Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier
After getting our fill of books and food, I wanted to check another iconic travel item off the list and visit one of the well known beaches. The first one that came to mind that was close enough to visit was Venice Beach.
We punched “Venice Beach” in to the trip finder – and on the way passed this… thing. I don’t know what that ballerina clown did to get himself crucified over a CVS – but I took note that Venice Beach was brutal.
This was about the most we saw of Venice Beach though. I didn’t realize it was literally just a beach and after dark, it’s kinda pointless. It was difficult to find somewhere to park, and it was obvious that there was little to do here at night.
Not wanting to give up on our tourism, I decided Santa Monica would be a good one instead. I confirmed via a quick Google search that THIS definitely had a nightlife. We re-routed the navigation and pretty soon we found:
Chris got a churro for us to split (this would be the best churro we had in CA).
We stroll the dock and I look over to see a small arcade and … O M G… is that a ZOLTAR MACHINE????
I mean – it’s not as cool as the movie version but you know I had to stop.
There were some very good musicians busking.
Being away from the city lights meant getting a really nice moon shot.
The carnival area was closed for refurbishment, so we did the next best thing for a photo op.
There were a LOT of people out fishing.
Definitely worth driving out.
I thought anime cons were the only place people did this.
It’s not a proper pier if there isn’t a Bubba Gump.
On the way back we passed an In-and-Out and figured we probably wouldn’t have a good chance to try another.
It was good – but not necessarily something I’d crave after.
Finally back at the ship – with the haunted harbor going strong. I took advantage of our last night here to take some aerial shots from various areas of the ship.
Again, thinking I wouldn’t likely come back here for this again – we went down to see about going in. Only to learn that ticket sales were closed for the night. Being the entrepreneurial spirit I am – I asked if I could go in to take a few photos for my website. After getting referred to someone in charge, assuring them I understood most of the areas were no longer accepting people in line (things like the haunted house type walkthroughs) and giving a business card, we were let in the back entrance.
The setup was very cool. And super creepy:
There was a short haunted walkthrough that was taking “last call” so we hurriedly got in line. Deadrise – per their site – is a WWII escort ship that helped guide The Grey Ghost through enemy-infested waters. After a fatal crash during one of their dangerous voyages, Deadrise sank to the bottom and has been resting in her watery grave in the depths of the sea ever since. The wreckage of Deadrise has been called back into service by the The Captain, to escort him and his armada of ghosts and monsters into a battle against the living to reclaim Dark Harbor.
It was a very fun maze. Warning on the video – I scream. LOUD
This nun was both amazing and terrifying.
One more shot of the Queen, then it’s off to bed.