Monday, June 20, 2011

California Day 1: Beaches

So, as tired as I was with a 6am flight, it was so neat to be in California and it only be 8am! The hotel said we could leave our bags early so the first thing we did was set out for the hotel. Fortunately, Brandon found us a Randy's Donuts on the way. :)
Hail to the Simpson's...

2nd Breakfast! Lol, inside joke, sry. The cake donut (no frosting) was actually much better than the original glazed. We were laughing at everyone coming out with a BOX of donuts but we soon found out why. Amazing!!

Two donuts was enough, and we shared each others so I ended up feeding some of my donuts to the birdies for their breakfast.

Our hotel in Crecent City. I miss their beds and sheets. SO comfy!

Our first official stop was Santa Monica Beach and the Pier...

A view from the parking area.... Was instantly in love!

Ahhhh, the beach...without seaweed, without brown murky water...a REAL beach!

The water was SO cold so we put our feet in, froze, took some pictures and headed to the pier. So much activity on there! Watched this charming guy do a physics experiment/trick :) I actually have my students do it all the time ;)

Watching all the fishermen

Kathy's boyfriend singing about peace... <3 He got a tip from moi :)

A picture of the pier from the end ...

Because Brandon is a theme park conesseiur we got the day pass to the rides. (We made a bad deal, but I could have ridden all day).

Loved the ferris wheel! Such great views of the beach and pier.

One of the amazing views from the Ferris Wheel....See, I don't lie!

This dragon rides looks harmless but packs a punch!

Another cute view of the Paradise Park ride area.

Another amazing view!

Why we didn't go eat seafood I have no clue (yes, yes, I do, Brandon doesn't like it). But we ate at the tourist trap Mexican food place at the end of the pier. Way overpriced but the seafood enchiladas were good. The margarita SUCKED!

I was at the end of Route 66 so duh, I had to get some postcards! I can't wait to actually drive it one day...

We saw the old wooden carousel...National Landmark!

Then we paid our donation fee (thanks William!) and saw the aquarium. Very tiny place but very friendly volunteers there...

Got to touch the slimy starfish!!
Then we headed to Venice Beach!

Ahhhhhhhh, happiness :)

The houses that are on the beach are amazing...

The Muscle Beach outdoor gym. Saw some oldies and a few hotties. Yummmm ;)

We walked up and down Venice Boardwalk. HOLY CRAP! Crazies is the only word I can come up with. No kush or medical marijuana for me, thank you. Did find some cute art...My new travel obsession (buying original art from street vendors)

My specially made Venice Beach picture frame :) She and her husband were SO sweet!!

Watching street performers jump 6 people or something stupid.

We went into this bookstore and I fell in LOVE (again). The books had these little comment cards from the employees with their opinions of the book. And the guy helping me find local writers (another travel obsession) was so friendly and was pulling books left and right for me. Lol, ended up finding a Nathaniel Hawthorne book for Boston :)

The murals were great and loved this dedicated to Van Gogh's Starry Night!

I want to play volleyball here one day...

Then we headed to Hermosa Beach for sunset. I wish the water wasn't so cold but the beauty was more than I had ever expected!

Looking to the left...

Looking to the right...

We were really hungry and decided to try the In-N-Out Burger. OMG, awesome! Now I know what Sam was talking about... :)

Yes, it has clogged an artery, I'm sure but dang, it was good.....

Coming next: Day 2 Magic Mountain (Six Flags Theme Park)

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