Santa Monica and Day One in Sunny Southern California

Santa monica Pier Ferris Wheel Pacific Park ©Kim Smith 2015Santa Monica Pier and Ferris Wheel

I arrived Tuesday afternoon and was met at LAX by Liv, after which Matt, Liv’s fiancé, took us to a fun seal-frolicking lunch at a marina in Marina del Rey near Matt’s office. We then headed over to their home in Santa Monica. The spacious and light-filled modern apartment is only several blocks from the main boulevard, Ocean Ave, the luxury hotel-lined street that runs along the water.

Everyday we explored the local beaches and hiking trails. When Matt wasn’t working, he joined us, too. We had plans to visit several museums, but it was just too sunny and gorgeous outdoors and neither of us wanted to be cooped up inside. We discovered beautiful vistas and exquisite flora and fauna on every adventure and at every turn. Liv and Matt have done some extensive hiking and climbing in the few short months they have been living there and they were so sweet to show me some of their favorite spots, and we explored new places they had not yet been.

Liv Hauck ©Kim Smith 2015All along Ocean Ave it seemed as though everyone was outdoors walking, running, biking, and surfing in the warm late afternoon sun. I really wanted to see the Santa Monica Pier and where Matt had proposed to Liv.

Santa Monica Pier Pacific Park roller coaster ©Kim Smith 2015The historic 100 year plus Santa Monica Pier is still used by anglers and is home to Pacific Park, with the world’s only solar-powered ferris wheel. The wheel is 85 feet in diameter, displaying a dynamic light show created by 160,000 energy efficient lights.

Tired and hungry, we left at sunset. I hope we can spend more time at the Pier on my next visit.

Santa Monica Pier ©Kim Smith 2015Santa Monica Pier -2 ©Kim Smith 2015SantaMonica-Pier-1877-1Early incarnation of the Santa Monica Pier 1877

After dining at the charming, charming family owned and operated French restaurant, Le Petit Cafe, located only yards away from their front door, we went home to have a look at the Excel spread sheet Liv had organized, prepared to cram as many wonderful adventures as possible during the upcoming week.

young-wolff_2197Image of the Santa Monica Pier courtesy wikimedia; image of Le Petit Cafe courtesy Le Petit Cafe website.

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