Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica Pier – Saturday, 22nd of October, 2011

Our morning went to plan, we got up, jumped on the rickety complimentary hotel bikes and pedalled down to Manhattan Beach.

It was the most surreal expierience because Manhattan Beach was completely shrouded in a fog mist for most of the morning; it was like a scene of our ‘Silent Hill’ which was even more funny because we passed the Konami offices (publishers of the Silent Hill games!).  Sadly an irony that was lost on Lorraine and Amy!

The bikes were hilarious, it reminded me of a bike ride that I took with Mum and Dad in Spain that resulted in Dad slamming into a wall because he was too busy trying to look out for Mum who got scared by Spanish traffic.  There were no hand brakes on the Californian bikes, you had to back pedal to apply the brakes on the bike which was odd; especially as a lot of the journey down to the beach was downhill!

Manhattan beach was very pleasant and chilled out.  People were out running, cycling, walking dogs and playing volleyball.  It actually reminded me a little of Normandy beach in that people were making the most of their morning and the amount of activity would put English beachgoers to shame!  The fog didn’t lift so I didn’t really get a good look at the Pacific Ocean, but no matter, it was a nice chill out before we headed back to the hotel for another quick stint in the jacuzzi before checking out.  The Belamar was great value for money, highly recommended.

Leaving the hotel we headed for the Santa Monica Pier which kinda reminded me a little of the film Falling Down (the climatical scene on the pier); there were a few times that I remembered the Michael Douglas movie, especially the tailback, so the fact that we ended up on a pier like in the film was a little surreal.

Santa Monica Pier is a fun tourist trap with a few fairground rides and some fun shops (if a little over-prices, especially in comparison to Las Vegas!).  I saw some surfers and people swimming even though the fog still hadn’t lifted fully by lunchtime.

The highlight for me was standing by the Route 66 ‘End of the line’ sign, it’s always been a dream to travel down Route 66 (We did a bit on our way to LA!).

Anyway, my stomach was rumbling, so we decided to visit the Bubba Gump Shrink shack restaurant!

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