Monday, June 28, 2010

The LA/OC Beach Blvd. Urban Hike - 6/27

At the Ocean
Touching the ocean at the finish point

This month, the Urban Hike goes long... really long! Almost 23 miles covering L.A. & O.C. as I tackle the entire length of Beach Blvd. from La Habra to Huntington Beach, and visiting La Mirada, Buena Park, Anaheim, Stanton, Garden Grove and Westminster along the way.

Stanton Park
Unlike previous hikes which tackled more visually-appealing parts of town, the Beach Blvd. one has quite a few long stretches of nada. Nonetheless, I had a pretty fun time -- thanks a pretty bumping hiking playlist (of GreeeeN, Funky Monkey Babys and Lisa Loeb.)

Some of my more interesting discoveries during the hike:

- Buena Park is O.C.'s Koreatown, spotted numerous restaurants, shops and oddly enough, a sushi academy (huh?) . . . plus a Pub that opens at 7 a.m. -- guess it's never too early to get your drink on!

- Knott's Berry Farm's free-to-public Independence Hall, a replica of the building where the declaration is signed. And also a lot of free-roaming chickens and ducks!

- The Old World German Village in Huntington Beach, a very cute mini-mall of assorted shops, bakeries and of course, pub & restaurant - where I enjoyed a few refreshing drinks and some pastries while watching football fans go World Cup crazy.

- Coming upon Adventure City in Anaheim, which basically looks like a traveling carnival... but permanent, along with a sprinkling of ghost towny hobby shops and a miniature replica of the White House.

- The Sea Breeze pet cemetery that's unusually full of flowers, even moreso than an actual cemetery... I was wondering whether there was a Pet Memorial Day of some sort recently but upon closer inspection, Caroline on Crack and I discovered most of the flowers were fake.

- The traffic lights in O.C. (or at least those along Beach Blvd.) take a loooong time to change, even when there are no cars on the green.

- DDR X! Finally had a chance to play the latest version at Huntington Beach's Century 20 cinema in Bella Terra. Wicked cool.

- Sun protection -- which I woefully neglected and regretted once the day got really sunny, thankfully I tend to tan versus burn, but I'm sure the two shades darker by the end of the day isn't doing my skin any favors in the long run.

Of course, I had my fair share of eating & drinking revelations too, will post on that soon on my other blog. But here's a preview shot of the tasty & healthy Som Tam (spicy papaya salad) I had at Thai Nakorn in Stanton.
Som Tam
More photos from flickr set here.

P.S. For the July Urban Hike on Sunday the 25, I'll be tackling the length of Colorado Blvd./St. from Glendale to Arcadia -- a considerably shorter 14 miles, and one that should include some more scenic attractions such as the Arboretum, Old Town Pasadena and main drag of Eagle Rock. Here's the route and hope you can join:

View Larger Map

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Urban Hike this Sunday - LA/OC edition

Almost sunset @ Pier
Hitting the beach in time for sunset in my February Urban Hike

Keeping with my (almost) monthly urban hike ritual, this Sunday I'm tackling the Orange Curtain and walking down the entire length of Beach Blvd. from La Habra to Huntington Beach.

Here's the route:

View Larger Map
Plan on starting at 7 a.m. and hope to make it to the beach before sunset (and even better yet, get to Don the Beachcomber to sneak in a drink before their happy hour ends at 7 p.m.) And here are some of the other interesting eats I've plotted along the way.

As always, feel free to join for all or part of the hike! I'll be livetweeting @LAOCFoodie along the way so feel free to catch up for even a portion of the hike.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Laguna Hills Half-Marathon

It's been a while since I signed up for a running event (Nike's Human Race in October 2009 was my last one) but the Laguna Hills 1/2 Marathon is quickly becoming a tradition for me. It's my third year participating in this event, and for good reason, great route (a mix of road and trails) with good scenery and generally mild weather.

As for my performance, I ran an 11 minute per mile pace (primarily because I ran-walk the last three miles) which I feel ambivalent about. The pace is better than expected considering my short training period this time around... but definitely nowhere near my P.R. for this race (when I paced 8' 31" in 2008) so definitely gonna train a little better and try a little harder next time around. And get some more ZZZs in the night before too (unexpectedly woke up in middle of night and opted to stay awake, another running boo boo.)