USA Pt VI: Santa Monica

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Santa Monica Beach

After we were done with Hollywood Boulevard, we drove down Sunset Boulevard then Santa Monica Boulevard towards Santa Monica Beach.

Apparently we were on the historic US Route 66, immortalized

Route 66

We also passed through Beverly Hills, home of many celebrities.

Beverley Hills

Mormon church

The drive took us around 40 minutes and it took us some time to locate the parking entrance near Santa Monica Place. Both of us were dying to visit the bathrooms after the drive and we used one of the hotels’ bathrooms en-route to Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica

The first building that greeted us on the pier was Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, inspired by the 1994 movie Forrest Gump.

Of Forrest Gump’s fame

Beside the restaurant, there was also a shop with all the Forrest Gump merchandise. Americans really know how to make money.

Shop

Both of us also couldn’t resist doing our Forrest Gump imitation.

Forrest Gump 1

Forrest Gump 2

It seemed that weekend started earlier for many people as the place was pretty crowded.

I suspect that it might have something to do with Santa Monica Pier being the end of the trail.

End or start of Route 66 (depends how you look at it)

The main attraction of the pier is the amusement park called Pacific Park. It was always nice to visit a happy place.

Pacific Park

Although we didn’t do any rides, it was still interesting looking at the young and the young-at-heart having fun.

Ride tickets

There were several options – one could either purchase the individual tickets for each ride (4 or 6 USD) or opt for the unlimited ride option (Child – 16.95 USD, Adult – 24.95 USD).

Ferris wheel in the horizon

Roller coaster track right over us

There were the games booths as well although not all were manned (unless there was enough interest). It seemed that Pacific Park faced manpower crunch as well.

Irresistible toys for the kids

Bananas in Pajamas

Waiting for the game to start

The first person who got the minion to the top (by aiming the water gun at the water hydrant below) would get the prize and we actually stayed behind to see who won. It was nail-biting end-to-end stuff; the girls celebrated as if they won the World Cup when they thought they came in first. It was not to be; the winner turned out to be the boy at far end and we definitely sympathized with the girls who went through the roller-coaster of emotions in a just a few seconds.

Despite not in the appropriate attire, we decided to go down to the beach as well.

Santa Monica Pier from the beach

Patrick was really excited to see the Pacific.

Yay

His enthusiasm was infectious

By then both of us were pretty hungry and True Food Kitchen at Santa Monica Place had turned up in Ying’s research. At the end of the meal, both of us weren’t disappointed.

True Food Kitchenat Santa Monica Place

What shall we eat?

Both of us loved the edamame dumpling starter (10 USD) that the server recommended.

Edamame dumplings

Our mains were pretty good as well.

Sea bass street tacos (16 USD)

Shaved turkey pita (13 USD)

The portions were quite big (for us) and we really enjoyed the meal. Wouldn’t mind revisiting it if we are in US again.

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