Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Gang of Three takes on Palos Verdes

So, yesterday, our son, The Professor, came down to our house on his bike, a Vstrom 650.  His family drove down, and The Mama was very nervous, watching The Professor ride while she drove!

After lunch, while the family took naps, The Male, The Professor, and I headed out on our bikes for the loop around the Palos Verdes peninsula.  Once you get past the congestion and general ickyness on PCH (the Pacific Coast Highway) and up into the rolling hills and horse country of Palos Verdes, it's a lovely ride.

Usually, there are stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, but not for today.  A very low, dense, fog had come in off the ocean, and there just wasn't anything to see until we got nearly all the way around.  It was cold and damp, too; quite the change from down on PCH, where it was sunny and in the 70s.
We stopped at our usual lookout for a stretch and a snack, and we were able to see a bit of ocean.  Then, back through San Pedro, up the 110, to PCH, and then home, 52 miles in all.
Uneventfully and safely! 

Before we left, The Professor took The Mama around the block a few times.  She liked it!
All suited up and looking appropriately tough.  (Ha!)
At our usual look-out point.  Not much of an ocean view, I'm afraid!

Aggg.... Helmet hair!

And, today, I'm paying for that ride through that chilly damp fog.  I woke up yesterday with a scratchy throat and tried to ignore it, but today, I'm in the full grip of something nasty.  Still in my jammies, which is probably more than you wanted to know...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fourty-four Miles to San Gabriel and Home

Today was a beautiful day in the neighborhood: mid-seventies temperature and sunny skies.  The Male and I decided to take the opportunity to head north to Mission San Gabriel.  We've been to San Juan Capistrano and Santa Ines, and this one is right here in our back yard, so to speak. 
We decided to keep off the freeway, and instead, we headed up on Highway 19, Rosemead Blvd.  It goes right by the Whittier Narrows Recreational Area and dam.  We'd never seen either before. 
We found the Mission easily and parked under a big tree for the shade. 
 These grounds are not a beautiful as San Juan Capistrano, nor as historically charming as Santa Ines.  The plants were more along the lines of native, rather than ornamental, flowers and cactus.  That being said, we enjoyed our visit. 
 We were simply amazed at the size of the grape vines; you wouldn't be able to get your arms around the trunk of the largest.  They were started from seeds, rather than cuttings, so the grapes are exceedingly tiny and used only for making sacramental wine. 

The little museum is crammed with artifacts and The Male could have happily spent the entire day there, reading every little handwritten note.
We wandered the grounds, and then went out to the bikes for our lunch, waiting for a wedding to conclude so we could go in the original church.
Back to the grounds, where the wedding was still going strong.  It had been over an hour by now.  I felt sorry for the bride; her feet were probably hurting!  But, that gave me a little more time to seek out some photo opps.

The wedding finally concluded, and we went in to the church.  They were busy in  there, taking down flowers from one wedding and putting the next wedding's flowers in their place.  We didn't linger long.
Then a walk around the outside grounds, and home safely, and thankfully, once again.