Beyond Route 66: Pier Things

Yesterday we finished our travels on Route 66. After a very restful sleep and delicious breakfast at our B&B, we headed out to visit the Santa Monica Pier and our old neighborhood in Palos Verdes.

While the pier was in the same place we remembered it to be, little else was along the drive. When we lived here, we would pack up our bikes, the burley trailer, and the kids, and go riding along the Strand on the beach, a few times taking a longer ride past the pier. 

The Santa Monica Pier has an End of The Trail sign, even though it is not the official end of the route. In reading the history of the pier sign, it was part of a souvenir/retail shop (a pier thing). 

We made it to the pier through a slog of speeding traffic, paid the $15 parking fee (a pier thing), and made our way up to the boardwalk. Obligatory photo of sign, doing our pier thing!

The pier has rides, and some arcades, you know, pier things. 

Apparently, Pier Burgers are a thing……they are the last burgers on land (or so the pier sign says)!

The sign also says this is the end of the custard trail! I said there would be ice cream! Here, it’s a pier thing. 

The beach became gradually busier as we enjoyed some pier sunshine. 

After enjoying a couple of hours on the pier, we headed out to visit the house we lived in, and Rachel’s first home. The drive to Palos Verdes brought some familiar sites, and we were pleased to see the house we called home while in California looked very much the same. Well cared for, and the same wonderful view of the ocean from the front walk. I loved taking the kids down our street, with views of the ocean, and to the local playground that had a ship to climb and slide down. The park’s ocean view is not as vast, as the trees have matured and filled the view, but here in our old neighborhood we saw the sense of community we enjoyed when we lived here. Very different than off the peninsula, and the development of the areas. 

Culver City is another suburb here, and where Art lived for a few years growing up, and actually learned to play hockey. He was able to find his neighborhood and the home his family lived in! He says it seems smaller than he remembered it, also well maintained, and the wall he and his friends used to practice hockey shots on is covered in vines. He remembers open grassy areas where they played games, but these seem to have been developed and built on over the years. 

It seems fitting that we began our journey in Illinois, where we first lived as a family, and on this trip, we got to visit those homes. Now we end our journey in California, where we lived and grew as a family, and got to visit this home too. Tomorrow we fly back to the East Coast, completing our coast to coast travels. 

Time for a shadow photo; at the pier, another pier thing. 

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