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Wednesday: On the Beach

And now… the conclusion of our Los Angeles trip:

  • Wednesday — This was our “beach day,” a nice way to wind down our vacation. I’d never been to Venice Beach before, and previously I’d only known the spot for its image as a hangout for surfers, bodybuilders, tattoo artists and other stereotypical Californians. That morning, we walked around the boardwalk and observed everyone getting ready for the day. It had a funky and kind of mellow vibe. One of the first photos I snapped was a shop window selling a custom-blown glass bong in the shape of Bart Simpson. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Much of this area looked vaguely familiar from being filmed for various movies and TV shows. I even recognized one building as a locale from the Linda Blair Roller Boogie movie. We searched around for a spot to eat breakfast, but the only shops available were snack joints that hadn’t yet opened for the day. Long story short, we ended up back at the hotel and having the attendant get our car (one of the annoying aspects of the Hotel Erwin) so we could take the short drive to the recommended restaurant. Unfortunately, the first place we tried was lousy. We had to wait 15 minutes before being waited on. Then the waiter informed us the muffin I ordered from the menu hasn’t been available for months. A few minutes later, they told us that they ran out of the croissant I also ordered. All we wanted was a simple, quick meal! We got fed up and bolted for another place across the street (which was better). About the only good thing to come from this time-consuming jag was the opportunity to see Jonathon Borofsky’s notorious ‘Ballerina Clown’ sculpture. Back to the hotel, we finally got our time to relax on the beach. It was nice, with flocks of seagulls, sandpipers and plovers to keep us company. I got in the water up to my knees and Christopher swam out to a rocky outcropping. It was a balmy morning and the beach hadn’t filled up yet — perfect! We walked around the boardwalk some more, eventually buying a stack of t-shirts from one of the overstuffed souvenir shops lining the way. We got back to the hotel, packed our bags, and shipped off for home on the venerable 10 highway. Of course, it wouldn’t be L.A. without at least one traffic jam, and we hit a doozy on the way out. Before passing over the Colorado River into our home state, we did one last “California” thing — lunch at the Thousand Palms In-N-Out Burger location! So ended Matt & Christopher’s California Adventure.

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