in Playa del Rey. Playa has a vast expanse of sand and it's away from the crowds so it makes for a great bike riding experience. Unlike the busier beaches like Venice and Santa Monica, there are very few families with small children or people pushing strollers to dodge on the path. I rode for miles at a vigorous pace and got a great workout. Afterwards, I dragged my bike down to the shore and body surfed for a few hours.
Friday, I took a car ride down to UCLA to visit my friends in the Cinema and Media studies dept at the UCLA school of Theater, Film, and Television. I have a few high school buddies who aspire to be media moguls in Hollywood. In any case we were just getting to together to grab some lunch and play some volleyball at Hermosa Beach.
Me and the pals rocking the volleyball on sunny afternoon.