Californian Honeymoon: Santa Cruz
We hit the highway as we headed south from Napa toward Santa Cruz. California is beautiful. End of story. There are palm trees, beaches, popsicle colored cars-and the sun shines really brightly on it all. We ate at In-n-Out Burger.
When we first pulled into Santa Cruz, I realized THIS is where the inspiration for Pac Sun and Hollister came from. There was a real life boardwalk like in every tv show/movie, and on that boardwalk was a huge carnival that stayed YEAR ROUND. It was no Iowa State Fair action, but you know, how can you beat that sort of set up?
As we bummed around the boardwalk and downtown streets, we talked to people that seriously grew up in the town just surfing and skating, and are now working in surfing and skate shops in the same exact place.
As per usual, we started out at a well rated and reviewed (have you met Zach?) brewery and eatery for lunch called West End Tap. The bartender was awesome and told us his "perfect day of drinks and eats in the town" and wrote us a list of where to go. I had these perfect tiny meatballs and a beer.
This awesome upcoming neighborhood was a few blocks away from the Air BnB that we stayed at! This place was an entire little apartment in the backyard of this lady's house. We never actually met her, but her place was so cute and cozy. Also. Californians get to grow succulents outside in their gardens, YEAR ROUND. Everywhere I looked, they were as plentiful as weeds in the Midwest.
This neighborhood had it all-modern beach houses, cool beachy suv's, tons of cats, and this perfect little quick market shop that EVERYONE seemed to pull up to, grab one thing quick, and leave. Even though it was pretty out of the way from any main roads. A sweet Asian woman ran it and sold her homemade kimchi and sandwiches along with wines, beans, waters, and all the gas station normals.
We walked around downtown Santa Cruz, where the beach bikes and teenagers are prevalent. We found a couple of stores that we both really liked, Stripe and Stripe Men along with a few t-shirt and skate shops.
The next morning we walked a few miles to Verve Coffee. Zach was SO excited to visit. He's had it before if someone buys it and brings it home, but we got to go to the actual store and get the freshest coffee and espresso. And we met a girl from Iowa there!
We ate at this perfect local breakfast stop called Zachary's. Nope, I didn't make him take any name-sign pictures. But it was quintessential breakfast vibes.
Next we hit the beach finally. The long pier is littered with 1. Pigeons and seagulls. yuck. 2. Sea Lions!! They are everywhere and it's awesome! There are these little docks that you can walk down onto where the sea lions seriously just pile on each other and yell. It's a dream.
The beach, like all else was warm? With the sun, but had a cool sea breeze coming off of it. After an hour or so, we decided to walk through the beach and through the carnival and back home. After a nap, I woke up to the reddest Zach I had ever seen. He became the trip lobster-every trip has one.
We drove our sunbathed selves across town to what I am told is THE best sour beer brewery in the west side of the states-Sante Adairius. (maybe all of it??) I don't care for sour beers, but the IPA was pretty great.
Then we got back to our part of town, and walked to dinner at in a little house close to downtown. It was more of a drinks and small plates kind of house actually. We finished out our day in Santa Cruz with a stop at the same ice cream shop that had probably been sitting there in the same fashion for 30 years.
The next morning, we bid our adews to the beach house and stopped at The Baglery for breakfast. Amazing. Des Moines needs a place like this. And of course grabbed Verve coffee for the road.
We wove and wove along Highway 1 back to the city. It was overcast and foggy and mysterious in the morning. And we stopped at a few beaches. Most are empty and quiet, but the cool ones have a ton of people pulling in and out searching for a place to get in and surf.
Check out these crabs that reside by the sea!! I was super fascinated with getting to stand next to them on the rocks.
After that we got to John Muir Woods and hiked! And it was perfect. We finished out our last days in San Francisco and headed home!
-Hope you guys have a great weekend! I'll be on Pleasant Street far from pigeons and seagulls.