memorial day extravaganza...

For Memorial day we decided to go exploring via bike down the Pacific Coast. Access to and along the beach is made incredibly easy by bike paths that run inland and along the coast. We plotted our route with the intention of ending up in Redondo Beach... little did we know what sorts of adventures lay in wait.

David insisted on making sure the tires were inflated to a proper psi

exemplars of safety - david insisted.

even though ashley's wearing david's old helmet, she still looks pretty cute

we took a little break to watch the surfers - just south of dockweiler beach

David contemplates on the great philosophical question - which is better: mountains or beaches?

We can't deny our mountain heritage - but the beaches sure are nice

We got back on our bikes and made our way south, and as we passed through Manhattan beach the crowds on the beach path started to increase. We got to Hermosa Beach (with plans on continuing south to Redondo) - but were immediately enticed by the large amounts of people, tents, and excitement everywhere. Little did we know that we had just stumbled into Fiesta Hermosa, - the largest arts & crafts fair in Southern California. I don't know about it being a premiere place to see arts & crafts, mostly cheap jewelry. But there was a guy who made these really cool faux-cactus out of metal that were 8 feet tall and could be illuminated internally.

We were pretty excited at the amount of free energy drinks being distributed, as displayed in the picture below:
Energy drink count - David: 3.5 Ashley: 1.5

By far, the highlight of fiesta Hermosa was catching Lights, the premiere tribute to Journey. When we first heard them off in the distance, Ashley could've sworn that it was Steve Perry singing - they were that good. We showed up just in time to catch their encore. It wasn't just us that were caught away in Memorial day euphoria, everyone was digging Lights.
Check out the dude bear-hugging two girls. They were seriously feeling Lights.

Ashley singing Seperate Ways - "someday, love will find you..."

We left Fiesta Hermosa after Lights wrapped up - we decided that nothing could top that experience, so we decided to meander back home. It wasn't without adventure though. We stopped at the Manhattan beach pier and saw dolphins, a stingray, and a leopard shark. Man I'm wishing we were better with the camera.
Manhattan Beach in the background - winds made it a little chilly.

After a peaceful jaunt around Manhattan beach it was back on our bikes for the last leg home. The beach paths are pretty nice to ride in - in most stretches. It is definitely leisure riding however, and you have to confine yourselves to that. Even though it says "bikes only" on every 1/4 mile or so... there are tons of pedestrians, joggers, rollerbladers, dog-walkers, and other users of the path. I don't blame them (ok, sometimes I do, briefly) - the path is an incredibly nice venue. Ergo - it's really not the ideal route if you're looking to cover some serious miles on your bike. Too many obstacles.

Ashley looking cool as a cucumber on the bike path

This was a dismount zone (you can see the "Bikes Only" markings on the pavement) in Manhattan Beach

Our last pit stop before home - the bridge that connects the Marvin Baude beach path to the Ballona Creek Path

Be sure to wear your helmet! Yikes, look out for falling trees. Look how it just crushed the steel railing.

What started out as an innocent trek down south turned into an absolutely delightful day. Much of the adventure was tied to the fact that we were doing all of our exploring by bike. There were absolutely TONS of bikes out that day. A witness that a lot of people in California realize the recreational benefits of bicycling... if only more Californians could realize that bicycles could be used for utility trips, and commuting as well.

We liked the Journey tribute band so much... we're thinking about seeing them again. We're also considering a longer bike trip later this summer... maybe riding all the way down to San Diego with a night of beach-camping in between days. Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend.


short movie reviews

This is a really charming movie. You'll laugh, you'll cry... and then you'll want to kidnap an english child because they are so cute. Don't believe me, watch this.
Pretty good. It wasn't non stop laughs and some of the humor was pretty low brow. Also, I think Amy Poehler still hasn't found the right character for her energy. Tina Fey on the other hand, is pretty fantastic at everything she does. She's the queen of self-effacing humor.

I'm excited for Indiana Jones, and the new Batman Movie. What are you guys jazzed about for this upcoming blockbuster season?


where in the world are ashley and david?

Right now I'm (David) in Los Angeles. Ashley is in Bogota, Colombia. She's there on "business." I've always wanted to say I'm somewhere "on business" and Ashley beat me to it.

I'm jealous of Ashley's trip, although it's hardly recreation. Lots of meetings and work morning to night. I'm sure she's snapping tons of great pictures for you to see when she gets back.

This post is sort of a mish-mash about things going on in Los Angeles and my life this week.

Here in LA, we're right in the middle of May-Gray and June-Gloom. It's one of the biggest kept secrets in all of United States weather systems. Right when the rest of the US is starting to embrace the delightful throngs of spring, LA is stuck in a two month wanna-be Seattle Mode. Faux-Seattle. That's what these two months are like. It's pretty lame, only because I know everyone else is enjoying these awesome months of weather and I'm stuck in Eyore-land.

This week is also Bike to Work Week in Los Angeles. I work as the Bicycle Coordinator for Metro - and this is one of our premiere events of the year. All week long we're encouraging people in Los Angels county and elsewhere, to loose themselves from the fetters of gasoline and the shackles of their car, and get some fresh air and exercise during your commute.

Thursday, is Bike to Work DAY! I'll be at Union Station (downtown) from 6:00-9:00 am at one of our pit stops, giving away goody bags to cyclists, and answering questions about bicycle commuting in Los Angeles.

I also serve on the board of a non profit called C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange). Saturday is CICLE's premiere event of the year, the Urban Bicycle Commuter Expo in Pasadena. I'll be presenting two workshops on how to take your bike on public transit. Promoting multi-modal transit is a big part of my job at Metro, and you'd be surprised how much ground you can cover, quickly, when you throw a bike into the mix with public transit.

In a completely different shift, I wanted to list the most recent celebrities I've seen and where we saw them.

Fred Armisen at Pink's
Rob Zombie at REI Santa Monica
Paul Scheer (Creepy Head Page in 30 Rock, with the gap in his teeth - you'll see) at the corner of Westwood & Wilshire

What's new with you guys?


i finally caught the bug

I finally caught the ebay bug. I know... like seven years after everyone else did. My little brother eli built his entire wardrobe on ebay finds. He was a visionary. I must confess it took me a little while to warm up to this electronic giant. However, my nascent attraction to ebay isn't because of a penchant for frugal finds (I do love those)... what excites me about ebay is that it allows me to turn my trash into another man's treasure!

I can sell my junk to people who want to buy it! This is seriously exciting to me. Ashley approaches this new trend with some trepidations. On one hand, its great that I have become an online mercantile giant... but eventually... I'll run out of things to sell.

What if I get so hooked to the thrill of selling things collecting dust on my shelf, that when my supply runs out I start selling things we actually use. Spoons, kitchen appliances, keepsakes, her wedding dress... I could be come a ravenous maelstrom of online-bazaaring. Nothing could satiate my desire to turn a profit off of everyday items.

Ok, that probably won't happen... but I do have some fanatical tendencies, which Ashley has done an incredibly adroit job of encouraging at times, and also helping me redirect at others.

So far I've sold the leftovers of my old iBook G4, an iMic (when Ashley and I used to webcam chat when we were doing long distance.... highly recommended), and some pedals from a bike I bought.

I think my winnings are up around $150 right now. When will these good times end? Not to mention, I've also sold two textbooks on ebay's sister site, Half.com. When you factor the revenue from my book sales in, I'm pushing $250 in net profit. Some people are calling me the Warren Buffet of ebay.

The cold truth is... I think I've run out of things to sell, and I'm asking you for ideas. What are the exciting items you've bought or sold on ebay? Horror stories, amazing finds? All stories welcome.