Today started early, because we were planning on going to the beach to people-watch. It turns out that our first stop wasn't the beach. We saw the Hollywood sign yesterday. But we wanted to get closer. So, our first try was unsuccessful, in a way. We ended up driving through the hills again, the same direction as we did yesterday. After about 30 minutes of driving along Mulholland Drive, we decided to find an address that was supposed to be the best place to see it. We followed the directions, with only a handful of turn-arounds (it was the GPS's fault this time), and a vicious-looking guard dog. We were able to get there. It's best seen from a little "park" up in the hills. When you imagine it, it seems a whole lot bigger than it actually is. We were surprised at the size. We felt a little better that we couldn't see it before today.
After that, we finally headed over to the beach. We parked at Santa Monica Pier and walked up and down the boardwalk. We walked down to Venice Beach. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. The boardwalk there is lined with different types of vendors. There were artists, tattooists, and (probably most of), medical marijuana joints (pun intended). There were way more than you would expect, and they were all talking very quietly, trying to get people to go in. After a while, we decided to turn around, before it got any weirder (and deciding that not everyone there had talent). We walked back on the beach- talk about a great calf workout! The water was really cold still. We also saw probably the coolest summer camp. The Santa Monica Parks Department holds their summer camps right on the beach- including surfing and beach soccer. Totally jealous!! After we got back to the Santa Monica Pier, we spent a little bit of time walking up and down it. It's very touristy. We were able to see the sign for the end of Route 66 (we also saw one on the actual road, too, today.)
After we were there for a while, we decided to leave and head to Anaheim. We left at 3:00. We weren't sure if we were going to be too early. Turns out we didn't need to worry about that. Today was the first day we got stuck in 'real' LA traffic. After about a half-hour, and no car snacks, we decided that the best way to get through the traffic was to sing through it. So, we sang a few songs, and eventually the traffic eased. We entered Orange County and Anaheim. We found our hotel, which is right across the street from Disneyland!! Talk about convenient!!
After unpacking, etc, we walked over to Downtown Disney. It's an area with a lot of restaurants and stores. When we got there, it wasn't too packed, which was good. We walked up and down the street, looked in the stores, did a little shopping. After a while, we decided to stop for dinner and drinks. We went to a Mexican-themed restaurant. Talk about spicy! Ate about a half of a jalapeno and didn't know until it was too late! The margarita helped a tad. I think my lips are still tingling!! When we finished dinner, we kept walking around. It was pretty crowded by then. We were able to sort of see the fireworks at Disneyland. After that, we decided to walk back to the hotel and get ready to spend tomorrow with Mickey and Minnie!!