I’m holding onto summer with both hands. We have dedicated August and September to packing in as much outdoor activity as possible, trying to squeeze in as many little jaunts as we can manage before the days grow shorter! In our latitude late fall and winter months mean it is dark by 5:00 PM. and I never really savor that shift.
I think I’ve been quite clear that the ocean is my happy place, and so the other day we headed in that direction once again!
Railroad magnate Henry Huntington’s name is all over Southern California. We live a few blocks south of Huntington Drive. The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, Henry and Arabella Huntington’s home, draws visitors from all over the world–I’ll tell you more about that wonderful place another time. And Huntington Beach is about an hour from home. We don’t measure distance in miles, rather in how long it takes to travel overburdened freeways.
In a previous post about Balboa Island I talked about Huntington’s Pacific Electric Railway ‘Red Car’ system as a significant factor in bringing interest from the Pasadena area, where Huntington lived, to the beach cities. Orange County’s Huntington Beach was another Huntington development, with the Red Cars connecting the beach city to Downtown Los Angeles making it possible for people to live in the suburbs.
Another time I’d enjoy telling you more about Huntington Beach history. I’m fascinated with early California, and the area was part of a Spanish land grant. But for now, I’ll hold back my enthusiasm for the history and get right to the surfing!
The city is famous for the most consistent waves on the West Coast, a feature responsible for the city trademarking the nickname, Surf City USA.
We couldn’t resist building on the theme of the Olympics, so we decided to eat at Dukes. What is Dukes? Dukes is steak, chicken, fish…infused with the tastes of Hawaii. I didn’t suggest it primarily for the food, but for the view. Our table faced the surf, and that’s a winner.
Duke was a full-blooded Hawaiian who won two Olympic medals in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. He won the Gold by setting the world record for the 100 meter freestyle and the Silver with the U.S. relay team. By 1914 he introduced surfing to the U.S. Atlantic Coast, including Australia and New Zealand. He was a standout winner (Silver) again in the 1924 Paris Games, and again, at age 52, a Bronze in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. These are but the Olympic highlights in a life that also included a career in Hollywood. He is something of a legend in surfing history.
I love the ocean all year round. But there’s a particular energy during the summer that will soon disappear. The surfers are year-round, but it isn’t always favorable to comfortably congregate on the pier. The temperatures will begin dropping with the shorter days.
But I think I can get a few more of those wonderful ocean sunsets before I officially concede that summer is over!
Do you have weekend plans incorporating some of your favorite pastimes? We are headed away from the beach this weekend and plan to spend some time in the local mountains. We have to cover all the bases before summer flies away. I do hope you have the chance to exhale and have a great weekend, too.
I’ll plan to see you on Monday.