By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 9/25/2018
Occurred: 6/16/2018
Topics/Keywords: #Travel #USA #California #SantaMonica Page Views: 166
We explore the California coast, starting with Santa Monica.

I woke before Keith (as usual) and spent several minutes just staring out the window. The previous night I could only see a few distant lights. But in the morning, it was clear that we were, literally right on the beach. But then I wandered into the living room to find two precious grandchildren. (The older precious grandson was also still asleep.)

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Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa

John, who arrived after Keith and I had already turned in, found himself awakened by little people who adore him.

Paul S Cilwa

Jenny's plan for the day was for us to visit nearby Santa Monica Pier, which she described to 3-year-old Gianna as a "fair". But first, we made a brief stop at a shopping center opposite Pepperdine University.

Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa

We wound up parking a couple of blocks south of the pier, but that allowed us to see the beach itself as we approached it.

Dominc seemed less than overwhelmed at the clouds, sand and the walk.

Paul S Cilwa

And Gianna was less than impressed by the public bathrooms. (She also didn't want to touch the sand. At all.)

Paul S Cilwa

At the base of the pier is a carousel, and of course that had to be the toddlers' first stop.

Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa

This is John holding Dominic, and Jenny holding Gianna. Zach (19) was also with us, but he ran off on his own so I didn't get a chance to take photos of him.

Paul S Cilwa

Despite the overcast and cool temperatures (low 70s), there was quite a mob at the beach and more than a few swimmers.

Paul S Cilwa

Our destination on the pier was the Marisol restaurant, for lunch.

Paul S Cilwa

Dominic was very interested in the lobsters. Gianna, on the other hand, was horrified. For the rest of the week, Jenny threatened to feed her lobster unless she had "just a taste" of whatever else Jenny wanted her to eat.

Paul S Cilwa

After eating, we stopped for a bit at an arcade, where Gianna won a "baby unicorn" after an interesting Skeeball session.

Paul S Cilwa

Notice that Gianna's toy poodle Lulu was given a mount of her own.

Paul S Cilwa

On our return walk to the car, we passed a number of athletic young people who apparently use Santa Monica Beach in place of a gym membership. (Besides, how many gyms have tightropes?)

Paul S Cilwa

To save gas and parking, we all rode together in Jenny's Escalade, which Zach had driven from Arizona. Keith and I squeezed in back, with Jenny squashed between the toddlers and Zach and John in front.

Paul S Cilwa

When we got home the kids were covered with sand (as, indeed, we all were) so Dominic got to spend a little time in the shower. (When I was his age, I loved to play in the bathtub—we didn't have a shower—so I completely empathized with him.)

Paul S Cilwa
Paul S Cilwa