Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pacific Ocean views along the Southern California coast...

Today we'd planned an impromptu drive up the coast to a dog-friendly beach in Santa Barbara, but unfortunately car problems have forced us to postpone our trip until tomorrow.
jason in Santa Monica
Instead here are some calming views of the Pacific Ocean from different beaches along the Southern California coast to whet your appetite for tomorrow's excursion.

Ocean views at Venice Beach

Sailing in the ocean at Venice Beach
Venice Beach oceanVenice Beach ocean viewBreaking waves at Venice Beach
Yachts at Venice Beach
Big waves at Venice Beach
Venice Beach ocean yachts

Sycamore Cove in Ventura CountyBlue skies over Sycamore Cove
Pelican swooping over Pacific Ocean
Calm ocean
Sycamore Cove rocks in the surf
Sycamore Cove shoreline
Birds over the Pacific OceanSycamore Cove surfWaves breaking against the rocksWaves breaking at Sycamore Cove
Ocean views at Paradise Cove and along the coastline of Malibu

Paradise Cove MalibuParadise Cove beach in MalibuBreaking waves at Paradise CoveMalibu shoreWaves at Paradise cove in MalibuOcean view at Paradise CoveParadise Cove beachBeach house along Malibu coast

View of Santa Monica from the beach
Seagull on Santa Monica beachSanta Monica ocean view
Santa Monica Pacific Ocean view
Santa Monica beach
Santa Monica beach birdlife

Sometimes pictures say so much more than words, so I thought I'd shut up for once today and let the images do the talking.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

City in the mists...

We're almost a year into our exploration of Los Angeles and whenever I take in the spectacular views from Runyon Canyon I still remain in awe of the sprawling city below me.
Downtown Los Angeles hidden in the mists
Today was one of those days however when you don't get to see all that much, as Downtown L.A. was hidden in mist (or call it the marine layer or pollution).

View of L.A. in September 2008
Runyon Canyon view of Downtown LA in September 2008
Here are just a few glimpses of the varying air quality in L.A. at different times in the past twelve months.

View of Downtown L.A. from the Griffith Observatory in October 2008
Downtown LA viewed from Griffith Observatory in October 2008
It really can be perfectly clear one day with a few wispy clouds, to so smoggy that you can't see the tall office buildings of Downtown.

Sprawling L.A. in August 2008
Sprawling Downtown LA view in August 2008
L.A.'s sprawling nature is truly unique and I said as much when a journalist in the UK contacted me recently to help him write an article on relocating here. When you first arrive from somewhere as metropolitan as London, it's hard to get used to the collection of cities spread so far and wide that make up Los Angeles County, but over time you do acclimatise to it. 

View of Downtown L.A. on 26 December 2008
Los Angeles view from Runyon Canyon on 26 Dec 08
Boxing Day in L.A. (the day after Christmas) was a lovely crisp and clear day for a walk, with brilliant blue skies and a refreshing breeze in the air.

Dramatic Los Angeles view on President Obama's Inauguration Day
Los Angeles view on President Obama Inauguration Day 20 Jan 09
This was the view of the dramatic (some say polluted) sky over L.A. on the morning of the 20th January 2009, the historic day President Obama was inaugurated into office.

'Jason & Cooper in Hollywood' overlooking L.A. in September 2008
Jason and Cooper overlooking LA in September 2008
This is one of my favourite pictures with Cooper.  It'll always help me remember our time in L.A. (the sunshine, Runyon Canyon hikes and the time when I could still lift our pup up onto my lap, which is not so easy now).

Hope you enjoy the views...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some Cooper goodness from then and now...

On one of our neighbourhood walks the other day, someone reminded me how quickly puppies can grow up when they remarked that in the short week or two since they'd last seen Cooper he'd seemed to grow even bigger.
Happy pup Cooper at 10 months
Being around him all day you get used to how he looks, but there are times when you do a double-take and you can see just how much he's altered.

Here are just a selection of new pictures of Cooper, plus some old favourites, so you can compare how much bigger he's become.

10 month old Cooper
10 month old Cooper on the tiles
Here's our pup at ten months cooling off on the tiles, he's almost as long as the wall. Whilst it's a different story when he was only a few weeks old when we first brought him home.

8 week old Cooper 
8 week old pup with his favourite toy
10 week old sleeping beauty

10 week old Cooper
Cooper dozing at 10 weeks old

We've always used the fireplace as a good gauge of how big Cooper is at any point in time. Now at ten months he's almost as long as the tiles he likes to lie on, whilst when he was younger he looked like a little beached seal pup.

10 month old Cooper
10 month old pup Cooper by fireplace

8 week old Cooper
8 week old Cooper on the fireplace tiles

Here's another comparison which always makes me laugh. Our ten month old pup with a rawhide bone, pretty much the same size as the one he had in the photo at eight weeks old.

10 month old Cooper
10 month old rawhide pup Cooper
Playful pup Cooper at 10 months

8 week old Cooper
8 week old rawhide pup Cooper
In this picture the bone dwarves him and he looks so tiny and cute. It's been a long time since he's been able to fit between those bench legs.

The last time we weighed him he was still around 70lbs and every Labrador owner we meet assures us that he's still got a way to grow yet.

We don't mind Cooper, we'll love you whatever your size...