Sail On

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The weather may have been a little questionable lately, but it’s coming around! It may still be a little windy, but that makes for some entertaining sailboat racing. The Congressional Cup is back, and the races start tomorrow. Internationally-renowned skippers will travel from New Zealand, England, and beyond to come and battle it out on the waters off Long Beach. World class sailors will tell you the Congressional Cup is pure match racing – a true test of sailing ability. These top sailors have traveled to Long Beach to compete in what has been called the Grandfather of Modern Match Racing. Pure match racing means boats are precisely uniform, which creates an opportunity to truly measure sailing strategy and skills. The best part is, you can view the races right here in BS. The best viewing spot is right on the Belmont Pier. Races begin at 11:30 and run through April 2nd. It’s FREE to attend, and is family-friendly. But it’s not like you even need an excuse to chill out on the pier and enjoy our beautiful SoCal sunshine…

 

 

 

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Turned Off

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I think a lot of people know about Earth Day, celebrated at the end of April. But do you know anything about Earth Hour? Earth Hour was created by the World Wildlife Fund to encourage people to turn off their lights for just one hour. More than 170 countries and territories will engage in a show of support for protecting the planet. Millions of people will participate as homes, cities, hotels, universities and businesses turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time for Earth Hour — a demonstration of commitment to fight climate change. Some of the landmarks going dark this year are the Empire State Building, the Space Needle, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Colosseum in Rome, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Sydney Opera House, Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower.

So, at 8:30 tonight, turn off your lights, and your TV. Log off of your computer and mobile phone. Light some candles. Open a bottle of wine, and have an actual conversation with someone. You’re not going to be home tonight? Start participating now. Donate to an environmental group that supports the fight for climate change. Research ways to live in a more eco-friendly manner. Earth Hour doesn’t have to be just about the 60 minutes you spend with your lights and other electronics turned off. It could be the start of something bigger…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprung

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Happy Spring! Today marks the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, which is the point in the year when the day and the night are both 12 hours long, after a winter of shorter days and longer nights. I could get into all of the astrological, scientific, and folkloric facts, but all you need to know is that the days are going to get longer, the sun is going to stay out later, and it’s going to get warmer. Get ready for summer…

 

 

 

 

 

Protocol

 

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St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow. Are you planning on heading out to celebrate? There are so many Irish places on 2nd Street, you could build-your-own bar crawl! If you’re like me, you’ll want to start during the day. Head upstairs to Murphy’s Pub and bask in the sunshine out on their balcony. Enjoy the people-watching from above. (Side note: this is a good place for the beginning of your drinking journey, as the stairs may be difficult to navigate by the end of the day.) After that, you may want to wander over to Quinn’s. Hopefully, it’s still early enough that you can get in and squeeze your way up to the bar. You’ll be able to get some tasty craft beers here, and I betcha’ they’ll even have green Jell-o shots! By now, you’re probably feeling a bit peckish. More craft beer and some tasty grub can be found at Riley’s. You should be able to find a seat, here. If you’re lucky, you can get one out on the patio. Finally, right next door is Shannon’s Bayshore.  It’s a good thing this is the last stop, because this is where the liquor starts flowing. For some reason, we always end up in “trouble” here. After this little bar tour, your Über should be waiting to take you home.

Now, did you notice that not once did we drink green beer? Stay away from that stuff! Get a Guinness or a Smithwick’s. If you’d like something a little lighter, try a Harp. As far as liquor, I’m a Jameson kinda’ gal, but you could also try Bushmills or Redbreast. Finally, you could take this in a completely different direction. Get a case six-pack of Guinness. Cook up some corned beef and cabbage, and some yummy colcannon. Maybe even watch an Irish-inspired movie like Brooklyn, or The Commitments, or the campy Leprechaun. And be thankful you’re not out dealing with all of those crazies…

 

 

 

 

 

Late Nights

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Daylight Savings Time started this morning (or, last night, however you look at it.) People mostly complain about DST. They claim they are losing an hour of sleep. So, go to bed earlier, or sleep in later. That’s why they have it on a Sunday, isn’t it?  NBD. You might have missed brunch today (gasp!) but, your liver was you were probably due for a break, anyways. Here’s why I actually like DST: longer days. Remember back to those cold February afternoons? It started to get dark at like 4:00. 4:00! Happy Hour wasn’t even over, and it felt like it was time for bed. Now, slowly, day by day, the evenings will be getting longer and longer. It stays light until like 9:00. Sooo much more time to enjoy outdoor activities like walking, biking, hiking, surfing, skating, volleyball, basketball, shopping. Or even daydrinking…

 

 

 

 

 

The Worst

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Everybody wants to be first, right? First means you are a winner. First in line to get the good stuff. First to try a new gadget. First to enjoy a new bar or restaurant. As Ricky Bobby said, “If  you ain’t first, you’re last.” But what if 1st is worst and 2nd is best? The BSBA feels that way about 2nd Street! They’ve created a new promotion for 2nd Street in Belmont Shore: Where 2nd Is Best. And they are reminding us this by these fun sidewalk decals scattered in various locations. There’s always something fun to do or see on 2nd Street. There are new businesses opening. There’s great people-watching. It’s the perfect place if you just want to get in a walk or a bike ride. So, if you haven’t been there lately, you should go check things out…

 

 

 

Wild

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Once again, I’m reflecting on how lucky I am to live where I do. Y’all know I love to hang out on 2nd Street and people-watch, but I enjoy animal-watching even more. Sea lions at the pier, begging the fisherman for scraps. Or the pelicans and seagulls sneakily stalking said fisherman. As I’m typing, I can hear the squawking of the wild green parrots roosting in the palm trees. Have you been on a whale watching cruise out of Shoreline Village?  Wildlife abounds in the some of the most unsuspecting places. Today is World Wildlife Day, a day to remind us of our responsibilities to our world and the all of the creatures we share it with (or should I say who share it with us?!)

On March 3, 1973, the U.N. General Assembly took a stand to protect endangered species throughout the world. This day emphasizes the importance of both plant and animal species in every area of life. You may not think about it too often, but wildlife contributes to everything from ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values, to sustainable development and human well-being. So take some time out today to truly appreciate the beauty of the flora and fauna all around us, that we may take for granted on a daily basis…