Saturday, May 18, 2019

Long Beach, CA

To tell you the truth, we did more sitting around than anything. If you've learned anything about me, at least from my writing, it is that I am not much of a sitter, preferring to keep on moving. Alas, it was not meant to be. That said we did do a few things that may or may not interest you.

Let's see what you think, shall we?

Friday evening, the sun finally made a very brief appearance before dropping into the Pacific Ocean. The beach down the street from Hank's place is so wide and as I mentioned folks behind me in this photo were playing dodgeball.
Lowrider! You have to wonder what makes a person want to turn their car into something like this.

Saturday morning we took a walk soon after eating breakfast at Long Beach Cafe which looked promising but failed to deliver despite being open for more than 30 years. Nancy pointed out another place, however Bruce was skeptical of a place connected to a Travel Lodge. We sure learned that we were mistaken as one of the highlights of the trip was eating at this place.
Not only did Bruce and I eat breakfast there on Sunday morning, we returned for lunch with Nancy. Then we went back on Monday morning because it was that good. No wonder there was a line. Generally I think eating breakfast out is not worth the money, obviously, I'm talking about when you have a choice. The usual breakfast items are so easy to fix and inexpensive, I prefer eating out a later times of the day. Well, let me tell you, this place was worth every penny! The grilled rosemary bread was delicious as was everything else. As it was across the street from our hotel, it became the easy choice.

Across the street in another direction was a restaurant that we didn't try but wish we'd had time to because, well, who wouldn't want to eat under a bougainvillea canopy?
What would a Camera Crazy post be without a bird shot?
And no post about California would be complete without mention of their fantastic succulents that are HUGE...
and bloom too. Not that I'd ever seen that before but now I have.
Isn't that neat? Sadly, when we returned, that amazing Corn plant bloom had faded and I tell you, I miss it.

Saturday morning we walked over to the Shoreline Village which turned out to be mostly for folks like us...tourists.
That said, there are multiple marinas surround the place, including the Queen Mary dock which we did not visit but it is seen in the background in the photo below.
Maybe it was because of what we doing later in the day, but watching this ceremony was very moving. Following the flag ceremony, the boat went out to scatter the remains on the water.
Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of great things to see in Long Beach, it was just that we weren't in the mood for much of it. This was super cool on top of an apartment building:
Sunday was gloomy in the morning so after our breakfast at the Breakfast Bar, Bruce drove us over to 4th Street to an area called Retro Road.
Definitely up my alley, right? Unfortunately, perhaps because it was Mother's Day, many of the shops were closed, however we did manage to see some neat stuff, including these:
Yes, those are refrigerator doors to dressing rooms! We passed a roller skating shop,
still decorated for Easter. A sad reminder of why Orlando is now famous for more than Walt Disney World.
Probably hard to make out, on the bottom right of the colorful sign is a notation that the mural is in honor of Pulse and the 2015 Paris tragedy. A look inside a shop that is hard to define as they have fresh flowers,
a reading area,
clothing both new and used as well as a barber and metal working shop, with brick walls and a vaulted wooden ceiling. Very attractive place that we merely browsed because none of us was really in the mood for much of anything. Aside from the Breakfast Bar that is!

We were staying in what they call the art district of downtown Long Beach characterized by many murals.
Had it been sunnier, I'm sure I would have explored more but it wasn't and it was chilly besides. Not unlike most cities where it is warmer than others, there is a fair share of homeless folks, however, I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone with more stuff than this fellow rides around with.
We all wished we'd gone home on Sunday morning but we didn't so we spent most all the rest of Sunday sitting in the hotel lobby. Fortunately I had a pretty good book with me...The Art Forger that I finished. I know it sounds weird and that's because it WAS!

Monday morning, before heading to LAX, on the 405 freeway, I might add, we dropped Nancy off at the Long Beach Airport which is about as small as can be.
It is from this airport that Hank both gives flying lessons, and is a private co-pilot; the impetus for their move from Beverly Hills to Long Beach. After years of fighting the traffic, sometimes more than a two hour journey, the new place is about a twenty minute ride in the worst of traffic.

Well, you already know how frustrating the trip home was but what I didn't show you is who was waiting for the plane with us. He looks like he has no interest in the flight ahead, right?
Got to be very hard to fit a 7' body into an airplane seat even if it is in first class!

Well, today is Bruce's birthday and I bet you can guess where he is right about now....yes, he's fishing and has already sent me a photo of a four pounder he caught and released. With the success he's been having I called him "my magic man." Course, that's true every day as far as I'm concerned.

I, on the other hand have a bit of a cold and just hope he doesn't get it as well. It's a beautiful morning, I think I'll go outside for a walk......

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