Thursday, 9 January 2014

A bit of culture

Some of which was a bit wasted on us, to be honest.  As I think I recorded elsewhere, I preferred the photography at the Orange County Fair to that on display at the Getty Center but what do I know.  Nothing really floated by boat more than the sensational architecture of the place itself.  Scorching hot and the white stone of the buildings really stood out against the blue sky.  I spent more time looking at the buildings than the treasures they contained.  Hmm, there's a sermon illustration in there somewhere....

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Venice Beach - Out Come the Freaks

On our first Sunday, we paid a visit to our friends' church, leaving uplifted.  The service was excellent and the preaching (by a guy who was a fire fighter by day) was fantastic.  On hearing of our plan to go to Venice Beach that afternoon, we encountered some raised eyebrows and someone, choosing their words very carefully, said that it should be very eclectic ... I think that was the description.  Intrigued, we went anyway.

The place was very busy and we eventually found a $25 parking space.  It was overcast but you could see that the beach must have been amazing in the sunshine.  It was further inland that things were less pleasant. Naive fools that we were, we were looking for a Starbucks, maybe a tea and some muffins.  It's eclectic, alright.  But it's not that kind of place.

I saw a drug deal being done within the first couple of minutes of walking the shop fronts along the sea front, and there was a parade of characters on display.  My friend the snake handler (below) was preaching on the street in his leopard skin thong.  As Moe says in the Simpsons, when Homer tries to get him to convert, "I was born a snake handler and I'll die a snake handler".  Some other guy (below) was standing around begging for cash for hash, and people were trying to press their CDs on you too.  The famous Muscle Beach was a bit tatty as well, though I wouldn't have said so to the two guys that were working out there.       

In truth it wasn't a great vibe, the only time that we felt unsafe in our trip to America and so we made for the cars and went back to the safety of the suburbs for that cup of tea.  Still, it was an interesting experience.     

Monday, 6 January 2014

High Tide - 6th January 2014

A couple of days ago, when we had a flood warning at high tide, there were a lot of photographers out to record events, even though it was happening at day break.  Today high tide was 10.15 a.m. but most people were back at work and so I pretty much had it to myself.  I was at work too but I'm based about 50 metres from the pier, so could pop out with my camera.  I'm a lucky man.  

I think the waves were a bit more challenging this time but the wall passed the test and kept the sea at bay. Good fun!


Saturday, 4 January 2014


Before leaving San Diego, we took a trip on this wee beastie.  It does roads as well as sea and was a great way to see San Diego from a different angle.  The sea lions were easy to spot, they just sailed us out to the point where they unload the fish that people catch and there they all are - well fed and (in the main) sleeping it off.  A further treat was the sight of dolphins, albeit some distance off in the naval pens.  Both seals and dolphins are used by the military serving out of San Diego.



A trip to the zoo

The world famous San Diego Zoo was a cracking day out.  Another hot day and the queues to get in were long, as was the queue for the first bus inside the venue.  We abandoned it and walked, a long day but a great one.  Once inside the main part of the zoo there were very few queues, other than to see the pandas.   Well worth the visit.