Ferris Wheels and Ice Cream Cones: Day 2

Hello, Santa Monica! You are classic. 

Today we woke up way later than planned but finally caught up on jet lag. We naively navigated 25 minutes over to Culver City in pursuit of a cute cafe we found online. We brought Werkley because we are so used to Hawaii living, where there’s always outdoor seating. We were in for a rude awakening when we wound up in an area marked by busy streets and giant shopping centers with no outdoor seating in sight. We desperately drove further in search of a Starbuck’s, thinking they’d surely have a patio, but ended up finding just another oversized shopping plaza with nothing but parking spaces and bare sidewalks.

“I feel like we’re in Houston again,” Sean pointed out as we adjusted to the new landscape and architecture. This is the first time I felt homesick for Kailua, where we’ve been in the routine of taking our dog to breakfast (surrounded by much quieter streets).

We ended up getting breakfast burritos from a grocery store and eating with Werkley in our car. We decided to take him back to the hotel room since we quickly learned that not all of LA is dog-friendly, and headed back out to explore the famous Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Pier.

It was exactly the medicine we needed to boost our spirits and move past all the travel hiccups. As soon as we parked, the boardwalk was impossible to miss. We ventured out and couldn’t help but smile as we reverted back to childhood. Rides and restaurants lined the pier as giant seagulls swarmed over our heads. On the one side, we could pause for enchanting views of the Pacific Ocean hugging the expansive shoreline, while on the other side, we could run and play through the carnival-like Pacific Park. We ate ice cream, held hands, listened to the waves, and rode the world’s only solar-powered ferris wheel, the Pacific Wheel.

I can see why this is the signature city that ends the famous Route 66 – it’s rejuvenating. Yet for us, it is just the beginning!

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