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California’s been good to me, hope it don’t fall into the sea.*

18 July, 2008

This is installment #3 of my trip to L.A. with my cousin. Here are parts one and two, and there’s one more to go.

Saturday, 7/12

  • First thing, we headed straight for the coast. We parked so we could go to Santa Monica Beach as well as the Pier, but headed for the beach first. We played around and took a few pictures, but then actually went swimming. It was great! We hopped the waves pretty well until I got caught unexpectedly from behind and in the excitement of trying to keep my glasses on my face swallowed a gallon of seawater. Here’s a tip…don’t do that.

  • After we’d had our fill of the salt water, we went up to our towels and dried off. In the short time we were there, the sand went from reasonably cool to unbearably hot. We hurried back to the car, and very stealthily dried off and changed our clothes right there. We’ve got skills, apparently!
  • Next we headed up to the pier for some lunch. We walked around and bought matching-ish hats to hide our salty hair. It was a very beautiful day, and the views were great, too.

  • There was this old man feeding cheese puffs to the gulls – it was crazy! They’d swoop back around and do laps just to get more food.

  • We stopped at the Coffee Bean and got some drinks and walked around for a bit. Then we ate at the Mexican restaurant on the pier called Mariasol’s. It was okay – definitely not as tasty as el Coyote! We sat outside in the sun, which was great – except for the crazy birds that were constantly around.
  • After we were done at the pier, Shakira ran down to the beach and collected some sand and water for her mom (my aunt). It was a very sweet idea.
  • We checked out the Third Street Promenade, which was lovely. It wasn’t exactly what we were looking for (Shakira wanted some souvenirs), so we decided to head back to the car.
  • We headed out to the 405 and made our way to the Getty Center, which is the home of the J. Paul Getty Museum. It’s full of paintings, sculptures, and photography as well has extensive interesting architecture and grounds. The gardens were amazing, too! We had a great time, even though we started to realize that we burned a bit while in Santa Monica. The views of the city were stellar, and we had a very relaxing stroll through a few exhibits before we decided it was time to go and find some supper.

  • At the gardens, we threw coins over our left shoulder to ensure our return (as in when you’re at Trevi Fountain in Rome). I hope that holds true!
  • Next we headed back down to Hollywood Blvd to find a good place to eat. After paying for parking, we realized the sun would be down before we were done eating, which meant we’d miss the Hollywood sign. The attendant agreed to let us come back (I may or may not have claimed to have forgotten my wallet since Shakira paid for parking), so we headed for what Frommer’s proclaimed to be the best viewpoint: the corner of Sunset and Bronson. The view was all right – you actually had to walk about 1/2 a block down Bronson to see the sign clearly through some palm trees.

  • We headed back to the lot and the parking attendant moved his car for us because it had filled up! On Hollywood Blvd, we stopped briefly so I could get murdered by some street performers.

  • The Hollywood and Highland Center looked like a good place to get our last real meal in California, so we went inside to check it out. On our way to the restaurant we chose, we found a BETTER view of the sign. You’re a little off to the side, but it’s far superior to the Frommer’s chosen viewpoint. Yes, I’ll probably write to Frommer’s.

  • Next we ate at a place called uWink. They had touchscreens at every table, and you ordered everything through those. Plus, you could play free games and then group games you had to pay for. We ordered up a shot called the Skinny Dip in true Missy & Shakira fashion and ate some yummy pasta. Plus, we played silly games. It was a lot of fun! 

  • I didn’t want to leave the H & H center – it’s a lovely place at night. 
  • We wandered back down to Hollywood Blvd, where we found the perfect gift for Gram – a purple wind catcher that had a butterfly design. It’s lovely! Shakira finally found the perfect pair of aviator glasses, and we got ripped off in a tourist shop by buying postcard stamps that were only 26 cents instead of 27. Ooops. Oh, well. Wouldn’t feel like a trip to the big city unless we got ripped off. 🙂
  • Finally, we went back to Grauman’s to see Michael Caine’s new cement prints. We were very disappointed to see that it was still covered up. We expressed said disappointment to the guy standing there babysitting the new cement square. He did nothing. Then another guy walks up and asks if it would be possible to see it, and the babysitter lifts up the cover to show everyone! Yay!

  • We both decided it had been a long day, so we headed back for the hotel. I tried my best to get things packed, but I was falling asleep sitting up. Even so, it was still too short of a night for my tastes. There’s one more final post to chronicle our adventures on our trip home, so be on the lookout. By the way, if you want to see all 300+ shots that I took (that’s not counting Shakira’s camera), here’s the flickr set.


*lyrics from California by Tom Petty

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