Friday, September 30

Santa Cruz-ing

On our way to a college roommate's wedding, Jamie and I explored the coastal mountains and beaches of Santa Cruz, California on Thursday. This region lies between the Santa Cruz mountains and the Pacific, just west of the South Bay sprawl. Here are my stream-of-consciousness observations about the trip:

Grabbing sandwiches at Woodside. Driving Skyline Blvd. above Palo Alto. Stopping at Thomas Fogarty, a winery with beautiful views of the lower Bay named after its heart surgeon / Stanford professor proprietor. Violating their "no picnicking" rule. Threading the narrow, winding road to David Bruce, where only one car at a time can pass. Discovering a Christmas tree farm amid the vineyards. The great house at Byington. Shirtless boys hitchhiking in the mountain hollow village of Boulder Creek. Getting lost and almost missing Bonnie Doon, but making it before the tasting room closed. (We should join the club.) Oceanfront strawberry farms along the PCH north of Santa Cruz. Our dingy Days Inn next to the historic boardwalk amusement park. Walking along the Pacific Avenue strip with street kids, hippies and the college crowd. ("Cool town, if you like hair in your granola.") Checking out the off-season beach at Surf City, USA. Departing for our destination in Big Sur.

Boy, we manage to compress a lot of touristing into a twenty-four-hour span, don't we?