Free For All…

beachieSunday morning and I am sitting at the beach in Pacific Palisades with the latest John Grisham book, Sycamore Row, a great beach read, a Starbucks nonfat cap more foam than milk (like, so LA) and my sweetheart of many years.

The waves are rolling in, it’s very early in the morning and no one is invading our space.

I am still basking in the orange glow of a heart stopping Syracuse University basketball win…I never experienced 4.8 seconds taking  so long to tick down to zero. I think there were at least 3 timeouts called during the excruciating ending.

This week’s sermon is…money alone cannot buy pleasure and happiness. The beach, a good book and my hubby does it for me. For example, we walked to the beach, avoiding  gas consumption, the view and ocean are comped, my presence is priceless.

If you put your mind to it there are many pleasurable freebies to enjoy even in  hedonistic LA.

Getty Villa
Getty Villa photo:en.wikipedia.org

Let’s examine culture in Los Angeles. LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) is free after 3pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday for all Los Angeles residents with proof of residency as well as the second Tuesday in every month.

The Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City is always free as is the Getty Center, nestled in the Santa Monica mountains and the Getty Villa on the cliffs in Pacific Palisades, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Let us not forget the La Brea Tar Pits.

Biking, lunchtime at Costco, window and people shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice, Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood and the Sunset Strip all gratis…just need desire and motivation.

Browse the farmers markets and indulge in the fresh, organic samples. Drive or bike  up PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) to Malibu or beyond or take in the panoramic views on the winding  Mulholland Drive.

Tickets to many TV shows are free…Dancing With The Stars, Ellen, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy. The drill is to just write to the show, requesting tickets.

hollywood sign

Cruise the bike path that runs from Pacific Palisades to Hermosa Beach. Get off and take in the whacked out circus along the Venice Boardwalk. Hike Griffith Park and the Hollywood Hills to the iconic HOLLYWOOD sign.

Stroll the Venice canals and bike or walk the arched bridges and take in the fabulous homes and landscaping.

venicce canals
Venice Canals photo:Edna Leshowitz

You can surf, play volleyball on the beach as the nets are permanently installed or play tennis in the parks or on the school grounds. Chill at the beach year round for free.

So relax and take a deep breath. Enjoy the outdoors preferably with someone you like (that can be the real challenge) and leave your credit card and worries as home.

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