|We took turns driving eight hours each while the other slept in the back, and we drove straight through. We only stopped for |
gas and once for dinner at a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
|We arrived and met up with Eric's mother and youngest brother. Dan was feeling weak when we first got there, so we would |
only visit briefly, then spend time checking out the area, including "The Strand" at Hermosa Beach.
|By the end of the trip we had eaten and enjoyed Happy Hour at most restaurants by the pier in Hermosa Beach.|
|The view from the rooftop deck of Dan and Stephanie's house. There was construction going on next door, which was quite |
annoying to everyone. Thankfully, they stopped several days before Dan's passing.
|We often borrowed Dan and Stephanie's bikes and rode The Strand to the different communities along the beach. This is a |
car park for the wealthy in Venice Beach.
|This RV was right outside the private parking lot - much more our speed.|
|The Strand at Manhattan Beach.|
|We went to many of Dan's favorite spots in his honor. Here we are having happy hour wine and fishbowls at Hermosa Beach |
Yacht Club. Don't let the name fool you - it's a total dive bar.
|Several of Dan's friends from his hometown of Haubstadt, Indiana came out for one last visit.|
|We did lots of exploring, eating and drinking with them.|
|Dan worked hard to regain some strength for his friends' visit, and he was in really good spirits.|
|Dan and Stephanie's L.A. friends also came over for some quality time with Dan.|
|Cheers to Dan! You'll notice a lot of people drinking Miller Lite because that was Dan's favorite drink. Brother Dan passed |
just a week after this last big get-together.
|Almost every day we walked or rode bikes along The Strand.|
|One weekend we encountered the AVP Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament.|
|It was a huge event that had taken over the area by the Manhattan Beach Pier.|
|The tents to the right of the tournament area housed companies giving away all kinds of samples of their new products |
(mostly food and drinks). We took advantage of that and collected all kinds of goodies.
|Views of Manhattan Beach from the pier...|
|At the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier is the Roundhouse Aquarium, which was cool to check out.|
|Back at Hermosa Beach - we had seen the guy and his pack of dogs traveling by skateboard before. You see all kinds of |
funny things here.
|Hermosa Beach was having a summer concert series while we were here, so we did check out a couple of concerts.|
|The Jacks were good. Can't remember the other bands we saw. We tried to have some fun, but our minds were often |
otherwise occupied, you know.
|The Strand in the Redondo Beach area.|
|We went to several gatherings with friends in Redondo Beach. Here we are walking up to the Redondo Beach Pier area with |
friends on a very busy beach day.
|Our first visit was at Cara's sister and brother-in-law's place in the beautiful Oregon countryside.|
|It was quiet and peaceful - the polar opposite of L.A., and a welcome change.|
|We got to celebrate with niece Gabby, who was soon leaving to start teaching English as a|
second language in Lyon, France.
|Wonder of wonders - we also enjoyed a brief visit from Emma, our friend from Belize who owns a motorcycle rental |
business there, but who happened to be in the area for a motorcycle touring vacation.
|We then spent a few nights in Portland, a city we love.|
|We always liked checking out the Portland Saturday Market.|
|A beautiful mural along NE Alberta Street, near where we stayed our first summer there.|
|We were also lucky enough to spend some time with cousin Savanna who lives near Portland.|
|Time to head back south.|
|We did stay one night in Redding, California. The next morning, before leaving town, we checked out the Sundial Bridge.|
|It seemed cool. There was also a nice park and gardens around there, but we needed to get back|
on the road. Maybe another time.
|On the road back to L.A.|
|Of course, there was a lot more happy hour eating and drinking with Stephanie and friends.|
|Dan's L.A. Celebration of Life was at his favorite local bar, The Underground Pub & Grill. It was a wonderful event, and |
more than 80 local friends and family showed up.
|Don't worry, the kids aren't drinking the beer - they're just having their picture taken with a Miller Lite bottle in Dan's honor. |
Dan was their uncle and they both loved him a lot.