The last full day of travels I had in LA was going to Santa Monica for the day. Prior to that I had to get my PCR test done in the morning, as it needed to be completed 72 hours before my flight home.
Arranging to get the test was probably the most stressful part of my vacation experience. There were so many options, including [supposedly] free testing for Canadians at local pharmacies, but none seemed feasible within the 72 hour time frame. Originally I had booked my drive-thru test at Walgreens, however Walgreens in California doesn’t offer the NAAT test, which has a faster turnaround time of 24 hours. When I called the pharmacy to inquire about the turnaround times for the PCR test, they said they couldn’t guarantee to have the results back before my flight. Hence it was a risk I wasn’t prepared to take.
I ended up booking a PCR test at LAX, which gave me a guaranteed turnaround time of 24 hours. While $125 USD was not cheap, it was an expense I had anticipated when I booked my trip to the States. I was more than happy to pay that amount to ensure I could board my flight home.
Getting tested at the airport was actually a lot easier than I thought. Since I already had reservations it was a pretty smooth process. However I’m not sure what was wrong with Uber that day, cause two drivers canceled on me that morning before a third driver finally took us to the airport. (I was slightly freaking out thinking I would miss my appointment window.) Then once we were done, there was a surge in prices so we ended up taking a taxi to Santa Monica.
I was very happy once I got to Santa Monica. Since it was a Sunday there were lots of people enjoying the day at the beach. It was my first time seeing the ocean in the day and it definitely gave off a different feeling than in the evening. Santa Monica Pier was also very lively and I enjoyed walking down the entire length of it.
For lunch we stopped at a restaurant called Ivy at the Shore, which had the cutest seating area in the back. We had their calamari, crab cakes benedict and shrimp tacos. They also had really yummy scones.
After lunch we walked over to the nearby Third Street Promenade and spent an hour doing a little window shopping. Overall I really liked the feel of Santa Monica. I think in my mind that was always the image I had when I thought of Los Angeles – sunshine and palm trees. I’m so grateful for the time I had in LA and I’m glad that my trip went smoothly!