(For those of you familiar with Venice Beach, you'll notice that I reversed the picture so that the lettering of "Venice" is readable. My apologies for the misrepresentation.)
Last Saturday, Andrea (sister), Bri (sister's co-worker), and I spent the afternoon at Venice Beach. Though I was only there for the afternoon, it seems like a nice enough beach, with lifeguard towers and all. As an Oregonian, I feel compelled to write about lifeguard towers since we don't have many. Maybe three or four along the entire stretch of Oregon coastline. The Pacific Ocean in these parts is not particularly safe to swim in, and according to every piece of coastal literature/billboard/beach sign/hotel brochure, we are notified of how DANGEROUS! it is because of the undertow (and probably lots of sea monsters, which I find to be even more threatening than undertow). People still swim in it, but they have been duly warned not to, and no lifeguard is going to protect them from sea monsters, er, undertow.
It was perfect weather for being at the beach. Hot and not windy. Though my sister insisted on parking miles away from the beach, and we had to hike through a homeless camp to get to the ocean (not kidding), it made us appreciate our destination all that much more. By the time we got onto the sand we were ready to relax. We snacked, we Frisbee'd, we napped, we talked, and--amazingly--we swam. In the ocean. Of which I have a phobia.
Even though all three of us are admittedly afraid of sharks, we convinced ourselves that it would be good therapy to go out into the ocean. Not far into the ocean, but into water that was probably four feet deep. (And, in case you didn't know, a shark can attack you in less than three feet of water. I'm just saying. You need to know this to appreciate our bravery.) Plus, we reasoned, surely the sharks would go after the surfers before us.
Venice Beach was a visual treat, because we encountered all sorts of things that I wouldn't normally see at our conservative-by-comparison Lincoln City beach front.
He totally reminded me of some Baywatch episode. Oh, the good old days of Baywatch, and red swimsuits, and Mitch. One thing is for sure: the Oregon coast never makes me nostalgic for Baywatch (probably a good thing). I'm not sure if you could even get one of those floaty devices around these parts. The guy was committed to the role, though. A couple minutes later he was still there, yellow buoy in hand.
If you're thinking of watching old Baywatch episodes, don't look at Blockbuster. They don't have them.
After beaching it, we decided to just wander down the boardwalk, stopping along the way to look in the shops and watch people.
Here's where we stopped to get a very tasty fruit smoothie, and a blended mocha. I'm actually just pretending to pose for the camera because the real focus of this picture is behind my left shoulder.
Hello, Mr. Iguana! It was evidently a great day for reptiles, because right before this we saw a girl wearing a snake as a necklace. A live snake. With a flickering tongue and everything. I'm so not caught up on my reptilian accessories.
We continued down the boardwalk, hoping to get a glimpse of the famous Muscle Beach. We found it, yes indeed.
Hello, gorgeous blue skies! Hello, towering palm trees. And, um...
Hello, leopard print speedos. This guy was working out on the Muscle Beach fitness equipment, and he was totally committed to his workout. Props to him for his dedication to physical fitness, no matter what the attire.
Vibrant, eclectic, and a great place to watch people, Venice Beach was a fun place to spend an afternoon. It has a totally different vibe to it than anywhere I've ever been, and it was made all that much more enjoyable being able to spend it with Andrea and Bri.
We finally headed over to the Santa Monica pier for yummy food and drinks at the Mexican restaurant on the far end, and even though the birds were mercilessly crowding us trying to get our food, it was a fantastic end to our adventurous beach day.
And lucky for me, my fun day at the beach happens to fit perfectly with Parent Bloggers Network's blog blast theme, in which they've teamed up with Huggies Little Swimmers. Blog about your family's summer adventures for lots of great prizes!