I had the opportunity to visit my parents July of 2017. During that trip, we ventured from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier back to Venice Beach by way of bicycle. While I did enjoy the trip, it was physically demanding.
December 2018: A Different Plan
When I requested a visit to the beach during my Christmas trip, my parents and I purposefully approached it differently. Instead of riding bicycles, we would walk. Instead of starting at Venice Beach, we would start at Santa Monica Pier. And instead of waiting to find food, we would begin with lunch.
I have a limited amount of energy. We wanted to be mindful of that.
True Food Kitchen
When my mom saw the True Food Kitchen sign, she requested that my dad drop her and I off at the front door while he would hunt for parking. I fully supported this decision, I love True Food Kitchen. Additionally, simple things like dropping me off at the front door of a restaurant allow me to conserve more energy for fun things like walking along the beach.
I asked my mom what she was going to order. After hearing that she was undecided, I volunteered to split a Moroccan Chicken with her. It is one of my favorite dishes on their menu, but the serving size is huge! It could easily leave us both satiated.
We were not disappointed. It still remains one of my favorite items on the entire menu. We finished up lunch and were ready to explore the pier.
Santa Monica Pier
Although I had been on Santa Monica Pier before, it was after riding a bike and navigating huge crowds. My memories of it are fuzzy due to a combination of brain fog and sensory overload. But this trip was different. My parents were actually surprised at how not crowded it was the day after Christmas.
I love the sound of the ocean. I love being out over the water. Now, I don’t necessarily love swimming (unless I am snorkeling in open water in the Caribbean), but I could be out by the ocean all day every day.
A Leisurely Stroll
I wanted to revisit Venice Beach, which is located about two miles south of Santa Monica Beach. My parents were concerned with the distance and how well I was feeling, but I wanted to at least attempt it. Several key details of this trip were different than last time. I had already eaten, it was less crowded, and we were on a leisurely stroll instead of adventuring on the high traffic bike path.
Also, we were on the absolutely critical quest for ice cream. Although there is an ice cream place located on Santa Monica Pier, I wanted something different. We started heading towards one of my dad’s favorite frozen yogurt spots only to discover that it had closed. Then we saw the Pink Elephant! Our journey was a success!
The Re-evaluation and New Game Plan
While sitting down and enjoying our ice cream, my parents and I discussed plans for the rest of the afternoon. None of us desired to push me too far as I was just a few days out of the emergency room. But there is a difficulty in determining what “too far” actually means.
We had a couple different options:
- All three of us rent electric scooters and ride back to the car.
- We find an Uber or a Lyft and get someone else to drive us back to the car.
- My mom and I continue walking to Venice Pier, while my dad rents an electric scooter to pick up the car. He picks us up at Venice Pier.
A Jump Scooter
Neither my mom nor I had any desire to battle electric scooter rentals. We opted for the final suggestion. My dad would navigate back to the car and then drive to pick us up as we continued the quarter of a mile stroll to Venice Beach. We continued our walking while leaving him to decided which scooter to take.
He decided to try Jump because he already had the Uber app installed. He said that his first scooter was awful, but it was not difficult for him to switch to a faster one.
His retrieval of the car allowed my mom and I more time to enjoy the street art vendors and the smaller Venice Pier. And the timing worked out perfectly. We made it to the pick up spot just as he was turning the corner. We were not rushed, and we avoided large crowds. Although I did love the biking adventure from July 2017, I loved this calmer beach exploration as well.
A Clearly Alive life doesn’t need to be jammed pack with crazy adventures. The leisurely strolls, the purposeful actions to conserve energy, the acceptance of help from others be it letting them go fetch the car or them dropping you off at the door – these actions do not make you any less Clearly Alive.
They enable you to remain Clearly Alive.
May we all remain Clearly Alive.