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Archive for June, 2013

Urban Adventure: Long Beach with The Valencia Hiking Crew

On June 23, my friend Lori and I went on another one of The Valencia Hiking Crew’s Urban Adventures. Last time, Ventura. This time, Long Beach.

We started off the day with coffee and muffins at the home of one of the members before setting out on our beach walk from Belmont Shore to Shoreline Village. This is a really nice walk because the path is separated so that bikes and pedestrians each have their own lane. If only the pedestrians would pay attention and not walk 3-4 abreast and end up spilling into the lane of the understandably annoyed bicyclists. But our group tried. We really did.

When we got to Shoreline Village we were on our own for lunch. I got a bbq beef sandwich from cute little Tugboat Pete’s.

After lunch we hopped onto the Aqualink water taxi, which, for $5.00, took us on a fun catamaran ride back to Belmont Pier.

We dropped our backpacks off back at Bill’s house and walked to Kayaks on the Water via 2nd Street, which is a full of interesting shops and restaurants. We got 2 hours of kayaking in Alamitos Bay for $12. This was my 4th time kayaking. You can read about my other kayaking adventures here, and here.

If you’ve never kayaked, I highly recommend Kayaks on the Water. The price is good and it’s nice paddling past the beautiful homes and boats. Bring money with you (they provide dry bags) because there’s a place where you can dock your kayak and go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice.

After kayaking, most everyone went back to Bills for potluck appetizers but my friend and I had misjudged the logistics and opted out so walked back to 2nd Street and had some delicious fish tacos and clam chowder at Roe, Restaurant & Fish Market. You can choose whatever fish you want to be in the tacos so I had one with grilled shrimp and one with grilled salmon. Delicious! Finished off with coffee and dessert from Peets.

Click on the pictures to enlarge and see captions.

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Urban Adventure: Ventura #1 with The Valencia Hiking Crew

On May 18th, my friend Lori and I hopped aboard Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to meet up with The Valencia Hiking Crew for an urban adventure in Ventura.

Linelle, with assistance from other members, put together a great itinerary for us that included a stop at Sandbox Coffeehouse, the Ventura Visitors Center, a  hike on the new trail in Ventura Botanical Gardens, Art City Stoneworks, Patagonia Surf Shop and store, Mission Plaza with its beautiful San Buenaventura Mission, lunch at Dargan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, tastings and demonstrations at both We Olive and Spice-topia, a post office to see historic wall murals, a gigantic fig tree in Plaza Park, and finally a walk on the pier and beachside promenade.

After the adventure officially ended, Lori and I went back to the plaza and toured the mission and grounds and got some iced coffee and dessert at Palermo before boarding our train back home to L.A.

What an amazingly fantastic day that was! And now we’re looking forward to the next urban adventure with this group. See you in Long Beach!

Click on the pictures to enlarge and to read captions.