RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

A tough day at the office… on the Santa Monica Pier


my deck sunrise

Yeah, somebody has to do it: take 46 tourists in a tour bus to Santa Monica Beach. So it might as well be me.

My day started with this lovely sunrise. I was up at 5:30am and I think this was about 6:00am. At 6:55 I was walking to the train station.

santa monica pier

Looking up to the Ocean Avenue entrance

Looking up ramp to the entrance to the pier.

My passengers had about two and a half hours of free time in Santa Monica.


Looking down on to the pier. The 1922 carousel is in the center.

So, after answering questions and pointing everybody in the right direction, what could I do? I walked down to the pier, whipped out my trusty Samsung S4 Android phone and snapped a few pictures.


Bubba Gump’s Restaurant on the right. The movie Forrest Gump was shot on the pier and the producers started the restaurant chain.

I decided to leave the photos just the way they were with no Photoshopping (other than resizing and adding my copyright info)… they are what they are!


Point Dume in Malibu is where you can see the Santa Monica Mountain range dipping into the ocean at the left.

It was a superbly fantastic day. A little warm for my suit but that is what I wear by choice when I am working as a step-on tour guide. I feel professional, so whether it is 3 degrees or 103 degrees, that is what I wear. I know, at the Santa Monica Pier, with everybody else wearing shorts, halter tops or barely anything at all, fat or thin, I look a little out of place. But I am beyond caring.


Looking towards the bluffs and downtown Santa Monica.

It was very clear and the views went on for miles. Once again I thought, how lucky can I get?


This photo above is the darndest thing. I could see a postage stamp size image of my face on the screen when I took this photo. Where did that come from? What button did I inadvertantly push?

santa-monica-pier The 100% solar-powered ferris wheel.

There were several tour buses going to the beach from the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. We were told to exit the 405 at Washington and head west to Pacific Avenue. Oops!


Apparently tour buses are not allowed on Washington. The Culver City police pulled over two of our buses. I was on the lead bus and evidently got lucky. I received a text from one of the other tour guides as she was being pulled over. A $16,000 fine per bus!

I bet the Culver City PD is celebrating tonight… in fact I can hear the party starting up right now as I live just one and a half blocks away! I wonder who will be held responsible, the tour company who organized the trip or the bus company. I will find out. I would not have taken that route anyway, but as usual, nobody asked me!


But that wasn’t my worry on this splendid day!


As I was walking past the Maria Sol Restaurant at the end of the pier I overheard the waiter ask, “Would you like to start with a Marguerita?” Why yes, thank you! Oh, it wasn’t for me, just one of the customers at a table!


It was such a clear day I am sure I could see Japan! You can just see it if you squint, can’t you?


This is my big confession. The tuna melt at S M Pier Seafood is the BEST! It is so bad I only have one a couple of times of year. But this was my second in five days! When I was doing the Malibu/Beverly Hills/Santa Monica tour on Thursday, I forgot to take a photo so I had to come back today. Oh, the torture we go through for our blogs!


It is disgustingly decadently delicious… with sauteed onions and tomatoes and gooey cheese…. I should have saved half of it for dinner tonight but once I get started I can’t stop…


This is the restaurant in case you are ever on the pier and craving seafood. Indoor and outdoor seating. But who wants to sit indoors on a day like this?


They were filming an episode of a TV show called “New Girl” on the beach. I never heard of the show but this is LA… always filming something.

Please click on all the photos for a larger view.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

12 thoughts on “A tough day at the office… on the Santa Monica Pier

  1. Great beach tour. I can even feel the sun on my arms–no sunscreen. Excuse me, but the fact that you don’t know how that little stamp picture of you got in the shot makes me feel better about not knowing how my camera works–you’re the pro!!


    • Thanks, LY, but I am far from being a pro at photography. I know next to nothing about my Canon T3i (still trying to get out of auto mode) and even less about the camera on my phone that I took these shots with… but I am flattered that you would think I am a pro, anyway!


  2. That tuna melt is making my tummy rumble. 🙂 Great photos of your really tough day. 🙂


  3. I really enjoy the virtual tour! But, a $16,000 fine per bus 😕
    Love the first one and beach shots 🙂


    • Hi Amy: Yup, apparently in the LA area they really crack down on tour buses. I know another driver who is fighting a $14,000 ticket for taking the wrong turn on to Pacific Coast Highway.


  4. I seem to remember saying something about not wanting to be a tour guide in LA. What WAS I thinking? 🙂


    • Well, it isn’t all beaches… it is a massive sprawling city and you need to have plenty to talk about when driving the endless freeways… but I manage! Also, I do not enjoy Hollywood, at least not the “movie star, celebrity” aspect of it… but the history of the movie industry is pretty interesting to me. Like everything in life, there’s the good and the bad…


  5. Informative site. I’m inland. The last time we were there was for a bday party. =)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s