We just got back from SANTA MONICA! Yes, that’s right, in California. And if you know me at all, you know I rarely travel due to the fact that I truly detest flying. In fact, I travel so little that the first day I was in Santa Monica, my bank cancelled my credit card because they just assumed that, given my typical spending, I’m much too boring to take a trip across the country. Kidding, kidding… kind of.
Anyway, we were super lucky to be given this opportunity through Matt’s company. He works west coast territory, so they wanted to fly him out to meet his Californian coworkers. And, lucky me got to tag along.
I hadn’t been to California since I was about thirteen visiting a friend who lived outside of LA, so I was definitely excited to go back. We had Saturday and Sunday to explore, and then would both be working from the Santa Monica WeWork Monday-Wednesday.
Our flight left early Saturday morning and we arrived around 11am Pacific time, which gave us a decent amount of time left that day.
After arriving at our hotel, we changed out of our plane clothes, made ourselves look a bit more human, and headed for the Santa Monica Pier. As I mentioned, I hadn’t been to LA in a while, and I’d never been to Santa Monica before.
Upon first impression, it was super touristy. And, in fairness, I was a tourist too, but it was crazy packed everywhere on the pier (and also really hot out). The heat wave from the east coast decided to pack up and follow us out to California! It was apparently the hottest it had been all year there… of course. Perfect timing.
I was also really taken aback by the amount of homeless people on and nearby the pier. I thought New York was bad, but this made my city look like nothing. I had heard there was a really high rate of homeless in California in general, but I don’t think I was prepared for the sheer magnitude of it. Although it was definitely really sad, it was also a bit disconcerting seeing it everywhere we went.
Other than that, it was a beautiful (although, like I said, very hot) day and not a cloud in the sky. We walked all the way down the pier and found it was super easy to find people to take our picture since there were so many tourists. Also, pro tip: if you see someone taking a selfie, offer to take it for them and they’ll likely offer to take a picture of you after. Works (almost) every time.
I even let Matt take some photos of just me, which I almost never do since I’m so incredibly awkward at all times.
Once we were done being touristy, we realized we were both dripping sweat and starving. Our internal clocks were all messed up and still on Eastern time, so our stomachs were looking for dinner but it was just time for lunch.
We wandered Ocean Ave in search of food and ended up at Blue Plate Taco. This place had great frozen margaritas (which unfortunately melted almost instantly, but were still really good) and some of the best chips and guac I’d ever had – although that might have just been my extreme hunger and overheatedness talking.
Feeling like I needed something light and (moderately) healthy, I got the Baja Caesar salad with chopped romaine, caesar dressing, corn, avocado, cotija, and tortilla strips. Again, tasted great at the time but I was also potentially moments away from passing out from a strange mix of heat exhaustion and jet lag… and I’m sure the margarita didn’t help with that.
After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest. Matt passed out in bed almost instantly and verdict’s still out on whether I fell asleep at any point or not.
By the time it was dinner time, neither of us were super hungry again (still feeling the jet lag). We headed back downtown again and walked around while the sun set… over the water! I’m really not used to beach sunsets, so that was exciting in and of itself.
We ended up just getting salads and beer (what a combo) instead of a full dinner at Stout Burgers and Beer on Santa Monica Boulevard. By ten o’clock, we were both so beat that we decided to head back to the hotel and get a good night’s sleep (although by that time it felt like it was past 1AM to us).