Monica was a cozy city, where we felt safe to walk around.
Our taxi driver the night before had recommended
the Promenade to us, saying
that it was nicer, cleaner and safer than the
Strip. We parked and headed down a deserted back alley
toward the Promenade, feeling
more than a little uneasy.
Promenade was blocked off to
automobiles, several blocks long, and home to street performers, a
variety of restaurants with patio dining, music, and night life.
We picked a restaurant called Trastevere, an italian restaurant
with an intriguing menu and an intimate setting. We took a seat
next to two guys from TV's Melrose Place
(Sandra knew them, I didn't), and had a nice evening.
The street is cozy, with landscaped dinosaurs, fountains, year-round
christmas lights, and lots of people to watch, both local and
tourists. We were very happy that our cab driver had recommended
Exhausted from the day's events, we headed back to our hotel, rather
than sampling any of the night life that
Santa Monica had to offer,
since we knew we had to be up at 5:00am to drive back to
Millbrae, pick up Grandma, and
get to Oakland by 4:00pm.
next day, we set out up Interstate 5, passing through endless miles of
followed by endless miles of farmland. The view was so boring,
we had trouble staying awake, and we had to stop at
Andersens Pea Soup, a
Danish restaurant, for a cup of coffee. The restaurant was
nothing special, more like a Denny's than anything, except for its
quaint windmill exterior. After missing our exit for the
San Mateo Bridge, we circled the bay area, passing through
San Francisco, before heading
over the Bay Bridge and
back to Millbrae. We
made the airport with plenty of time to spare, and we headed home...
Overall, a nice trip, with lots of tourist-stuff crammed into a couple
of days, but I think that's really enough to get an idea of what the
area is like. We really enjoyed
Santa Barbara and
Venice was nice, and so was
Monterey. We didn't care
much for Los Angeles, which
is so typical of America...Beverly
Hills with all its money, glitz, and glamour, contrasted sharply
by the rest of L.A., with poverty, gangs, and run-down ethnic areas.
view a slide show, containing photos of our trip, by clicking on the
links at left. We have put photos from both trips in the slide