01.11.2016 - 01.11.2016 70 °F
Julie here. After getting back late last night, we took our time starting our day and made breakfast in the hotel. We finally hit the road around noon and headed to Santa Monica, with our goal to see the Santa Monica Pier. By the time we made it to Santa Monica, we were starving. Tim did some research on the way and found a restaurant called Blue Plate Taco right on Ocean Avenue not far from the pier; and lucky us, we got street parking!
Blue Plate Taco was DELICIOUS. We sat outside with the company of Bob the pigeon and ate our meal (I may have snuck him a few tortilla chip crumbs). I had the fish tacos with Mexican slaw, Tim had the short rib tacos with rice and beans, and we shared chips and guac. Wow - what a great meal! After we inhaled our food we headed to the open air shopping street that paralleled Ocean Avenue. It gives Pearl Street in Boulder a run for it's money! I forgot to pack a hat so my goal was to find something to shade the sun from my eyes. Sunglasses alone don't cut it. Before long I found a cute fedora from a street vendor. We were making our way back towards the pier when we saw a store called Cream and Dreams that makes ice cream with liquid nitrogen. Of course we had to try it! Tim ordered cookie dough/nutella flavor. They pour the mix into the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer and mix in liquid nitrogen which freezes it into ice cream. It was really creamy and the flavor was really good.
Food - check. Hat - check. Weird ice cream - check. Next, the pier! I had no idea the pier was so large. I'd seen it in movies but I guess I thought it was set up boardwalk style? I didn't realize restaurants and rollercoasters and ferris wheels were actually ON the pier. I also had no idea Ocean Avenue runs along a cliff and you actually have to walk DOWN to the pier. I learned a lot today! We're definitely visiting at a low peak time so the pier wasn't crowded at all. In fact, some restaurants were closed completely. We walked the length of the pier, took some pictures and then headed to the beach. We couldn't be that close to the beach and not walk on it! The beach was beautiful - we finally had a nice sunny day. The view of what I think was the Santa Monica mountains completed the picturesque scene.
We didn't spend a ton of time at the beach because we were losing daylight and there were a few more things we wanted to see. So we headed back to the car and drove over to Beverly Hills and of course, down Rodeo Drive. We made a quick stop at Badgley Mischka to get a pair of shoes (I wish!) and then on to the Paul Smith store which is a giant pink building and sets the backdrop for one of the most instragrammed walls. We snapped some fun pics in front of the pink wall, played with shadows and then drove to the West Hollywood library. Tim had researched street art in the area. On the back of the library parking garage is a large mural by Shepard Fairey, who Tim is a fan of. Around the corner, inside the library cafe, is a smaller mural by the same artist. Both were impressive.
By that time the sun was setting and we were ready for dinner. We stopped at a gas station for a snack to hold us over until we got back to Huntington Beach. Tim wanted to go to the Huntington Beach Beer Company. Side note, if you have a passenger and can ride in the car pool lane, getting around isn't that bad. We have tried to avoid driving at peak times but sometimes we can't help it and it hasn't been horrible.
When we got back to Huntington Beach we stumbled onto a surprisingly large farmers market/arts fest on Main Street. Odd that it was at night, but still fun! I got some funny tank tops and we were really tempted to buy some local art. But alas, we didn't and instead spent our money at the Huntington Beach Beer Company - which was a giant mistake. Ugh, definitely the worst meal of the trip and maybe of the year. The fact that the few people in the restaurant were eating had pizza should have been a tip off. The salads were half-rotten. The clam chowder was bland. The mac and cheese was 'eh'. The only thing that was any good was the mozzarella sticks, but they came on a bed of cole slaw mixed with sweet thai chile sauce??? Huh?? Such a bummer to end a great day.
Tomorrow we have a full day planned. Hint hint, look for us at the Pens/Ducks game ;-)