Santa Monica, California: After a night of musical beds... where Leo and Dave shared one bed much of the night and Lucy and I shared the other... though sharingwould be a generous explanation. Lucy moves constantly while sleeping. She talks. Switches longitude. Switches latitude. Lucy can sneeze in her sleep. Last night, Lucy broke into uproarious laughter for a full-on minute - yet never woke. What an amazing child. (As long as you are not sharing a bed.)
After rousing ourselves, and seeing the sun was out - no more fog - we went down to the hotel dining room for breakfast. Another adventure. Leo has decided he is now a tea drinker. English Breakfast, please. Neither of the kids had much to eat, but did manage to polish off a big bowl of fruit. I know we only have the kids for the weekend, but want to get a little healthy foods into their bellies.
We had a huge day of activity! After breakfast we walked a mile to the Santa Monica Pier. A mile may not seem like much of walk to you and me, but it is a hike for our three year old munchkin.
The walk was just lovely. Shaded paths along the sea. Paved for walkers/bicycles and gravel/dirt for joggers. The walkways are flanked with native aloes and ancient eucalyptus - which scented our walk. And though much of the pedestrian traffic were families, tourists, bicyclists, locals, joggers and dog walkers, there were also hundreds of homeless folks camping out under the shady trees. It was 78 degrees today in Santa Monica.
This photo caused Leo to ask a zillion questions about cannons and bombs. Dave and I had to reach way down deep into our reserves to answer these questions.
The view north from the Santa Monica Pier
After reaching the Santa Monica Pier, a visitor is faced with numerous ways to part with their hard-earned cash. Rides. Rides. Rides. Arcades. Chain restaurants. Vendors. Street musicians. Junk shops. Games of Chance. Tourist shops. Photo booths. Grandpa just surrendered, converting three billion dollars into quarters and followed the two grandkids around all morning - plugging any coin slot they pointed to.
The big draw on the pier is the famed Ferris wheel. Of course, we rode and were surprised our $10 ticket gave us about seven spins around. We were on the ride for about thirty minutes. (Enough time to watch at least twenty flights take off from LAX.)
The views from the Ferris Wheel were pretty awesome! The sky was so clear!
After we all rode the Ferris wheel, Dave and Leo rode the roller coaster. (Lucy was too small and Bubbe is too afraid.) While the boys rode the roller coaster, Lucy and I waited in line to ride a kiddie ride. While Lucy and I rode the kiddie ride, Leo and Bubba tried their hand at a pop-a-balloon-with-a-dart arcade game, which resulted in Leo winning a little stuffed lion that cost more than actually flying to Tanzania for a photo safari. (I exaggerate, of course, but it's my blog.)
And since my blog is for RVers, I humbly submit this photo... suggesting Made the way it oughta be! may not necessarily mean recently.
After walking the mile back to the hotel, we all went down to the pool for a swim and a poolside pizza pie.
Lucy demanded all "leaves" be removed from her slice.
After a swim, we all walked another mile (north, this time) to the beach. Leo played in the frigid water, while Lucy was determined to get wet sand into every inch of her body - from her ears to her toes. I'm pretty sure the drainage system at the hotel backed-up after Lucy's bath upon our return (another mile walk back) from the beach. There was a sand drift in the tub when she finished her bath. Our grandkids do have a very impressive sea shell collection to show for their afternoon at the beach.
We all dressed up and went to the hotel dining room for dinner. We were seated outside - poolside. The night was perfect and the hotel was buzzing with activity due to an on-site wedding. We were able to see the beautiful bride stroll past the pool - which caused quite a stir in the restaurant - with applause and ohhs and ahhs from hotel guests. Leo and Lucy ate well, and waited patiently as Dave and I finished our meals. The kids watched a movie in bed and crashed early.
I walked a lot of miles today - so can't imagine how tired Leo and Lucy must be! Leo never complained - Leo is just the best and so grown up these days - and Lucy only asked to be carried a few times.
Until my next update, I remain, your pier, pool AND beach correspondent.