Tag Archives: beach

The Last Normal Weekend

I found myself thinking back to the last “normal” weekend in southern California before it became clear that covid-19 was spreading locally and closures started. After a busy Saturday and Sunday morning, I went out for a calming photo walk at the beach.

Curve of beach with very few people on it.

Not many people were there. I’m not sure if it was just not warm enough yet, or people were starting to keep their distance already, or if they were just all at the other end where there was a kite festival.

The beach is closed now, along with the bike path and the sidewalk I was standing on. ALL of Los Angeles County’s beaches are closed.

Neighboring Ventura County just re-opened some of theirs with distancing rules in place, and while Orange County has resisted closing their beaches, they had so many people show up at the coast this weekend that some cities are thinking about closing them after all. (Well, maybe only on weekends when non-locals might show up. 🙄 )

Last Walk Along the Coast Before the Virus (No, Not That One)

Sailboats in the distance, ocean spray in the foreground.

Last weekend, before the flu hit me, I tried to de-stress by going somewhere for a photo-and-nature walk. I ended up at the actual Redondo Beach, south of the pier. Partly because there was nowhere to park near the pier due to the Kite Festival, which now that I think of it may have been one of the last big gatherings in the area before everything was canceled for pandemic control.

Parking along the top of the bluffs was still pretty full, but the actual beach was only sparsely populated. Mostly people were using the walking and bike paths at the top and bottom of the bluff. I imagine I wasn’t the only one already trying to avoid crowds while still getting out.

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Hanging around the beach after a Halloween storm

Late Halloween night, the first rainstorm of the season blew through town. By morning, it had mostly passed over us, but there were enough clouds around to make things look interesting after I dropped off my car for maintenance. With a couple of hours to kill, I walked to downtown Manhattan Beach for breakfast. I kept going all the way to the pier first, and was glad I did — otherwise I would have missed this:

Rainbow over El Segundo

One straggling cloud continued to drop rain on the coast a few miles to the north. A rainbow fragment neatly arced from the cloud down to the El Segundo power plant. (I thought that was kind of ironic.) Continue reading

Walking (and walking, and walking) for Food Allergy

FARE Walk along Long Beach

This year’s route for the Walk for Food Allergy was a lot longer than last year’s, when we walked out along a jetty and back. That was a comfortable 1½-mile round trip surrounded by ocean. This was 1½ miles each way on a path along the beach, surrounded by reflective white sand, in the hot sun, with no shade. (Hey, at least it wasn’t last weekend, when it hit 99°F.) In fact, since the signs ran out about halfway there, a lot of us started to wonder if maybe we’d missed the turnaround.

Some families turned around early. We almost did, but spotted a sign on a table full of water bottles not far ahead, and we decided to go at least as far as the water. We asked the woman staffing it where the turnaround point was, and she told us that was it.

Wait, Why Were You Walking?

15 Million Reasons to WalkEvery year, FARE sponsors events around the country to raise money for research and education, and to increase awareness of food allergies. 15 million people in the US alone have food allergies — and for a lot of us, it’s severe enough to be life-threatening. FARE sponsors research into treatments and prevention, provides educational resources, and advocates for allergy-friendly policies and laws.

You can still donate through December 31 if you want to help!

We’ve been walking in the Los Angeles event for four years now. Our first year was in Santa Monica. It moved to Long Beach in 2012. That year the planned route was blocked by construction and it took about ten minutes to walk. Last year was the jetty, and this year we walked from the western end of Marina Green Park, across from Rainbow Lagoon, along the beach to the Long Beach Art Museum.

Obstacles

The registration area always has tables for the event sponsors: food companies with allergy-friendly samples, pharmaceutical companies that make epinephrine injectors (since that’s basically the only reliable treatment for an anaphylactic reaction once it starts), and local medical and support groups.

Bouncy SlideLately they’ve also had a bouncy obstacle course and slide for the kids. Last year, J (almost three at the time) desperately wanted to go through it, and we wouldn’t let him because we thought the walk was about to start any minute. Then one person after another went up on stage to talk, and we realized he would have had plenty of time, but then the walk did start. We told him he could go on it when we got back…but we returned to see it being deflated.

This year, we made an effort to get there early, and we didn’t bother pulling him out until everyone had left the stage and they were calling us all to the starting line. He went through the course more times than I could count. We didn’t drag him away until they ran out of people onstage and told everyone to head for the starting line. (Of course this year they kept it inflated afterward, but we were too tired and hungry for it to matter.)

Wrapping it up

We finished up the afternoon with lunch at The Potholder Cafe Too, which reminded us of Broken Yolk Cafe in San Diego. They specialize in all-day breakfast — many, many varieties of all-day breakfast — but have sandwiches and burgers as well. I think I know where I’m going to grab dinner when I go to Long Beach Comic Con next weekend!