Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 10: Victorville, CA to Santa Monica, CA

Miles Traveled: 108
Travel Time: 7 hours, 20 minutes
Pictures Taken: 74

While there aren't very many miles between Victorville and Santa Monica, traffic in the Los Angeles is indeed, legendary.  Plus we took some time to walk on the beach and see some of the sights in the area.  I did not take pictures of many of the cliche things most people take pictures of when in LA.  I was more interested in the ocean!

However, one of the first things I saw was this sign on a building:

I was told there would be no math!

There WAS, however, a Starbucks on almost every corner! Yay!  This one was the most ornate I saw:

We stopped to see the LaBrea Tar Pits at the Page Museum.

I was a bit disappointed that they don't allow you to watch an active dig site, but they did have one pit "open" for viewing behind glass.  I am going to have to re-watch the Dirty Jobs episode they filmed there!  There are statues of mastodons outside in a tar pit:

The grounds are quite prettily landscaped and the surrounding buildings have interesting architecture.  None of which mitigates the overwhelming scent of tar.  Pee-yew!
Inside the museum are lots of skeletons dredged up from the tar pits.  This one is a bison:

"Rawr! I'm a Saber-Toothed Tiger!"

They also have a  "fishbowl" where scientists and volunteers work behind sound-proof glass on cleaning and sorting bones that are found in the tar pits.

On the ledge of their workspace are several origami animals - my favorite is this mastodon:

After the Tar Pits we visited Farmer's Market.  Which is also an outdoor mall with overblown architecture.

Beyond the mall is a more traditional market with vendors selling every imaginable comestible.  Including a store that sells nothing but varieties of hot sauce, mustard, and marinade.  From the level of the parking garage we parked in, I could see the CBS studios and one of their back lots.  I'm not sure what show all the props are for.

Then we drove to the ocean! The unofficial end of Route 66 is where Santa Monica Blvd meets the Ocean (or at Ocean Blvd). There is a statue of Santa (Saint) Monica herself in a heart-shaped grassy area.

The ocean was pretty and the seagulls were huge!

The buildings in the area are also pretty cool:

The OFFICIAL end of Route 66 is the corner of Olympic and Lincoln, which is sadly not marked with any Route 66 signage, but does have a sign with a large penguin on it.  Sigh.

At any rate, the ocean was pretty despite the haze obscuring much of the surrounding mountains.  It's been a great trip!  Tomorrow we stay in the LA area and see some more sights.

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