I love hanging out in Santa Monica. While most people despise Los Angeles, because of its traffic, I love the place. I have to admit though, that I have mainly spend time in Santa Monica at my boyfriend's place. Along the ocean you can stroll a wide sandy beach and the coastline is neighbored by Santa Monica State Beach Park, a beautiful park with lawns and palm trees all the way up from the pier to San Vicente Boulevard. Usually we take a walk to Third Street Promenade, the one and only pedestrian zone I have seen since I am in the states. There you dive into a whirl of tourists and street performers among bars, restaurants and (tempting) shops.
Apart from being a touristy place, Santa Monica seems to be an open air gym. All around you find runners, groups doing yoga or thai chi or other work outs. Personal trainers must have a good live here, being near the ocean out in the sunny weather every day. Being surrounded by this immense athletic spirit, I always feel very motivated to go for a run. Once in a while this place is the scenery in famous TV shows or movies. You would see the stars of the show running along water front. Therefore, every time I am going for a jog here, I think of bumping into Conan O'Brien or Larry David, but so far no sight of them. Instead I enjoy the marvelous sun set and the crashing of the waves.
The other inhabitants of Santa Monica are dogs and their proud dog owners. I would speculate you find as many dogs here as people. Though I praised the lawns, I actually would never sit on them (I did it twice but not comfortably). Of course, like everywhere the proud dog owner is equipped with small red plastic bags, but the business meets the ground first, right?
Today we saw a princess party. Everything was in pink and purple and the little girls were wearing purple and pink tulle dresses and little crowns. Later we saw that they (the from me assumed to be rich parents) also hired a real Cinderella (from me assumed to be a poor actress that could be the star of a reality show) to entertain the little princesses. I wished my friend Catje would have been there to make a picture for her "this is so American" collection.
Santa Monica is lovely, everybody who is in the area should visit. Don't go to Hollywood, it is really not worth it. Make a detour to Santa Monica instead and enjoy the spirit.