"With so much drama in the LBC it's kinda hard bein' Snoop D-O double G..." I couldn't get these lyrics out of my mind during a recent two-day work trip to Long Beach, California. It was my first time in the area and I was surprised at how big it is! It's a giant city right by the sea; there was a perfect beachy breeze and plenty of California sunshine.
In addition to cool Pacific ocean water temperatures, the oil rigs located not far from the shoreline make it a less than ideal swimming beach (although some brave souls were trying it out). I heard a rumor that during a visit to Long Beach, George Lucas was inspired to create a Star Wars monster based on the giant cranes on the shipping docks. Although most visitors may not want to swim, Long Beach is definitely an accessible area. A sidewalk lines the beach for miles giving plenty of space for walkers, bikers, roller skaters, and more. I had a fantastic vegetarian lunch at the Renaissance Hotel (Moroccan spiced beans, kale, and winter squash) and a quick tour of the Queen Mary. This giant ship used to be a cruise liner in the late 1930s, then became a military ship during WWII, and finally settled in Long Beach as a hotel, event venue, and museum. Nearly all of the Queen Mary is in it's original condition and I felt like I was whisked back in time to the Titanic. It was a short trip and I'm excited to explore more of Long Beach when I return in a few months!