Santa Monica

Well, we’re out on the west coast – we should check out the Pacific Ocean, right?

Santa Monica entrance

The Santa Monica Pier seems like as good a place as any, right?

Down the Beach

Unfortunately, it was insanely overcast that evening.

Pier

And the pier was ludicrously crowded.

Beach

Pretty crowded in some sections of the beach, while others were near abandoned.

Pacific Park

The Santa Monica Pier is home to Pacific Park, a small amusement area with about a dozen rides – mostly standard issue fair-stuff. There is one coaster (the West Coaster), and I did want the credit.

Roller Coaster

But it was just too crowded to care. That’s how I know I’m not a credit whore.

Pier 2

The Pacific Wheel is supposedly the only solar powered ferris wheel in the world.

Looking back

I will readily admit that I didn’t have the chops to get decent pictures out here. I would love to blame it on the overcast skies or the smog or something, but the simple fact is that I could not find an exposure that looked even remotely right.

Pacific Ocean

I love this picture, but it’s not really indicative of what the area looked like.

Malibu

We wandered down the Pacific Coast Highway a bit and had better luck with pictures.

Sunset and house

It was getting pretty close to sunset, so that certainly helped matters.

Sunset in Malibu

Those weird specs in the water are surfers, incidentally.

Panoramic

We zipped back down to Santa Monica proper for the sunset.

Karen

Wasn’t quite as dramatic as we were hoping for…

Bacon Cookie

In the course of wandering around, we did manage to find a bakery that sold a pretty interesting chocolate chip and bacon cookie. Yeah, interesting is the right word choice there. Can this whole “OMG bacon” fanaticism garbage hurry up and end please?

Pier at night

We figured it was only fair to try the pier one more time, but it was still crazy crowded.

Pacific Park at night

Ultimately, it was disappointing. I think it was more a case of expectations not being managed combined with poor timing on our part (going on a weekend night was probably not the smartest idea). Maybe next time around we’ll try it on like a Tuesday.

Fireworks

It was cool seeing a random fireworks show from way down the beach, however. There was a guitarist playing nearby, and occasionally his music would sync up.  It was a rather charming end to a not really memorable visit.

Tomorrow?  We’re going to Hollywood!


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