Monday, August 22, 2011

Adventures from the beach.

My sincerest apologies for the short blog last week but I believe the payoff for today's post will be worth it! I had my first 'true' beach excursion since moving down here. Andrew and I have been so busy with cleaning, organizing and crafting that we haven't had a chance to head down to the ocean. Plus, neither of us do particularly well in the heat (i.e. we bitch and moan when it's 70 degrees outside). Even with that fact I still love going to the beach very much. The ocean makes me feel so good. Fortunately, his mom loves the beach and being out in the sun.

Unusually pretty seagull! And some rather cute sand prints.

We set out with no particular destination in mind and started to explore near the water. She grew up very nearby to where we live now, so she had a good sense of the lay of the land. We wound up at Redondo beach in no time. There we walked the horse shoe shaped pier and found some very active seagulls. Normally I'm very much a 'birds are weird get them away from me' sort of person, but one that we came upon was quite well preened and had shiny white feathers. He (or she? I'm not sure but it looked like it was wearing lipstick) sat and posed for us for a few shots. We came across another seagull who had managed to find a small plastic bag with a few fish in it. This soon attracted the attention of plenty more honking birds, so we stood and watched them fight and peck over the meat. Fascinating business.

After our brisk walk we decided to get back in the car and go straight for Manhattan beach. That was her primary place of interest and where we ended up spending the majority of our day. It was perfect beach weather and we snapped a lot of fun photos. I decided to get real adventurous, so I walked into the street to take a photo of the pier. Watch out world, I'm not afraid to get hit by cars! (there weren't any cars)

Manhattan beach pier from the middle of the road.

Before meandering down to the sand she wanted to go to the end of the pier. I had no particular objections, so off we went! There were plenty of people fishing and the breeze was lovely versus the hot sunshine. By the time we reached the cafe at the opposite end I was actually getting a little cold. Out over the water things cool down much more than I had anticipated. The view was just wonderful though!

A funny thing ended up happening that very perfectly demonstrated to Andrew's mom why I do such a poor job at talking to strangers; the strangers that talk to me first are always total weirdos. Andrew makes fun of me for my social ineptitude on a regular basis, and his mom didn't fail to notice why he does so. I'm glad she was present for this event.

Beautiful ocean views. I really enjoyed myself.

We were standing at the end of the pier about to head back when two men came our direction. The man on the left had particularly wild hair. He looked at me and started to emphatically ask me about my camera.

man - "Oh hey nice camera, what model is that? Is that a canon? A 60D? That's great! Do you like it?"

me - "Uh, yeah. It's really good."

man - "Awesome awesome. It's so crazy man, fourteen, fifteen years ago you never saw people with cameras like that and now they're everywhere. Crazy"

me - "Yeah"

man - (in reference to my necklace) "Oh hey is that an owl?!"

me - "Uh, yeah"

man - "That's great, that's cool, owls are my favorite bird"

me - (smile)

man - "OK well, you two ladies have a good day, God bless"

And then he and his friend walked away. Now, this exchange may not seem all that bad, but my words are unable to properly convey his body language and how abrupt everything was. He was perfectly nice, but it was definitely awkward. I turned to Andrew's mom and said, "And this is why I'm so uncomfortable when I talk to strangers because that is the kind of interaction that normally happens to me!" and she laughed.

Some classic views of the pier and then under the pier! It's awesome in person.

We continued our excursion down to the sand where I promptly exclaimed that the sand was scorching hot and decided to walk under the shadow of the pier. It was much cooler there. I had a good ol' time attempting to run in the sand, all the while flopping my arms and slipping. It has been a very long time since I was at the beach and clearly I forgot how to maneuver it.

Arriving at the water's edge was a relief; the breeze off the ocean felt amazing and it became less of a mystery as to how people get sunburned! With all that cool air you don't realize that your skin is cooking itself. I wore sunblock though so worry not, my skin stayed safe.

Here's a jumbled mess of photos that I took while we were at The Getty
last weekend. I've taken similar photos before when I was there March 2010.

I'm going to close this entry with a story that is completely irrelevant to anything else.

When I first arrived in California in May to visit with Andrew before officially moving down, we started to decorate our bedroom. He has a lot of prints and original drawings and sketches from various artists and he wanted my input on deciding where on the walls they should go. In addition to all of his prints he had also purchased some empty frames that I could fill with my own work (what a sweetie!). Seeing as I didn't have anything prepared, we decided to hang the empty frames on the wall just so we'd know where they were going.

A fair amount of the frames are over the bed, and some of them are a little large and heavy looking.

me - "I don't know if I like them over the bed."

andrew - "Why not?"

me - "What if they fall?"

andrew - "They're not going to fall"

me - "There are earthquakes here."

andrew - "The frames aren't heavy enough to hurt you"

me - "Those ones are."

andrew - "Well if they fall they're going to land on me, so you'll be fine."

me - "But then you'll get hurt! Broken glass will hurt you, you know."

A brief intermission of the final story to show you some progress from
my garden! The bottom photo is the same cucumber as the upper left
photo. They're getting so big! It's very exciting.

Initially, our sleeping arrangement had Andrew closest to the wall, but then he had to clamor over me to get up for work, so now I sleep closer to the wall. My paranoia of falling frames has grown over the past few months, especially once we added one particularly large and heavy ~36x36 print. Sometimes I lie awake and stare at them, wondering how fast I can curl up to protect my precious squishy inner mass.

All has been well though, and my fears were unfounded.

Until the other night.

There we were, sleeping soundly in bed. I opened my eyes, half awake, and looked at Andrew before rolling over to the wall to snuggle deeper into the blankets. With my right arm up behind my head I rolled face first into the pillow, severely misjudging how close to the wall I was. My elbow collided directly with said wall, shaking it hard enough to knock down the topmost heavy rectangular frame directly onto my ribs. Corner down, might I add.

I awoke completely with a loud yell, and Andrew jerked awake immediately concerned but still pretty much asleep and therefore essentially oblivious to what had actually happened. Silly sleepy boy.

me - "The frame fell and hit me in the ribs!"

andrew - "Oh I'm sorry"

me - *whine*

He began to rub my ribs while drifting off to sleep, before I asked, "Uh, can you put the picture frame on the floor...?" which he did, and then off to sleep he went. I have an invisible bruise, and it does not feel good.



Hells yeah, the beach!

I forgot to share this little anecdote. 

Andrew's mom and I took turns taking photos of one another to share with our families. You know, just a little bragging rights to us being in the sun at the beach. I guess karma got me back asap though, because moments after I sent my photo out to friends the tide rushed in shockingly high and washed my sandals out. Spoiler alert, I ended up getting them back. It was a close one though.


Melanie Rowe said...

You'll have to show me around while I'm there because I didn't grow up there and don't know what there is to do or where the best places are to do. I enjoyed this blog very much! Tell Andrew to rearrange those darn frames now LOL. Love, Mom

MJ said...

Well I'm glad you enjoyed it mom! I know some good places to go now, so I'll be able to show you around no problem! And yeah, I'm thinking we'll have to find a new home for the frame that fell on me. I don't want it back up there!

Jacki T. said...

OMG what fun! Beautiful pictures :) I can't wait to see more pictures of your garden's progress :D

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