The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Beach fun @ Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles (USA)

California is known for sunny weather and beaches, and it was only fitting to spend our first day in Los Angeles at the beach! We stayed in a vacation rental near Venice Beach, and I selected this location because I remembered my older sister raving about Venice Beach when she visited LA more than a decade ago. Venice Beach was not quite like any beach I've been to before. The busy promenade was interesting, eccentric and a little crazy, with a cool and fun vibe. The beach itself was very wide a lot of sand! We had to walk a long way in the sand to get to the water. The kids got right into sand play, but the water was too cold to swim in. It was a nice beach, but it didn't quite compare to the beautiful white sandy beaches of Western Australia. We explored the promenade, ate a delicious lunch and then checked out the artificial but beautiful Venice Canals. It was late afternoon by the time we hired bikes to ride into Santa Monica, and we stayed only a short while before heading back to Venice Beach for dinner, bath and bedtime. It was the perfect laidback way to spend the day after enduring a 13-hour flight crossing many timezones. Here are some snapshots of what we saw.

Sand, sand, sand everywhere:

We don't get much sand in Hong Kong, so sand was a novelty for the kids:

The busy promenade, facing north:

Facing south on the promenade:

Muscle Beach Venice! The perfect place for weight-training and body-building for the exhibitionists! (I get enough attention being Asian, female and lifting weights at the gym by fellow gymgoers; I don't think I can handle spectators watching (and taking photos!) while I am doing my workout.)

Picture-perfect Venice Canals:

We even saw a resident getting around in the canal on his surfboard and a pole like the gondoliers we saw in real Venice!

A happy snap on our way to the bike rental shop:

Very good bike path connecting Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier:

Rode a tandem with my boy (baby girl enjoyed riding with hubby in a carrier attached to the front of his rental bike). In this shot I think hubby caught me mid-sentence while getting my boy to smile for the camera:

Lots of bikes and even more cars on that Saturday afternoon:

At the end of Santa Monica Pier looking towards Colorado Ave (the late afternoon sun did not let me have a good shot of the pier itself):

That was a great start to a great trip! Stay tuned for more.

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