Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Beachy goings on in Hermosa

Our first weekend back was a busy one. It turns out there's lots going on in Hermosa Beach this time of year.

Most of it falls under the Surf Festival banner. This kicked off last week with the apparently legendary '6 Man' volleyball tournament. This allows for five amateurs to recruit one pro to their team for a high spirited (although booze is officially banned), and occasionally costumed volleyball tournament. TLOML and I rode past on the last day and thought it looked like a lot of fun.
The fuzz keeping an eye on proceedings. It's hard to make it out but some of those men are playing volleyball in bobble hats.
There were plenty of events in the water on Sunday, the most significant for us being the pier to pier swim. If TLOML had been here for the qualifying swims he would have been in it. But then, he also would have been in the water at the time that this happened. Plenty of his friends were swimming, including our friend and athletic supermum who told us she had been swimming alongside a great white just last week. She said it helped her sprint like she'd never sprinted before. Apparently there were a couple of sharks cruising alongside the swimmers for part of the race, so maybe everyone's times were improved this year.

We went down to the Hermosa Beach pier to watch the race start. And then biked the 2 miles down to Manhattan Beach pier to watch the exhausted swimmers emerge. Afterwards we ate brunch on the beach with TLOML's swim buddies, before cycling home. It was a brilliant atmosphere, and (despite a rather grey sky) the whole shebang just felt so goddamn SoCal I couldn't believe just a week earlier I'd been walking in the rain to a Hampstead park.

The view from Hermosa to Manhattan pier - looks like an awfully long way to me.

1200 swimmers hit the water

The finish - swimmers rather more dispersed
Sunday was also the inaugural beach concert of the 2014 series. I've been really looking forward to these. Apparently they involve some decent bands, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a fun picnic on the beach and enjoy some live music. Like Londoners do at Kenwood only without having to pay, and having to take a tent in case of rain.

Only... this Sunday, in an unprecedented (for August) event, it rained. Yes, here in sunny Hermosa Beach. I was disgusted and horrified. As much by TLOML's suggestion that it's not a good idea to go to the beach in the rain as anything. We know that's not true. You just need to dress for it. That's why picnic blankets in the UK have a waterproof base layer. And people pack windbreaks for a day at the seaside.

I was all for putting our raincoats on and heading down there but he talked me out of it. Instead we went to the home of our nearest dearest friends, and rocked out to 80s power ballads on their new sound system. They live in neighboring, upmarket Manhattan Beach and therefore probably never go out in the rain. If I lived in a house like theirs (spacious, well appointed, beautifully designed and with an incredible sound system) I'd probably never leave either. Still, we're hoping for sunshine this weekend, so we can make that next concert and soak up more of the Hermosa Beach vibes.

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