Greetings fellow and aspiring cyclists,
Last week was another great week--50 miles on my bike and a 3.1 mile run.* An associate at work said he is planning to run in the 5K at Disneyland in September, and I commit to participating as well. It will be a fun family day. I only hope that my aerobic conditioning on the bike and a 3-mile weekly run will be enough of a training regime.
Lest you think being an "Executive" bike commuter is like the Special Forces--all undying commitment and discipline, let me tell you about last Friday night. After I disembark from the Metro Blue Line, I am beginning my quick change from banker chic to biker chic at Bikestation when my sweet husband John calls my I-phone. "Hey girl, let's ‘do the town’. I'll meet you at King's. We'll leave the bike at Bikestation and pick it up after. I'm on my way honey." All-right!!! Date night--banker chic will do just fine.Naples community of Long Beach about 5 miles away, and don't often venture away recreationally. Occasionally enjoying one restaurant or another over the years, we have never "done" downtown Long Beach. The City scene has changed dramatically, and we want to see first hand what's going on. My everyday presence downtown is expanding our world.
I wait for John at the bar at the great seafood restaurant King's Fish House on Pine Avenue. This is actually one of the few restaurants that we have frequented over the years. Preferring fruit in my beer I order a Corona while I wait... and wait. When finally he arrives, John converses a bit with the barkeep about the beers on tap, samples, and then settles on the honey beer. As we graze on a very good grilled artichoke and wind down, we chat about plans for the weekend and Fathers Day.Alegria Cocina Latina as a not-from-the-same mold establishment, so we decide to head over. It is two doors down on the other side of George's Greek Cafe. As we start to pass, who should we see standing out front but George himself. What an honor. A very friendly guy, he gives me a hug, and I give him a kiss on the cheek. Gee, I hope that was really George--John said it was!
Proceeding to Alegria, we enter to the sounds of Flamenco music and on the stage at the back spy a lovely dancer in colorful Spanish costume. As we are seated we notice that others are enjoying Sangria. “Two of those for us please...” I love fruit in my red wine too. Intending to order dinner, we start with two appetizers--a seared ahi salad and some kind of delicious creamy corn and shrimp concoction served in a corn husk. As usually happens with appetizers we are full after that. Having enjoyed each others company and the Flamenco dancer we decide on a new game plan knowing that there are so many beaconing spots and so little time.
We conduct two walk-throughs just to see what those venues are like for another day. We visit Cafe Sevilla and its adjoining Night Club across the street on Pine Avenue. The Spanish fare looks scrumptious and the salsa dancing like great fun. We check out the grand Renaissance Hotel on Ocean Blvd. The lobby is beautiful and modern with a fantastic water feature in the bar. We pause to watch six twenty-something "busy people" winding down over cocktails as they collaborate on a chess match with extraordinarily large chess pieces.Breakers Building across Ocean Blvd. to reminisce at the Sky Room. This is also a restaurant that we have visited a few times in the past. The art deco style restaurant is located atop the building with a view of the City "to write home about". It is elegant and expensive with an elevator operator clad in top hat and tails and waiters in tuxedos. It is a very special dress-up kind of place for fine dining and dancing. We have been to the Sky Room for two of our anniversaries and a special night with my sister and brother-in-law. It is the kind of place where you say, "Did you see the restroom?" It is that special!!! We peek into the restaurant and the restroom, of course, and walk up the flight of stairs to the bar above to share one of our traditional night caps--the Key Lime Pie Martini, and I mean out of the same glass. We are driving, OK?
It is nearing time to head home but we need coffee... and maybe a little desert. We walk over a few blocks to a place John noticed earlier as he drove in. It is called Utopia--Good food and fine art in the East Village District. Upon arrival we discover that the restaurant is hosting it's first-ever stand up comedy night. We round out the evening with four comedy routines, coffee, and to-die-for bread pudding.
At 11:30 we walk back to the safe and secure Bikestation and gain access with my electronic key fob. We pick up my bike, lift it into the back of the pickup then head home.
I must say that this has been a date night to remember. Thank you John... and Bikestation!
*Note: To keep my head out of the clouds, my husband reminds me that I am still a “junior bike rider” in that veterans will do 50-100 miles on a weekend ride.