Monday, 4 August 2014

USA Day 8. Santa Monica

We managed to fit quite a lot in today and make the most of the beautifully hot weather! After breakfast (where they have a little omelette stand where you pick what you want in it and a chef will cook it for you) we jumped on the Metro down to Hollywood Boulevard!
we technically got off a stop early, so we got to see the majority of the walk, and managed to spot a fair few famous people! My favourite bit was definitely seeing the bit in front of the Chinese Theatre though where their are hand/shoe prints
(he's got small feet!)

After comparing hand sizes we were distracted by this 'little' shop - the biggest candy shop in America apparently! There were all sorts of bits and pieces, the best bit was definitely the stairs outside though
I didn't even notice until Damien mentioned it but it's a giant piano! There are little motion senses so you make noise as you walk up and down (no small part of me was tempted to spend the day running up and down making a racket!)
From there we found the bus stop and jumped on two buses to Venice Beach (I let Damien figure it all out so it's entirely thanks to him that we got there). Look at the size of this gummy bear!
As we walked along the little shops lining the beach I spotted this little menu in a fast food place… I don't even know what to think about deep fried oreos and twinkles, I feel a little ill thinking about it!
After grabbing some water we made our way to the beach!

With a quick stop at this skateboarding park
before quickly heading down to the waterfront to avoid the hot sand and paddle in the Pacific Ocean
Couldn't resist taking a cheesy photo of our footprints in the sand
We decided to walk from Venice Beach up to the Santa Monica Pier and it was a really lovely little walk along the beach!
it was weird seeing the little blue life guard houses!
Santa Monica Pier was a lot smaller than either of us imagined but it had really pretty views over the beach and it was nice to just stand and enjoy the view for a little bit

Damien also spotted quite a few fish swimming about underneath us!
After mooching about on the pier we headed into Santa Monica itself and wandered around the shopping areas
loved this Dinosaur fountain
Now there's a bit of a story that occurred between these two photos…
We eventually saw everything we wanted to in Santa Monica and we were getting hungry so we googled the directions and set off back down to Venice Beach to find the Cheesecake Factory. I really wanted to go there since it's often featured on one of my favourite TV shows and it was only meant to be an hour or so walk, all I can say is I've no idea how long we were actually walking but it felt like a life time.

I'm not entirely sure why, but just getting to Venice Beach seemed to take an age, possibly because it was along uninspiring roads instead of the ocean, or the lack of ocean breeze, or maybe it was just because we were hungry but I swear it took us 3 times as long as it did in the morning!

The fun really began when we started looking for the restaurant. We followed the directions google maps told us to but after walking for what felt like hours (although it was probably just 20minutes) we were pretty sure this was taking longer than it should have, so we checked the map, and then checked it again, and again.

Eventually we realised the map must have been wrong as we had definitely gone past the point the map said the restaurant was at.. Eventually Damien asked a librarian (we stumbled across a library) and turns out google maps had told us to go the wrong way down the road! We were about half an hour in the wrong direction!
Long story short we got there, and thankfully we got a table! there was quite a big queue and a lot of people were told it was a 45minute wait, but since it was just the two of us they squeezed us in! Dinner was delicious. And dessert? Decadent is the only word I can think to describe the incredible cheesecakes we ordered (I got Chocolate Tuxedo and Damien ordered the Oreo one)
Want to know the best bit about our little adventure to get to the restaurant? We print screened the directions and in the opposite corner to where the directions told us to go was a little label showing where the cheesecake factory. All I can say is it just shows how much sun we had that we both looked at that map countless times and neither of us spotted that the directions led away from the label. 

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