Friday, July 29, 2011

Visiting Santa Monica

   Santa Monica is a very clean and polished city.  The weather is beautiful and the city itself has a lot to offer.  My visit began in Westwood, home of the UCLA Bruins.  When I arrived there was a Farmers Market in progress which apparently happens every Wednesday.  Then I migrated toward the Third Street Promenade.  A popular shopping location which is kind of like Santa Monica's courtyard.  By far, the main attraction of the city is its famous Santa Monica Pier which draws a flood of traffic and tourism from all over.  They come there to fish, see the shows, and overall have a good time.

Ferris Wheel
Walking across the pier is a great experience.  People come from all over the world come to visit this location.  The area is vibrant with activity and the weather is simply beautiful.  The moment you step foot onto the pier you are treated with a host of activities to enjoy and participate in.  The first thing you will probably notice is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant from Forrest Gump.  I kind of got a little kick out of this because I am a fan of the movie.  I never really paid that much attention to it before , but this pier was one of the filming locations.  It's the part where Forrest goes on his run from coast to coast, one side ending right here.  The pier marks the end of the popular "Route 66" which is affectionately labeled "America's Main Street."    After passing the Shrimp Co., you will then come across other goodies like an arcade, bumper cars, and even a trapeze school where you can practice some high-flying acrobatics (if you have any).  At this point you will approach the meat of the operation which is Pacific Park.  This is where they have a carnival-style set up consisting of carnival games, a rollercoaster, and a giant ferris wheel which is a national landmark.  Once you exit the park you can continue onward toward the edge of the pier which seems to be the most popular location for fishing..  Also, it's just a nice a place to hang out and lose yourself in the rippling waves of the ocean.

Performer shows us how to fly
    In my opinion, what really breathes life into the entire scenario are the entertainers, which are scattered intermittently between the different venues from the moment you enter until the very edge of the pier.  They come in all different varieties ranging from the iconic one-man band, pop-lock dancers, singers, painters, balloon artists and more.  Each with there own flair of comedy that is sure to entertain as some of them go to extreme lengths to reel in that extra buck.

   The Santa Monica Pier is a VERY popular location and with good reason.  It's a nice little eclectic bundle of entertainment expertly placed amidst beautiful climate and a friendly atmosphere that just about anyone can enjoy.

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