Thursday, August 5, 2010

California, Santa Monica.. So LA!


Map picture



SMO 039 Leaving Wilshire Grand Hotel it is a short walk to Grand and 7th. I am looking for a “Big Blue Bus”.

Familiar with “Small Yellow Buses”, I am excited that things are becoming bigger and more colorful in my life.



The No.10 Santa Monica Express bus soon comes to an abrupt stop in front of me. Without exact change for the $1.75 fare I deposit $2.00 and inform the driver that I am giving her a 25 cents tip. This brings a smile and a new bus driver friendship.


SMO 002 On Interstate 10 or “The 10” as most Angelenos would call it, traffic is bumper to bumper. I think I see a turtle pass us by.

I have my doubts that we will get to Santa Monica anytime soon. My doubts are soon removed as I witness some bus driving skills that I am sure not even Ralph Kramden could compete with.


“Y'all better watch out, I am driving a 40,000 pound bus” our bus driver warns those brave enough to enter her path. I love it!

Too much for even the bus to handle, a PA announcements request “Open your windows, my transmission is over heating”. With it's engine turned off we sit a few minutes on the side of the interstate to allow the bus to catch it's breath.

“Don't worry, y'all going to be OK on my bus”


SMO 003 Sure enough it's not long before we are in Santa Monica but not before some more impressive bus driving skills.






SMO 008 Besides a beautiful beach within walking distance, “The Third Street Promenade” is also a part of Santa Monica.

Cool restaurants, movie theaters, street performers and shops makes this a great place to hangout.

So LA, even guys can be seen shopping here.



SMO 014

At Cabo Cantina, I sit back and take in the scenery while enjoying a Torta.








SMO 015 Steak, grilled onions, green peppers and jalapenos sandwiched between warm soft toasted bread is another way to enjoy the flavors of Mexico.

A daily 4-7pm Happy Hour 2 for 1 Margarita would be a nice complement.





SMO 018

From the cliffs of Santa Monica I view a wide beach expanding as far north and south as I can see.


SMO 020 The weather is California beach beautiful in the mid 60's on the cliffs and 70's on the beach.







SMO 017 I cross Pacific Coast Highway then relax on a beach sidewalk.







SMO 021 As bicycles and skaters go by, I watch a family enjoying a game of beach volleyball.








SMO 026

The World Famous Santa Monica Pier lies to the south. A walk along the pier is a must.


SMO 022 There Forrest Gump invites you to dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company or visit the nearby Santa Monica Aquarium.






SMO 024 If you want to venture beyond Santa Monica bike and roller blade rentals are available along the beach.

Venice Beach is just a few miles or less to the south or Malibu Beach about the same distance to the north.






SMO 030 “Ice Cream, One Dollar A Scoop”, “Ice Cream One Dollar A Scoop”, I swear I hear from a pair of parrots parked on the side walk as I make my way back to find the No.10 bus.





SMO 027 250 percent cheaper than the going rate on The World Famous Santa Monica Pier, I investigate.





“One Scoop Coconut Pineapple, One Scoop Butter Pecan”, “ One Scoop Coconut Pineapple, One Scoop Butter Pecan”.


SMO 028 Did I say that or is there a guy around here with two dollars?






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