Santa Monica Pier and Griffith Observatory

Two dates with my hubby before things got busy...

The Pier

Overview of the Pier during the daytime
We went at night and the weather was perfect - not too chilly with a slight breeze. There is a small amusement park on the pier which was cool to see at night, as well as lots of little shops and stands to look in as we strolled by.
Getting ready to head down
Ever wonder what happened to Zoltar from the movie "Big"? 
Well, we found it! On the Pier as we walked. Ok, so it's not the exact one from the movie, but there was a pretty similar one. And it talked to us :)
His eyes moved back and forth
At the end of the pier were lots of people fishing, casting their lines out into the dark waters. We leaned over the railing and watched them for quite awhile. The water was pitch black, and the waves were mesmerizing. Makes you really wonder what's under there...dun dun duuunnn...
On the way back, we stopped to watch the ferris wheel which constantly changed colors. The full moon added to the magnificent view!


The Observatory

Although it took us about an hour to get there, it was well worth the trip! The observatory is located on the top of a mountain at the east end of Griffith Park and has been open since 1935. It is one of the top tourist attractions in LA, and now we know why!
The Observatory during the day

The best part? It's free! Unless you want to see a planetarium movie (which we did - it was fairly cheap and the show was awesome!). But the rest of the exhibits are free, and you can stay however long you want.
The Planetarium
A hallway of exhibits

They have a Foucault pendulum in the entryway, which is a pendulum mounted in the ceiling so that the pendulum does not turn with the building as the building rotates with the Earth. Really interesting to watch. See, physics actually does come in handy!

We went at night, but we want to go back during the day because there are some cool exhibits that require sunlight. They also have three solar telescopes that magnify the sun (and project it onto a screen so you don't go blind, of course :)
The huge Zeiss telescope on the roof-top dome happened to be closed that night because it was so hazy, so we definitely need to go back and look through it. Apparently at least 7 million eyes have looked through it since it opened!

What we saw that night...
What we would have seen if it hadn't been so foggy that night!

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