(Post archived – photos removed)
We like to get to the beach whenever we can.
I used to live in Venice on one of those little walk streets that leads to the beach. I could stand at my front gate and see the ocean. I lived in the valley when I first moved to LA but soon migrated towards the water. Best idea *ever*.
Venice is a funky town with a heavy artists contingent and a counter-culture vibe. It’s a little dirty, there are some crazy people walking around, sometimes your car gets broken in to. But I loved my seven years there.
I lived off of Main Street near the Santa Monica border. My best friend lived a few blocks away and we would meet on the corner under the ugly clown and head to our neighborhood pub. I met my husband at the afore-mentioned pub. (See, Mom, you *can* meet a nice guy at a bar.) I could roller blade anywhere I needed to go. The air was cool and smog-free.
I still remember that feeling of driving home from work in the summer and coming down the 405, transitioning to the 10 and feeling the air change. It cooled and softened as the wisps of fog moved in from the ocean. Colors became richer under the soft light and your whole body would relax.
But when we got married and wanted to have children, we looked at houses and decided we didn’t want to pay close to a million dollars for a house with 2 bedrooms and no yard. So we came to Pasadena, where we only had to pay *half* a million dollars for a house with 2 bedrooms and no yard. We love it here. There are lots of trees and parks and shopping and families. And now my best friends live *here*.
But we still miss living at the beach. So off we went.
Past the aging guys in faded t-shirts playing roller hockey in the parking lot, reliving their east-coast childhoods spent on ice skates by spending weekends in the sun flying over the asphalt, freed from jobs and girlfriends.
We walked along the boardwalk, taking detours into the sand, stopping to play on the rings.
The carousel is on the pier, near the entrance.
Waiting for the roller coaster.
Waiting for the Ferris wheel.
Being on the Ferris wheel during sunset is like winning the lottery.
One more ride on the carousel before walking back to Main Street.
This is Joe’s Diner on Main Street in Santa Monica.
My husband and I had our first date here.
We met at noon one Sunday morning at the Omelette Parlor thirteen years ago, had breakfast, walked to the Third Street Promenade, saw a movie, walked back along the beach, shared our first kiss at sunset, then went to Joe’s and had dinner. It was close to midnight when I got home.
Now *that’s* a great first date.