It has been a couple of exceptionally hot weeks in Los Angeles, one of my favourite destinations. Usually there would be a cool breeze by the ocean in Long Beach, where we are spending our layover, but this time it was just hot from morning till night.
I had wished for this flight for a reason: I love the sea, the beach and dogs! I particularly love dogs on the beach. It’s so much fun and so uplifting to see them frolicking around and playing in the water. I could watch dogs all day. This doggie beach is roughly a 100 meter stretch right behind the pier of Belmont Shore, a local resort south of Long Beach. I go there from our hotel on my rollerblades, take them off and wade into the water to where the doggies play. I like to spend my free days in LA like that.
Even though LA has so much cultural diversity to offer, great museums (The Getty Center and Villa, the LACMA, the MOCA)…. and Paramount Studios, home of Star Trek and a real treat for movie buffs and Trekkies like me – the beaches south of Long Beach are hard to resist. They are a mini-vacation during a layover that involves severe jetlag – the 9-hour time difference between here and home is hard to deal with.
I also spent some time at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. It is a great aquarium, reminiscent of the famous one in Monterey that I have visited many times when on a layover in San Francisco (by the way, the Monterey Bay Aquarium was also been used in a Star Trek movie: The Voyage Home!). The Aquarium of the Pacific is particularly appealing in the late afternoon and early evening (it closes at 9pm) when the sun sets and everything glows in rose gold. There is an educational outdoor shark and manta ray arena where you can pet these fascinating creatures, seals, sea lions, penguins and many fish and jellyfish. I am in awe of the ocean world.
The Long Beach Aquarium is the only aquarium in the Los Angeles area. It is not only a tourist attraction but also a conservation center and I’m glad it doesn’t hold any mammals captive as Seaworld in San Diego does. Cetaceans belong in the ocean! In any case, Long Beach is a great place to spend time!