15 September 2010
Honeymoon Day 4
Day four was one of my favorite days. We hiked from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.
Let me start by saying that I LOVE LA. I find the "fakeness" of it comforting, somehow. I just feel home when I'm there. But really I'm probably just a California Gal at heart.
Regardless. We sort of slept in in Vegas. After waking up, we played a few lazy games of War with the sweet LAS VEGAS deck of cards we had gotten the night before. We watched a bit of a Top Chef marathon. We talked a lot about the wedding and the rest of the honeymoon, and then we got excited to actually be ON a honeymoon, so we packed up our stuff and headed out.
First stop was Trader Joe's. I just have to say - it was very comforting being in a Trader Joe's. Even if the layout is different and they have things there that they don't have in St. Louis (HELLO why are there not peant-butter stuffed pretzels here in the Midwest?!).
Then we hit the road. We drove through the desert. The temperature outside hit 112 degrees. The windows of the van were literally hot to the touch. We drove by our first In-N-Out but didn't stop until we saw the next one from the highway.
Oh. My. They were as good as I remember them being. We definitely had In-N-Out three times on the trip and just writing about it makes me miss it.
We also stopped at a Vans outlet store where Pete bought me new checkered shoes. Which was great. Someday I'll tell the famous story of my Vans.
We finally made it to LA, and of course, we sat in traffic before we even got the hotel. We stayed in Baldwin Park, which is (I think?) a suburb. LA is so spread out, it's hard to tell. But we were at least an hour away from everything that we wanted to go to, so once we checked into the room we sat and relaxed for perhaps a total of two minutes before running out to explore!
We headed down to Santa Monica right around dusk. It was beautiful. I love the ocean. I miss it. I don't know if I would want to live near it all the time, but...oh. It was just wonderful.
Pete had never seen the Pacific Ocean (except from a plane) but he enjoyed the beach. And he took an obscene amount of pictures of me.
After enjoying sunset on the beach, we headed up to the pier. We strolled hand-in-hand, did some people-watching, and played at the arcade. Pete tried to make me go on the ferris wheel but I am not a huge fan of heights. So we stayed grounded.
[Santa Monica Pier is the official end to Route 66 - which starts in Chicago. So I was pointing to St. Louis, where we began our trip. We drove the entire route, minus Chicago, on our honeymoon. And since then, we've been to Chicago and home twice.]
Because we didn't want to eat Bubba Gump's Shrimp or greasy boardwalk food, we finally decided to head out for dinner around 8:30. Thanks to the Urban Spoon app for the iPhone (if you have an iPhone you need to download this asap - it's free and amazing) we were lead to Urth Cafe. Which was amazing in every way. Organic. We sat outside. There was a heater nearby (because it was chilly, outside, in JULY. Why do I not live there?). I ate a caprese sandwich. It was perfect.
This place was also right across the street from a pizza place that my family and I went to when I was there in 2005. And the liquor store my parents stopped at to get a bottle of wine was right down the street, too. So odd. It was like I knew the neighborhood really well...but I didn't know it at all.
We walked around Santa Monica a bit - all the shops were closed, but we peeked inside. We got some Ben & Jerry's. It was a glorious first couple of hours in CA.
Also, may I mention - Pete and I went down to Cairo a few weekends ago. Maci, our niece (it's fun saying OUR nieces) had her birthday party. Mike and Bridgett and their daughters and son came, too. Bridgett was having a hard time getting her phone signal to pick up her Yelp app, so I grabbed my phone to try to help. And let me just say, when it finally did load, it was stuck in San Francisco, from when I had used it last. It was SO SAD to see that as I stood in a parking lot in Paducah, Kentucky, trying to find a coffee place that wasn't McDonald's. That is all.