Ofrenda

Date Day: Part Two — Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Posted in date day, travel by gwen on July 21, 2010

After our dazzling adventure in Half Moon Bay Saturday, we headed down Highway 1 to Santa Cruz. We did not stop in Pescadero for artichoke anything, and we did not stop at Pigeon Point to look for whales, and we did not stop to watch the kite surfers — we just wanted to get to the beach.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Insane kite surfers

We tried out Natural Bridges but it was a bit nippy so we ended up at the boardwalk — it’s a bit more inside the bay so more sheltered and warmer. Oddly, this is the first time Chad and I have set up camp on the boardwalk beach together.

We ate, then went for a stroll down the boardwalk. It was insanely crowded and took us ages to get to the far end.

Cavelove

As if you weren't already feeling sick enough

Then we decided to go ahead and walk out to the end of the pier.

No crabbing!

We saw a rockabilly beach wedding and battling sea lions and an awesomely cool X-wing kite.

X-wing kite #2

By the time we started walking back, the sun was already setting.

Ferris wheel and swing spinny ride

Our beach blankie was practically the only thing left — everyone had packed up and gone home already.

Ready for grillin'!

Texas DonutWhere Chad dares to tread

We watched the sun set over the parking lot from the beginning of Lost Boys.

Santa Carla, murder capital of the world!

Then we headed downtown.

Date Day: Part Three* — Downtown Santa Cruz

Posted in date day, travel by gwen on July 19, 2010

Things to do in downtown Santa Cruz on a Saturday evening:

Flower #4

Admire the gorgeous lamps at Om Gallery.

Lamps #6, sepia

Have a tikka kebab and samosas and pomegranate juice for dinner at Khyber Pass, then some Princess Torte for dessert at Hoffman’s Bakery.

July 11: self #2Mannequin #2

Visit with some very hep mannequins at one of the various vintage shops.**

Mannequin #1Mannequin #3

Say hello to my friend Gordon the Cheesemonger author on display at Logo’s bookstore.

How much is that Gordon in the window??

Hi Gordon!

* If you are wondering why we skipped from part one to part three, it’s because I have not done the part two photos yet. Life just works out that way sometimes.

** that photo of me is from several weeks ago but I needed something to fill the space. and I wanted to show you that I finally made something out of one of those spectacular vintage glass rings I got at the Alameda Antiques Fair months and months and months ago.

June 22: Souvenirs — I have an excellent memory.

Posted in Day of Fun by gwen on June 22, 2010

June 22: Souvenirs -- I have an excellent memory.

Mysteriously typewritten fortune from Musée Mechanique in SF, one cookie innard from Yan Flower Restaurant in Santa Cruz, and a ticket and photobooth strip from the boardwalk.

Date Day: Natural Bridges, March 25

Posted in date day, photo, travel by gwen on April 20, 2010

Finally getting around to the travelogue for our drive down to Santa Cruz a few weeks ago. I figured I’d better get to it because we went again on Saturday and I don’t want to be two road trips behind.

We started off with a stop at Wescafe here in Alameda. They make a mean americano and serve some extraordinary almond croissants.

Food stop #1, Alameda

We used to always take 880 down through San Jose and over the mountains to Santa Cruz, but got in the habit of the slightly longer but less traffic-y and more scenic route across the San Mateo Bridge [which, I have just read, is the 25th longest bridge in the world!]

The Mighty San Mateo Bridge

over the hills to Half Moon Bay then down Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean [world’s largest!]. The view is pretty spectacular and there are gorgeous beaches all along if you want to take a break.

Lone surfer

I prefer to have the windows down because of the delicious ocean smell.

Rearview Mirror

We often stop in Pescadero, which is a one-light town halfway between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.

Daisies in Pescadero

We picked up a to-go cream of artichoke soup from Duarte’s and a hot load of artichoke garlic bread from Arcangeli’s and had a little picnic right there.

Food stop #2: Pescadero

Another 40 minutes or so and you arrive at the western end of Santa Cruz — Monterey Bay is a big C shape, with Santa Cruz at the very top — which is where one of my favorite beaches is.

Lying in the sand at Natural Bridges

Natural Bridges has one of the two monarch butterfly sanctuaries on Monterey Bay [the other’s in Pacific Grove] and if you’re up early enough in the winter months, you can see the huge bunches of them hanging from the eucalyptus.

Monarch trail at Natural Bridges

We were there too late in the year and never get up that early anyway, so we walked down to the beach…

No Lifeguard

…where we spent some enjoyable hours lolling about doing nothing in particular.

Young lovers on the first of spring

Then it was time to dust the sand off and head home.

Chad, all sandy

Spring first at Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz, California

Posted in photo, travel by gwen on March 25, 2010

Natural Bridges

[view larger because it is prettier that way]

Write-up forthcoming…how are you doing?