We left Monterey, but vowed to return again soon. It was an enjoyable drive south. We took the 101 through the inland central coast valley. from Salinas to Paso Robles. Heading east, we crosses a small mountain range and entered the San Fernando Valley. All the hills looked much greener than they had been, on our way up north. We made it unscathed, once again, through the intersection that had claimed James Dean. In Lost Hills we stopped for lunch at Gabby’s. I wonder about the name of this town, because there are no hills there to lose. Then it was down the 5, over the mountains and down into the maelstrom that is LA. We navigated all of these obstacles and ended up at our motel for the night.
We ended up in Santa Monica, in walking distance of the beach. This was a good thing, because I was done with driving by then. After check-in, we hit the beach, which is miles long and at least a couple of football fields wide. We took off our shoes, rolled up our pant legs and waded out into the surf, all the way up to our ankles. The water was cold, but there were plenty of swimmers in it. When we passed one of the lifeguard towers, I was reminded of the TV series “Baywatch”. Especially, when one of the guards posed for a picture, with his red rescue float. Then the guard exchanged his float for the camera and the tourist got to pose. I think that we walked a mile, before we turned around. By then, the wind had begun to freshen and started blowing sand in our face.
We had first started walking away from the Santa Monica pier. When we got back, we climbed up onto the pier. Pacific Park, the amusement park there was doing a grand business. We walked the length of the pier, before heading back inland. We toured Tongva Park, a nice little sculpture park and the 3rd Street Promenade, an upscale pedestrian shopping district. We dined at a French café. Then it was back down to the pier, to catch the sunset and a bit of night life.