Santa Monica Sunset, Beach Volleyball, and Pipe Dreams

“Let us die young or let us live forever
Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies
Turn our golden faces into the sun…
Forever young, I want to be forever young.”
– Alphaville

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Sometimes I feel, or rather know, that this blog is mostly a pipe dream. Like volleyball, I pour my heart and soul into it knowing that this won’t pay my bills and yet I do it anyway. On the surface, you’ll find a practical and pragmatic woman but deep down there’s still that little girl with dreams of escaping the monotony of life. I’m pretty lucky to have friends who add color to this perfectly ordinary existence. So when my friend suggested playing some beach volleyball in Santa Monica how could I possibly resist?

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Santa Monica Pier is a famous tourist attraction. Even on a regular weekday, the place is extremely crowded. There are tons of parking ranging from $3/hour all the way to $15/day close to the beach. You could also park for 90 minutes free in Downtown Santa Monica but it is a bit of a walk to the pier from there.

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You’re probably wondering why I’m recommending a place that is crowded, charge expensive parking fees, and famous for gridlock traffic. The thing is, the pier is full of life. I mean how fun is it to ride a rollercoaster with the ocean as a view? It also holds special memories. I took my first surfing classes there, which was an epic fail by the way, but who cares? Did I also mention that the sand is perfect for beach volleyball?

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We played til sundown. I would have stayed til midnight if my shoulder and back weren’t bothering me. If only I were in my 20s again. On the way back to our parking, the view of the pier was stunning. I just had to take a picture.

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Tips for this trip.

1. If you want to avoid crowds, the best time to go is early in the morning.
2. Bring change for parking.
3. Please check my post Beachin’ Day at Mandalay for other recommended beach gears.
4. If you want to play some beach volleyball. All you need are the following:
Disclosure: Please be aware I get commissions for purchases made through
links in this post at no additional cost to you. Please read Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

Beach Volleyball
Wilson Official AVP Outdoor Volleyball

Beach Lines
Park & Sun Sports Adjustable Outdoor Volleyball Boundary Webbing with Ground Stakes: 1″ Wide Court Line Marker, Blue

Sand Socks (I only recommend wearing this in the summer because the sand gets really hot)
Vincere Unisex Sand Socks Neoprene Beach Scuba Snorkel Shoes (Black, Medium)

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102 Comments Add yours

  1. foureyeslens says:

    Such great photos! Your content is great as well, but your photos are really the ones that made an impact to me. Makes me miss my family as I am working overseas. Volleyball is my sister’s favorite sport, and the beach photo really reminds me of my hometown =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I appreciate your comment. I’m glad you liked the photographs and that it reminds you of your hometown. Volleyball is such a fun sport 😊

      Like

  2. Vibrant colours
    Nice writeup

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. silivalilife says:

    Beautiful pictures!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh My! I so loved your post! Makes me homesick for California – a bit. Fantastic photos and a wonderful post! Yes, unfortunately not many get to do what they love and make a living at it too. Who designed life anyway??? LOL! Really Stunning photos!
    Chuck

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yeah, who designed life anyway? This world would be a better place if everyone was happily doing what they love. No room for broken hopes and dreams 😊 Thanks, Chuck! Glad you liked the photos 😊

      Like

  5. Firstly, I just love the narrative! The feeling not being certain about blog but still putting 100% to it! I can sort of relate to it 🙂 Secondly, the pictures are beautiful as always.

    Cheers, Charu

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Hi, Charu! Yeah, it’s tough and takes time which I’m constantly battling with especially when life gets in the way 😊

      Like

      1. Yeah, it is! Moreover, we know that blogging or travel writing is not highly paid though it requires lot of effort to make a good post with pictures and all.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Savvy Raj says:

    Used to play volleyball regularly way back … your post brought back very fond memories😊 thank you Bel ..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      I’m glad it brought back good memories for you. It’s never too late to get back into the volleyball again 😊

      Like

      1. Savvy Raj says:

        Yes indeed totally agree with you on that.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow stunning photos, thank you so much for sharing! 😊 I haven’t played volleyball in years (due to lack of a nearby beach), so I’ll definitely have to try it again soon!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Yes, beach volleyball is a lot of fun and I love that you can dive for a ball and not get hurt 😂 Glad to
      know you’ll be getting back into the game again.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Mark says:

    Great description and post. Thanks for sharing. I only ‘got into’ volleyball earlier this year. A student loved played, had organised a competition and wanted some of the foreign teachers to join in. I was the only one who did, and I’d never played volleyball before. The others too pity on me, but although it hurt it was a lot of fun. I haven’t played beach volleyball though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      You definitely should continue playing. It’s so much fun 😊

      Like

  9. Beautiful pics..awesome

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I visited California last year and loved Santa Monica! These pics definitely make me want to pack my bags and go back for another visit! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yeah, Santa Monica is pretty cool. You definitely should go back for another visit 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved the opening borrowed from Alphaville, one of my favorites…hope to see you around again soon

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks! Alphaville rocks 😊 Yeah – I have tons of catching up to do on my blogging and reading blogs. It’s been way too busy – life gets in the way 😊

      Like

  12. loshame says:

    I like your post 😊.

    Like

  13. Adventures are big , small and no matter where even in your thoughts, the longing to travel and be free is also a beautiful place to manifest possibility and opportunity toward the open wings of freedom..thank u for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you for your lovely words Kerri. 😊

      Like

  14. Love Santa Monica! My favorite Southern California destination to visit! Beautiful photos. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      There’s so much to do and see in Santa Monica. Full of life and activities! Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  15. As Always enjoyed the post as well as the pictures.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks, Eric! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  16. shaw_vivek says:

    Rewind memories of my beach days….nice clicks

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks. Glad to have brought back good beach memories for you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. shaw_vivek says:

        thanks for that

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Decker says:

    Beautiful photos! thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Glad you liked it! 😊

      Like

  18. WOW!! My favorite the Sunset. Beautifully captured

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Like

  19. Wonderful photos and journey!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. … May you always be courageous,
    Stand upright and be strong,
    May you stay forever young,
    Forever young, forever young,
    May you stay forever young…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      That’s a Bob Dylan song…❤️ May we all stay forever young at heart 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Cool blog and nice pictures!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! 😊

      Like

  22. csanjaya says:

    its beautiful, really is! great pics.!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! 😊

      Like

  23. Another great song Bel (and I know this one;) ). Reminds me of my younger days (waaaaaayyyy back) when beach volleyball took the place of Calculus or Physics. Good times. Good times…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Omg! You played too? I used to recruit players like it was nobody’s business 😂 My friends used to tease me that I should have taken a Master’s Degree in doubles volleyball😜 Forever young is classic – how could it not be a great song? What I would give to be 21 again….😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hehehe not to brag… but I could TOTALLY rock the Top Gun High Five 😉 (which obviously means I was a gifted baller)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Lol, Gabe! We all know that’s totally a game changer 😜

        Liked by 1 person

  24. The water and sun soothe body and soul. It is good to be in nature and lose yourself in the moment with volleyball. Who can tire of beach sand? I prefer less crowded places but this too is fun. ^__^

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Right? There’s something about it that can make you forget the crowd and it’s so vast that you can still find your space away from it all. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Being in the moment…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Exactly 😊❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Love is post. Thanks for a fantastic read!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! 😊

      Like

  26. Great photos! Makes me want to play volleyball again haha

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks! Yeah, you totally should play vball again. 😊👍

      Liked by 1 person

  27. ellie894 says:

    Thank you Bel, Your site is inspiring! Your photos are beautiful! You make me want to go places myself. Your dream is as strong as your heart. Keep being that little girl deep down. That’s where you’re Real. 😌

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Lol the problems of a dreamer right? 😊 I love your comment and I’ll try my best to not give up on my dreams. Thank you so much! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  28. bpsenapati says:

    Beautiful photos! Beautiful penned! Love the post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks a lot. Truly appreciate it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Jack and Amy says:

    We had never heard of sand socks until my daughter played soccer in the sand in Grand Haven, Michigan! Those things were life savers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Especially during Summer! The heat will burn your soles. I use it a lot when I play beach volleyball. You are right. It is a lifesaver.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Such lovely pictures, and a lovely place.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Santa Monica is really lovely! Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  31. jelmo88 says:

    Being that this is the first post I’m reading of yours it’s refreshing to be able to get to know a sliver of you through your adventures. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      I appreciate it. Glad you liked it! 😊

      Like

  32. Absolutely wonderful place truly looks like a dream come true

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Santa Monica is a great place.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Gosh, if I only could pack my suitecase immediately and take a plane to L.A….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Lol! Right? Especially during summer when the beach is sizzling 😊

      Like

  34. Wow. Gorgeous vista’s. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      You’re welcome 😊

      Like

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks for the reblog 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Like

  35. Beautiful photos, Bel, and they complement your words – that sunsets inevitably fall on our youths. Each age brings it sunsets and sunrises, losses and gains. Just enjoy every minute, and remember the wisdom in the cliche – You are only as old as you feel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Lol! Now why do I wish I had those exact words before I wrote this post. I love the way you phrased it. Thank you Diana for your words of wisdom. It is true – we are only as old as we feel 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Great photos Bel. It is so good you had the chance to play volley ball again. Even if you are beyond your 20’s you’ll always have the memories of your play. They will be replaced by as good if not better ones.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Hi Tom and Audrey. Yeah, the older I get the more I realize what’s important and I am looking forward to that in a lot of ways. The awesome thing about volleyball is when I travel – if there’a some pick up volleyball near the area I get to play and meet new people. The best of both worlds 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is great that you are getting out there and doing it!!! Love it. You are keeping yourself young in doing so.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Young at heart ❤️ I appreciate the kind words as always…😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are welcome Bel. Be safe.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. foodzesty says:

    Hi! Love your pictures…nice post Bel 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  38. I’ve been there! Awesome photos, thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      It’s such a nice beach and there’s so much going on all the time. 😊 Thank you!

      Like

  39. I would love to play beach volleyball in this setting! The last photo is wonderful Bel.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Do you play volleyball too? The sport is so much fun. You’re right about the setting it’s hard to concentrate when the view is amazing! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I love volleyball and played for about 20 years, but gave it up due to chronic pain.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Oh wow! I’m sure I have to give it up sooner rather than later because of my shoulder injury. I’m not looking forward to that – too bad you had chronic pain and can’t play anymore. 😕

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks Bel. I decided to give it up before chronic pain became permanent. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  40. rashellbud says:

    Beautiful pictures … awesome adventure!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! It was a lovely night as well. The weather cooperated. 😊

      Like

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