Saturday, April 16, 2016

My California Dream continues...

My second day in L.A, and we woke up pretty early about 6AM. We had slept pretty early the night before, possibly due to jet lag. We drove down to Santa Monica Pier for some sightseeing.

The Santa Monica Pier is more than a 100 years old, and it is also the official end point of 'Route 66', America's historic highway route, that stretched all the way from the eastern parts to the mid-eastern board of the United States. You can find one of the first few Bubba Gump Restaurants here, which were based on the movie Forrest Gump.
//Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926, and it became one of the most famous roads in America. It covered a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).//

We spent our whole morning at Santa Monica, as I really loved the breath-taking scenery of the Pacific Ocean. I took many random photos at the beach too, as I could not get enough of taking photos at this beautiful place.

The iconic place in Santa Monica is the Pacific Park and its Ferris Wheel, hence, it is a mandatory to take a photo against this backdrop!

We walked along the beach of Santa Monica and reached the famous Venice Beach, one of the places/attractions in California that is mostly visited by tourists.
Walking along the boardwalk of Venice Beach was pretty interesting as we got to see hundreds of street vendors and street buskers. We picked up some souvenirs such as key-rings and singlets/t-shirts from the boardwalk.

There was a wide selection of cafes along the boardwalk, so we decided to settle at THE SIDEWALK CAFE for brunch!

After our meal, we walked down to a part on Venice Beach known as 'Muscle Beach', where there was an outdoor gym called Gold's Gym. This place was made famous as back in the 1970's -80's, the well-known actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger did his workouts at this exact location in full view of everyone!

It is nice to walk along the beach and pier in the cool weather, as the temperatures were about 18'C-20'C. I loved the experience of holding my Baby's hand and walking from Santa Monica to Venice Beach and back again.

We drove to Downtown LA (DTLA) for some shopping at Macy's and I picked up a bangle from BCBG Maxazria at USD18. Baby bought 2 items there. He picked up a pull-over sweater from Under Armour and a business coat from Michael Kors. I was shocked to learn that he paid less than USD60 for both items, as it was a clearance sale!
We parked our car at Downtown LA, and it cost us USD7 for the whole day. Well, sort of the whole day as we arrived fairly late in the late afternoon and it only cost USD7 for the rest of the day. This was fairly cheap considering some of the parking in downtown could hit up to USD45 for the whole day! The drawback to our cheap parking was of course, it being a long distance to the actual heart of downtown where we wanted to go. The reason why we did want to come to downtown LA was to make our way to the Staples Center for our NBA match!

Prior to the games, we had Mediterranean food for dinner at an eatery place called Padini's Café.

We walked about 20-25mins to the Staples Center from where we parked our car. Baby had purchased the tickets online in advanced, and it cost at USD75 per seat. In order to enter the premises, all attendees HAD to hold a valid ticket/online printout and pass through a very strict security bag check.

It was a live match between the L.A Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies, and we were here to see Kobe Bryant, the superstar from L.A Lakers. He is retiring this year, and it is the last chance to watch him play live.

This was my second time watching a live NBA match in United States, but I felt more excited this time round. LET'S GO LAKERS!

The Staples Center is as huge as, if not, larger than Madison Square Garden in New York. We sat quite far away from the court, but it was still fairly visible!

During the game, the local fast food joint, 'Jack in the Box' promised 2 free tacos to everyone at the game if the Lakers won and if the opponent's score was kept below a hundred. Unfortunately, the final score was just short of the requirements, as the Lakers won 107 to the Grizzlies 100. Everyone's free taco dream vanished and was ruined!

However, our night was ended on a sweet note as I was glad that I got a pleasant experience to see Kobe Bryant playing live for the last time in the NBA. Amazingly, each guest for the game received a Kobe Bryant Wobble Head Figure as a souvenir for attending the game! OMG! I love it so much!
Lastly, I want to thank my Baby for bringing me to the Staples Center to catch this exciting match!

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