senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
[personal profile] senoritafish
Hope everyone had a Happy 4th (here in the States, that is). Pretty par for the course here. Parade, fireworks. We thought about going to Anime Expo on Sunday, but at least one fry decided they didn't want to go, [ profile] runsamuck pouted about possibly staying home from his friend Jerry's (they have a standing Sunday video game playdate), and most importantly, I neglected to buy tickets ahead of time, not to mention Angus is no longer in the child ticket range, and definitely won't pass for twelve anymore (I think he's as tall as me now, and starting to get acne and a peach fuzz mustache. Pretty sure he's outgrown the Sesshomaru costume I made for him few years ago). It would have been $170 at the door just to get in for one day, which I really can't justify right now. Maybe a smaller convention later, if we can find one nearby. Angus likes to remind me, "I kept telling you!" Yes, dear...

Also, on Saturday up there, there was a bomb scare, but people seem to be less freaked out by hordes of costumed fans descending on downtown Los Angeles. Although I find it a little odd that these articles were all in the OC Register, and I didn't come across any from the LA Times. Oh well.

In any case, we hadn't been to the AOP for awhile, and I needed to get a new parking pass, so we headed off to Long Beach instead. They have a new exhibit on the Polar regions, including a couple of Arctic fox kits that were completely worn out from playing with each other and sound asleep in the Animal Care Center.


And these guys, who I'm very familiar with - I spent a month in the Bering Sea and almost a year in the Gulf of Maine collecting biological information on them (and these are little ones). Well, actually, these are Pacific cod, and those in Maine are Atlantic cod. But they look exactly the same.


And the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles must be some major sponsor for them now, as they've completely blocked off the side exits from the Great Hall for the Ocean Science Center presentation of same, although there is also supposed to be a presentation on Sea Level Rise as well, which we didn't see. It does look pretty neat; a big glowing animated globe; the Earth between presentations and ships and cargo containers during it. I did not know that the combined ports are the largest in the U.S., and 90% of manufactured goods for the country come through it. Yikes.

It's a little annoying that not only did the parking garage raise their prices, but instead of a punch card, they now issue you five separate admission-style tickets. Which don't fit in my wallet very well.

But I couldn't resist these in the gift shop. I haven't got a new pair of earrings in long time...


(these come from here - I love the stingrays too!)

I like the 4th - my entire neighborhood changes. People are friendly, everyone seems to be having a party in their front yard, houses are decorated, and everyone is riding bicycles because a number of streets are closed off for the parade. And they all seem to be beach cruisers. We (the kids and I - [ profile] runsamuck hates parades) go outside when we hear the police sirens coming from the city helicopters flying up Main St. in formation - and it's always weird hearing sirens coming from up in the air.


That signals the start of the parade, although the beginning of the route is down at PCH & Main, at the foot of the pier; we're close to the other end of it, so it takes around an hour to get there. This year there was a flyover of vintage military aircraft; P15 Mustangs, Gareth insists, as he's nearly memorized those mail-order notebooks on planes my dad bought. They went around three times.


In previous years, it's been a couple of military jets, but I guess budgets (whether federal or the city's) don't allow for that now. We never bother with staking out a place to sit, but when parade makes its way up to our cross streets, we walk over to Main St. and then just mosey down the parade route. I always take way too many pictures of what pretty much amounts to almost the same people and groups every year. There are the marching bands, politicians (, but settled for just staring at him and slowly shaking my head), local businesses, equestrian groups, and of course the Shriners, many of whom appear to be getting very elderly, and there don't seem to be near as many as there used to be. There used to always be a contingent of Pearl Harbor survivors that was getting smaller and smaller; I didn't see them this year. There are, however, WWII re-enactors now, along with the Civil and Revolutionary War.

I have to say I mostly go for Marching Bands, often ones that don't march (I used to be in one like that)...


(These people are from my alma mater - wish we'd gotten to wear that kind of uniform instead of the layers of heavy wool and furry shakos.; no actually, I liked my shako, I could always hide a book in it during football games).

And horses, some bigger than others...



Then we had a lazy afternoon while John fired up the BBQ. As the sun started setting, all the parking in the neighborhood fills up again as people come back for the fireworks on the beach a mile away. The last few years we haven't bothered going all the way down there, the hill in front of the middle school is good enough, even if a few of the trees on Palm Ave. are in the way.


Unfortunately, it's not as nice as it was. The school put up bunch of big ugly solar panels (which I don't object to in themselves, just the rotten placement), right in front of the building. Not only are they covering up a historical building, but they have fluorescent lights all over them, where it used to be completely dark.

Wandered back home and listened to all the illegal fireworks going off and people riding bikes and hooting until after midnight. Ah, summer.
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