Monday, October 02, 2006

The Santa Monica Experience

We started Sunday morning heading down the Pasific Coast Highway (the PCH) towards Santa Monica. The day was overcast and drizzly. This was the first rain we've seen since spring. I guess winter is just around the corner. Anyway, we arrive at the Santa Monica pier at about 11:30 AM and found a parking spot. We were met by the unexpected sight of white markers (crosses, a few Stars of David, and Islamic Crecents) stuck in the sand next to the pier in neat, straight rows. 2,713 to mark the fallen in Iraq. A sobering start to our day if sightseeing. The display is known as Arlington West. We paid our respects.

We continued on to the pier. The rides were closed for a private party until 1:00 PM so we decided to walk around the pier and get some lunch. The drizzle continued as we walked around but cleared up before we ate lunch. We were expecting a cold day but the temperature was comfortable and there was little wind. The pier was lined with some fun flags advertising attractions of the past. We also saw Hot Dog Stick - the very first Hot Dog on a Stick food joint in the world. This is where the Milliner from Hell came up with the terrible multicolored hats that the servers are forced to wear.

Once the rides were open to the public we went straight for the Ferris wheel. It had been decades since the last time we rode one. The wife does not like to be dipped and twirled but she was looking forward to riding. Well, after we rode we have come to the conclusion that the wife cannot be dipped and twirled in any direction - horizontally or vertically. I think amusement parks are off our travel list. A haiku:

Walking on the Pier
Drizzle on the Fallen Heroes
Ride the Carnival Rides


Since the afternoon was still young, we decided to move on to the 3rd Street Promanade. The Promenade is a shopping district where the road is closed for about three blocks allowing people to wander at their leisure from store to store. Where the street once was, street performers were playing music and dancing for spare change. Some of the musicians were pretty good. I wasn't sure about the kilted bagpiper but I guess he wasn't bad. The street performers were more interesting then the stores - mostly high end clothing stores. We did see Larry David , from the show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Vincent , one of the designers on Project: Runway. We decided to find some ice cream and were disappointed when we couldn't find any anywhere on the Promenade. Outrageous! We both decided that our curiosity had been sated and there really wasn't any reason to return to the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade.

We got back on the PCH and started back home. We stopped at a little shop which specialized in statuary. Interesting Hindu, Budda, and Christian statues. Priced out of our range. We didn't buy anything.

Our need for ice cream was finally satisfied by a couple McFlurries at the Malibu McDonalds - the place has a lounge (padded chairs with a coffee table) and a flat screen TV showing Football.

On the way home we detoured to visit a Hindu Temple tucked up in the Santa Monica Mountains. Unfortunately when we arrived, a service/ceremony/celebration was taking place and we felt like we were intruding. I took one picture and we got back in the car and went home.

See more pictures from our Santa Monica visit Here.


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