Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A Day in LA

After last night’s disastrous food dilemmas we looked up two or three places on the internet and took their addresses with us when we set off to find breakfast!

And we were in luck! The first place we went to was still there and so we had a delicious and filling breakfast at Denny’s – not very adventurous, but it had somewhere to park the car!

Having eaten our fill we made our way to Santa Monica Pier. We were quite early and there were not that many cars around and so we found a space easily in the car park – on our return we had trouble finding the car because there were so many parked there!

Anyway, I digress! Having parked up we walked up to the pier and had a lovely stroll along it.

It was a very relaxing place to be and we took our time, enjoying the views and the fresh sea air.

Having seen all there was to the pier we decided to stroll along the promenade along the beach and walk all the way to Venice Beach. The first part, Santa Monica, was very uncommercialised and we enjoyed watching the joggers, the people on roller blades and skates and the people cycling along next to us. Once we got to Venice Beach there were lots and lots of ‘tourist’ shops, tattoo and piercing parlours and a lot of ‘down and outs’ begging. However, we went to Muscle Beach to take some photos of the fitness fanatics for Ben, only to find there was no one exercising!

We didn’t blame them actually, it was very hot! We did go into one of the shops though to get Ben a t-shirt with ‘Muscle Beach’ on!

We then strolled back to Santa Monica Pier. We stopped at one of the beachside cafes for a drink

And when we got back to the Pier we walked right up to the main entrance to take a photo.

We had thoroughly enjoyed our walk – it had totally unwound us from the day before and we felt very chilled!
I am in this photo - leaning against the pillar on the right!

Our final destination for the day was La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum. This was somewhere Hugh has wanted to go to for a long while – no Hollywood Boulevard, Rodeo Drive and other tourist spots like that for us! The drive from Santa Monica took about an hour – 11 miles! However, we were so chilled we didn’t mind!

Arriving at the site we first went into the Museum. It had literally hundreds of fossils of animals such as giant sloths, sabre tooth cats, dire wolf and mammoth.
Hugh acting the fool!
There were also some dioramas of ‘complete’ animals to get an idea of what they would have looked like millions of years ago.

What we really enjoyed was the Fishbowl Lab where you could see palaeontologists working on Ice Age fossils right in front of us. They had the head of a mammoth in the room – you can see its back teeth – they are enormous!

When we had finished in the museum we went outside to the park where there are the remains of tar pits which have been excavated and one that is still being excavated.

It was fascinating to see the people working on the tar blocks which have been brought out – so carefully taking out the tiny bones.

It was also great to see what one always thinks of when you say tar pits – bubbles of tar! The tar is floating on the top of water and the bubbles are formed by the gas bubbling up beneath the tar.

To finish off our visit we returned to the Museum and watched the film all about how the excavations started and how they are carrying on today. It was a good film and nice to sit down for a while in the air conditioning!
As we had not had any lunch and it was now 4.30pm we decided to have a late lunch/early evening meal and we found our way to an open Sizzler! We were happy! We were also very full by the time we had finished and we made our way back to the hotel feeling very relaxed. We spent the evening reading our books and watching tv – something we had not had very much time to do the whole holiday! In fact, I took my e-reader with 4 new books on it and three paperback books. I read ‘One Day’ on the plane on the way over and started one of my books on my e-reader, but that was all. Most unusual for me on a holiday!

So, we packed most of our things up, ready for departure in the morning. Our last day of holiday – most to be spent in LA and then a flight home. One more post to come!!


Sian said...

My brother used to live in LA and we had a wonderful day on Santa Monica Pier when we visited - you have got me remembering that glorious sunshine! We didn't get to the Tar Pits though - that looks pretty cool

Karen said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed catching up with all the blog posts I missed while I was away. You did a wonderful job of being sure you and Hugh were in your trip photos. I was well aware of it as I read through your vacation posts, especially after Amy's recent post about the importance of having people in your photos!

I love the photo collage frames you used on your post about your Bank Holiday weekend. Would you be willing to share where you found them? I actually think I might have something similar (maybe the same) buried in my definitely unorganized digital supply folders. Thanks.

Maria Ontiveros said...

I have so loved going along on your vacation with you!!!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that it was far more relaxing than the day before. In all the times we've been down there (in-laws lived there) we never did make it to any of those sights. Think they'll be going on the list for next time.