This Is A Life

That was a nice weekend. After a scare about Cassie’s car (a drunk driving an SUV and swigging from a bottle of Jim Beam knocked the mirror off, then parked down the road. She had to get it fixed before driving anywhere.) she drove down with Gordon late on Friday. Saturday morning we leapt up, packed the beach bags and drove to OB, planning to grab a free parking spot while they were still available. Once parked, we went to a dog-friendly outdoor cafe for breakfast while the marine layer cloud cleared.

Then a nice stroll past the beachfront property. This varies wildly between rundown shacks with quite a lot of charm (shells hanging from the porch), characterless beige hotel-style condos (STUCCO), and over-designed under-thought-through expensive prestige pads.

We got to the beach and walked over the soft sand to the calm waters near the jetty. We wanted to get Gordon in the water to see if he remembered his lesson from last time, and we didn’t want waves to freak him out. That would come later.

We set up camp (i.e. put the bag down on the sand) then got ready for the water. I picked Gordon up and waded into the (a bit cold) water. Straightaway Gordon started swimming in the air, which was very funny. I lowered him in, and he struck out for shore. After that he seemed happy to follow us into the water, chase and retrieve tennis balls (but not bring them back) and swim around. Very cue indeed, with his look of intense concentration as he paddles. Shuggie never liked the English sea, when he got near it. I wonder how he would cope with warmer water. Gordon got very sandy of course, so we took him for a dog bath before heading home for a nap.

In the evening we chose a nice restaurant from the trusty Zagats. Rainwater’s is downtown, close to the bay and the railway station. It was an excellent dinner, starting with cocktails*, and ending with a dessert of rich cheescake and “chocolate lasagne” which was amazing, even though it bore a remarkable resemblance to a Vienetta. I was sad to see they didn’t have Arctic Roll.

* I’ve never been a big cocktail fan, living in the UK with not much money. In the US, cocktails, and the necessary skilled bar staff, are much more prevalent. After some research, my cocktail of choice is a Vodka Gimlet, as recommended by Cassie’s, and now my, friend Alex, the bartender at the Edendale in LA. A quick check of the recipe for a Gimlet tells me there is a certain snobbery surrounding the recipe, with people saying that a “real” Gimlet only contains gin and lime juice, not vodka. Well then, call me a faker, because I like it with vodka. Also, naff off. OK, I can’t call it a Gimlet. I hereby name this cocktail a, “Pedantic Cocktail Snob”.

Sunday was a bit more relaxed, but not much. We went for breakfast, then to stock up on beach equipment at Target (pron. tar-ZHAY). I resisted buying a wheeled cooler with room for 8 slabs of Bud. If they had a motorised one, it would have been even harder to resist.

After Cassie left, taking a very fluffy Gordon with her, I didn’t feel like unpacking the last few boxes of stuff. They make such good footrests while watching TV and snoozing.