It was midnight by the time I touched down in the United States and cleared customs at LAX. I could feel the buzz of the big city and the lure of the ocean. I had traveled directly from my office in London to the salty shores of Santa Monica. I still had my work badge in my pocket and my blazer strewn across one arm.
Jeff was there to meet me at the airport. Santa Monica is his home and I was so excited to be joining him for the weekend.
Santa Monica is amongst the world’s top tourist destinations and one of the most beautiful areas in Southern California. Tourists flock from all around the world to see the long, sweeping, busy beach and the loud, colourful Santa Monica Pier.
We stopped at In N Out on the way home, a must try if you haven’t before. I was so excited to be with Jeff and back in Los Angeles that we lost track of the time. We ate at a table outside and it was after 1am by the time we made it home.
The following morning we took a walk down towards Santa Monica Pier. The sight of the ocean blew me away. The rocky hills stood beautifully across from the blue waves. The Australian bushland that I was accustomed to seeing replaced with cactus and desert hills.
A walk down the pier alongside a wave of tourists exploring Santa Monica on a Saturday morning was an experience. The path that lead to the pier was loud and crowded but the scenery was beautiful. The pier was the perfect spot for photographing the beach as there were so many opportunities to stop and admire the view. Along the pier there were people busking, street performers, food outlets, a trapeze school, a roller coaster and mini carnival. Bubba Gump had a line out the door and the sun was shining overhead.
We had lunch at Sugar Fish, a high end sushi restaurant away from the pier. Naturally we ordered the largest lunch option the menu could offer and the food was delicious. The flavours were incredible and the service was great. I would definitely go back.
After lunch we walked down Third Street Promenade for some shopping. (I tried not to spend too long in Sephora). The Promenade is a large outdoor upscale retail and entertainment complex. There’s some great dining options too.
Dinner was booked at a seafood restaurant in Malibu. The restaurant hung over the beach and the entire wall looking out to see was glass. I witnessed the most amazing orange sunset over water. Jeff and I both chose the steak (to balance the sushi we had for lunch). The food was great and the red wine was tasty. A lovely end to a wonderful first day in Santa Monica.
The next morning Jeff and I met some friends for brunch. We chose a restaurant called Blue Daisy and opted for a table out on the patio.
The breakfast burrito was delicious and the mimosas made the meal feel quite fancy.
After lunch we grabbed a coffee from an Australian coffee shop (to my delight) called Bluestone. We then headed on a road trip out to Orange County for a family dinner.
We decided my third and final day in Santa Monica was going to be full of everything that LA is famous for; beaches, Mexican food, coffee and shopping. We walked down towards the beach and along the path that headed over the freeway and down to the sand. The surrounding houses looked incredible and I stopped frequently to marvel at the colours. The great thing about Santa Monica Beach is that as it is so vast, you have the choice to sit with the hustle and bustle of people near the pier or sit further along and be practically alone. We stood in the waves and let the water reach our knees. There’s something magical about facing out to sea with your feet in the water, a feeling of calmness I have known since I was a little girl.
For lunch we set off along the beach towards the Main Street for some Mexican food. I passed so many volleyball courts on the sand I lost count, and everyone had a bike. I almost hired one myself. We stopped for tacos and a margarita at a Mexican spot that Jeff was a fan of. The food was great.
Before we knew it time had escaped us and it was time to head to the airport. I boarded the plane back to London feeling refreshed and excited for the next adventure. My next trip back to LA was already booked.