I started 2017 off right, with a trip to Los Angeles. On my first day of the trip, New Year’s Day, I spent my time exploring L.A. and visiting Venice Beach. I was able to get around and see quite a few sites by taking a tour with Starlight Tours. Although the tour was good, I realize now that I overpaid, but that is what tourists due when we’re anxious to see the sites in a new city, right? On day two in Los Angeles, I was determined to not overspend. I was still a bit tired from traveling the day before. We flew out early on New Year’s Day and I didn’t sleep much on New Year’s Eve because of the fire
works going off in my neighborhood.
Still, instead of wasting the day away sleeping, I decided to explore some more. The least expensive option was to visit Manhattan Beach. After consulting with the concierge, I found out that I could travel from my hotel near LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), to downtown Manhattan Beach on the Ocean Express. The Ocean Express is a $5.00 shuttle that provides a round trip to both the beach and the nearby shopping center for one that one low fee. I purchased my ticket from the Ocean Express and from the hotel concierge, and off I sent a short time later. The concierge gave me a little card showing the routes with drop off and pick-up times.
Once I hopped on, we headed down to Manhattan Beach. I hadn’t looked up anything to see or do, so I just looked around as the bus arrived. I had noticed a line outside of an eatery called Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and a line usually indicates that the food is worth the wait, so I walked a few blocks back from the shuttle stop to the restaurant. There was a 45-minute wait for a family of four in front of me, but I since I was rolling solo, they said I was seated immediately.
I was immediately seated at the counter and ordered a vanilla nutmeg coffee. It was deliciously flavored coffee that was topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. It was delicious, and it was just what I needed to warm me up, since the day was quite chilly.
Once I had my drink in hand, I could think a little better. The menu had some a lot of great choices. Everything seemed very down-home, with a bit of a twist. Even though it’s a pancake house, I opted for the French Toast Combo. It came with sourdough French toast, eggs, and my choice of meat. I went with bacon. The eggs were real eggs, and my entire meal hit the spot.
The diner itself was loud…and crowded. Once I’d finished my meal and started to really look around, I was ready to go. It’s hard to sit at the counter because everyone is coming and going, plus I had a view of the kitchen. I’d rather not see everything that’s happening in and out of the kitchen, but I got a clear view every time the door swung open. The waitress who helped me was friendly, but everyone sitting at the counter was “coupled” and I didn’t have anyone to chat with, sadly. I paid my ticket and went on my way to explore the beach.
It was way too cold to get in the water, but I did walk out onto the Pier to get a better view of the water. There were few tourists out, and overall the beach was very quiet, which I loved. I could actually hear myself think, as the waves crashed along the shore.
After hanging out on the beach, I perused the shops in downtown Manhattan Beach. They had lots of different boutiques. I then hopped back onto the Ocean Express and headed to the mall. I had a fabulous lunch at an eatery at the mall, where I chatted with locals and watched the Rose Bowl. After lunch, I headed on back to the hotel. The wind and cold had worn me out, but I really enjoyed my time out on Manhattan Beach. I would love to go back on a warmer day, with family, to actually swim in the water. I would definitely recommend that travelers in the L.A. area who are looking for quaint shopping a quiet beach, check out Manhattan Beach.