In and around Los Angeles - Santa Monica Beach & Pier

After the organised Chaos that was Disneyland we collected our hire car and headed to our Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.  Looking to visit some of Los Angeles iconic spots we opted to head to Santa Monica looking for a little less structure in our day. 

The beach was huge and surprisingly uncrowded given the beautiful weather and being a weekend.  Not that it was a problem for us, we parked at the edge of the beach and had a fun people watching filled walk to the Pier. 

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Of course we found where all the people were once we got to the pier. We ambled along weaving in and out of the crowd from the start of the pier to its end, and slowly back again. 

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Stopping at the antique indoor carousel at Eve's behest, scooping up some ice-creams and sodas at Jerk Soda to cool back down.

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As we headed back off the pier on our way back to the beach we noticed that the aquarium had free admission for an open day so we meandered in there too. It was quite small and not somewhere I would have opted to pay the $5 each to get in to (yes I know I sound like a tightarse, Disney got all my money already) but a few minutes spent exploring the touch pools was quite fun, and something that became a bit of a theme for the rest of our holiday. 

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After the aquarium I sat on the benches applying and reapplying sunscreen (another holiday theme) while Eve and Tyler frolicked in the ocean for a while.  After the hot afternoon sun dried them off we gathered ourselves and headed further up the coast to explore the tide pools at El Matador beach.