When the opportunity to move to California presented itself two summers ago, we immediately began planning adventures that could happen. Our mental California bucket list has continued to grow & we’ve been lucky to cross off a lot of things too. We have always lumped Santa Cruz, Carmel and Monterey together in our minds when planning things out, but after spending a day in the area trust me, you need more than a day. I would definitely recommend staying the night so that you can see more if you had to drive in.. My friend Andrea says great things about a camping spot nearby with pizza that delivers to the beach! the beach! Sounds like something that only happens in the movies. Let me know if you want more details.
Trying to be good with money we stayed at the condo back up in Sacramento, but unfortunately we weren’t up for driving back down on Saturday. Next time! Speaking of the condo it was our first time staying there with Paityn. I can’t believe its been that long. Let me tell you its a whole new adventure. Everything was the perfect height for getting into. I’m glad we were able to use it as home base and go out for adventures. We brought a portable crib for her to sleep in at night. At first she just was not having it. Tired, and wanting to get up early, we though “ah, the bed’s huge! room enough in this one for 3.” Before we knew it we were learning she scooches around in circles while smacking her hands together to fall asleep. That, or she just put on that show for us. Either way I said out loud after a few minutes, to a passed out husband, what would Dr. Naseem say?? He would say, “Put her in bed. She’ll get tired enough, and fall asleep.”
Miraculously, it worked.We were out the door by 7:30 with homemade crepes in our bellies [thanks babe!] and the best chips ever. Seriously. Go get you some. With Bastille playing most of the way the drive was easy and even exciting. This was “Southern California” as I’ve gotten so far.
First thing when we got in we found ourselves driving through beautiful West Cliff Drive; I have never seen so many active people. Young and old were all making good use of the sidewalk. A lighthouse, beautiful views of the water, and some fun houses made up the drive. Paityn got to eat first, freely [man, I love new cities] then we decided we were hungry. With a goal of $5 for both of us for lunch, and a intense craving for Chinese food, Siri promised us Panda was just 3 minutes away. 15 minutes later, the freeway, and a new city later we were happily sitting down to kid’s meals.
Our afternoon comprised of the main beach, exploring the boardwalk + wharf, hundreds of barking seals, fog waving in and out, the best brownie I’ve ever eaten, cruising through the UC Santa Cruz campus, the marine sanctuary exploratory center, lots of little shops, and learning I look 14 years old in a trucker hat. Add that to the list of cons to growing out short hair. I’m not quite sure how we decided on where to try out for dinner. I think we pulled up urban spoon and decided pizza always go perfectly with the beach. We found Pizza My Heart downtown, which rocked my socks. Single ready made slices with artichokes, plus a $2 t shirt? um, yes.
Afterwards, and not wanting to go home yet, a beautiful outdoor shopping area appeared up next door. It was a perfect end to our day.
Santa Cruz, We liked you!