Sand Beneath my Sneakers (151st new thing).

September 14, 2011 § 3 Comments

I totally had a parasailing trip booked for the afternoon of Day One Hundred Fifty-One, and I was excited. I left Patrick (who did not care to join me on my adventure with his fear of heights) and his parents at the beach front condo and headed up the road to Murell’s Inlet. I stepped into the Ford Focus as fat drops of rain began to fall on my head. While the weather seemed calmer once I arrived at the parasailing departure, Captain Sean decided to cancel the trip. I signed up for the next morning and headed back to Litchfield to find a different new experience.

I surfed the internet on my phone while the rain fell hard outside and Patrick questioned whether or not he could go jogging, if the rain would stop. He jokingly suggested I join him, but I knew how well that turned out the last time I tried. However, the website I had been checking out on my handy smart phone was about a 5K jogging program called “Couch to 5K.” It was for people with no jogging experience (check) who needed a program to motivate them (check). Thus, with Patrick’s encouragement I strapped on my running shoes and turned on a podcast and headed for the beach, timer in hand.

It was frankly a lot easier than I thought it would be. I started with a five minute warm-up walk, followed by a minute of jogging and then two minutes of walking, for twenty minutes, followed by a cool down five minute stroll. The minute jogging followed by the two minutes of walking raised my heart rate, but never to the point where I had to stop and catch my breath. It was almost as if the point came where I looked at my timer right as the jogging portion of the interval training ended. It was manageable! Maybe I will actually put in the time to run a 5K this year. At least I got off the couch.

Will jogging also tighten up my seemingly slack chin?

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Sea Turtle Roll Call (150th new thing).

September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Day One Hundred Fifty’s new activity was suggested by Patrick’s mom. She had clipped out a local newspaper article about the hundreds of sea turtles that had come to nest up on coastal South Carolina. I read the article and found the South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts (S.C.U.T.E.) Facebook group where the group would post when and where they were doing inventories and invite the public to watch. Inventories occur three days after the nestlings have hatched, when SCUTE certified volunteers dig up the hatched nest to count the eggs and help out any weak straggler babies left behind. Spectators can watch the process in the hope that some little sea turtle hasn’t made it out and thus needs help making its way to the ocean.

The Hills and I were invited over to DeBordeiu (pronounced “Debbie-Doo”) to have dinner with Patrick’s cousin Carrie and her family, so working around a sea turtle inventory on Pawley’s Island could prove difficult. However, DeBordieu also had a volunteer sea turtle group, and sure enough, they also had inventories to do that evening. We texted Carrie to see if it was something she and the kids would be interested in doing, and of course they were…who wouldn’t want the possibility of seeing a baby miniature sea turtle??

The Boys' Cart

We arrived at the sprawling home Carrie, Mark, Eleanor, and Thomas were staying at and all piled into the golf carts to head towards the beach. Once we arrived, the first inventory was completed with no turtles left behind. We were just in time for the second  inventory and stood front row as two women started digging with their hands.

Once they reached a couple feet down they began to pull out hatched eggshells, and placed them into various piles. Another lady sort of described what was going on, but I, having extensively perused the facebook page, was fully informed. I was just waiting for any babies.

And I wasn’t disappointed. One little straggler was found and rescued. One of the volunteers picked it up with gloved hands and placed it in a sandy bucket with which she could walk around and show everyone. The rest of the volunteers continued digging and counting, lining the hatched shells in groups of ten against a sticks of reed protruding from the sand as counters.

Once the group determined there were no more sea turtles to free from the nest, the bucket lady had us all form a corridor to the water, lining up on the two sides so the mini sea turtle could make its way in between.

The lady picked up the turtle and placed it on the sand, but it quickly became clear that this baby needed more help. Its tiny back left leg didn’t seem to be working in unison with its other three. As it moved across the sand, he kept coming toward the right side of the group instead of following the appropriate middle course. Several times the volunteer would pick up the little bugger and place it a little closer to the water’s edge.

Eventually she kind of laid the babe in the surf and the water may or may not have carried it out to sea. The lady and her teenage volunteer companion searched the water until the younger one shouted that she had seen it, way out in the waves. “He made it!” she exclaimed excitedly. The volunteer led a smattered round of applause for the triumph that most of us doubted. I sure hope the little turtle made it out to sea to continue its journey, even with all the odds and a lame fin against him. If he didn’t, at least we were able to see a baby sea turtle up close.

Day Forty-Six. The Real Life Beaches of Los Angeles County.

May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Day Forty-Six, Shelley and Kenley took us to some LA beaches for the first time. We started out at Paradise Cove, noted for its million dollar trailer park, in Malibu. En route I decided to count the Priuses (Priui?) that I saw. Guess how many….do you have a number? Add about a hundred, because between Culver City and Malibu I counted one hundred thirty eight. Seriously.

138 Prius and 1 Dolorean

Paradise Cove Beach

Unfortunately, the brunch location on Shelley’s itinerary had switched over to their lunch menu by the time we sat down. We eased the pain of missing breakfast with a couple of brunchy type adult beverages (Mojito for me) and snacked on some fried appetizers while digging our feet into the sand (the restaurant’s patio was literally on the beach).  Next, we headed South where we lounged on a restaurant deck that featured big cushions (this is where we sat) overlooking the sea via a glass railing. It all felt so swank, and the crowd was very Eurotrash. We sat our drinks on a tray in the middle of the double bed sized cushion and all kind of formed a square about the perimeter of our area. Being the lone pale English girl, I opted for the one spot on our cushion under the shade of an adjoining umbrella.  With a refreshing breeze coming in off the ocean. I probably could have taken a nap on the restaurant bed thing.

Alas, we had more places to go, so we headed further back down the coast to the Santa Monica Pier, yet another new locale. The amusement park running down the pier was crowded with tourists and visitors. It kind of reminded me of the Spring Break destinations along the Florida or South Carolina coast, but there were fewer drunk teenagers and more families. I guess you could say it had a sort of funfare atmosphere.

Forgetting about Patrick’s intense fear of heights, we decided to take a ride on the iconic ferris wheel that jutted out over the water and provided vast ocean views. It was a nice, relaxing journey in a circle (for everyone except Patrick, I guess).

We also went to wine bar and had sushi for dinner that night, but I had actually done both of those before, although maybe not at those particular restaurants. All in all, it was a very lovely cool beach day full of people watching, good company, and beautiful ocean views. Perfect for our last day in LA.

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