Christmas Day on Venice Beach

Is it odd timing to write about Christmas on New Year’s Day? Perhaps, but that’s what I am doing. As I wrote a week ago, our family spent the week in Los Angeles, in a cottage near Venice Beach.

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We had a breakfast on Christmas morning of bacon and eggs and homemade biscuits. No presents, as the trip itself was the present. After a relaxed interval of digesting, reading, and gabbing, we walked to Venice Beach.

The boardwalk was much quieter than the time we visited a year ago. That 2015 walk had been on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day. More than that, though, the boardwalk seemed like it had been cleaned up some. Less exuberantly tacky, a bit more upscale. It seemed like there were fewer storefront “medical marijuana” shops, and those still around were more discreet.

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We walked across the mostly empty sand toward the water.

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In the distance you can see the skyline of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica mountains.

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Everyone took their shoes and socks off except for me. The water was too cold for swimming, but not too cold for standing in the surf, as Judy’s feet demonstrate in this photo.

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Sanderlings are the best comedians on the beach. These little shorebirds go racing after the water as it ebbs, feeding on tiny invertebrates in the surf. When the waves return the sanderlings skitter away in retreat, their tiny legs a blur.

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There were also somewhat larger shorebirds, a bit more dignified. I tried to ID them but couldn’t be sure. I’d like to think these are a kind of sandpiper called Wandering Tattler – what a great name. But they could be Willets, which sounds much more boring.

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After our long walk on the beach it was time to head back to the cottage. There we would engage in more reading, gabbing, and snoozing – then finally rouse ourselves to make Christmas dinner.

A happy New Year to you – let’s all hope for better things from 2017.

23 Comments on “Christmas Day on Venice Beach

  1. Oh well that’s a first for me – I’ve never seen Sanderlings, or seen them run in and out of the waves. After reading your post I watched a couple of youtube videos of them. So funny!
    And how lovely to have good weather at Christmas instead of cold, cold, cold.
    Have a happy new year.

  2. This sounds so restorative. I’m a CA native and I’m starting to get itchy to go back for a vacation. A day at the beach sounds wonderful!!

  3. Your beach day sounds lovely. I stayed along that coast many years ago and had forgotten about the bird life, those sanderlings are so comic to watch. Happy new year

  4. Wonderful post! I shared those same experiences for five years when that beach saved us from the urban intensity of West LA in the late 1970s. Water’s edge, sunsets, sunrises, birds…all the best in 2017! Thank you.

  5. Happy new year! (I thought Rosh Hashanah was in September.) These warm pictures are just the thing on this day when arctic air is blasting it’s way through our region. Thanks.

  6. Your choice of holiday gifts for the family was outstanding and nice of you to share some of it with us. Happy New Year!

  7. Sounds like too much fun. Sanderling are about my favorite shorebird, especially in winter plummage. I have a carving of one. The other shorebirds look like willets to me too. When they fly they have a distinctive pattern in their wings. A beautiful bird.

  8. I dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean once, and it was cold! And that was in the summer! (Our Gulf waters are much warmer.) But the beach in winter is a beautiful thing; what a great Christmas gift! Happy New Year!

  9. So glad good fortune smiled on you with fine weather, at least most of the time. Sounds like a great vacation was had by all. Happy new year!

  10. I went to Venice Beach on Halloween. I guess that was a good time to go for exuberant tackiness! It looks as if you had a relaxed Christmas. Wishing you health and happiness in 2017.

  11. What a wonderful way to spend Christmas, relaxing with family in such a fantastic location….wish I was Judy with my feet in the tide! Yes Jason, let’s all keep our fingers and toes crossed for a good 1017…wishing you and yours all the very best.xxx

  12. Happy New Year to you and yours! And, yes, better things for this country, for the world, in 2017.

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