5 Random Things I Did This Weekend in Southern California

My great Californian adventure continues, as we’re now down in Southern California, with the weekend starting in LA (after having spent a week there), before moving onto San Diego. Here’s what I’ve been up to!

1) Running the beaches of Los Angeles:

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I kicked off the weekend on Friday with a morning run, which was intended to be along the water.  But like many intentions, it didn’t quite work out.  I had planned to go south and eventually towards LAX, but the winds were crazy strong – about 30-40MPH.  Which I realized a bit into the run would have had me doing the last 3-4 miles directly into a 30-40MPH headwind in the heat.  So…no thanks.

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Instead, I just meandered around Venice (Californian Edition) and surrounding communities, before hitting up the beach for the remainder of the run.  Of course, the wind changed direction again and what should have been a tailwind ended up being from the side.  Better than a headwind I suppose.

2017-04-28 14.10.09

While I liked running/riding along the beaches during my time in LA, I’d say that I didn’t find running in the section +/- half a mile from Venice Beach all that awesome.  Just sorta a mess to run through from a people being in your way standpoint.

Somewhere along that day I also took The Peanut out for a wander too. We had fun on the swings. Or rather, she had the most fun. She officially wants a swing set somehow in our small apartment.


Oh, I also rode up into the hills too. I posted that to Strava in what I’d argue was my best title of the year.

2) Unboxing new gadgets:

While I may be travelling these past few weeks, that doesn’t mean the unboxing stops.  Instead, a steady stream of new devices have been showing up on doorsteps down the coast of California at almost every stop.  For example, I unboxed this Fitbit Alta HR:


And then, of course, there was this new Bar Fly mount that I talked about last week:

DSC_1506 DSC_1508

And then some other gizmos and gadgets I’ll talk about in due time.  I really liked the table at the AirBNB up in LA that we had, made for some really pretty photos and videos.  I’m a sucker for natural light and older wood tables.

3) A San Diego Morning Run:

I headed out Sunday morning to get in a few miles of San Diego pavement.  It’s been a number of years since I last ran here (for 3AM bike rides!), and this time I was looking for about a 50-60 minute run.  I’m still getting used to this whole heat thing, so I wasn’t quite sure how long I’d last before I melted. Especially since it was cloudless and already rather warm.

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But it didn’t end up being as hot as I thought it would be.  I did a simple loop of sorts out to Harbor Island and back (which isn’t an island at all).  Along the way I crossed paths with hundreds of people out doing a charity walk related to cancer (it was somewhat hard to tell while running).

Afterwards I finished up along side all sorts of interesting floating things, like this submarine.  I’ve never been on a modern submarine…maybe some day.  Down the way a bit more is the USS Midway, which I hope to be able to squeeze in a visit to.

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After which it was the usual watch pictures…because…all runs end that way.

4) Poking at houses:

Almost everywhere we go, we enjoy poking at houses or properties on the market. Both new and old. Be it during our trip to Australia back in January, up in Monterey a few weeks ago, or now down in San Diego (or all the time at home in Paris and the countryside).  Much of it is just curiosity for architecture trends and what’s interesting in the home world, especially in new builds.  We don’t get the steady 24/7 diet of HGTV-style shows that you would in the US, so it’s kinda fun to peek into some places here and there and see what we’re missing.

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Yes, the below ‘room’ was actually in one of the houses. For real.

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So we visited a few spots in/around San Diego for a few hours. Though don’t take it as a sign we’re moving here (or anywhere really).  If we moved everywhere we’ve looked at houses we’d be in trouble!

Afterwards we visited friends down at the beach, which is definitely appealing!  They visited us a few years back in Paris when we checked out the Tour de France at Alpe d’Huez.

2017-04-30 17.34.26 2017-04-30 17.35.45

The beaches only show up in Paris once a year, and only for a month. Here in San Diego, the beaches are apparently present all year. Interesting innovation.

5) Finishing up late night posts by the fire

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I didn’t necessarily take as many pics with friends over the past few days, so instead, here’s what I’m doing this very moment…sitting by some crazy fire rock thing in my hotel and working on three posts set to publish over the next 6 hours.

The Peanut is asleep, and The Girl might even be working on a newsletter upstairs. But either way, I’m nice and toasty next to the fire rocks.

With that – thanks for reading all!  Have a good week ahead!


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  1. Robin

    Looking forward to waking up on the other side of the world and finding what posts await!

  2. Gunnar

    The San Diego maritime museum is very impressive. Check out the steam powered yacht that they have there. Very cool.

  3. Don Brown

    OMG your daughter’s smile on the swing is priceless. Luv it. :)

  4. SteveT

    Ray and family,

    If you can make it over to Coronado Island, stop by the Hotel Del Coronado. Very romantic. Parking is better south along the strand with easy walk back.


  5. Ty

    That strava title is legend. Definitely title of the year!

  6. A-7 Bill


    You’d enjoy a tour of the USS Midway. I was an A-7 pilot on that ship for 3 years when it was home ported in Japan. Loved almost every minute of it.(not so much the night landings !!) LOL !!!

    • Looking forward to it. My current plan is to escape over there tomorrow morning with The Peanut and concurrently allow The Girl to get in some much wanted shopping!

  7. Mike S.

    Hey Ray,

    Planning any meet-and-greets while in Cali?

    • Unfortunately not much. :(

      I’ve met a few folks here and there, mostly at Sea Otter. Along with a couple of random folks I see out on runs.

      Regrettably we head back Wednesday.

  8. Dirk Ackermann

    Are you planning a review for the Alta HR?

  9. ALEX

    Big fan DC but you need to take that Lenovo “thing” to a proper recycling facility and get a real laptop from the company with the two letters ?

    • Wait, HP still makes laptops?!? ;)

      I’m actually waiting for a new Lenovo laptop that was supposed to start shipping in February…but keeps getting delayed. Grr…

    • Mike Richie

      I will NEVER buy another HP laptop. I have five dead ones. They kept getting me with the cost to features ratio, but when they died (just after warranty) the cost to repair versus getting a new one was never worth it. And their offshore support is hopeless. Once great company gone bad!

  10. The Real Bob

    As someone who was on a sub for 5 years, let me the first to say. You aren’t missing anything. Go in your house, close all of the blinds, and don’t leave for a 100+ days. There, you have your sub experience.

  11. MJury


    Take the Girl and Peanut to Seaport Village–good kid shopping and awesome views. As a long time reader of your site and gadget guy myself, would be awesome to meet you and shake your hand. I work right down the street at Point Loma Naval Station, Harbor Drive Annex. How about a Starbucks before you leave?!

    • Yup, let me shoot you a note on the side. We decided to extend our stay last night till the weekend. Too much to see and do here!

    • MJury

      Sorry we couldn’t cross paths, Ray. Next time, I’ll assist in your Point Loma area ride (that’s my normal “ride around work” area). Hope you guys had a safe journey back to France!

  12. Stuart

    link to strava.com

    I was expecting you to turn up here

  13. Silberstein

    Are you at the Marriott Marina del rey?
    So am I. Checking out wed 3/5 at 11:00 after a planned jog to Santa Monica pier.
    Big fan of your reports (see Spartan…).
    If you still here and can… will you say hello?…

  14. “She officially wants a swing set somehow in our small apartment.”

    Gorilla Gym + toddler swing seat. Easy.

  15. Yes, San Diego can be quite warm this time of the year. So, it’s best to run early morning or late evening. Just got myself Garmin’s Fenix 3 HR Sapphire, which allows personalization of data. Would love to run along the beaches of LA. Lovely pics, especially the one on the swings!