I’ve been sitting on this post for months. Literally. But, with the cold and grey, I thought it was time to get California dreaming. This is a lot of photos because it was actually two visits!
California: Part 1
I went to visit my family in August. Somehow, even though we’re from Illinois, my entire nuclear family–both parents and both siblings ended up in California. I am now the lone, landlocked, Midwesterner Kim family member. While I was looking forward to seeing my family and seeing the gorgeous LA area, I was also nervous because I had to do a 20 mile run. On vacation. Oy vey. But let’s start with the beauty.
Those are my naked children (including my daughter who is only wearing shorts and underwear–keeping it classy, folks). My dad is the man dressed like he’s about to head out to the desert. I don’t love the beach, but there is such a primordial connection to the ocean I have to say. And my son LOVED it.
Blue skies for days!
And we got to have a little sunset happy hour (my bro on the left and Mr. Sometimes Runner on the right).
And because we’re fancy like that, we took in some culture with the kids at the Getty Museum. FREE! In the mountains! Gorgeous.
The gardens were amazing and I couldn’t take enough pictures.
My daughter found all the nudity in the art museum very humorous. She kept shouting, “They’re naked” at all the art showing nudity and laughing. It was funny, but also embarrassing. Here she learns about the female form.
Who doesn’t love a painting of a giant rhinoceros beetle impaled by an equally large pin?
There’s been some scandal in celebrity gossip lately about Alyssa Milano being shamed for breastfeeding. Look, even baby Jesus breastfed openly.
Here’s the 20 miler I did along the ocean. I had originally hoped to run with a Long Beach area running club, A Running Experience Club. They were also going to do their 20 miler in preparation for the Long Beach Marathon. However, timing and such didn’t work out. They were very kind and shared their route, though, and I used some of it to guide my run down to Newport Beach and back.
My family made fun of me for taking pictures of these squirrels along my run, but they’re squirrels. That live in the sand. The sand, people! And the markings on the squirrels look different from the fat suburban grey squirrels that are so prevalent back home.
Yum, Korean food in the LA area does not get better anywhere else in the US. Sigh. My sister, brother-in-law, and niece.
We also attempted to force our children to enjoy nature and go on a long hike in Griffith Park. There were alot of tears, gritted teeth, and threats of abandonment. But we got to the observatory and back. The hills! I was jealous of all the runners I saw out there.
One of my shorter runs I did in Long Beach and stumbled upon some fancy Venice canal-like areas. The houses were gorgeous and there were even little canals with bridges over. I can’t imagine being surrounded by such beauty all the time. I know people must get used to it, but it was glorious coming from the Midwest.
They even had Italian-like plaza centers with fountains.
It’s hard to find Korean buns like these. They are called “wahng mandoo,” or “king buns.” So amazing in the heart of Korea Town in LA.
Wyeth was very sad to go home.
CALIFORNIA: PART II
I got a chance to go back to California just a week go. My sister had her second kid, a boy, and I went to go meet him and help. I went solo since it was so expensive. Yay, alone adult time! This time, instead of the LA area, I went to the Bay area.
My adorable niece.
I wasn’t allowed to hold my nephew the first day because my niece has been so attention-starved, we were pretending I came just to see her. Ha. I finally got some snuggle time the second day. Swoon. New baby cuddles and new baby smell.
As a good Korean and older sister, I made a traditional Korean New Year’s dish, ddeok guk, a noodle soup dish. Eating it is supposed to bring you long life and prosperity. I have to say that I did pretty good 🙂
My sister’s family lives in the East Bay, within short distance from the Ohlone Greenway, a pathway that runs along part of the BART line. I ran part of that, which was nice.
Gotta love public art! Roosters no less.
I also did a 14 miler along the Bay going north. The first mile was long the highway, so not so pretty. However, it soon opened up and even ran through part of a nature preserve. Always fun seeing the sun rise, right?
There were some tiny sections of trial that ran alongside the paved path, so I took the opportunity to get some different terrain underfoot. There was also a massive dog park that was acres and acres of happy, unleashed dogs, with lots of trees and open area. Almost made me want a dog (except that whole picking up poop part).
I ended at the Richmond Marina and scooted back. Overall, it was a great run, but I did realize that I hate my Saucony Guide’s. I had packed only those shoes and I generally don’t run in them for my long runs. I save them for my recovery runs. I realize they are just too much shoe for me, and I blame them and my long run in them for attributing to my pre-plantars issues. Like I said in the previous posts, Bill scolded me about switching between stability (the Guides) and neutral for longer runs. We’ll see…I just got the Saucony Triumph for more cushioning but still neutral form.
Anyhow, happy Friday, people. I’m going to try a short run today after taking the week off. Wish me luck. I will leave this little bit of California beauty for you.