Dolphins, Pelicans and a piano concert

It was the perfect day in LA today. Our hotel is comfortable but very basic. Chatworth (where we are staying) has nothing much to offer. We crossed the mountain and drove to the ocean this morning. I’m so glad we decided to rent a car and have the freedom to move about. The Whoopie babes are staying at the same hotel and came with us to Santa Monica today.

There was a gentle tailwind as I started running along the ocean. It was quite perfect with a plethora of folks on bicycles, roller-blades, skateboards and a few pushing strollers. The vibe was happy and festive as I passed by the Cirque du soleil tent and the Ferris wheel right at the Santa Monica pier. There were signs everywhere advertising road-closures for the LA marathon (scheduled for tomorrow). I’m certain that a Kenyan or Ethiopian will win it!

There was a parade with mostly women, but I couldn’t figure out the cause. I thought about running near the parade but knew in my mind that I would agree with the cause (a parade in LA with a bunch of women has to be for a liberal cause). I smiled lightly at this thought!

As I turned back 30 minutes later, the wind was against me. It was a bit harder to run and I slowed my pace. My legs are still hurting from the marathon last weekend.

In the last mile of the run, my mood turned from happy to ecstatic as I saw the dorsal fin of a dolphin swimming at the same speed that I was running along the shoreline. He swam as I ran for a good quarter of a mile before I lost him. There were dozens of brown pelicans diving into the ocean looking for fish. Seagulls were everywhere. A few sandpipers (or were they oystercatchers) paraded up and down with the rhythm of the waves looking for small morsels of seafood.

I ran only for an hour, but it was just about the best run I have ever had. After the run, we had a perfect lunch at Gladstone’s overlooking the ocean. It was warm with a gentle salty ocean breeze. I will savor the morning and afternoon for a long long time!

In the evening, we went for a private piano concert where Dana impressed us all with his unbelievable musical talents. He intermixed little-known composers like Smetana with Beethoven and Mozart. The food was eclectic and delicious, the company was excellent and the evening was long but very enjoyable.

You will see from the following pictures that I even wore a collared shirt!

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