Jen wanted to see Venice on Monday, so I took it as an opportunity to go looking for the canals I knew were there, but had never seen. We spotted them out of the side of the car and pulled over quickly to park. Jen likened the scene to the Cam in Cambridge, where colleges and buildings come almost right up to the grassy bank of the river. The California version was very charming: a snowy white egret stalking his supper, wooden pedestrian bridges, canoes and rafts moored a few steps away form each house.We headed over to the beach afterward, doing the requisite stop to see overdeveloped guys pumping iron at the Muscle Beach gym. It turned out to be a sporty trip, since we also stopped to watch some paddle tennis, a game I hadn’t seen before, which features solid racquets on a small hard court. Then, as the sun dropped lower, we stood over an elaborate skate park and saw skateboarders roll up and down the smooth sides as if they were riding waves just beyond the sand.