In-flight post #1 – A really long walk

I decided not to pay $12.95 for in-flight internet on my flight to DC this morning, but I wrote these posts on my laptop sometime during the coast to coast trip. I just waited until I got to the comfort of my hotel room (with free internet) to publish them. Now if only the guy sitting behind me would stop sticking his feet so far forward that he kicks the back of my legs! I know personal space is nearly nonexistent on planes, but could you keep your feet in their designated area please?

Yesterday morning I woke up at 7 AM (pretty crazy for a Saturday, huh?) so that I would have time to take a walk down to the beach and still be able to get home and shower before Dan’s flight arrived from DC around noon. Before Dan suggested that we walk from our house to the beach I thought it was way too far to consider making the trip on foot, but once he convinced me to go the first time I’ve been hooked. When Dan and I go together we usually stop for lunch at Medeteranio, a restaurant near the Hermosa Beach Pier, before walking back home. The walk allows us to spend quality time together and get a little exercise at the same time. I really enjoy it. Since Dan has been out of town for the past two weekends, I’ve been taking this walk by myself once a week, but without the lunch pit stop. The route goes from our house a couple of miles from the coast, almost straight west until it reaches the Pacific Ocean near the Redondo Beach Pier, and then north along The Strand (a bike/walking path that follows the coast) to the Hermosa Beach Pier, and then further north to the Manhattan Beach Pier. Once I turn around and make the reverse trip I’ve been gone for a little more than three hours, only stopping to buy a bottle of water somewhere along the way. Although it’s not as intense as aerobics or spinning, this long walk is still a great workout. There are a couple of steep hills on the way to and from the beach that really get your heart pumping, and my legs are always sore for a couple of days afterwards. If I’m going to keep this up I think I need to get some proper walking shoes, though. If my aching feet are any indication, my running shoes that I wear for aerobics are probably not right for three plus hour walks. Speaking of workout apparel, you’ll know it’s me walking along The Strand because I’ll be the only one in long pants and long sleeves at the beach. It seems silly, but I burn to a crisp after very little sun exposure so I cover up my skin as much as possible. I also slather sunscreen on my face and hands I highly recommend Clarins SPF 40 – it’s fantastic), wear my hair down to cover my neck, and throw a hat on top of all that. I’ve never claimed to be stylish, but I look particularly unfashionable on my walks. Getting home without getting burnt is totally worth it, though. The good news is that tendency for summer mornings to be cloudy and cool along the Southern California cost helps make my chosen outfit more comfortable. Folks wearing a bikini on the beach in Los Angeles are usually shivering because the summer months just don’t feel like summer here. Summer for the coastal cities usually consists of two weeks or less of hot weather in September – as it seems we’re having right now. Just when I thought the hottest days of the year were behind us, it seems a heat wave has engulfed California. My brother in San Francisco said it was in the 90s there yesterday, which is pretty amazing considering it was in the 60s when my parents and I visited him in July. Yesterday was much warmer in LA than it has been lately, but fortunately the house didn’t get too hot because we don’t have air conditioning. Opening the windows over night and running the fans was enough to keep the house comfortable all day. Unfortunately that won’t work too well if it gets much hotter. But I digress. I feel very lucky to live close enough to the beach that I can walk there on the weekend and take in the beauty of the Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach communities. I get some exercise and I get to listen to my awesome iPod shuffle workout playlist as I walk. I really enjoy it and I’m looking forward to continuing these walks when I get home from DC next weekend.