Mr Bell In California: A Day Off In Long Beach

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Flying into Los Angeles always excites me, don’t ask me why, maybe it’s because I’ve seen so much of it in the movies, I don’t really know but what I do know is I love visiting here.

I was staying in the city of Long Beach. Now I’ve been here many times before and done quite a lot of the touristy things like the Queen Mary so this time I decided I just wanted to wander around with my camera and see what I could find.

The clock by the bed said 4 am and I was wide awake, well it was midday at home in the UK. I put some coffee on, showered and waited until the sun just started to come up.

The day was just starting to break when I left the hotel. The Long Beach Performing Arts Center was all lit up with Christmas lights, very pretty.

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As I walked down to the waterfront the sky had a beautiful orange glow to it from the rising sun, the beach and the mountains looked amazing.

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The boardwalk was starting to fill up with early morning joggers, cyclists and dog walkers. I continued walking passing the marina with its yachts bobbing around in the calm water.

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On the other side of the bay the Queen Mary sat bathed in sunshine and looked like she could’ve just docked from a luxury cruise, imagine what that must have been like back in the day.

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Eventually I arrived at the Shoreline Village, a colourful and quirky shopping and entertainment complex set on the waterfront around another marina. As it was so early nothing was open but it was nice and quiet and I got some good photo’s.

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A little further around and I came to Pine Avenue Pier, another area with restaurants and bars and where you can also take boat trips to Catalina Island or whale watching.

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Leaving the waterfront area I crossed the road and started to make my way back up to my hotel, I was hungry and a buffet breakfast was just what I fancied after my walk. As I walked up I passed by the Pike Outlets – more about those later – with its distinctive fairground theme.

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The last part of my morning walk took me up past the Long Beach Convention Center and finally back to my hotel.

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It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and it was pleasantly warm so after a long leisurely breakfast I headed back out, this time into the downtown part of Long Beach.

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I have to be honest the area isn’t the best and there are a lot of weird people hanging around but there is some fantastic architecture here.

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There was no plan and so I just walked around taking pictures of anything I thought was interesting.

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I particularly liked some of the art deco styles and even though some of them were a bit run down they still had a certain charm about them.

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One of my favourites was the old 50’s style motel, I loved the signage and the look.

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The downtown area isn’t that big and after a couple of hours I was back at the hotel where I bumped into a friend of mine. She was going off shopping to the Pike Outlets so I decided to tag along.

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I was surprised to find quite a few decent shops down there including a Nike, GAP, H&M and Forever 21 outlets as well as some other smaller stores. I managed to pick up a few (un) necessary purchases and even some last minute Christmas shopping.

After several hours in the shops it was decided that it was time for a well deserved rest so we headed down to the waterfront to the Shoreline Village where we stopped at Parker’s Lighthouse, a great little restaurant with an outside deck and views over to the Queen Mary. A bottle of wine was ordered and several hours of eating, drinking and gossiping then took place outside in the beautiful sunshine. It was the perfect way to end a great day.



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