It was a somewhat relaxed start to the day and we were on the road by around 9:00am. Initially, driving toward Malibu, we were going to see if could find a diner to stop at for breaky on the way. After a failed attempt stopping at Neptunes (not yet open by 9:40) we ended up stopping at Paradise Cove beach cafe, having some mimosas and an egg-based breakfast each - Van went for the omelette with bacon, jack cheese and avocado, while Matt opted for a salmon scrambled eggs dish, reminiscent of one of the first breakfasts he had cooked for Van once upon a time. The hearty breakfast which came with breakfast potatoes and English muffins filled us up for the day's activities.
Once in Malibu proper we stopped at a beach access point. There were many nice homes along the beach front and also the odd "bach-type" house nestled between the mansions. We had a stone skimming competition; and Matt came away with victory in that one. Next we took a quick dip before walking back to the access point and continuing southward.
After another 45 minutes on highway 1, we found ourselves in Santa Monica and parked 5 minutes walk north of the pier. Initiallly, we wandered past the pier on our walk as we would come back by on our return. The original muscle beach had lots of fun equipment but we weren't game enough to try anything. We eventually took a break from our walk for a beer and some people-watching at the Erdinger Bar. We noticed a fair few characters while having our beers, the most notable being: (1) a man with a metallic hat and broken drone attached to it riding a bike with an attached radio blaring, parked in the middle of the walkway bopping away; (2) man with a tuxedo g-string playing solo hacky sack as he strolled along - rolling it off his shoulder, kicking it up with each foot, land it on his head, roll it onto his shoulder, and repeat; and (3) dude sitting in a chair behind a band playing the blues, whose half open unblinking eyes and utter stillness made him look dead.
After we finished our beverages, we continued on toward Venice Beach. We hired roller skates and it turned out Matt was way better than he made out he would be. We stopped to watch some skateboarders tearing it up in the local skateboard park, including a kid who was really awesome at it and can't have been older than 4. Eventually we turned around at Muscle Beach Venice, skated back and got some Froyo after returning the skates. With the walking distance of 3 miles in jandals, we opted for an uber back to the Santa Monica pier. We checked out the pier then went down to hang out on the beach and Van took a quick dip.
After Santa Monica, we drove to San Pedro Fish Market. Our dinner was a fish and shrimp combo plate with garlic bread, and a large corona to share. Delicious. The guy behind the counter asked if we were from Australia, when we countered with out standard answer of "close, but NZ" he commented how there are a lot of great whites there. Dinner was delicious, and we were very thankful for the recommendation from Matt's colleague as we otherwise would never have stumbled upon it.
The drive to our hotel in Anaheim was a solid 40 minutes and we found ourselves very close to Disneyland, ready for the next day!