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Blog #1039

A Day at the Beach - 9/16/2021

Shawn and I had an easygoing morning today.  We started with an early lunch at Mel's Drive-In on Highland Avenue in Hollywood.


Mel's Drive-In

Mel's Drive-In

For the second day, we boarded our hop-on-hop-off tour bus on Hollywood Boulevard.  But today we would use the first loop simply for transportation.  We rode to the far west end of the route to Beverly Hills and then transferred onto the second bus loop.  This route will take us all the way to the Pacific Ocean via Century City and take Pico Boulevard through West Los Angeles.


Bordering Santa Monica Boulevard was Century City.  It is a neighborhood of Los Angeles, developed on the former backlot of 20th Century Studios, dominated by highrise towers and commercial properties.  It is still home to the headquarters of 20th Century Fox, and Fox Studios.


Fox Studios

When this vacation was over, I was asked who was the biggest movie star we had seen.  And the answer is Fox Plaza, which played the essential part of Nakatomi Plaza in the 1988 Christmas classic Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis.


Fox Plaza

The bus dropped us off at the north end of Venice Beach, right at the beach.


Venice Beach

We walked south along Ocean Front Walk, also known as the boardwalk, for over three-quarters of a mile.  There were skaters, people walking their pets, bikers, artists selling their wares, shops, restaurants and street musicians.


Venice Beach

Venice Beach

At the heart of the boardwalk is Windward Plaza, which has a great skatepark.


Skatepark

Skatepark

As the afternoon passed, it was time for us to turn back north.  We casually walked at the water's edge, taking photos, feeling the waves splash across our feet, listening to the surf crash nearby, people watching, enjoying the sunshine and feeling the sand between our toes.


Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

For nearly two miles we walked on the beach, until we came upon Santa Monica Pier.


Santa Monica Pier

On the pier there are musicians, shops and restaurants.  And the views are fantastic.


Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Also on the pier is Pacific Park, an admission free family amusement park.  It is the only amusement park on the West Coast of the United States located on a pier.  I just couldn't pass up this opportunity to get a ride on another roller coaster, so I paid my $10 for a ticket to ride West Coaster.


West Coaster

At Ocean Avenue we hopped back on the bus for the rest of the tour and to return to our hotel.  For most of the remaining second loop we traveled on Wilshire Boulevard and passed through the neighborhoods including Westwood.  Once again we transferred to the other tour bus in Beverly Hills.  As the afternoon drew to a close we had arrived back at our hotel.  It was time to shower, relax and rest for just a bit before the day's grand finale.  Hamilton.


We walked the ten blocks along Hollywood Boulevard from the hotel the Pantages Theatre.  This beautiful theatre is a palatial art deco design.


Pantages Theatre

Pantages Theatre

We made our way to our seats.  Row 14, center section, aisle seats.  Wow.  Well worth the price.


We weren't disappointed.  The musical was executed with the utmost precision.  I was most impressed.  A truly great bucket list moment that I'll always remember.  What a great way to close out this wonderful day.


Tomorrow we'll be headed north to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California for a day full of roller coaster action.


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