Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Whalewatching, trendspotting

We finished the Fire conference today, with a talk about what the Mars rover has and hasn't found (evidence of water, actual life), proposals for the kind of executive orders it would take for the west to scale up alternative energy and voting the company using human growth factor to induce neuroplasticity in stroke victims the winner of the conference funding. Then we pootled up the coast to the whale observation point at Vicente. They hadn't seen any whales today and we didn't see any spouts there but the count for this grey whale migration cycle so far is 800 something and we saw at least two pairs of dolphins - not leaping but curvetting out of the water one after the other for the slipstream. It was nice and sunny and we gazed out to see and finished off the berkshire pork chop and mac-n-cheese I couldn't finish at dinner and saw of the boldest, yellowest squirrel we've met in a while. We pootled further up the coast, enjoying the flowers in the verges - nasturtium and bougeanvillia and morning glory and pelargonium and around Marina del Rey (which is like nothing else in LA) great bushes of yellow and yellow and yellow and white daisies alternating - stopping for strawberry and red velvet icecream at a shop in one of the beach towns that promised handmade daily and driving in circles to see the Venice canals. The houses are so adorable; I'd love to rent one for the summer some time...

We found our travelodge, with the friendliest, chattiest reception staff ever, napped for five minutes and promptly got stuck in the awful LA friday traffic that I vow every time we'll avoid. Highlight of the journey: passing an establishment called Psychic Reader and Advisor, which I naturally translated as Psychic Which!

Eventually we made it back to Palos Verdes for drinks with friends and gazing out to sea - and the whales turned up. We think grey rather than blue and at least one of them had a calf in tow judging by the much smaller spout. Always wonderful to see, though we only glimpsed the whales. Then back to Santa Monica and we're having tuna melt, patty melt and chocolate malt in the good old Broadway Deli. Tomorrow up the coast to Atascadero and Paso Robles...

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