By Kathleen Mest
For a family with a mild case of wanderlust, the circumstances of the past year were an invitation to stay local, and we were reminded of all that Long Beach has to offer. We took the opportunity to rediscover the Peninsula.
We start our walk on the Peninsula’s beach side. The sand goes on forever, and it’s all ours. Barely a person in sight. The kids run up the sand dunes, strut along the top as kings of the hill, then roll down to start all over again. My husband uses those same dunes for a cardio workout, up and down and up and down. Next, the kids use the vast expanse of flat sand as a long jump course. Who can jump farther? I walk along the wooden boardwalk and discreetly peer into the beautiful beach houses.
At the end of the Peninsula is a jetty. Let’s do it! This ends up being quite a venture! As you wander out, the rocks become less tight, less flat with little canyons between them. And the jetty seems to be getting longer--the end always looks the same distance away. Like the scene in Monty Python when they storm the castle! It’s a great place to view the boats in the channel, watch fishermen reeling in their catch, and be hypnotized by the waves.
We swing over to the bay side and resume our walk on the sand. The kids get their feet wet and keep an eye out for seals and sand crabs. Across the water, the houses and boats sparkle serenely in the sun. We talk about renting some kayaks next time we’re at the bay.
Our family walks always include a stop for a treat as a reward (or bribe) for the kids. We grab some coffee and tasty breakfast burritos at Vibes Cafe. The kids grab some candy and ice cream from the convenience store a few houses down.
We sit on the beach, munch on our bounty, and play in the sand.
I breathe in the ocean air. How lucky we are to have all of this so close. So many little adventures in Long Beach... I hope to find them all.
Note: The Peninsula is a little over 2 miles roundtrip (not including the jetty) starting at Ocean Blvd. and Bay Shore Ave. Public restrooms can be found at 62nd Place and 72nd Place. Free street parking and two pay parking lots are available (on Ocean Blvd & Bay Shore Ave and at the end of the Peninsula).