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As I finish sharing about my trip to California, more than a month after the fact, I can’t believe I didn’t share a very interesting portion of my trip.

It happened on my first day in Long Beach, as I was searching for a place to eat lunch. From afar, I spied a scantily dressed woman pushing a baby stroller. It wasn’t hard for me to notice the deep V-neck halter top and mini skirt from nearly a block’s distance. It was also easy to see the black fedora perched atop long, red, dyed hair. I knew it was dyed, even at that distance, because that color doesn’t typically occur in nature. I couldn’t believe a mother was pushing her child down the street in a stroller wearing that. I guess it takes self-confidence that I doubt I’ll ever have.

As she approached me, I could more clearly make out that her mini skirt was made of fur and draped across the handle bars of the stroller was a long fur coat. In the seat of the stroller was not a child, as I had initially thought, but rather, two large rabbits – one black and one white.

I wish I had the balls to take a picture from the front, but after she passed me on the sidewalk, I lingered for a few moments and grabbed my camera before snapping a photo.

Seriously, one of the best parts of traveling is people watching.

Have you ever spied some interesting characters on your trips??

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Long Beach – Part 1

The day after my LA tour I headed out to Long Beach, for part two of my work trip. Fortunately, Long Beach is only about 20 miles or so away from LA. After a crazy time paying my ride…no cash, driver’s credit card machine broken, hotel atm out of cash…I ended up getting a cash advance from the hotel on my room account, and finally got settled in.

I enjoyed a quick lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery just across the street before heading down to the marina to find a whale watching tour. After buying my ticket, I had some time to spare, so I wandered around the area, to check out the light house

and the Queen Mary, a huge cruise ship from the 1930’s that has been turned into a hotel and tourist attraction. I couldn’t figure out exactly how to get to the ship so I didn’t actually visit. I kind of wish I had. The thing is bigger than the Titanic. But it was cool to view from across the water.  

I lined up with other whale watching tourists, waiting in anticipation. I really hoped we’d actually get to see a whale.

As we began our tour, the representative from the local aquarium explained what sea life we might encounter (dolphins, pelicans, birds, whales), and what to look for if you saw a whale (smoke-like puff above the water, whale fins). We were instructed to keep our eyes peeled and shout “thar she blows” if we saw a whale.

Not very long after we spotted some kind of sea birds and then several dolphins.

A few swam right alongside the boat for a while.

After cruising a while longer, and seeing many more dolphins, the whale spotter called out a hearty “thar she blows”. Of course no one actually saw it so we had to trust him, and the boat captain turned the boat in the whale’s direction. We slowly approached the general location of the sighting before coming to a stop to wait. Whales come to the surface approximately every 3-5 minutes, so we all waited. Then we saw the whale in the distance, but since no one was really familiar with whale spotting, we caught a tiny glimpse of the lingering “puff” and then the tail slip into the water. The captain got a better idea of which way the whale was headed, so we got closer, and again waited with bated breath. Finally, camera ready, I saw the puff of water

and the tail flip out of the water

and then quietly slip back in. I couldn’t believe it. It was freezing out on the water, but I waited out on the front deck of the boat as we followed the whale for probably 30 minutes. The sun was beginning to set, as we caught one last glimpse of the whale and headed back to the dock.

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