Spiked

vball

Probably the first thing people think about when they think of California is surfing. As we all know, Long Beach doesn’t have the best surfing. OK, we have no surfing. But we do have beach volleyball! (Did you know that SoCal is the birthplace of beach volleyball?!) And we are lucky enough once again to be hosting the World Series of Beach Volleyball this weekend (starting tomorrow.) No, it’s not happening in BS, but just hop on your bike and ride down the beach bike path, and you’re there! Top beach volleyball players from all over the world compete for huge prize money in an FIVB Grand Slam event.  This year’s event will showcase the best athletes in the world in an exciting new USA vs. The World style format. The tournament will feature top USA and International Olympic athletes competing head to head. Fans are invited to come out and watch, as well as compete in open 4s and 6s tournaments. The WSOBV also features live performances by amazing bands throughout the week as well as food & drink, celebrity appearances, shopping and more. Whether you want to compete, or just watch, it’s a great excuse to hang out at the beach. Like you need an excuse…

 

 

 

 

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Big Bang

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The beaches have been crowded since 8 am. There hasn’t been parking all weekend. People on bikes with American flags trailing behind them are everywhere. Revelers are wandering the streets in red-white-and-blue romp-hims (yes, I seriously saw a guy walking down the street in one.) The smell of lighter fluid, charcoal, burgers, and who knows what else is wafting through the air. The music from outdoor radios is creating some unique rhythmic smash-ups. And for the past few evenings, the bangs of fireworks have been reverberating off of the buildings. Happy Independence Day, everyone! Whether you are celebrating with a gang of people at a picnic, hanging at the beach, or laying low with your loved one(s,) I hope you are enjoying your day…

 

 

 

Aaargh!

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I logged onto Facebook today, and  – as always – it reminded me of my memories “on this day.” Lots of photos of the Pirate Invasion of Belmont Pier were popping up. I thought to myself, “oh. I wonder if the Pirate Invasion is this weekend?” It is. It’s this Saturday and Sunday. But, it’s not at Belmont Pier! IDK if it’s because of the structural issues the Pier is still having from those storms back in February, or if there is another reason, but I’m kinda’ bummed. It’s going to be at ShoreLine Aquatic Park (on the island where the lighthouse is in Shoreline Village.) I’m sure it will still be fun. Live music, yummy food, sword fights, pirates, mermaids; you can check out the full schedule and map here. But there is just something to be said about being able to stumble walk right home after enjoying some tasty rum drinks overlooking the water…

 

 

 

Summer Lovin’

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I don’t mean to sound old, but where is the time going?! The other day, Mr. and I were talking about Independence Day. I was like, “Psssht! That’s next month. We’ll figure something out later.” ummm, it’s in two weeks, dummy! July 4th. That’s like the middle of summer already! I guess technically, summer doesn’t start until tomorrow (Tuesday) night. Really, it starts on June 21st at 12:24 am. But because of the time difference, it’s the 20th at 9:24 pm for PST. There. Have I thoroughly confused you? It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that it’s time to mark your calendar for fun, free outdoor events, and say hello to sunny skies (goodbye June Gloom,!) and longer days.

PS: Can we talk about the movie Grease? I loved that movie growing up. After seeing it a hundred times, I recall The Girls and I sitting around, listening to the double-album on our turntables. We knew every word to every song. Yes. Records, people. And if that doesn’t make me sound old enough, I just Googled that Grease was released in June, 1978. That means it was released almost 40 years ago. I don’t mean to sound old, but…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinema Paradiso

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Y’all know I love to hang out on the beach. Whether it’s walking along the shore, riding on the bike path, playing lawn darts in the sand, or just chilling in my beach chair. But, I like to hang out on the beach in the evening, sometimes, too. And that’s where Moonlight Movies on The Beach comes in! It kicks off this Thursday on Granada Beach with the action-packed Rogue One Star Wars. Movies are FREE and there is plenty of free parking. What more could you ask for on a lovely summer night than cozying up to a great movie?! Maybe a little picnic dinner on the sand. Smuggle in some adult beverages (you didn’t hear that from me!) Or, keep it simple and pick up something from the snack booth there. So get your sweetie, gather up your family, or round up some friends, as they have another great line-up this year! BYOC (chair) and get there early if you want a good spot…

 

 

 

 

Good Will Hunting

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I know it’s only Thursday, but I have plans for you for the weekend already! This Saturday, City Grace is coming to BS! What’s City Grace? Think The Amazing Race, but local, and for charity. It’s a scavenger hunt kind of event that starts at the Belmont Pier, and it will take you all over Long Beach, but you’ll have to get clues to find out where you’ll be going. You get your clues by completing challenges. Here’s the cool part: each challenge requires you (and your team) to complete a task that provides direct benefit to our community. Think helping out in a food kitchen, picking up trash from the beach, or even assisting in a community garden. City Grace is founded on the simple premise that having fun and doing good are not mutually exclusive, but best achieved when performed together. What better way to spend a Saturday than enjoying the outdoors, getting in some exercise, having fun and benefitting our community?! Heck, you might even learn a little something about our city or yourself…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep on Truckin’

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Most people spend a lot of time in their cars commuting back and forth to work. Sometimes, we’ll see big trucks zooming by. Or, we’re driving through a construction zone, past all of the equipment. We often hear the sirens of fire trucks off in the distance. But do you ever stop and wonder how these vehicles operate? What they look like inside? Well, tomorrow (Sunday,) you’ll have the opportunity to find out! More than 100 large vehicles are expected to be on display at the 3rd annual Long Beach Touch-A-Truck event.

It takes place in the Granada Beach parking lot from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. The best part? it’s FREE! You can pre-register online to get a wristband that will allow you to sit in the drivers’ seats. If you don’t pre-register though, you can still get up close and personal. There will be large trucks, tractors, military, public safety, and construction vehicles, and you can even “ride” up in the cherry picker (for a $10 cash donation to benefit C.A.T.) Oh yeah, and food trucks! Food and water will be available to purchase, along with other snacks, and t-shirts. If you want to see the vehicles in action, you can plan on getting there early or staying late to watch them as they arrive and leave. It’s a family-friendly, interactive experience that I’m sure will bring out your inner child…

 

 

 

Commemoration

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It’s Memorial Day weekend! Unofficial start to summer. Three-day weekend. Beach, boats, BBQ, beer. But there’s more to it than that. Today is the day we recognize all of the service men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. It is actually not appropriate to thank a veteran for their service today (that is reserved for Veteran’s Day.)  On Memorial Day, the veteran you’re talking to may be feeling a bit of melancholy remembering their brothers and sisters who passed away over the years. It may be more meaningful to them to wish them a peaceful day. With that said, I hope you are having a peaceful day, and a peaceful weekend. I hope you’re enjoying your time with your loved ones. And I hope you pause in memoriam if only for a moment…

 

 

Dry Docked

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I enjoy being out on the water at any chance I can get, which is why I use the AquaLink as much as possible in the summer. It’s a great way to get to Alamitos Bay Landing, Shoreline Village, or even The Queen Mary. It only costs $5, and you get a nice little trip on the water. Oh yeah: they even have a bar. What better way to travel than cruising the bay, with the sun shining on you, and the breeze whipping through your hair, whilst enjoying a cold brew?! All I have to do is walk over to Belmont Pier, and wait for it to arrive. So, needless to say I was excited when their “season” started again last weekend. But my excitement was quickly dashed. Remember that bad weather we had back in January/February? Remember that damage that was done to the pier? Well, apparently, it is still too unstable for the AquaLink to dock there. LB Transit stated that it will be out of service at the pier for the entire 2017 season, but will be docking there again in 2018. ACK! I suppose I’ll just have to enjoy the water from ashore…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proud

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I love celebrating the diversity of people and cultures. I love community events. I love a good party. It’s a great weekend to experience all of this, as it’s Pride Weekend! It’s been a tradition in Long Beach for over 30 years, and attracts over 80,000 visitors over the 2-day period. The Long Beach Pride Festival has become the 2nd largest revenue-generating event for the City of Long Beach and is a family-friendly, all-inclusive festival. There will be 5 stages featuring an array of musical genres (Chaka Khan!), a Kids Zone, food, booze, and more. Then, of course, the parade takes place on Sunday at 10:30. There’s so much going on, you can get all of the details here. This year’s theme is “Viva La Vida – Here’s to Life.” I feel there is no better way to revere Life than coming together with an eclectic blend of people, encouraging acceptance, and honoring Love…