In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

California Road Trip Day 3 Part 1 - LA (Venice Beach & Santa Monica Pier)

The other day, I posted here about the planning ofour California road trip.  You can read more out this trip by clicking on the follwowing posts:  Day 1(San Diego) and  Day 2 (LA).

California Road Trip Day Three Itinerary

In preparation for day three, I had in a folder the following:  an itinerary for the day, hotel info/reservations, printed directions (in case our phones failed us) and menus from the websites of the restaurants we were going to.

7:00 a.m. - wake up and get ready

8:00 a.m. - eat breakfast at hotel and check out

8:30 a.m. - get gas before driving thirty minutes to Santa Monica & Venice Beaches

9:00 a.m. - watch the early morning surfers on Santa Monica Beach

9:30 a.m. - walk the Venice Boardwalk
10:30 a.m. - eat an early lunch at Sidewalk Cafe
11:00 a.m - walk up the shore from Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier

11:30 a.m. - walk the Santa Monica Pier

12:00 p.m. - begin 5 hour drive to Yosemite

 3:00 p.m. - stop for gas and groceries at Walmart in Tulare, CA

3:30 p.m. - stop for dinner at In-N-OutBurger in Fresno, CA

5:00 p.m. - enter Mariposa Grove through the south entrance of Yosemite National Park

6:30 p.m. - Drive one hour up to Glacier Point

7:30 p.m. - Watch the sun set on Glacier Point then drive 2 hours to our camp ground

9:30 p.m. - Check into our yurt at Yosemite Lakes

10:00 p.m - try to get a good night's sleep

A few pics of our day…..

We started the day off by going Venice/Santa Monica and watching the morning surfers.

It was much colder than I anticipated, considering the fact that it was a mid summer morning in southern California.  Most of the morning was windy and overcast, making me wish I brought a warmer jacket.  Once the sun came out around 10:00, it warmed up quite a bit, and I was finally ready to shed my sweatshirt.

After watching the surfers, we walked the Venice boardwalk.  Venice and Santa Monica are so close together, but Venice is definitely the dirtier of the two.  Even when trying to find a parking lot for the day, we chose a parking lot on the Santa Monica side and ended up parking really close to the Santa Monica Pier.  Let’s just say that some of the parking lots on the Venice side looked scary:/

I had to take a picture of this, because these “medical” marijuana places were all over Venice Beach.  The people working in these shops would just come up to us on the street and try to sell it to us while we walked by.  Clearly I, like most people, have no medical reasons to smoke pot, but since it’s legal pot, lots of people purchased it.  I seriously don’t get CA sometimes.

One thing that I noticed about Venice is that is was incredibly artistic in a weird, punk rocker sort of way.  Even though a lot of the art that was on display or sold by the street venders was not my personal taste, I appreciate creativity and artistic expression that Venice offered.

This picture makes me laugh, because when my husband heard we were going to Venice, all he talked about was Muscle Beach.  There were no body builders working out the morning we were there, but he was still really excited to see this part of Venice.

Matt also really enjoyed the skate park on the beach and would have probably watched skate boarding all day if I hadn’t pull him away from it.

One thing that surprised me about LA was how cold the water was.  It was really too cold to swim….too cold for us at least.   There were people swimming in the water….we just weren’t one of them.  Dipping our feet in the water was as far as we went.

After watching the surfers on Santa Monica Beach, walking the Venice Boardwalk, and attempting to get in the water on Venice Beach, we continued the morning by walking the shore from Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier.

We don’t like to waste our money on carnival games and rides, so we didn’t stay at the pier very long.  It was just fun to walk the pier and say that we’ve been there.  The only money we spent the entire morning was on a parking and a drink. 

We were planning on eating lunch at the Sidewalk Café.  I read a lot of good things about that restaurant, but we had a big breakfast and decided to skip lunch and grab something once we got on the road.  By noon, we were ready to hit the road and begin our five hour drive to Yosemite!  Can’t wait to share more about that part of our trip with you tomorrow!

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