My day started with a 5 mile run along Venice Beach boardwalk, its one of the things that makes me happiest, having time it just enjoy the run and not have to dash back to get to be office on time. I start to come to the realization that Venice Beach essentially just smells of urine and weed. I did notice this yesterday but now it's really apparent and there are LOTS of homeless people here. It's actually quite sad really as while I was running I realized that there is a whole subculture just living life on the edge and day to day on the streets and many it's clear have mental health issues. The township were out trying to clean up he streets after Sundays antics but they have a large amount of work to do!
After grabbing a coffee and a shower, I'm properly out the house by 10am (spent half an hour talking to Enrico one of the other house guests from Italy who was telling me about a hike to the Hollywood sign). My room comes with a bike so I planned to spending the day exploring the area on it. I realize as I cycle past the bike rental shops on the boardwalk this Airbnb is an even better deal as bike rentals here are $20 a day!
I cycled up to Santa Monica and past the pier and kept going until I reached the end of the bike trail, about 10 miles). It was such a lovely ride, the sky was a clear blue, there was a gentle breeze on my back and I passed many other bikers, rollerbladers and volleyball players (never seen that many volleyball nets on a beach). I was so happy just being on my own and free from work and commitments.
The interesting this about his trip is apart from booking all the Airbnb accommodations I've really not planned what else to do and where and when. Normally I would have a full agenda already planned of everything I want to see and do but not on this trip and I'm liking the freedom. I'm actually really enjoying just waking up in the morning and deciding what to do that day. I've been away a week now and I'm loving it, I'm not bored or lonely at all. I'm happy to be doing this trip alone, it's empowering, fun and rewarding :)
I cycled back and had lunch in Santa Monica which I realized is more my speed than Venice Beach, far less crazies. Then wandered up 3rd Ave promenade looking at the shops, there are quite a few I don't recognize. Before heading home I cycled as far on the track past Venice I could go which was basically to Marina del Rey, and then spent a quick hour checking out the super hip Abbot Kinley Road with its hipster shops and cool hang outs. I'm guessing in total I rode around 25 mile, not bad.
I met Jen (friend from Philly that had just moved out here a month ago) for drinks and dinner in the evening. We went to a vegan resturant called Cafe Gratitude, wow I wish we had this kind of food in Philly. The kale chips with a dipping sauce were amazing and my "gracious" summer salad with asparagus and cashew mozzarella was so tasty. It was a fun evening and I am sure Jen is going to like her new life here.