Thurs 26th October
The early turn-in last night meant we woke quite early this morning. It was another beautiful sunny start to the day and 19 degrees so we headed out for a walk around 7 am, just around sunrise. We headed a few blocks south and then detoured out along the Santa Monica Pier with the early hour giving us plenty of freedom to enjoy this site sans the crowd. Mark had reviewed his coffee options prior to our walk and so we called in at his choice of Espresso Cielo on our way back to the hotel. The coffee was a hit with Mark claiming it was one of the best coffees of this trip!
The plan for today and tomorrow, until our 3pm checkout and then flight home, was rather simple: not much at all! A Detour walking tour, stroll the streets, pool time and to relax. We’ve been walking about 10 to 15 km per day and concentrating for long periods processing the wealth of information offered on the many walking tours we’d taken and, so, some down time was in order.
When we checked into our hotel, for some reason that’s still not quite clear, I was offered free Continental breakfasts for our stay and also a late check out. The breakfast room at the hotel was lovely and offered views out over the beach with the Continental spread being both delicious and generous in portion size.
We headed out after breakfast and discovered a Rapha store as we made our way to the Detour starting location; Mark was mightily impressed by the proximity of his favorite shop to our hotel. With Santa Monica having both a Rapha and a Johnny Was I’m sure that Mark and I could settle here quite comfortably. The Detour guided walk was interesting and took us to a few vantage points we wouldn’t have covered on our own. We hadn’t spotted any famous bods in our short time here but I do pride myself on spotting Paul Roos, the ex Sydney Swans coach, with his wife having coffee at the very same cafe we went to earlier that morning! Mark had walked right past him! We actually passed them again later that day!
The Detour walk was only for about 45 minutes so we checked out some stores for cloth napkins, something that had been on my shopping list since we’d arrived in the US. We also called in at TJ Max for more pineapple 🍍 pants for moi! I also got my eyebrows tinted so if it looks like I’m channeling Eddie Munster then that’s why!
The Cheesecake Factory in Santa Monica is located on the 3rd and top floor just of a building just off the main pedestrian mall and offers nice district views from the outdoor area as well as a huge internal dining space. We shared the same lunch here as we did at the one in Las Vegas, a chicken club sandwich, but the Vegas store scored better on all counts, other than store location and aspect.
We strolled home after lunch making just one stop in at Nordstrom. The girls had enjoyed shopping here in NYC but I didn’t ever make it there but at least I can say I’ve seen it now. The walk home also took us past the Water Grill where we planned to have dinner and so we dropped in to make a booking. We’d been caught out in Vegas on our last night by not making a reservation so we thought it best to try and avoid the same situation occurring here. After that, it was down to the shade and cool of the pool for some rest after a morning walking 12 km.
Dinner was booked for 7 pm so we headed back up to the roof top bar at our hotel near 6pm to watch the sunset. Mark and I raised the average age of the population of this bar which begged the question, how can these kids all afford to be up here sipping cocktails?
We drifted the one block down to the Water Grill for dinner and had a lovely ‘Last Supper’ with good wine. Mark was scrolling through the wine list deciding what wine, if any, to order when he note a Mollydooker! So, the decision was rather easy. The only amusing point of the night was when we asked to take the unfinished bottle back to our hotel. It seems rather odd in a country where ‘open carry’ of guns is the norm in so many states that we needed a brown paper bag to carry our red wine up one block! Go figure!