Santa Monica Beach Day

This afternoon I met up with a few other interns from NBC for a beach day.  We headed out to Santa Monica beach, which is not exactly my favorite, due to the intense amount of people (granted it’s summer and this would occur anywhere), the time it took to drive through traffic to actually make it to the beach, and the disgusting amount of trash that was floating in the water.  That all being said, it was a gorgeous day for the beach.  Sunny and warm with the water’s temperature just right to take a dip.  A few of us did test the water out, but exited when the waves died down and we noticed how much grime and waste was surrounding us. While Santa Monica is nothing like Venice (I have only heard stories of its circus-like patrons), there are some interesting characters along the pier and beach.  From yoga and trapeze junkies, tourists, and people working out on the bars and swing-sets, they had it all.

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It was fun to meet so many people from the program who were in all different departments and who were really from all around the country and world.  I would have thought a majority of people would have been from Los Angeles and at least from California, but yesterday, the few of us locals were out-numbered!  There was even one guy from London/Germany/China (he lived in all three spots, but his accent was mostly British, so we’ll go with that).   It was a potluck event and I was impressed to see that we mostly stuck with healthy options.  Snacking on the beach, and snacking in general, can be a deadly activity, so I stuck with the watermelon.  Who doesn’t like juicy watermelon on a hot day?

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Later in the afternoon, we walked along the front part of the pier and then decided to explore 3rd Street Promenade for dinner options.  Making decisions in large groups can be quite difficult, don’t you agree?  A lot of “well, I don’t know. I don’t want to make the decision. That’s fine with me.  Whatever works.”  Eventually someone has to choose.

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We were able to put our name in at Barney’s Beanery, a gastropub with a number of different food choices.  There are a few locations across Southern California including: Santa Monica, Westwood, Burbank, West Hollywood, as well as Old Town Pasadena!  I’ve always wanted to test it out due to the extensive menu it has.  There were so many delicious options to choose from, but I ended up keeping it healthy and price-sensitive (still tasty and probably more satisfying) with a Rocket Salad (arugula, pine nuts, tomatoes, onion, chicken, and a lemon vinagrette).

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From what I could see, a few of the other orders, which all looked completely scrumptious were: tacos, shrimp quesadilla, cheeseburger (with the cheese INSIDE!), eggs Benedict, pizza, chocolate milk shake, and a few different salads.  If I had my way, I would have ordered a small bowl of macaroni and cheese with part of my Rocket Salad.

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The atmosphere was quite eclectic with different license plates, televisions, beer bottles, and magazine cutouts of celebrities around the rooms and tables.   For a Saturday night, the service was pretty good.  Not too long of a wait for food or the check.  Definitely worth a trip if you are in the mood for some quality American-style grub or and exotic selection of beer.  I didn’t partake in the brew-consumption last night, from the looks of the two-sided list of beers, Barney’s was host to not only local and national brews, but a good chunk of international as well.

As I walked back to my car after dinner, I had a fantastic view of the pier with the ferris wheel spinning its patriotic colors across the ocean and out into the night.

My last thought on beaches.  Since I was not such a fan of Santa Monica, some quality choice beaches include: Laguna Beach (Three Arch, Crystal Cove, or Crescent Bay* – our usual go-to spot) Coronado, and Manhattan Beach.  I admit I can be quite a beach snob, but once you have experienced great sand and perfect waves, it’s tough to go back.  I have not visited many others, so I guess I really can’t speak on the matter.

What are some of your favorite beaches?

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