Day 17 Santa Monica! Our boy turns 17! 21 April 2016

I woke up very refreshed at 6am (well the bloody alarm went off as set by the previous occupant…).  I decided to get up for a run. I hadn’t run since I left Australia and wasn’t sure that I could any more…

First stop was the famed Santa Monica Stairs, a couple of houses away.  I wasn’t the first.  There were already several people going up and down in various combinations of torturous methods (e.g.  2 steps at a time, sideways, crossing legs over, 80ish year olds going slowly and stopping for rests) as well as stopping at the top and bottom to do bare elbow push ups on the concrete sidewalk with their expensive looking personal trainers hanging over them.  It was impossible to get a photo without someone on the stairs – they were so busy!
Santa Monica Stairs

I bravely tackled the stairs and while 2.5 long flights of very steep stairs was hard going, I did it fairly well and erupted onto the upper road (more people doing pushups and being exercised on the road and sidewalk).

I decided try a little jog and it felt OK.  I headed along 4th Street for Montana Avenue, then turned up Montana Avenue and headed for Pavilions again.  A quick shop and then I turned and headed back down Montana for the ocean!  My favourite beach and ocean top walk.  Those glorious, towering palm trees making beautiful swirls in the sky and those beautiful dashes of colourful roses.  Then of course the stunning expanse of white beach.  Heaven!  I took a few photos to post on Facebook to make the running ladies at home envious (Hey, I have to make the most of this rare opportunity!).
Santa Monica Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica beach
Santa Monica beach

I ran to the end of Ocean Avenue (doing circles and laps around the palms to make sure the I missed nothing) and then turned onto Entrada and back home.

Happy birthday to my big boy!  What a perfect place to spend a birthday in! We celebrated with his first Californian breakfast at Blue Plate on Montana Avenue.  We had the Combo (eggs plus pancakes or french toast), Quesadilla and my favourite, the Breakfast Sink Bowl (spinach, feta, poached egg, sweet potato, yams, mushrooms, capsicum, asparagus) – yummo!

Blue Plate Kitchen Sink Bowl Blue Plate Quesadilla

Next stop was a return to the old fashioned barber on Montana Avenue that we had found in 2011.  This time he relieved our 17 year old of a mop of hair and most of us were grateful!.

Montana Avenue barber
Montana Avenue barber

Montana Avenue barber

Montana Avenue barber

In our walks around the street we saw some beautiful houses.  I love California houses and gardens. Santa Monica house
Santa Monica house
Santa Monica house

We also saw a Tesla refuelling – our 17 year old is mad over them.
Tesla car refuelling

We then headed off in search of a skate board (the requested present).  First, best and final stop was Rip City.  The salesman was great and we walked away with a long board with Kevlar coating and lots of other things I didn’t understand.  Mainly we had a happy 17 year old!.Rip City Rip City
Rip City

We then set off for the Santa Monica Pier.  Last time I had avoided this but with children it was inevitable this time and it turned out to be a lot of fun.  The boys had a go on the roller coaster while I tried to wildly spin around and film and photograph it.
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier    Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

This cool street artist balanced on rails and walked down these stairs on his hands.  Great muscle control!Santa Monica Pier

This street artist had perfected the art of sitting!
Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier claims to be the end of the famed Route 66.Route 66

View of the beach from the pier.
Santa Monica BeachSanta Monica Beach

Townhouses on the waterfront walking towards the pier.
Santa Monica beach
Santa Monica Pier waterfront townhouses

After the pier we walked back into the shopping district and crossed this crazy sidewalk which is actually flat but made us feel sick with its wavy pattern.
Wavy sidewalk

Then it was time for a birthday dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.

29 000 steps!