Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gonna Be Hard Going Home - The Beach, Then Spanish Lessons [UPDATE: Fire and Film]

LA weather isn't helping me prepare to go back to Anchorage.  The picture is from yesterday afternoon at Venice Beach.  The temperature was back in the low 80s again.  The air was clear.  And on Monday, the beach wasn't too crowded.  The surf was much lower than it was Saturday when I biked with B. 

It was a good chance for J and me to relax a bit and catch up after her quick trip to Seattle to see our daughter and Z and the others.

On the way home we stopped at La Fiesta Brava to pick up some Mexican food for
Spanish Teacher and Chef
dinner.  The chef wouldn't let me speak English.  And forced me to dredge up my 50 year old junior high school Spanish.  I could tell him that "Mi Español es muy malo" and I could understand most of what he said, but the one saving grace of Thai and Chinese is that you don't conjugate the verbs.  I couldn't remember how to do past tense or future at all.  Another employee there said that the customers who come every day have learned to speak enough Spanish to do all their ordering and chit chat in Spanish.  I believe it.  As bad as I was, I still am surprised at what still lives in my brain.

As I juggled the bags of take out on the bike ride home, more words began to emerge - things I could have said.

Here's the card - for good food with free Spanish lessons.  

I'm hoping we can find a little more time at the beach this afternoon, though  so far I'm inside prepping for class on Friday in Anchorage - my first for credit UAA class since I retired.  I'm looking forward to it.  It's the capstone class, so it only meets six or seven times over the semester, but there is lots of consultation with the students.  In the past I've always known the students, but not this time.  There will be other faculty helping.  We also have some errands to run before we leave tomorrow.  But it's too nice a day not to hit the beach once more, even if just for an hour. 

UPDATE Tuesday 5:30pm (PT)  - After doing our errands, we biked back to the beach about 4pm today in time to see smoke billowing up somewhere north of the Santa Monica pier.  Two planes were bombing it with water then turning around and going out to sea to get more water.  We never saw them getting the sea water - they disappeared at a certain point - but from maybe two miles away we could see the water being dumped.

The fire was to the right of the photo from yesterday.  The plane disappeared from our sight against the mountains where they start to go down to the lest.

Right near us on the beach was a film crew.  A guy was standing in trunks with a gal in front of him.  She'd put out her arms and move like she was falling.  I couldn't figure it out as they did it a couple of times.  But then the last time someone threw a bucket of water on the woman as she was 'falling.'  That's when I saw they were standing on a surf board on the sand.  I'm assuming they were getting them and the sand in the background.

I forgot my camera at home so my fire shot - below - is from Santa Monica Patch which seems to have gotten it from KCAL - 9.  The report says it was just a brush fire, but if they hadn't been bombing it every three or four minutes, it would have been more.  From our vantage point much further away, there was lots of brown smoke that was blowing out to the ocean.  The temps were in the 80s today and the humidity down below 10 percent - with red flag fire warning for all around the LA area. 

Tomorrow we visit an old friend in Portland for a few hours before continuing on back home.

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