July 6, 2014
I woke up with a lot of aches and pains, but I woke up. That is always a good sign. After a hardy breakfast of a ton and a half of carbs, which I rarely eat, I was off to explore the canals of Venice Beach. I loved being on vacation where I can eat all of the carbs I want and then go explore things.
Hardly a gondola
I walked the canals on an early Sunday morning and it almost took the entire morning. Dang! There are a lot of them and not a freaking gondola in sight. The canals go on for miles and there are lots of bridges and beautiful homes along the way. Some of them are cute little cottages but some of them were phone-next-to-the-commode kind of money. I honestly couldn’t afford the landscaping in most of them, which is okay because I hate yard work. But it was a great walk. After I was done with that I walked north on Venice Beach for a long, long ways. When I was stopped by an estuary I decided I needed a new means of transportation. No. I didn’t buy a boat, but the thought was inviting. After trying unsuccessfully to part the seas, it could have happened it being Sunday and all, I beat a retreat back to my humble abode.
Modest homes on the Venice canals.
Along the way I stopped at a unreal estate office to check out the local offerings. While in most places they price homes by the square foot, here they price them by the bathroom. It is one million dollars per bathroom, which keeps it very simple. Two bedrooms-one bath equals one million dollars. Three bedroom-two and one-half bath equals $2.5 million dollars. Seven bedrooms- six and on-half bathrooms… well you can do the math. And that is without any promise of a phone near the commode.
Bridge over Venice canal
So after stopping for lunch and thinking about where I went wrong in my search truth and happiness, I got a bicycle. Bicycles around here are like stink on a monkey. There are more bicycle rental places then there are convenience stores. It is way easier to rent a bicycle then buy a six pack of beer and that is just wrong. But I rented one promising myself that there would be beer later.
And off I went on my way north through the madness that is Venice Beach. There are a serious number of people that come to this beach on a Sunday afternoon. On the bicycle path there are bicycles, (duh), segways, electric bicycles, and electric trikes. sidewalk surfers, tandem bicycles, rollerbladers and two guys on furniture dollies (kidding). Let’s just say it was busy.
But I made it to Santa Monica Pier which had been the starting point of my Route 66 epic journey of yesteryear. I made it even further to where the bike path ended. I turned around and made my way back south, by where I started to the basin at Marina Del Rey, where at least one of my sailing adventures started. I went by that to Playa del Rey which is a beach that is as long as Venice but without all of the madness. I like the madness so I headed back to Venice Beach and turned in my bike. And bought some beer.
Santa Monica Pier
After being properly fortified I went back out on the beach. Even getting late in the afternoon there were still large crowds of people enjoying the water. I wandered over to muscle beach and watched a basketball game. While most of the games on the beach are pick up games, this one was organized with the players in uniforms, an announcer and even one cameraman with a Hero camera on a stick. The odd part about this was that the announcer and the cameraman were on the court mixed in with the players as the game played on. It all worked.
I spent some time watching the gymnast work out in their own little area. For someone like me who has no coordination or upper body strength it was an amazing display of strength and dexterity. Next to them were the paddle tennis courts. I had never heard of paddle tennis but here there were a number of designed for purpose courts that all had people playing this game. It involves a tennis ball, just one, a racquetball paddle that has both sides of the head covered with shrink wrap material and a court about half the dimensions of a tennis court. The game is wicked fast.
Also there is the tight rope walking area which I saw on my earlier ride to Santa Monica. There is a rather large area of beach that is rigged with tight ropes that look like long cargo tie down straps about three feet off of the beach. And there are people walking along on these. I mention it just because the entirety of Venice Beach is like a circus so the tight ropes seemed to fit in quite well.
But the sun was getting low and I decided to call it a day. I thought I would take a picture of the surfers since that is what this area of the country is known for. But just as I snapped the picture this girl walked into the frame. I hate that when it happens.