Sunday was a free of obligation, so Ruth and I went to Santa Monica. We walked a short distance to the Metro station and took a train. The train car was new and smelled of freshly installed plastics and rubber.
From the station we walked down to the Santa Monica Pier. It was busy but the weather was perfect.
I pulled out my phone to look for nearby pokemon and managed to see and catch several new ones as we walked. Many of the younger people on the pier were also playing Pokemon Go.
We stopped at the end of the pier to watch the many fishermen. Several were reeling in small fish, maybe eight inches long and two inches tall. They were all white with a greyish blue coloring along the top. A seal swims up as another fish is reeled in. It pokes its head out of the water expectantly awaiting delivery of this new found food.
Instead of food, pedestrians point cameras and dangle phones over the water to get photos and videos. The seal swims off only to return later for a repeat performance.
We meander back toward the shore, heading up to the 3rd Street Promenade. I have to stop several times as I encounter new pokemon. I'm surprised because I'm finding both original and evolved forms of many species.
Starting at the south end of the Promenade, Ruth and I walk north, looking at food options. We reach the end of the walkway before deciding to go to the Cheesecake factory, which is right where we started on the south end.
Ruth gives me a hard time about making her walk all that way just to turn and walk back. I just laugh. We pass by a small one man puppet show which involves puppets flailing about to various songs by Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen.
The Cheesecake Factory is on the 3rd floor, reachable from this side only by an elevator. It's a short wait before we are seated. I order the Monte Cristo Sandwich. The menu describes it as "crunchy french toast stuffed with bacon, grilled ham, scrambled eggs and melted swiss cheese dusted with powdered sugar and served with strawberry preserves." I describe it as "amazingly delicious" and "way more food than I was prepared to eat."
My friend Aaron joins us as Ruth and I order coffee and desert. I get the plain Strawberry Cheesecake while she orders the Salted Caramel Cheesecake. Neither of us are able to finish.
After lunch, a two hour endeavor, we walked back toward the beach and found a place on the bluff to stand and watch traffic. We comment on the passing cars and laugh as they futilely honk at each other.
We walk along the bluff for a while before turning and walking back. Aaron needs to head out so I say goodbye and Ruth and I continue southward. We go back down toward the pier but make our way to the beach. The Pacific water is freezing but that doesn't stop the beachgoers from splashing in the waves.
We're both a little sunburnt as we get back to Ruth's apartment. I'm still full from lunch so we skip dinner and just lounge around chatting until it's time to go to the airport.
Another good fun day comes to an end.