60 Photos From Our California Trip

>> Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So Pharmie and I spent a great 3-day weekend in Long Beach, California!! We were contacted by Nutrilite and asked if we’d be interested in having a very individualized health assessment and tour the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health. I didn’t know what to think at first. But after they answered all my questions and assured me that they weren’t going to try to sell me their products or turn me into a representative for them, I figured it was something to check out. They said they would pay for our flights, our transportation in Cali, many of our meals, and our nice hotel room, so we really didn’t have much to lose! In turn, they just hoped that we would write about our experience.

We were there from Friday AM through Sunday PM. Saturday morning and early afternoon was spent at the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health, but other than that, we just got to explore a little that Cali had to offer.

My NEXT post will have photos and thoughts from the Nutrilite presentation, so check back for that. THIS post will be everything else from the weekend.

First things first: what NEEDS to happen before a trip to California?? You need to shave:

No, no, no... I mean REALLY SHAVE:

I’m not THAT hairy, but I DID need a touch-up

Leaving LAX just before noon

My attempt at photographing the Hollywood sign

Riding down THEE 405

Our SWEET hotel room

Our SWEET bathroom

Pharmie pointing to expensive nuts that I was NOT allowed to touch

Our rooftop pool (you can see the Queen Mary to the middle/right in the distance)

Our hotel from the side (pool area at the top left)

We got settled and looked for a place to grab a bite. Our hotel was on the edge of a complex known as “The Pike” which had all kinds of places to eat.

While eating, we got the most hilarious undecipherable text message from Pharmie’s Mom. What does this mean?

Maybe my mother-in-law was texting as she was having a seizure...

It was time to hit the beach:

My left nipple and I saying “hi” from Cali!

Lines in the sand from the waves

Putting my sandy feet back in my shoes

Pharmie and a palm tree

Pharmie and a pirate

Pharmie’s new favorite place in the world: a big taffy store!
(We had to stop back there again on Sunday!)

Walking the boardwalk

Pharmie and I were going to meet blogger-buddy Chic Runner for supper at the Yard House. We ate and chatted about training, racing, and (of course) blogging. Here’s a shot of the 3 of us after our meal:

It was great to meet you, Danica!

Ferris wheel at the Pike

Riding the Ferris wheel at night

So, the next morning (Saturday), we got up early to go tour the Nutrilite facilities, hear about their products, and hear from some guest speakers. All of that info will come in my next post, so for now, I’ll jump to the group run that we did back at the hotel after the tours. Here’s Pharmie cramming our room key-card in her little pocket in her running shorts:

Lucky key-card... ;)

Running around the harbor

Bob and Lindsay

Joel and Pharmie

Bob, Lindsay, Joel, and Pharmie

Turned around, and running back

We dropped off the other runners, and Pharmie and I continued on for a while on our own. We wanted to find our way over the channel to the Queen Mary.

Heading out to the lighthouse through the palm trees

As the sun was setting, we made our way over to the Scorpion Submarine and the Queen Mary

A submarine guy and me

Pharmie and the Queen Mary

Running back over the channel (Ferris wheel to the left, lighthouse to the right)

Queen Mary as it’s getting dark

So we logged about 8 miles as the sun was setting, and then we got back to our hotel room to shower. We met the other bloggers and Nutrilite folks, and we headed out for Sushi:

This was really good!

On the way back from the restaurant, Pharmie and I talked a lot with Jenn Stuczynski, the top pole vaulter in the USA (and the only US woman to clear 16 feet!). The intricacies of being a sponsored athlete are CRAZY!! She shared all kinds of stories: How meet organizers will set a height and say “if you break this height, I’ll give you $25,000. How her first time on the podium she wore the wrong shoes and immediately had to meet with her sponsors and meet organizers to work things out (and couldn’t enjoy her victory). How she trains in a Quonset hut with propane heaters, and because of the low ceiling in the hut, she now holds her pole low. How her longest runs are about 120 meters, and about two-thirds of her runs are done with her pole in her hands. It was SOO interesting! Here’s a photo of Pharmie, Jenn, and I back at our hotel after Sushi and Coldstone Ice Cream:

It was great talking with you, Jenn!

Sunday morning, we got up and walked to church. On the way, we spotted something funny. In the past, you’ve seen what my evil foam roller looks like. Well, we spotted a foam roller through the window of some sort of fitness club, and someone had drawn a smiley face on it:

The church was COVERED in mosic tile, and they had a painting of the Virgin Mary that they were adoring:

That’s not paintings on the walls - that’s all tile-work!

We checked out of our hotel room, and we still had 5 hours to kill. So we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific, which was just 2 blocks away.

Pharmie and Sea Lions

An adorable Harbor Seal who kept checking us out

Petting a 5 foot wide ray (just before dropping my camera bag in the pool)

Pharmie with some Lorikeet birds

Us with the Lorikeets

Petting a Lorikeet. It kept wanting to be pet harder.

Pharmie with an octopus

Me with a shark hat. I should have bought this. This a good look for me, right?

Tank full of “Nemos”

The Puffins were hilarious. Except for the one at the upper right who kept sharpening his beak on the rocks to get ready for his escape. Really.

Me with Jellies

We grabbed one last quick bite at a little Mexican restaurant, grabbed our bags back at the hotel, hopped in a sweet town car, and headed to the airport. On the way, I tried to get a better shot of the Hollywood sign, but I failed again:

Our flight was a little late (LAX seemed a little discombobulated), so we landed back in MSP around 12:30 am early on Monday morning (about 40 minutes late). We grabbed a cab, got home, showed our 2 cats some attention, and got to bed by about 1:30 am. We were both back to work that very same day. What a trip!! Thanks Nutrilite!

I’ll be back shortly with a post about my individual health assessment along with other things we learned at the Nutrilite facilities.


Ironman By Thirty 10:45 AM, November 17, 2009  

You should have bought the shark hat. Not only is a good luck, but it would have been great for your next tri! Wear that and you won't need to worry about other swimmers in the way!

Greenking17 "TRI-harder" 10:46 AM, November 17, 2009  

Looks like a great trip! 2 questions to ponder:

1) Are there cheaper 'nuts' that Pharmie is allowed to touch?

2) Is runner Chic (Danica) single?

Amy - the gazelle 10:46 AM, November 17, 2009  

I was really okay with the whole photo spread until you got to the sushi. I love sushi. In LA. And then, you mentioned Mexican food. And now, I may need to plan a trip there myself!

I'm glad you had a good time & aren't one of the tourists who gets irretrievably lost in LAX. I've heard stories!

Jeff 10:51 AM, November 17, 2009  

a GREAT pictorial! nicely done, keep them coming... i'm getting vacation ideas already. :)

Maria 10:52 AM, November 17, 2009  

it was a great idea to take advantage of that trip! what an awesome experience...wish I could travel to Cali for the weekend!!

Trishie 12:01 PM, November 17, 2009  

Shark hat = AWESOME!!
we went to la for a wedding once, and drove around for hours trying to get a photo of that damn hollywood sign. you and pharmie make an adorable couple :)

Danica 12:22 PM, November 17, 2009  

YAY for meeting up! I love all the stuff you did out here, you basically saw everything that the LBC had to offer, minus the guns, gangs and sketchy homeless people. Great run too! Glad you guys had a blast and I LOVE the aquarium! :)

TriGirl Kate O 1:08 PM, November 17, 2009  

You really should've bought the shark hat--just a little something you could wear during the swim portion of your next tri!

Amy 1:45 PM, November 17, 2009  

LOL w/ the key card. Looked like a fun and productive trip! Crazy about that pole vaulter.

Carolina John 3:13 PM, November 17, 2009  

so glad you guys had fun and got a good run in. That's a short trip (time) for such a long distance for you.

jen 6:21 PM, November 17, 2009  

Great photos! Sounds like a nice trip, however short!

I am heading to Southern California for thanksgiving and cannot wait to feel that warm salty air! :)

Charisa 7:04 PM, November 17, 2009  

Saltwater Taffy rocks!! Looks like you had a blast - I'm so glad :)

Kevin 7:49 PM, November 17, 2009  

Awesome photos. That is great that they hooked you up like that

Jumper 2.0 8:20 PM, November 17, 2009  

That is so awesome for you two. Anytime I'm back to the shore (east coast in my case), I always have to get the salt water taffy!

LHE 11:13 PM, November 17, 2009  

WOW! #1, I have not visited your blog in a while and I love the new format!!!! #2, thank you for the trip down memory lane. I grew up in Palos Verdes; above Long Beach, moved away and later went back to San Pedro; next to Long Beach and put many many many bike miles on that gorgeous beach path! I haven't been in LA since 2000 so this was a real treat! #3, your photos are excellent!!!!

Shannon 7:40 AM, November 18, 2009  

"pointing to expensive nuts"

Sooooooo, did you eat em?

Awesome photos!

CoachLiz 8:40 AM, November 18, 2009  

Too funny, I have been taking Double X multi viatamin for close to 17 years and they have never contacted me to see the facilities.

Looks like you had a great time!

BaddApple 1:18 PM, November 18, 2009  

Living the life through blogging. Who would have guest right? Nice perk.

collegegirl 1:38 PM, November 18, 2009  

whata great photographs, voww..
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Jennette Fulda 7:20 PM, November 18, 2009  

Wow! That's a great photo post, though I'm tired just thinking about how much work it must have been to put that all together. It was nice meeting you guys last weekend!

Irish Cream 7:34 PM, November 18, 2009  

OMG, what a fun weekend! That sounds like such a cool opportunity! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of the photos! Can't wait to see what you learned at the presentation!

gene 9:22 PM, November 18, 2009  

ok. great post, great pics! did you know that the hotel's pool (roof top) was featured in a recent episode of NCIS LA???!!! (probably not, since you are waaay more active than me...) but anyway, very cool. looks like a GREAT time!

sRod 11:33 AM, November 20, 2009  

What a great trip!!

Taffy and cooked/fried sushi were much bigger in Cali than I expected--and both are soooooo good.

Also, that hotel room is sick!

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