Sunday, August 29, 2010

One last snapshot from tonight's sunset. It was a treat having Donna along - usually I'm soaking up sunsets by myself since Donna works during the evening hours.

We're officially Southern Californians - it's only August and we're already breaking out the fleece blanket thanks to the 'chill' of the evening's coastal breeze.

The coastal wind felt great but it wreaked havoc on my hair. I'm still trying to get out all the knots.

After a long day in the saddle, it was tempting to head home after dinner. Instead, we opted to head to the beach to watch the sunset. We spotted about a dozen sea otters - curious creatures I've never before seen here in Ventura County. We also got to see five or six dolphins pass by. The highlight of course, was the woman in the chair next to me.

What better place to take a break mid-ride than the beach. Neither of us (our legs included) wanted to pedal back home.

Spent about five hours out on the trails today. Food has suddenly become a huge priority.

Days really don't get any better than this - low 70's with a gentle breeze and a few fluffy clouds floating around.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Now THIS is a flat tire!

Donna has had a real knack for finding thorns lately and her ride earlier this week was no exception. Not just one flat tire, but two. Such repairs usually fall into my department, which believe me, is a very small department. Meanwhile, Donna takes care of cooking, cleaning, laundry and other odds & ends that involve taking care of me. Fixing two flats tonight is the least I can do.

A little blue sky and sunshine, above the marine layer Friday night in the Santa Monica Mountains

Monday, August 23, 2010

If you're ever having sinus issues that are affecting your balance, I don't recommend barreling down a mountain on a mountain bike... in case you ever encounter such a scenario.

Donna and I both felt like poo this morning. We were convinced it was a lack of exercise Saturday & Sunday and an abundance of junk food. As we topped the first mountain of today's ride, we determined there were other factors beyond just that. Hours later, sinus issues still have us both a bit dizzy.

Despite not feeling well, Donna plowed up one side of the mountain and down the other, certain that she was just having some sinus issues that a good sweat would clear up. The sweat was plentiful, the sinus clearage was not.

As great as the weekend was, it felt great to get back to Ventura County. Once we were half way through Malibu, I really started to feel at home again.

They certainly don't make things the way they used to - cliché, but true.

We spent the day Sunday checking out a number of coastal spots between Long Beach and Ventura County.

I'm ashamed to admit that my wife prefers McDonald's coffee to Starbucks. To each his own, right?

As much as I love SoCal, I miss big trees. I could have spent all afternoon in the comfort of this one's shade.

I was looking forward to ringing the friendship bell - turns out, you can't. What a surprise.

When I returned from getting some ice, I was surprised to find Donna still standing - watching the final moments of daylight from the 13th floor.

The folks at Red Bull were kind enough to hand out free samples of their various products during the Flugtag. I think that was the highlight of Donna's day. Oddly enough, they don't make anything caffeine free, for me to enjoy.

I love the mix of architecture you find in urban areas.

The smile got bigger and bigger as we got closer and closer to the Hilton.

We can ride for five hours, no problem, but put us on our feet for a day, walking around and soaking up sunshine, and we turn into little kids who want their stroller. We were wiped out by time the day was over and this was the last obstacle between us and our wonderful, overnight accommodations in Long Beach. Ouch!

Saturday was food day, including nachos, ice cream, dinner at PF Chang's and of course, a little something extra to help us walk the .55 miles back to the motel.

After the Red Bull Flugtag came to an end and the crowd dispersed, we soaked up some sun, kicked back and relaxed for a while.

Donna found particular amusement in watching the sea otters at the aquarium. We managed to catch them at a rather playful time.

Donna, with a tree growing out of her head, thanks to a bonehead photographer.

The "Thin Mint" ice-cream at Long Beach seemed to look and taste a lot like mint chocolate chip.

Instead of learning about these creatures, I've chosen to just live in amazement of them. Where's their mouth? Their eyes? How do they eat? At the very least they're cool to look at.

Natural sunlight made this individual aquarium on the coolest at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The 'coolest creature' award goes to Pelicans when it comes to coastal birds/animals, but in the water itself, the award goes to these guys.

We've been to the Aquarium of the Pacific a number of times but this was the first time we caught the sea lion show. They have one that can walk on water - it's pretty impressive!

After the Flugtag we went to the aquarium - this guy seemed absolutely fascinated with a small girl who had her hand on the glass. I have never seen a mammal with such a reaction to an aquarium visitor. Super cool to see!

Regardless of some minor, irritating circumstances, a 75-degree-day-with-an-ocean-breeze day on the Long Beach waterfront is a darn good day.

Red Bull compensated for the lack of ingenuity of their Flugtag entrants with some high-flying performers of their own.

While we were surprised to see such a turnout for the Red Bull Flugtag, the city seemed well prepared in at least one way.

The Green Army Men of the 2010 Red Bull Flugtag, Long Beach CA

Most Flugtag entrants spent more time on their costumes and dance routines than they did on the construction of their 'flying' contraptions.

I was really thrilled with the wonderful organization of the Long Beach Police Dept... sense the sarcasm

After working our way into a great viewing spot for the Red Bull Flugtag, and sitting there for about 90 minutes while we waited for the start of the Event, the Long Beach Police came along and decided they didn't like us sitting there. There were no ropes, barriers or anything like that indicating that the area was closed.

As a result, we ended up in the nose-bleed section instead of the front row, well behind people who arrived more than an hour after we did. Way to go LBCPD!