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Surf’s Up

After a few days in Sacramento, it was time for the annual trip to Santa Cruz. This year we lucked out with beautiful weather (it was actually warmer than it has ever been in Santa Cruz during our visit).

There was also a big swell so surfers were out in full force the three days we were in Santa Cruz.

This was also one of the first times since I was about nine that we found beautiful sand dollars on the beach. To clean them we set them in water with bleach and soap mixed in and set them out in the sun (this way they turn white and smell better).

The morning’s in Santa Cruz tend to be very foggy and overcast, but that never stops the surfers from waking up early and going to catch a wave.

Santa Cruz has a nice wharf full of restaurants and shops. Stagnaro Brothers is our restaurant of choice with the classic seafood choices like fried calamari. You also get a nice view of the Boardwalk which has the Giant Dipper roller coaster (the oldest wooden one on the West Coast).

The sea lions love to sleep on the wharf and on the boat docks around the wharf. The babies are super cute (admit it, I know you were thinking that).

Victor saw an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network that featured a restaurant in the Santa Cruz harbor named Aldo’s. I’d never been there so I figured, why not? We had a lovely view from our table of ships coming back into the harbor.

The featured dish on the show was cioppino which is  a traditional Italian dish with loads of seafood in a thick spicy tomato broth. It was delicious and I recommend getting some on a cooler evening.

After diner we drove to downtown Santa Cruz and went to Chocolate for some dessert. This picture speaks for itself. Just go and indulge and order a Belga, you won’t regret it.

The next morning Victor and I went surfing. This was the first time I had ever tried surfing but I had a blast in my full body wetsuit in the cold Pacific. I even managed to stand up and ride part of a wave before wiping out. Finally I can say I am a true California girl. But after two hours of paddling, falling, standing, and swimming, I was one hungry girl. So I went and got some Mexican food as you can only get in California or Mexico. Las Palmas is the place and they’ve been around for over 50 years.

Then we went and saw some real surfers and beautiful views near Natural Bridges State Park. This photo doesn’t look real to me, but I suppose, everything this clear, sunny, and beautiful never does.

All the local surf shops were competing against one another and Pacific Wave took the win.

I’m finally back in Connecticut and still have photos from California so more to come soon.

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