Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: venice

11 of 52: Year of Ocean

Friday seems to be about taking the dog out on roller-blades. This time I headed down to Venice Beach.

I’m realizing that this Year of Ocean project could get pretty repetitive. As soon as I skated onto the beach path, I thought “how the heck can I photograph this differently from the last time?”.

I decided to shoot with my iPhone, no filters, horizontal view and concentrate on the sketchy, hippy, early morning vibe of Venice.

Before the booths hawking hemp bracelets are set up.

Before the smell of incense and hoards of tourists fill the air.

Before the garbage trucks are done with their beep beep beep of backing up, breaking the quiet.

Before things are taken out of their packaging, before security gates are lifted, before the summer campers run on to the sand for their surf lessons.

It was a quick little jaunt, mostly for the dog to get some exercise, but it was a good visit, Venice locals and all.

*See all of my Year of Ocean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 of 52: Year of Ocean

 

 

I thought the other day how, even though LA doesn’t really have seasons, I do. And so it seems appropriate I haven’t been to the beach much or that things have felt a tad internal rather than external for the past five and a half months. And that I haven’t felt interested in this project until yesterday morning, when I woke up with a strong urge to go swim in the ocean.

Saturday night we went to a clothing swap / poker night and didn’t get home until the wee hours of Sunday morning. I woke up after 4 hours of sleep with a slight headache and major hankering to swim. My schedule was double-booked for the afternoon (a birthday party for Steph & a BBQ with my sis) but I had just enough time to go for a run & swim down at Venice Beach (like I did the first week of January).

I ran from my parking spot, up the beach path – past vendors, homeless backpackers, puppies on leashes, people with expensive video equipment, skateboarders and incense clouds – to somewhere in Santa Monica. I felt like I could’ve gone forever, but I was on a time crunch.

Along the area where I got onto the path, I walked out on the sand, asked a young girl if she’d watch my stuff, Then, I walked straight into the ocean. It felt glorious.

The Pacific feels so much more powerful than the Atlantic ever did when I was growing up – so I don’t go in past my waist. But I swam a bit, ducked under a few waves, submerged my body.

It was exactly what I needed. Glad I listened to that small voice telling me to go.

So, yes – the Year of Ocean project is back! It may have been too ambitious to think I could go to the ocean & come up with new content here weekly, but I’m OK with this being as many visits as I can get… if I don’t hit 52 before 2015 or it takes me 2 years, it’ll still be a fun project.

*See all of my Year of Ocean

Making Our Own Happiness

Took Carter down to the beach for a walk this morning – it was already getting busy. Surfers were out riding the waves, runners were flying by us beaded with sweat. We sat on a bench at the end of this new path with a pair of older women, one in a wheel chair. They were going through little rehabilitation exercises in some other language than English. Carter was frustrated we weren’t walking and howled.

We wanted to eat at a restaurant we like with patio seating, but all the outdoor seats were full. Each place we stopped seemed to be not quite right. One had no outdoor seating, another wouldn’t let Carter on the patio, and one place I suggested was closed, gone completely.

It felt frustrating enough that we gave up and headed home, where I cooked us over-easy eggs on buttered toast with English Breakfast tea. I have mine with milk and sugar, he takes his with lemon and honey.

Now H is napping (we partied hard yesterday) before we head up to the Valley for another small BBQ at a friend’s house.

I just read this quote on Brainpickings:

This is where we run into trouble in terms of being fulfilled… You have to make your own happiness, wherever you are. Your job isn’t going to make you happy, your spouse isn’t going to make you happy, the weather isn’t going to make you happy… You have to decide what you want, and you have to find that way of doing it, whether or not the outside circumstances are going to participate in your success… You have to be able to create your own happiness, period. And if you can’t, then you need to find a good shrink who can help you figure out what it’s going to take. ~Debbie Millman

And thought – yes. Yes, I want to go to a friend’s house instead of napping, yes I want to be outside, yes I want to post a little blog here… b/c I want to create my own happiness, lame breakfast places or not.

I hope you’re having a lovely 3-day weekend if you’re here in the US – enjoying the start of summer after that crazy-long east coast winter. And obviously, a special thank you to all the service men and women who serve our country, keep us safe and protect our freedoms.

8 of 52: Year of Ocean

The weather for this family walk yesterday was gorgeous. Gloriously sunny, breezy, warm. Nothing like last week’s weather. Spring has definitely sprung here in LA (though the time change springing us forward does not a happy Justine make).

After an incredibly busy week, where one or both of us were out every night, sometimes not getting to bed until midnight, we woke up Saturday refreshed. Being asleep by 10pm on a Friday night has its advantages.

H decided on a beach walk for Carter, and of course I tagged along. We ended up south of the Venice pier, walking on the beach, Carter saying Hi to other dogs. We took our shoes off and put our toes in the very chilly sand. (Putting my feet in sand feels like vacation every.single.time.)

South down the beach and then East, we ended up on the Ballona creek / westlands footpath, which I didn’t even know existed. Isn’t it crazy we’ve here for almost 5 years and I’ve never known walked this footpath?

We made our way back to the streets, fantasizing about living in the water-front homes, and ended up at the Cow’s End in Venice.

We ate bacon, egg and cheese on bagels, sipped coffee and tea, and watched the other doggies walk by with their owners. The sun was warm and turned my cheeks red. It was a perfect morning walk and I was grateful for the quiet, alone time with H. Carter was pretty satisfied too.

*See all of my Year of Ocean

6 of 52: Year of Ocean

Biked down to Venice Beach alone. Went to Menotti’s Coffee Shop for a latte. Walked down to the water, snapping photos along the way. Sat myself down on a beach towel, ate a peanut butter sandwich, and wrote my morning pages.

I welcomed this year by swimming in the waves. And I can see that this visit was a way to welcome in my thirtieth year, but I didn’t do anything symbolic.

In my writing, I noted that I am feeling better: Like I finally caught a wave after sitting on my board for a while. I have ideas, inklings, things I want to do + feel I have the energy for it.

And then I wrote:

It’s not that the fuzziness is gone, not that I’ve reached clarity or a higher consciousness. And def haven’t heard from God, but it’s as if I was in a dark and musty room. Cobwebs of regret strung between walls hung with failures and x-marks the spot of where I could’ve done better (can’t we always? but it’s not productive to dwell) It’s actually as if a door cracked open. That there is now a beam of sun, however weak, but warm, reaching through to guide me out. Beckoning me, that this time of darkness is almost over. And I will soon be able to see.

Cheers to the ocean, to writing, and to feeling lighter. Being able to see again.

*See all of my Year of Ocean

Welcoming June 2013

Sundays Are For (Week 22)

 

Even though my sister just moved out of our apartment (after 5+ months crashing here) doesn’t mean we don’t want to hang out with each other.

Today was CicLAvia – you can read more on their about page – but the gist is (from their site): CicLAvia makes the streets  safe for people to walk, skate, play and ride a bike.

How awesome is that?

Today’s route ran downtown LA to Venice beach, and since I live along the route, I took part 2x.

My first ride I biked east bound with Carter Cash. This morning, I decided to give him a bath as he’s been itchy and quite stinky (H calls it “dirty sock” smell). But, once he gets a bath, he needs to be outside to dry off. Perfect opportunity to bike him around.

We didn’t go very far, but it was lovely. The street was wide open with only a few bikers out and about. And people definitely smiled when they saw my pup running alongside my beach cruiser.

My sister and I planned a beach day, so this was also perfect timing. We took our bikes with what felt like the rest of LA (it was uber-crowded by noon) down to Venice beach. And there were laid, on the sand, for a few hours. Listening to the ocean, napping, reading, and getting a tan.

What an awesome way to wrap up this week – and really – the last 5 weeks and the last 5 months.

Cheers. xo

Love Is In The Air

Our Valentine’s Day plans were actually for Saturday, though H made a good display of it on Thursday evening, it being our 7.7 anniversary.

Since I’ve started running again, Saturdays are my long run day. I went out on my own with a Paperclipping Roundtable episode loaded on my phone for the hour+ run. It turned out perfectly, as I went 6 miles total, .5 farther than I planned (Woo!!)

So I was in a pretty awesome mood when I got back home, even before I spotted the HEART-SHAPED PANCAKES!

Yes – as I said the other day – H really is getting to be quite the romantic as we get older. There he was, pancake mold, bacon and berries, being all cooked up in our kitchen. Glorious.

But wait – there was even more…

He’d bought us a scavenger hunt from Urbanquest to take us through Venice beach. We headed out for our afternoon, parking near Abbot Kinney, and stopping by the Warby Parker school bus before starting near Market Street.

It took us from a mural on Market to a side-street near the water to the beach path. It was never too hard, so it always felt fun. The worst part ended up being the combination of 80* weather, 3-day weekend and the fact that Venice is a tourist trap – it was so crowded!

Still, with a pit-stop for ice cream, we completed our quest in a little under 2 hours. Afterwards, we enjoyed the weather some more by walking down to the Venice pier to meet friends for beers. Then it was on to our favorite restaurant for Mexican food, where I promptly consumed a 26 oz margarita, jalapeno poppers and a combination plate, and then felt way too drunk to walk back to the car.

It was an adventure. And considering this was our first Valentine’s day as a married couple, I’d say my husband hit it out of the park. Love him.