Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Santa Monica

21st August 2012
On the second day, I had planned on visiting Santa Monica and Venice Beach. I am a serial planner and before I even arrived in the US I had already scoped out the location of the bus stop and the route to take. Though, my brilliant planning wasn't so brilliant. I left Podshare at 7am, or there about, and wandered to the bus stop. On the way, I stopped at Maccas because I wanted to grab a coffee. It was my first experience with the black drip coffee and I am not a big fan of black coffee; I only drink it when I need to stay awake and study. I arrived at the bus stop and waited. And waited some more. I should note that public transport is not caught by the average person as most people have cars, so it does attract a certain demographic of individuals. I saw 2 buses but they didn't stop (oddly enough) and after 1.5hrs of waiting, I finally asked a bus driver that stopped at the stop who informed me that it only stopped 2 blocks down. D'oh.

First impression. I liked how the bus had two bike racks at the front of the bus.

Eventually arrived at Santa Monica and I headed to the beach. I guess I am spoilt and every used to the beaches in Sydney. The beach was flat and incredible wide. It reminded me a little of the beaches at Surfer's paradise in Queensland where there are the skyscrapers and then flat beach before the water. In this case, it was a major road/highway, a 300+ parking lot and then at least 2km stretch of sand before the water. It was a very surreal moment to see the Santa Monica pier as it is fairly iconic. In my head, Savage Garden's Santa Monica song was replaying over and over again.

Santa Monica Beach



Santa Monica Pier




I eventually settled on a rock and people watched for quite a while. Watching people work out and impress other people with their muscles, their strengths and ability to do a thousand pushups whilst wearing cargo pants, a jacket under the blazing sun in 30 degree C temperature.

Something I noticed was that everyone seemed to be wearing more clothing than is required. Some people were hearing hoodies and sweatpants in hot weather which I thought was madness. A man approached me and I remember that I was thinking, "oh dear, how does this man even wear all that clothing and not be overheating?" as he was wearing long pants and a jacket. He striked up a conversation and eventually once he noticed my accent it went into the usual topics. He talked about the dangerous creatures in Australia and asked if I checked my boot before I wore them in case there were spiders or a snake inside. Funnily enough, when I did come back home to Sydney, before I wore my Converses I did check the inside and lo-behold daddy-long legs crawled out. Ew. I digress. He suggested a few places that I should visit apart from Santa Monica beach. Somehow it got to the point where he volunteered to drive me up the coast to San Francisco or we could explore Malibu. Funny. He handed me his business card and we parted.

A highlight of the day was when I was cooling down at a park near Venice Beach and a dog owner had two dogs, a German Shepherd mix and a chocolate brown labrador puppy. The german shepherd peed on a trip (male) and the puppy crawled under the larger dog just as the moment as he was peeing and ended up getting peed on. I laughed as did the owner and the german shepherd came over to me and I petted him. The puppy was over excited and crawled into my lap and licked my face and I wanted to pet it more but it had pee all down its back. So adorable.

To be continued ...

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