Burkifornia ’16 – Day 9
Today was our last day on Route 66. We slept late, got an early lunch and left Barstow, CA for Santa Monica Pier. It was already pretty warm out when we packed the car and we were excited to see what the road had in store for us.
We didn’t find much to see in Barstow or the surrounding areas, but once we got to the Los Angeles area that all changed. As we drove south on Route 66 / Figueroa Ave we rolled down the windows to find much cooler air and took in all the hustle and bustle. We got a little turned around as Figueroa met Sunset Boulevard, but found our way back. Instead of turning right onto Santa Monica Boulevard and strictly following the route, we detoured onto Hollywood Boulevard to cruise the Walk of Fame. My daughter was thrilled to see the “Hollywood” sign up in the hill and was somewhat surprised we couldn’t read the stars. We’ll come back to tour the area and see all the stars, just not today. We got ourselves back onto Santa Monica Boulevard and as we passed the “Welcome to Santa Monica” sign we realized how close we were to the end of our adventure. Still, we pressed on.
The street numbers got lower and lower; 17th Street, 16th… 2nd … Ocean Avenue… and there it was: The Santa Monica Pier! We crossed the bridge slowly, parked the car, and walked out onto the pier with our fuzzy friend to find that magical point that symbolizes the western end of Route 66; the point that the Mother Road, America’s Highway leads to – Santa Monica Pier.
We walked the pier, browsed the stores, gazed at the live entertainers, observed a seal frolicking in the water waiting for fisherman to throw unacceptable catches, ate a “Route 66 Concrete” then headed out on the beach to feel the sand between our toes and let the dog run. He frolicked in the water, chased birds and had a ball. I gave my daughter a HUGE hug and thanked her for going on this adventure with me. She hugged me right back!
With the Route 66 adventure and portion of our trip now complete, we set our navigator to find our cousins. As always, we loved seeing them – and Wow have their children grown! We chatted while the kids played with our dog, then went out to a fun Mexican dinner. After returning to their house, I took our fuzzy pal for his last walk of the day. My little cousins came with us, which made it more fun!
As I write this, everyone is asleep but me. I’ll go to sleep after posting it. Then, we’ll be on the road again before 6:00 AM tomorrow to reach our final destination in Carlsbad (San Diego): Semper DIVE!’s new home!
In 1984, at fourteen years of age, he earned NAUI and YMCA SCUBA certifications and was immediately hooked on diving. During his college years in Long Island, NY, he dove regularly, usually for lobster. During this time, he earned his PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Rescue Diver certifications. After meeting his bride-to-be and lifetime dive buddy, Cheryl, he became a PADI Divemaster in 1995.