What I Did on my Spring Sabbatical

Full-time travel is no vacation–we’ve explored this topic before. Laundry and planning and writing and chores–plus amazing immersive experiences. While incredible, I found myself over-stimulated and in need of a break.

So I headed for Los Angeles–not a place folks usually think of for a rest. Therefore, why there?

  1. a campground on the beach
  2. lots of friends in the city

What a Special Campground!

They do excellent marketing because they neglect to share that it’s directly under the LAX flight path and downwind from an oil refinery. Sneaky. Verrry sneaky.

It does have a visiting sea lion. Awww. And a modest inventory of shells, which makes the ones found all the more treasured.

I arrived at the California coast juuuust as the sun was setting. From sea to shining sea! Click the pic to advance the slideshow.

Sure, I’ll Watch

Santa Monica is a study in contrasts. Chess players across the walkway from Muscle Beach.  The end of Route 66 adjacent to stands selling maps for Homes of the Stars and Hollywood Crimes.

The chess players sparked my imagination. Have the two players competed against each other before? Did they arrange to meet at a certain time? Or are they circumstantial opponents? I love that the intensely mental game is now social.

As for muscle beach…
WHEN [on muscle beach]
IF [you’re an exhibitionist]
THEN [I’m a voyeur]

This was my first venture intentionally without my camera. I felt naked, which may have been apropos for Santa Monica. So unless I’m in it, the picture is courtesy of Flickr. Click the pic to advance the slideshow.

Whale Watching Trumps Seasickness–Every Time

Two Dramamine are not enough. At least not for me. I endured the pitching and heaving (and that was also in the ocean, not just my stomach) with as much grace as I could muster. AKA I found a bench, laid down (layed down?), and only got up when the captain announced an animal sighting. The adrenaline lasted almost as long as we gawked at the critters, and then quickly back to my prone position. Let me just say, I don’t know why folks voluntarily have a colonic–seasickness is far less invasive.

Playing dolphins; a feeding frenzy when a pool of unsuspecting fish was trapped and brought to the surface for dolphins, sea lions, and birds to gorge themselves; sun bathing sea lions; and humpback whales! Holy cow! They’re fascinating, gorgeous, enormous.

Fun facts:

  • Dolphins are playful in all sorts of ways–if you know what I mean, wink wink–the only other species besides humans to be so. 
  • Humpback whales are 60 feet long, and bigger than any dinosaur. When you see their tail, it means they’re diving down for a snack–anywhere from 1-20 minutes.
  • Dolphins, sea lions, and whales are all mammals–so all that jumping and prancing we enjoy at the water’s surface is actually breathing. Plain and simple.
  • Sea lions keep warm by keeping one flipper in the air!
  • Dolphins have a complicated language of sounds, and each dolphin even has its own sound, like a name!
  • When a pelican dives to feed, it goes as fast as 40mph and as deep as 20 feet. Its mouth is bigger than its stomach, holding twice as much. Why…?

Click the pic to see the slideshow. The pics are awesome because I found Flickr people who weren’t seasick!

The Happiest Place on Earth?

Disneyland is indeed magical, but I still assert that the happiest place is the Crayola Factory.

It’s charming and full of memories you didn’t know you have. It’s a Small World brought me back to being a girl on my first visit to the Orlando location. Space Mountain is just as awesome as it was when my brother and I went on it at least two times, maybe three.

Disney is universal–amazing how people with such divergent styles all flock here: redneck and alternative and soccer moms all wear disney gear proudly. Click the pic to advance the slideshow.
In three weeks, only three excursions. Otherwise, walks on the beach, naps, discovering that they don’t exaggerate LA traffic, reading, and trifling projects.
What have you been up to?

7 Responses

So how do you fill your days, now that you’re on “vacation”? Inquiring minds want to know.
Suzanne Fluhr recently posted..Ireland Road Trip — Part Three (The Ring of Kerry)My Profile

Suzanne – the days were surprisingly full. Walks, cooking, reading, napping, and an endless amount of things to do at the computer. I couldn’t tell you what any of them were, but I spent a lot of time there. And there were oh so many episodes of Law & Order and Criminal Minds that HAD to be watched!


Now the small world song is in my mind and I know it won’t go away for days. At first it chokes me up but after awhile I’ll be annoyed.

Glad to have you back sharing with those of us who look forward to every post!

Your Comments
First of all it’s lay – remember lie lay lain or lay laid laid [needs an object] – remember that you lay something . . . . or someone . . 😉 Once a teacher, always a teacher, however unorthodox.

I’m glad that your seasickness didn’t keep you off the Maid of the Mist! I’m also glad that you’ve been taking a well-earned sabbatical. I have even enjoyed rereading some of your older posts to get my fix. And it was fun reading some that you posted prior to my discovering you.


Enjoy it all!! So glad you’re having fun! If you’re looking for a night out with strangers, I can introduce you to my BIL and SIL. I think you’ve met Alex, but not Liz. They are in Manhattan Beach which is definitely a pretty place to walk around.


I agree that a set of mouse ears is not worth $20…but you were grinning while you had them on!

Jeannine – so they were worth the price of admission 😉

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