The Pacific Ocean

Trip Start Jul 15, 2008
Trip End Jul 30, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, July 19, 2008

We could not travel over 2000 miles to the west coast and not make an appearance at the beach.  Our west coast beach of choice was Santa Monica.  It's the one with the big arch, large pier, and the wheel of death you have seen on TV many times.

                              The Beach                     Arch

Having spent several vacations at the Atlantic Ocean the comparisons between the Atlantic and the Pacific were inevitable.  First of all the beach traffic in Santa Monica makes the traffic at OBX look like a Sunday drive (on the east coast).  As with all LA traffic, cars are everywhere, turning in all directions.  Somehow they keep it moving and you never sit anywhere very long.  The traffic engineers in this part of the country are special.

Once we found a parking garage we headed to the pier.  As we were walking up to the pier we could see rocks sticking out of the ocean.  A sight not normally seen in the southern Atlantic.  Next we noticed that not as many people were in the water as in the Atlantic.  Additionally, those that were in the water were not out as far from the shore.  I am not sure if this was because the water is a lot colder or the rip tides. 
                                                            I can fly
Sarah took off her shoes and waded in.  She immediately began finding little rocks in the surf.  She collected a handful some of them a neat pinkish color.  We tell her all the time not to eat rocks, but we have never told her not to collect them.
After spending a some time on the beach it was up to the pier.  Unlike the piers in NC there is no charge to walk out on them.  There is no charge because the pier is full of tourist traps, street vendors, and street performers.  You can get anything you want; bait to go fishing, your name written on a grain of rice, your picture with Obama, post cards, beach equipment, street performer Cd's, and almost any other beach type thing you can imagine.  It was one stop tourist trap, crap shopping.  

                                Pier                 Wheel of death

We walked to our furtherest point west.  About 100 yards out the pier above the Pacific Ocean.  I watched the fishermen on the pier.  Apparently there are no fish in the Pacific Ocean either.  That made me feel a little better about my fishing skills.  I have now established there are no fish in the Atlantic, Pacific, or Lake Anna.  My quest will continue.
After spending a couple of hours at the beach it was time to brave the 405 and head back to our hotel.  It is Pat,s and my unsolicited, non-expert opinion that I-405 is the worst of the LA freeways.  We have not been on it when the traffic was not bumper to bumper, stop or go 70 mph, and stop again.  The time or the day does not seem to matter. You will be happy to know the 405 did not disappoint us on this Saturday afternoon. 

I said in an earlier blog I understand why everyone moves here for the weather.  It is as close to perfect as you will find.  I have every intention of importing it to my island.  However, the traffic would drive even the boldest east coast driver away.  Myself included. 

Once we had cheated death and arrived at the hotel, it was time to pack for our trip south to San Diego.  Of course that means one more venture on the 405, but we will make it.

Type to you from San Diego,

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