Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Wrap #3: Venice Finale: Beach Biking and Frozen Yogurt


Aside from yoga and eating, Venice and Santa Monica are home to lots of cute shops.  We had hoped to go surfing at some point while we were there, but the timing (and COLD water) never really worked out.  However, on Thursday we rented some bikes from a shop on the boardwalk and rode up and down the beach.

Check out my sweet ride.  


Our trip... minus the last 2 miles we rode home after lunch.
Starting the bike shop we followed the bike path South, past the skate park (significant since Venice was the birthplace of skateboarding as we know it.)




We continued down to the end of the path and then rode in the streets until we reached the canals.




Once we reached the canals, we turned around and headed back North, picked up the bike path, and rode past "Muscle Beach" and past the Santa Monica Pier.  We saw lots of weird stuff along the way.



 




Once we got to Santa Monica, we stopped and had lunch and some Pinkberry, then headed back or our place to get ready for some afternoon yoga.  I have to say that the best part of biking on the beach was that it was totally flat.  We rode for a total of 13 miles and I could have easily gone much farther than that.

Since the "sour" frozen yogurt trend started in California, we couldn't resist treating ourselves once or twice.  Having had a bad frozen yogurt experience (icy yogurt = blech) after I came back from Venice, I especially appreciate how good the product was at both of these places!

Pinkberry is the biggest name in fro-yo these days, and I had my first experience in the Santa Monica location.  It was smooth and creamy and delicious--everything that I'd heard!


Smooth & creamy frozen yogurt--chocolate yogurt with raspberries, coconut, and heath bar. Yum!



Our other favorite frozen yogurt stop was much closer to our apartment and the yoga studio.  Sparky's frozen yogurt is located less than a block away from Exhale and has been selling frozen treats in the same location for nearly 30 years!  The yogurt was fabulous and was open late--so we were able to hustle down there even after eating a late dinner at the Venice Ale House!  Bonus:  The quirky owner, Sparky, was behind the counter every time we went; he was funny and really sweet and was generous in doling out the free samples!

Peanut butter & vanilla frozen yogurt with gummi bears and heath bars
If you're not into the frozen yogurt thing, they also had shakes (with a ton of different powders and additives you could add--anything from spirulina to whey protein to bee pollen) and tons of energy bars for sale.  If you're in Venice/Santa Monica, be sure to stop by Sparky's!


This was basically the perfect vacation--awesome weather, fantastic companions, new friends, delicious food, and a ton of kick-ass yoga.  I really hope I have another opportunity to go back and do it all over again.

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