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I feel pretty good about going through the list of neglected things that I’ve been wanting to do in Los Angeles. I’ve been here for the most of my life, but as spread out as L.A. is, there are many little corners that I have never known about or been too. Carroll Avenue off of Echo Park Lake is one of them.

It’s a little segment of a street north of downtown that has the highest density of Victorian era houses in the city. Whether one is into Victorian architecture is altogether a different matter. It is the preservation efforts that deserve recognition here, because as you walk down the street, you can’t help but get the sense of history that these structures tell and appreciate the changes of times. It makes you feel that your life and its daily struggles are insignificant – in a good way, in a big picture sort of way.

If you are not pressed for time, it’s best to park your car on one end and walk to the other with a camera in hand. Even if you end up taking pictures of every single house, it will be less than 30 minutes of your time. And you will be glad that you have given yourself this enriching little tour. Oh, a random fact for L.A. Marathon runners: You know when you finally come out of downtown area and start running down towards the Echo Park Lake alongside the 101 Freeway? Carroll Avenue is only a block north of and runs parallel to that street.

A walk on Carroll Avenue – check!

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Coffee

Between road trips and whatever else that got me occupied, I kept forgetting to reorder these capsules. I finally remembered, and they arrived the other day. I must have been super elated when I opened the door and saw the mailman with the Nespresso box in his hands. He couldn’t help but laughing at me. I feel pretty silly for blogging about my coffee replenishment, especially when this is not even a sponsored post, but hey, Nespresso is really good coffee, what can I say. I really enjoyed early morning walks to the neighborhood Starbucks in the interim however, so I might switch it up every now and then. It’s the simple things. I’m thankful.

Vertigo

It’s this annoying thing that started about four years ago after I fell and hit my head hard on an icy trail while snowboarding. This is the third episode since then, not counting the milder ones here and there in between. I wouldn’t call it debilitating, but definitely self-limiting, especially when you’re trying to log a certain mileage per week for an impending marathon. Also makes yoga impossible when downward facing dog makes you feel as if you’re doing yoga on a careening ship. Does anyone suffer from the same condition? Any advice? Waiting it out seems like the only solution besides doing those exercises prescribed for vertigo patients, but it’s hard to know if those drills really help you or not. Sigh. Patience.

We drove up to Monterey Bay for some music and good times. Beck was phenomenal. Next morning we saw about five big whales jumping in and out of water. All we had was our iPhones and couldn’t really capture them since they were about a mile out in the ocean. Nonetheless, we were able to see them making big splashes with those unmistakable tails following into water. It was pretty special.

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This made me laugh. Don’t you think we long distance runners can’t help but feeling pretty badass after running twenty something miles? James Bond or the actors who played him never ran a marathon. Come on!

Portland Marathon is coming up. Putting some pressure on myself these days to go the distance every morning that I’m out there. Frankly, I’ve never been this underprepared for a full marathon compared to all my past marathon trainings at this juncture. But, I think I have just the right amount of time to get creative in my training to get the most out of it – focusing on efficiency. Happy running!

Back in 2008, I had the amazing privilege of exploring Okavango Delta, Botswana. It is the largest inland delta of the world, attracting a dense congregation of diverse animals. National Geographic is running focused features on this enormous wetland this month, and I came across this video on their site that not only filled me with nostalgia but the desire to go back. Enjoy.

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