As a nice outing from "The City" the girl and I decided to take a trip to somewhere I have not been in a very long time: Santa Cruz. The name itself conjures up images of skateboarding to me, most likely due to the skateboard company of the same name. I think the last time I was in Santa Cruz was during summer camp, and we spent the majority of our time at the Boardwalk (of course).
To be sure, Santa Cruz has a lot of skateboarders, but we weren't there for them. I haven't touched a skateboard in seriousness since I broke my ankle on one back in college, and I wasn't about to relive that experience on a day trip vacation, thank you. Instead we focused our energy to making the use of what Santa Cruz had an abundance of that day: sunshine, nice weather and beaches.
First things first we had to get some grub on, so we went to the Walnut Ave. Cafe. This place was decent, and I Yelped it. Wes loves his Yelping. After Breakfast we strolled through the downtown area, stopping at the post office to pick up some stamps, because if there's something Wes likes almost as much as Yelping it's sending post cards to people. Who doesn't like to get a post card form such exotic locales as Santa Cruz?
Then it was on to the *real* fun stuff, the beaches and Boardwalk. For those of you not aware, the Boardwalk at Santa Cruz was featured prominently in the 1987 teen vampire flick The Lost Boys. I used to love this movie, not because it's a double Corey film, but because it represented all the cool things a six year old thought California was full of: Skateboarding teenage vampires who rode dirt bikes and lived in abandoned old collapsed hotels. Yeah! Pure awesomeness.
Thankfully there were no real vampires out that day (sun would have gotten them anyway, I suppose) so we were allowed to wander this place unmolested save the throngs of small children and their attendant parents. The Boardwalk has all the stuff you would expect a Boardwalk to have, like cotton candy and peanuts and video game arcades. I, for one, just wanted to wander about and see the sights. I was not into riding the rides (though they did look interesting), and my companion does not have the stomach for such thrills, so we remained terrestrial.
After the Boardwalk we walked to the end of the wharf, along the length of which we spied many a barking sea lion. Their presence is not as severe as Pier 39, but they're there, no doubt. You're able to get closer to them here, due to the public landings on the wharf. I guess they climb up at high tide, and then when the waters recede they just lounge in the shade and sleep. It was nice to get out over the water, if for no other reason than the presence of a cooling breeze.
After the wharf we rambled back downtown to a nice little spot that was recommended to me, The Red Room. This place was initially a little cool towards us, but they warmed up after a few. I really liked the decor, and for a hot afternoon it was the perfect place to grab a cool drink and watch the world go by outside.