This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).
Today’s travel notes
Me and the TC are in Long Beach, California. The TC is attending a conference on technical communication. I’ve come along for the ride.
So far we’ve seen the beach, which is long, and some gracious old buildings, which complement the new entertainment complexes, and lots of friendly people.
The TC had a strange encounter on our second day here. As so often happens, she found herself wandering around in places where she’s not supposed to be. At the moment, and perhaps perpetually, the footpaths in Long Beach are in disarray due to some major road reconstruction. The TC went wandering down the causeway, dodging barricades and warning signs, in search of a more interesting route to the shops. She strolled past the only other soul in this bleak area, then did a double take when she noticed that the other woman was weeping. Quite forgetting that she was in California, she turned back and asked the passer by, “Are you OK?” This question elicited a long tale of woe, revolving around the fact that the other poor soul’s “number is 8″ and that the number 8 had not been on a good footing since the 8th of August 1968. The TC, bless her cotton socks, took it all in her stride, commiserated and assured the woman that the wheel of fortune will keep turning and will come back round to her in good time. Then they parted ways, each to continue meandering more or less contentedly on their life’s journey.
I myself stayed wisely silent in the safety of my book.
My impressions? Long Beach is smaller and more drab than this worm expected. Still, it has that great open feeling that I’ve noticed in other parts of California.
Don’t speak to strangers unless you’re ready for them to talk right back at you.
Hyatt Regency, 200 South Pine Avenue in Long Beach. This is the conference venue. It’s plush and convenient, with friendly and efficient service. Photo below.
The book I’m in
Portent, by James Herbert. It’s an unsettling coincidence that the TC chose to start reading this book just before the awful series of earthquakes and tsunamis that have hit Japan, and so soon after the earthquakes in New Zealand and the disasters in other parts of the world. Portent is a somewhat mystical book, weaving natural disasters into an extended Gaia philosophy built upon James Lovelock’s ideas. This worm recommends the book for a good fast read in James Herbert’s best style.
Me at Long Beach:
A building that graces one end of the beach:
Another gracious building, in Pine Street:
Below is the Hyatt Regency on Pine Street. The waterway around the hotel is part of the Rainbow Lagoon Park:
More of the Rainbow Lagoon Park, round behind the hotel. In a fast action scene in the film “Last Action Hero”, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, this park masqueraded as the La Brea Tar Pits:
Most days, Arnie is not around and the park is home to a quieter, more contemplative crowd:
Here’s a view from the hotel window showing Shoreline Village, a tourist’s delight of food, sweets, T-shirts and lovely water scenes:
Moving slightly to the left of the above view, you can see the rest of Shoreline Village, as well as the Queen Mary which is now a hotel and tourist ship, and another ship at dock:
The TC and I trickled down to Shoreline Village to soak up the sights:
Me looking back at Long Beach proper, from the boardwalk at Shoreline Village. Or, I should say, from just off the boardwalk. As you can see, the TC does not hesitate to dump me in the dirt if it serves to make a better snapshot:
A blog post about California would not be complete without a sunset, preferably with some palm trees tangled up in it:
That’s all for today dudes.