Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A (Longer Than Expected) Weekend in LA – Part Two


I had all day available to me to explore Los Angeles before our flight home late tonight. What on earth is a girl to do?

Buy a round-trip trolley ticket to Manhattan Beach for $5, of course!


After leaving my luggage at the hotel desk, I walked a few blocks to the trolley stop. Apparently, they run on their own schedule, because it wasn’t anywhere near the times listed on this sign.

I wasn’t in a hurry, so this didn’t bother me. I had several hours to spend before I needed to change clothes and head to the airport for “work.”


This might explain why the trolley was late. At almost every stop, the driver got out and wandered around, shaking hands with apparent friends and leaning against city buildings for a few moments. I guess we had to be on his schedule, huh? It was pretty funny.

But for $5, I can’t complain for too long!


We arrived in downtown Manhattan Beach, and my first order of business was to eat some lunch. I saw this Mexican restaurant and decided to give it a try.


A “wet” burrito sounded perfect! I got the carnitas burrito smothered in enchilada sauce.


It’s kind of fun going to Mexican restaurants when I’m on the road because I don’t have to share the chips and salsa.

Man, I love chips and salsa.


Lunch arrived, and it was “meh.” I didn’t eat very much of it, but it didn’t make sense to carry it around with me for the rest of my day, either. What a waste. And I hate having to ask for water a dozen times. Don’t people know that I live in Phoenix and am always thirsty?


After lunch, I walked past some cute beach shops on my way to see all of the action near the water. It was definitely starting to feel like I was in southern California!


Although I had no intention of getting dessert so quickly after lunch (I love spacing out my treats to enjoy them even more!), I stumbled across this cupcake shop. She had a giant sign in the window advertising that she had been on Cupcake Wars. I might have even seen that episode.

I feel a moral obligation to try out as many cupcakes as I can, wherever I am. I do make cupcakes, after all. This is just more scientific research taking place, folks.


The display was pretty, but I should have listened to my gut when I saw the prices. How can someone charge $4 for a cupcake?! Are we paying the rent with each little bundle of edible joy? Sheesh!


Without going into much detail, I will just say this. I make a way better Red Velvet Cake. In every way imaginable. ‘Nuff said.


With a whole lotta sugar still sticking to the roof of my mouth, it was time to continue my walk towards the ocean. I passed these beautiful homes. While I would never want to live here in real life, it was fun to imagine some of these as vacation homes.

Isn’t the lawn pretty, too?


We have arrived. Welcome to Manhattan Beach! This was my first time here. It was beautiful and very…beachy!


The skies were blue. The sun was out. It was a Saturday.

All of these factors meant that Manhattan Beach was packed today!


Of course, I headed to the pier to get a better look around. I’m not much of a sand person, which I’m discovering as I get old and gray.


But I would have risked some sand to be able to play volleyball. I love volleyball! I played all through high school, and we even won Region one year (This is not an Uncle Rico Moment)!


I had a keen appreciation for the single-engine airplanes flying overhead with banner advertisements. Kevin Nealon is doing a stand-up routine later tonight, in case you need to know. And I wouldn’t have known that had I ignored these little fly guys like everyone else.


As you can see, the beach was the place to be today. Everyone from the entire city was here this afternoon, basking in the sunlight and soaking up the sound of the waves.


Although I’m not a fan of pigeons, they appear to make light posts look pretty elegant. You know, if you can ignore all of the pigeon poop on top of the light post next to the pigeon.


This warmed my heart and was so fun to watch from a distance. This dad was teaching his little girl how to surf. You could tell that he was giving her instructions and telling her how to be successful in her form. She often turned around to smile at him. They were really enjoying their time together. It was so sweet.


I found a bench on the pier to watch people the beautiful ocean for a while.


I kicked up my feet and made myself at home. Southern California exudes that feeling of comfort and laid-back attitude. Dude.


Sitting here was nice because I could hear the waves (one of my favorite sounds in the world) and enjoy some sun with millions of other people. It was such a lovely afternoon!


I continued my walk around to the end of the pier. There was a café at the end, as well as lots of fishermen testing their luck with lines in the water.


A quick peek back at the beautiful water. I knew that I couldn’t get in because I thought that I had to work later. But I really wanted to get into that cool water! Isn’t is blue and pretty and refreshing and salty?

Sorry. It was a teensy weensy bit warm today. And humid, too!


This was one of my favorite shots of the day, for some reason. I just loved this guy not giving up while lots of other fishermen wandered the pier. This guy stayed by his pole so that he could be ready for when that bite struck!


I also really love this picture because of the blue and green capture. It looks so pretty with the sea foam building up around the pier. I even saw a tiny leopard shark down there in the water today! OK, I admit that another guy had to point it out to me, but I still saw it.

Man, now I’m really glad that I’m not down in that water! The shark was tiny, but still…

On a side note, I’m pretty sure that sharks live in my pool at night. Maybe that’s why I rarely use it?


It was soon time to say goodbye to the pier and head back toward my trolley stop. It’s been a pretty lovely day so far!


I would like to graciously accept the second house on the right as my permanent vacation spot. I loved the little porches on all of these beach homes with comfy outdoor patio furniture that just kept calling me in.

Don’t worry…I didn’t creep anyone out by helping myself to their house. But I came close a few times.


One of the best things about my huge $5 investment in the trolley ticket was that I could hop-on, hop-off at all of the stops. My thirst dictated that I stop at the mall for a nice drink. Unlike normal malls, this fancier version didn’t seem to have a food court. So I finally found a place that could wet my whistle with a frozen lemonade.

I was so thirsty, so this tasted really good. I don’t think that it would be as wonderful next time! And…how was this $6?!

IMG_3778   IMG_3779

While I sat inside the air-conditioned mall sipping on a lemonade, I noticed this friendly gentleman wandering around. He probably realized that he wanted to head to the mall, but he also felt guilty about leaving little “Freddy” behind at home.

The solution? Put Freddy on a leash, then on your shoulder, and hit the mall like a real man. I still don’t know what to think about this guy. My heart goes out to him for some reason, but I want to laugh, too.

What do you think is up with him?


I left the mall and hopped back on the trolley to eventually make my way back to the hotel for some dinner. Tomorrow, we will finish our longer-than-expected weekend in Los Angeles.

1 comment:

  1. The beach is so beautiful! I am always surprised at how cold the Pacific Ocean is in California. It looks so warm, but it's not! Not sure what to make of the guy with his cat on the leash--weird for sure, but cute in a way too.


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