Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer and the Beach

One of the nicest things about living in Southern California is the awesome weather.  Sure, it isn't always warm and sunny over here, but the temperature pretty much stays between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  Maybe I'm a wuss and don't know what it's like to experience a snow storm, but I can't stand days under 65 degrees.  Lucky for me, summer in SoCal always means warm and comfortable weather.

Sometimes, we take living close to the beach for granted and don't go there enough.  However, each summer, we do manage to drop the computers, the cell phones, and movie theatres and head for the beach to enjoy some laid back music and camaraderie for at least a few times.

Our favorite standby is always Venice Beach or Santa Monica Beach because they're close. There is the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica where it's open to the public, but you have to make a reservation to get in.  It's $24 for a family of four. Once there, you can swim in this pool that once belonged to William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davis of the Hearst Castle fame.

The heated pool has inlaid mosaics, life guards and a lounge area where you can bring your own picnic, or you can eat at the Back On the Beach Cafe next door.

If you want to actually swim in the ocean, you can just head on to the powdery sandy beach and swim there. This is definitely the luxury beach going experience.

Other beaches  may be less luxurious, but great nonetheless. On Venice Beach, you can walk on the crowded  board walk and go look at the shops and beach performers. There are lots of restaurants and souvenir stores, as well as wacky and entertaining street performer.

Venice Board Walk

Another favorite is the El Matador Beach in Malibu, 32215 Pacific Coast Highway where you have to walk down a steep trail to get there. Once there, you will be enchanted by the strange rock formations, powdery sand, and no one else present. There is absolute peace and tranquility, but no amenities whatsoever.

Because I'm older this year, to kick off the summer, my high school classmates and I had a night time beach party. After it was dark, a group of us built a bonfire at Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey where there are pits for people to do just that.  We made sure to bring a lot of food, a boom box, and lots of firewood. After the sun went down, we built a bonfire. 

Beach Bonfire

As the fire crackled, we sang songs, toasted marshmallows, and played a few games.  My favorite part?  Burning a worn out copy of the much-abhorred novel, Frankensteinby Mary Shelley which we'd been assigned to read for English class this year. Yay, school's over.

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