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.


Anonymous said...

Ashley you are such a BABE! Looks like you two had a fun time. Like how I secretly spy on my cousins that I haven’t talked to in YEARS?! Hope you are well . . .

Jeremiah & Hillary said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to leave that note "anonymously" This is your cousin, Hillary *wink*

birdonthelawn said...

i like getting large doses of you two like that. nice to get to david, so nice to see ashley. you both look splendid.
hope you two are doing well this summer.

Dorothy Kieu said...

you totally were hanging out in my neck of the woods!!! i grew up in manhattan beach. man now i gotta go.

Dawn D. Lion said...

Wow, that looks super fun. I'd love to be biking right now through the ocean breeze. Lovely!

Matt and Jennae Porter said...

You guys are such a fun couple. Matt and I went to Manhattan beach last summer and our favorite part of the trip was riding bikes up and down the coast all day. SO FUN. Glad you had a good holiday weekend!

david said...

it was very fun. if you guys don't have beaches, every day destinations can take on new sorts of fun if you decide to go by bike.

dawn, after ivan comes you can strap him up and head out for some of your own adventures.

Serena Cherry said...

We need to head out to California and go biking with you all. You are an inspiration! And you both look really great! We miss you! Charlotte is already talking about biking with her aunt and uncle.

david said...

man, charlotte is talking already? she's way ahead schedule. did you tell her that if she wants to make this happen then she'll need to get a part time job? get those kids started young... give them work ethic.

we're really excited to meet charlotte and see you guys soon.

Dawn D. Lion said...

Yeah, unfortunately there's a waiting period before you can safely bike with an infant in a trailer - something about suspension and head stability. I think we waited 8 months with Maxine. So, next spring we'll be rearing to go.

Sam said...


I need to get back to California. I am beyond jealous. (and yes, I am reading your blog)