USA Day 25: Santa Monica and Home

We had elected to get out of Vegas early on our last day – so we could spend some time bike riding down at Santa Monica. The other alternative was to leave a little later, but spend a lot of continuous time in airports!!  So, we grabbed out 10am flight out of Las Vegas – bye, bye strange and surreal land!

Since LAX hasn’t stored luggage for weary travellers since 9/11, and the commercial baggage storage place was going to cost us $68, I decided it probably made more sense to book into a hotel for $80 instead. That way we could store our bags in the room, but also have a shower and a bit of a rest before we got on our long flight home.

Once we dumped our stuff – we headed out to Venice beach via taxi.  The concierge had helpfully located a place called Venice Bikes and Skates.  There wasn’t a lot of choice of bikes – you could have a cruiser with hand brakes, or a cruiser with pedal breaks.  These bikes were a world away from the snazzy, comfort hybrids we got from Bike and Roll in Washington or San Francisco – these were ancient cruisers, with rusty chains and bizarre handle bars!!!   Desperate times!

The interesting thing was that Venice beach is a bit of a dodgy area – which is very different from what I was expecting!  There were loads of homeless people, there was a street market going on with lots of chintzy, horrible souvenir type things, there was even a medical marijuana dispensary with on the spot assessments!!!  No – Andrew, get back on the bike!!

The beach was pretty deserted, even though it was a Friday afternoon in Autumn – but that meant we didn’t have to run over many people as we rode along the bike path.

Just outside Pacific Park at Santa Monica.

 

All along the beach is a bike path – which is lovely and wide, and the beach itself is like half a kilometre wide in places as well!!

Looking back…

And looking forward… Hello!

We even saw a pod of dolphins swimming – this is the best pic we got – they’re slippery little suckers!

I love this photo – me on the cruiser, rays of velvety light surrounding me, the ocean as smooth as a mirror!

We took our bikes back after 90 minutes of riding! 20km on rusty cruisers – not bad, and we were ready for lunch!   First we walked into the Venice Whaler – a promising spot which had an upstairs café with a view of the ocean – but it was too loud.  So, we stepped back outside and went across the road to The Terrace.

The Terrace Cafe

7 Washington Blvd.        
Venice   CA   90292
Open: Daily 8am – 1am
Website

The Terrace was a lovely open cafe, with a good vibe, and happy staff.  Whilst it wasn’t the finest place we’d eaten at – we still had a glimpse of the ocean, and we were still on solid ground. Since we had 15 hours of air travel ahead of us – that’s all the ambience we needed.

Andrew had the meatlovers pizza with BBQ sauce.

  I had the clam chowder with oyster crackers!
Chowder is good!

Ever since Ryan had given us clam chowder at the top of the lookout in Bodega Bay – I had a craving for chowder!!  I was having it everywhere else apart from Fisherman’s Wharf.  Ahh well… better late than never.

Once we’d whiled away some time at the cafe, it was time to hop in a taxi and wend our way back to the Four Points Sheraton.

Overall, it was a good break in the journey – once we were in the hotel, we checked our emails, and had lovely showers.  We then checked out about 5 hours after checking in!  We grabbed the courtesy shuttle back to the airport, checked in and got ready for our long journey back.   About 20 hours later (14 hours LAX to Sydney, 3 hours layover in Sydney, 1 hour delay, 1.5 hours flight time Sydney – Melbourne, and taxi ride home) – we arrived back in our Melbourne apartment, safe, sound and a little weary .  What an amazing trip!

Now…  I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and for the next trip, I reckon we should ….

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