Friday, April 26, 2019

RonnieAdventure #0357 - Huntington Beach, California

The area now known as Huntington Beach (California) was originally occupied by the Tongva people and then became part of Rancho Los Nietos, a 300,000 acre Spanish land grant. Beach Boulevard, the main thoroughfare through Hunting Beach, was the main cattle trail through Rancho Los Nietos.

In 1790, the land was acquired by Mission San Gabriel. Over the years, the community around the mission was known as Shell Beach, Smeltzer, Fairview, Pacific City, then Huntington Beach after railroad magnate Henry Huntington. The marshland where Golden West College is now located was known as "Gospel Swamp" because of the many revival meetings held at the site.

Huntington Beach is a surfer's paradise with sandy beaches, mild climate, and consistent surf. The "ocean waves are enhanced by a natural effect caused by the edge-diffraction of open swells around Santa Catalina Island. Swells generated predominantly from the North Pacific in winter and from a combination of Southern Hemisphere storms and hurricanes in the summer focus on Huntington Beach creating consistent surf all year long;" thus, the nickname and registered trademark for Huntington Beach is "Surf City USA."

The International Surfing Museum is located in Huntington Beach and was "created to honor those individuals who have contributed to surfing and it's culture and are deserving of recognition, but might not qualify to receive a stone on the [Surfing] Walk of Fame." The museum is dedicated to Duke Kahanamoku, the Hawaiian who popularized the sport of surfing.

Within the museum are historic surfboards, information about legendary surfers, art work, and visitors can watch a variety of surfing films while listing to surf music. Although I tried surfing a few times, I didn't find my name in the museum. I think it is because when I tried surfing they gave me a "tourist board," which is long, wide, and heavy. I about dislocated my shoulders just trying paddle out past the point where the surf breaks. However, I did manage to stand up on the board; but I had a little problem with the turns. I think I would have been better off with a smaller board.

In the parking lot outside of the International Surfing Museum building is the "World's Largest Surfboard," measuring over 42 feet long and 11 feet wide. On June 20, 2015, 66 people set a Guinness World Record when they demonstrated the surfboard worked by catching a wave and all 66 people rode the surfboard at the same time. The board is kept in "surf ready condition" just in case their record is challenged.

Located at the northeast corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway is the Surfing Walk of Fame, which consists of inlaid stones recognizing individuals that won championships and/or significantly contributed to the sport of surfing.

Located directly across the street from the Surfing Walk of Fame is the Surfers' Hall of Fame, which recognizes 2 or 3 new people each year. Nominations are taken from the surfers at large, but the final selection is made by a committee.

Construction started on the Huntington Pier in 1902 and since that date the Pier has been extended and rebuilt a number of times. At 1,850 feet long, it is now the second longest public pier in California.

The Pier is a great place to stand and in order to watch surfers demonstrate their skills.

Located at the end of the Pier is Ruby's Diner that has a '50s atmosphere with a Hawaiian themed dining area on the second floor. Great place to watch the sunset while eating a hamburger/fries and listing to surfer music by the Beach Boys.

Also located along the pier are various shops that sell tourist souvenirs, fishing equipment/bait, and kites.

On Tuesday evenings there is a Farmers Market on Main Street that has very little farm produce and mostly art works, crafts, and tourist trinkets.

As the sun dropped beyond the horizon, the sunset was beautiful; but I wondered why I forgot to bring a jacket!


Quilting Creations by Linda

Friday, April 19, 2019

RonnieAdventure #0356 - Seal Beach & Long Beach, California 2019

I wasn't invited to the "Girl's Annual Disneyland Weekend," so Kolohe sent me some pictures. Carter also wasn't invited; but his high school class was performing at Disneyland one of the same days, so he crashed the party long enough to have his picture taken with two cute young women. 

Located on the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach is the U.S. Submarine Veterans W.W. II National Memorial West. The Memorial honors those that served on submarines during WW II and did not return from their final mission. There are 52 plaques representing the 52 submarines lost during the war and the names of submariners who never returned are listed on their submarine's plaque. Of the over 12,000 sailors that served on submarines during the war, 25% of sailors did not return. Although human losses were high, submarines accounted for less than 2% of the Navel Resources and submarines destroyed over 55% of all Japanese shipping during WW II.    

Located outside of the Seal Beach Library is the Red Car Museum that is housed inside of a rare 1925 Pacific Electric Tower Car. Tower cars were equipped with a large center boom and were used for maintenance along the rail lines. In the 1920s, Pacific Electric Railway Company was the largest electric railway system in the world, connecting cities in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. 

There is a small building adjacent to the Red Car Museum, but there was no explanation sign explaining the building's significance. Since the Museum and building are located on the library grounds, I went into the library and inquired about the building. Much to my surprise, no one in the library had any idea what the building represented. The librarians attempted to look up the building on the web, but no success! Anyway, the picture is included in case someone knows what the building represents.

I know that Ferris Bueller lived in Chicago, but his house is located in Long Beach! Since the house is a private residence not belonging to the Bueller Family, we did not knock on the door to see if Ferris was home. However, I did see a sign on a water tower that said "Ferris Rules."

Also located in Long Beach is the "World's Skinniest House." We are not sure who decided it was the "World's Skinniest House," but records indicate the house was built in the 1930s on a 10-foot wide lot!

This April was the 45 running of the Long Beach Grand Prix in Indy-Type race cars. Since "Thunder Thursday" events were free, how could I not attend. The race is held on the downtown streets, centered around The Pike, which is where the free events were held. 

The first event was a Pit Stop Challenge with several teams competing to see who could change four tires in the fastest time. I arrived late, so only saw the last team compete. Their time was a little over six seconds! 

Following the Pit Stop Challenge, there was a demonstration by professional motorcycle riders. Unfortunately, there was such a large crowd it was difficult to get close enough to take pictures.

The final event consisted of four X-Games riders that performed some amazing stunts on motorcycles. They warned everyone not to try this at home!

Maybe some day I'll go back and pay the entrance fee to see the car races.