Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lovely Long Beach

Flight over the Grand Canyon
Our adventure began with a fairly mundane flight from Newark to Los Angeles.  To be honest, domestic travel makes us long for an international flight!  At least when we fly internationally, we don’t have to pay $25 for each checked bag, and the food is included.  (On international carriers, we even get free wine!)  This flight did have one incredible highlight: we flew right over the Grand Canyon.  What an awesome sight!  The sunlight was perfect, and the Grand Canyon never looked so good!
Funky Long Beach street lamp
We spent a night at The Varden Hotel in Long Beach, a nice little boutique hotel right in the center of town.  This section of Los Angeles is very upscale and ultra clean with lots of Art Deco architecture, colorful restaurants, and funky streetlights.

Long Beach Harbor with the Queen Mary in the backdrop
We took a stroll down to the waterfront enjoying the sunset and the feel-good vibe.  The weather was perfect with the late afternoon sun illuminating the brightly colored buildings and the yachts on the glistening waters of the harbor.  The streets here are broad, multiple-lane boulevards giving the town a spacious wide-open feeling.  We saw very little jaywalking, and each intersection had pushbutton devices for pedestrians to stop traffic in order to cross.  And even had a super-sized digital display showing how many seconds you had left to make it across the extra-wide intersection!  It almost makes for an accident-free stroll about town.  (At least for pedestrians -- we did see some guy drive his car up on one of the many median strips as he was trying to make a left-hand turn.)
In a few hours, we will board the Holland America ship called the Volendam and hit the high seas!  (Hopefully also accident-free!)
Here are a few more pictures around Long Beach:

Promenade along Long Beach Marina

Long Beach Marina


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