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Parting shot | My Favorite Weekend: Daniel Travis

He's met plenty of sharks -- and not just the Hollywood kind

August 26, 2004|Karla S. Blume

Daniel Travis is best recognized as the man who spends the better part of two hours fighting the oceanic elements -- including the possibility of drowning or being eaten by sharks -- in the movie "Open Water." Although you might think Travis would have unpleasant memories of the ocean, in reality he enjoys living the life of a beachcomber along the shores of Santa Monica. And he's not afraid to do the ad trailers announcing "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel.


I have many sport-related hobbies, one of which is tennis. I've been playing tennis since I was a kid. I even participated in some tournaments. Nowadays, I play near my home in Santa Monica at the public courts at the corner of 7th Street and Wilshire Boulevard.

Rollerblading is another one of my favorite activities. I will skate on the boardwalk at the beach all the way from Santa Monica to Marina del Rey. Another great place to ride around are all the lovely homes on the Westside. Basically, all the neighborhoods I can't afford to live in yet.

Take a hike

The beach is also the place I go to play volleyball. I blew out my knee playing just before we did "Open Water," but now it has healed and I'm finding myself back on the beach for more fun in the sun. Those of us who play also have a cookout in between volleys.

To go hiking, I head for the Santa Monica Mountains. Topanga Canyon is one of my top choices for a good hiking experience. There are four different trails depending on where you park. I usually take the six- or seven-mile hike, which means I'm gone for about 3 1/2 hours. On a clear day, you can get a view of the city and Catalina Island. I also like the trail at Runyon Canyon further inland, but it is heavily laden with dogs, so it's not my first pick for a free and easy hike.

Beach eateries

There are some great restaurants in Santa Monica; among them is Sushi Roku. I usually have eel and yellowtail sushi and sake. I love the fact that I can walk there easily from where I live.

Sometimes my friends and I go for a different eating experience at Back on the Beach, where they have chairs sitting in the sand and you can order any number of great sandwiches and salads as you watch the sun go down. Their chicken piccata is very good too.

At Venice Beach, there's a great eatery called Baja Cantina where I enjoy chicken burritos and margaritas.

From soft to loud

If I'm going for a quiet experience, there are several bookstores on the Westside that I frequent. When I'm at the Third Street Promenade I always make it a point to stop at the Barnes & Noble. There are a couple of good used-book stores off Main Street in Venice; the best one, though, is the Novel Cafe in Santa Monica.

Now if I'm going for a loud experience, I would want a Bruce Springsteen Vote for Change concert to be held at the Hollywood Bowl, where I could see Springsteen, Dave Matthews and the Dixie Chicks, all people whose music I like a lot.

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