Christmas was a day unlike all others. Meaning, it was not about the traditions. First off, we had a nice breakfast and then watched A. ride his new longboard skateboard--a cruiser--which he fought us as he "didn't want it"--to find out he did. This is our little No means Yes boy. He is thrilled and to be honest, he looks good on it...and he will be very good at this. Plus, the benefit of being the first on the plateau to have such a wonderful thing. We got up and going early to see hoards of surfers running into the surf and seeing if they could may a go of it. It was very zen to see them all waiting for the opportunity to ride the wave in the brilliant light and cold Pacific water. Others congregated on the beach to try out their other Christmas presents, like boogie boards and the like. A three wheeled electric car named Sparky pulled up next to our car while we watched at lifeguard station #22 which was like a special eco present. We all thought it was pretty great. Then off to Boisa Chica, a wildlife preserve to watch a pair of men with impressive cameras take pictures of the birds we were amused to watch. We saw all sorts of coots and ducks, pelicans and egrets along with observing the egret nesting area protected by a fence. It was beautiful and perfect in it's simplicity and attention to what was important--the birds.
We drove down PCH listening to a Christmas concert performed by the Blind Boys of Alabama from the Disney Center, looking left and right at all that was there--chatting about the different beach communitites and which one we liked the best. I snapped pictures of the nutty signage as well. You know, the mexican tradition of wall painting/murals/signage that all seems to blur into itself is very much alive in LA. If you have a stucco wall and a can of paint, you have signage. And interestingly enough, the layout of the "page" or the wall is almost formatted to the stuff we saw in Cozumel. What goes to the left of the door, what goes to the right, the picture of the process of what the person sells or does, the icon of what the name of the establishment is etc...you can find American mirrors of the same. i snapped the top image as we sped by this nondescript building on PCH. You will see more of this as I am fascinated.
Then up to Redondo Beach/ Hermosa Beach to have an alfresco lunch at Captain Kidds along with many other families. The Captain was selling seafood--piles of crabs, spiny crabs and lobsters like no one's business. K and I were focused on the selling and buying of lobsters around here. A customer was very specific about the type of lobster he wanted and then asked for the fishman to flip the beast over and then he (the customer) went about this ritual of pulling the forelegs, feeling the antennae, and feeliing its abdomen. Some of the lobsters did not take well to this inspection --snapping and whacking its tail to show it's displeasure. Another customer wanted a big lobster and ordered it up in advance. His beast came all ready to go in the clear plastic bag--and truly it was BIG. The girth of the tail was a good 12 inches at its thickest, and the base of the 20" antennae was a good 1.5" in circumfrence. Top to tail stretched out was easily 36"...and too big for the requestor. So, we had the horror of watching the poor fishman try to extract this crustacean from the tight confines of the plastic bag. It was truly gladiator vs gladiator and we were betting on the lobster being the victor in that exchange.
We heard honking/barking while we ate outside--and found that there were seals nearby--so we went in pursuit of them and after a little stroll--found them happily basking in the Christmas sunshine on some sort of manmade mountain tethered to a rusty big boat. K was delighted.
We had a nice dinner with R's side of the family with the promised tamales and pork. The conversation was lively from family things to the celebrity and friend, Digby, weighing in on Digby's view on things political and philosophical. There were desserts to beat the band and elegant drinks like Poinsettias and Mojitos to round out the evening. We had to leave early as these east coasters were wiped out. We are staying at the Best Western Sunrise and are pleasantly surprised at how nice, clean and big it is--versus the poor Palos Verdes Inn, which has all the bones and none of the investment to make it worth the money staying there. This new place is much better and one can see water and marinas everywhere.
We go to Metropark with Aunty Baby to see what the new and hip in California are doing. Tomorrow off to San Diego for more sightseeing.