YOU hear Sheryl Crow's tune ringing in your ears as you drive down the famous boulevard. You hum the song because that's the best you can do, singing it is a problem lest ruin the whole piece with chords not even on the scale.
But this much is true, when you feel the breeze as you zip along the avenue you will make sure that you abide to the All I Wanna Do track and have some fun.
Where would you be but in Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles. A city named for St. Monica Of Hippo when the well-traveled Spaniards landed on this soil for the first time on the feast day of their saint.
Today, Santa Monica is a famed resort town. Along with the famed Venice, they are referred to as Dogtown, both a surfing and skateboard locale.
The most prominent feature of the area would be the 100-year-old landmark Santa Monica Pier at the foot of Colorado Avenue. It covers an amusement park, Pacific Park, with that so famous huge Ferris wheel, a vintage carousel with forty-four horses from the 1920s making its rounds to a calliope (built at the Pleasure Pier and moved to the Looff Hippodrome in 1990), an aquarium, a trapeze school that can be a start of your great career with Cirque du Soleil (which happens to have a show by the Santa Monica Beach, they just might spot your talented aerial maneuvers). You can't have a high traffic of tourists and not serve their ultimate pleasure- shopping, pubs and restaurants that includes the Bubba Gump Shrimp company.
Why the special mention? This spot was a location for the movie Forrest Gump and the restaurant is owned by the movie's production company.
And speaking of movies, a string of name-droppable movies have been shot at this area- The Sting, Titanic, Iron Man, Hancock and even the Hannah Montana Movie, if your teenage kids can consider that as a classic.
Now let's head on to the end of the pier where you can catch a few anglers trying to snag their prized catch for the day. This would be a popular spot for them. Now you know what what's on their menu du jour.
You think you are treading the wooden planks of one huge seaside attraction -- not! Santa Monica Pier is actually two piers and has separate owners, the Municipal Pier built in 1909 and the Pleasure Pier built in 1916 by amusement park pioneers Looff and his son.
In fact, the books tell us that there was even a ballroom in this structure-the La Monica Ballroom, home to big band leader and Western Swing musician Spade Cooley in the 1950s. There was even a proposed plan to remove the pier and an artificial island construction with a 1500-room hotel and thanks to the citizens, they saved Santa Monica Bay. Look what it is now.
When you are not on the pier, you would probably be enjoying the best beach experience in California- a 5.6 kilometer stretch of well-maintained shoreline- they rake the sand daily and offer "trash valet" on weekends and holidays- amazing, isn't it?
With the sun shining at an average of 340 days a year, this beach is a great spot for outdoor sports and even people (or celebrity) watching, lifeguard gazing, too, if you have a thing with men or women in uniform, a red uniform with lesser use of cloth.
Santa Monica's pier may be the end of the Route 66 trail but certainly the start of a series of visits for me. Summer may just be the perfect time. Who wants to come along?