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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Redondo Beach, California

Michael has business in Redondo Beach this week so I decided to come along. He and I met here thirty-five years ago so it is fun to see what has stayed the same and what has changed.

It was a beautiful day with the temperature reaching 81 degrees. Not too bad for the 11th of December.

We are staying at the Portofino Hotel and Marina.

"The Portofino Inn, as it was originally named, opened in 1962 by race car enthusiast Mary Davis. This California beach hotel helped spur early interest in Redondo Beach’s King Harbor when it opened three years later. Named for the Italian seacoast town of Portofino and admired for its Mediterranean flavor, the inn drew thousands of visitors for a three-day welcome celebration for the King Harbor opening. The property was a hangout for racers including Peter Revson, an F1 Grand Prix Winner of Revlon family fame, who had a condo there. The Cannonball, a car race from New York to Los Angeles was first run in 1971 with The Portofino Inn as the final destination where competitors had to ring a bell on the check-in desk to signal completion of their race. The movie, Cannonball Run, features scenes filmed at The Portofino. Today, known as one of the finest in California lodging, the resort continues to be a favorite among South Bay residents as well as world travelers."

I enjoy looking at the names of the boats.

Is the Lone Ranger close by?

Redondo Beach is one of the three Beach Cities (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach) located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area. The city is located on the south end of the Santa Monica Bay west and south of downtown Los Angeles and north of the Palos Verdes Peninsula on the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. Redondo Beach is just twenty miles from downtown Los Angeles and seven miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. It has a population of 66,748 and the median home price is approximately $612,000. Redondo Beach has been a preferred resort destination for more than a century. A coastline and beaches rivaling the most beautiful Mediterranean resorts, a pleasure Pier for strolling, shopping and dining, a sport fishing fleet, a harbor with many seaside restaurants and cafes – all contribute to a unique and relaxing seaside ambience.

Incorporated April 29th, 1892, the city of Redondo Beach is the ninth city officially established in Los Angeles County. Its rich history includes Native American sites, an ambitious working seaport that rivaled the best in Southern California, the beach where surfing was introduced to the west coast, numerous recreational facilities, and oceanfront residences. Redondo Beach is also the oldest city in the South Bay, the southern portion of the Santa Monica Bay coastal area.

The Chowigna Indians used the site of today's Hopkins Wilderness Park, formerly Nike missile site LA-57 from 1956 to 1963, in Redondo Beach, California, as a lookout place. The wetlands located at the site of today's AES power plant in Redondo Beach were a source of foods including halibut, lobster, and sea bass, and also of salt. In the 1700s, the Chowigna bartered salt from the old Redondo Salt Lake, "a spring-fed salt lake about 200 yards wide and 600 yards long situated about 200 yards from the ocean", with other tribes. Their village by the lake was called "Onoova-nga", or "Place of Salt." The Chowigna were relocated to missions in 1854, when Manuel Dominguez sold 215 acres of Rancho San Pedro, including the lake, to Henry Allanson and William Johnson for the Pacific Salt Works.

Much of the Redondo Beach lifestyle is a blend of the neighborhoods, activities and people of the three Beach Cities of Southern California's South Bay. Like its sister cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, Redondo's draw is the beach that links the three cities. Redondo was described as "The Gem Of The Continent" in the Los Angeles Daily Herald in 1887.

The beach starts below the bluffs of Palos Verdes in the south (after Torrance Beach) and carries north to the Redondo Pier. The area of the beach that starts in Palos Verdes is known as "RAT (Right After Torrance) Beach." The Marvin Braude Bike Trail runs from Torrance through South Redondo, north to Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and eventually to Santa Monica. The path is broken by the Redondo Beach King Harbor Marina and Pier complex, where it veers away from water and onto dedicated lanes of surface streets for about a mile before again turning to the ocean in Hermosa Beach. Continuing north from Manhattan Beach, the path stretches to Marina Del Rey.

Surfing is an element of the South Bay lifestyle year-round. Winter storms in the Pacific Ocean sometimes turn typically placid and rolling South Bay waves into large and occasionally dangerous waves, a draw for surfers. Wave heights in December 2005 were some of the largest on record at 15 feet (4.6 m) to 20 feet (6.1 m).

Beach volleyball is another aspect of Redondo Beach's lifestyle. The wide and flat sand beaches provide the perfect venue for the sport and permanent poles and nets are placed and maintained by the city year-round. Professional tournaments managed by the AVP take place in neighboring Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. Redondo Beach is home to Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh and AVP Pro Casey Jennings.

Spent quite a bit of time watching the sea gulls....

The seals....

The dolphins.....

Dolphins and a surfer....


There is always a sign to read....

Or a fish to take a picture of.......

The Pier is an interesting place to explore

I love to see the waves forming and to hear the sound of them crashing.

Off in the distance, I could see the smoke from the fires.

I sat on the balcony outside our room at the Portofino and watched as the sun set.

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