Sunday, October 13, 2013

What's in Your Backyard?

What's in Your Backyard?

I've been around to many parts of the world but sometimes have neglected my own backyard.  So many of us take for granted where we live whether it be New York or Los Angeles.  Hence, on a recent trip to LA, I decided to explore with the Hop On Hop Off bus to get to my destination from Hollywood to Marina del Rey versus taking a taxi.  I was delightfully surprised to learn interesting stories about the stars, the musicians and history of this sprawling city, including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Marina del Rey.  If you to learn more, take the StarLine  Tours.  It starts in front of the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood but also picks up many hotels.

Next, I decide to ride a Beach Cruiser from Marina del Rey to the Santa Monica Pier famed for its amusement park and Ferris wheel and depiction in many films.  One of the most famous, is Forrest Gump and there is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant on the pier, owned by the company that produced the film.  That's marketing and show business combined--brilliant!  By the way, cruiser for short is a simple bike for cruising the bike pathways along the beaches from Manhattan Beach all the way to the Pacific Palisades. 

Now, I was forewarned that Venice Beach would have a lot of oddities and it did--muscle builders, lost souls sleeping on the beach under the palm trees, squatters, painted buildings (see photo), the LAPD handcuffing a young woman camped out in a tent, musicians playing electric guitars, and even one shop with enormous machines looking like Iron Man.  It was a quite colorful scene to be seen during the day or it was suggested to be better seen on the weekends because there is much more activity.

The rest of my bike ride was tranquil gazing at the Pacific Ocean and watching Pelicans flying majestically overhead with their beautiful shadows silhouetted against the stark white high rises in Santa Monica.  It was a good trek and a reminder to be curious about one's own back yard and explore one's environs with a sense of wonder.

To top it off like icing on a cupcake, as I'm waiting to board my plane back home, Virgin America announces, "Boarding Group A, A as in amazing" versus airline lingo, A for Alpha.  Next,  "Boarding Group B, B as in Beautiful" versus Bravo.  Then, "Group C as in Charlize, the actress" versus Charlie, I would have chosen Charming.  Finally, "Group D, D as is in Delightful" and with that last announcement, I thought how creative to put everyone in a good mood before their flight to wherever they might going.

Viewing life with a sense of wonder can actually be quite fun!