Santa Monica Pier
On my way to California, I found out my friend Barb from St. Paul was going to be in Laguna Beach to see Pageant of the Masters. I called her right away to see if we could get together. I've known Barb for 33 years. She was my podmate when I returned to work at AT&T after maternity leave (Bre just turned 34). We have been friends ever since and although I don't see her very often we play DrawSomething on a regular basis.
When we were planning our day, she mentioned that she and her friend Jean didn't have a car so I offered to drive if there was somewhere she wanted to go. Turns out Jean had just turned 66 and they thought it would be fun to take her picture on the Santa Monica pier at the end of Route 66. I gulped quietly and said sure that sounded like a fun day. The reason for the gulp was California traffic, I would have to drive about 20 miles south to pick them up and then 50 miles north from Laguna to Santa Monica and then back the same way. I drive 140 miles around home without blinking an eye, that is just part of living in the middle of nowhere. But 140 miles in the LA area is serious business. Timing would have to be perfect. Luckily it was perfect and with 3 of us in the car we got to take the carpool lane which is always a plus.
We arrived in Santa Monica at about 11:30 a.m. to a beautiful sunny day, found parking about 6 blocks from the pier, and maneuvered our way through the construction area to the pier. It was pretty crowded but not as much as weekends, thank goodness. We all three marveled about how wide the beach was at that location and how beautiful everything was. We checked out the tourist shops and huge boardwalk. I pointed out where Cirque du Soleil sets up in the winter. Bre took me there a couple of years ago. Barb had found a souvenir shop she liked on line and we finally found it at the end of the pier and on the way back Jean stopped to pick up t-shirts at Bubba Gump. Turns out "Forrest Gump" is her son and grandson's favorite movie.
Lush that hand makes soap and shampoo. I love their bath gel called Happy Hippy which has this wonderful citrus smell and makes my morning shower a little slice of heaven. They have a store on the Santa Monica Promenade and we headed over there to pick up a couple of things. I take my hat off to these two ladies. They weren't distracted by all the stores so we went down the Promenade with no unplanned stops.
By this time we were starving and started looking at the available food options. As it turns out I had just been in Santa Monica the day before to have lunch with Bre and her friend Andrew and we ate at this great Mexican place, Lula Cocina Mexicana. It was delicious and only a mile away so we decided to head over there. The food was great and the Avocado Cheese burrito I ordered was as big as my head. Oh it was good!!!! I think Barb and Jean enjoyed their meal as well since there was nothing left on their plates.
We arrived back in Laguna Beach about 4 p.m. and then Barb and I went over to check out the art festival at pageant of the masters. I found several artists I really liked but everything was way out of my price range. Rich Graves did these awesome panoramic action photos. The bike one really grabbed me since Bre is so into bikes right now.
I love art that makes me smile and Full Moon Clay with their retro comic book type sculptures hits the mark on that one. I love all of the work they had on display.
Scott Moore was another artist that really caught my eye. He has a very realistic style but paints whimsical objects like the one on his card of the little man sitting on a table with donuts, and coffee. So much fun and so much talent.
One of Barb's favorite was Molly Hutchings who did watercolors of quilt type patterns. Really really pretty.
Barb has been coming to see Pageant of the Masters for about 14 years and knows her way around Laguna and the Pageant. She talked it up so much that Bre and I are talking about going to see it before I go home. In the "lobby" of the outdoor amphitheater there are a bunch of tables under a huge canopy of different colored mesh tarp thingys. So it is nice and shaded and there was a cool breeze coming off the ocean and we sat for a while to catch up. It was such a lovely day. Hopefully I've convinced Barb to come visit one of these days.