Long beaches

It’s not all work and no play around here, although sometimes it feels like it. We took a long weekend and went to Long Beach, CA (because I had a conference, so it sort of was all work) in early May. We stayed at a lovely family’s pool house we found on Airbnb. They had bikes we used to ride to the beach for day, stopping by Trader Joe’s on the way for picnic fixings, which was totally delightful. It was sort of chilly and raining off and on (and they say CA is in a drought?), so we didn’t go in further than our knees, but we had fun walking around, watching sailboats, and watching people fish and surf.
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The next day we visited the aquarium in Long Beach with Ken’s dad, which was fine. Not the best aquarium I’ve ever seen, but they had a petting pool where you could pet rays and some little sharks, which was fun. We then went to tour the USS Iowa battleship, which was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
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All that gunpowder I’m posing with was needed to shoot one of these projectiles out of one of those big guns in the previous picture. I cannot imagine how loud and unsteady the ship must have been when they had all six of them going.
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After the battleship we visited the maritime museum that’s right nearby housed in an old ferry terminal. It was interesting, and once they kicked us out for closing time we ate at our favorite seafood restaurant: Ports O Call. Delicious. On Sunday morning, before I took Ken to the airport to catch his flight home, we went to see the space shuttle Endeavor at the CA science museum. That was the other highlight of the trip. It was totally amazing. So is Ken’s face in that picture, if you can see it in the shadow.
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After I dropped Ken off, I drove up to Santa Monica to kill some time before going to a metallographer friend’s house for a pre-conference dinner party. In Santa Monica I found lots of stores, lots of tourists, lots of fancy houses, and the end of Route 66! If I follow this road across two and a half states, I will be home!
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