Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sentimental Journey: Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Sentiments

A month ago Matt and I went out to California to go to a wedding, and then the next weekend we went to Boston to go to another wedding, and then there were some lovely mountain sojourns, with the result that I am seriously behind in dealing with my photos of all this gallivanting. A month is enough time for me to feel nostalgic for an experience, so I thought I'd put up some pictures from our days in California. David and Michael's wedding deserves its own post--that'll be next--but these are some snaps from a day we spent in Santa Cruz before all the festivities. (For those who are new to this blog, we lived in Santa Cruz for several years before we moved to Atlanta.)  I blogged about this town briefly, but here it is in living color.

In my tradition of photographing motel bedscapes, I offer you the Coastview Inn.

Coastview Inn Bedspread

This was no Borg's Motel (God I love that Borg's!), but it was a great little place with a straight up actual coast view--right smack across from the boardwalk--and it was fifty-something dollars a night. And not in a scary way.

Coastview Inn

It was really clean (I mean, except for the highly-suspect bedspread) and just what we needed for a ten-hour stay. We got in late, made drinks in those little plastic cups, and fell asleep laughing and watching The Jerk on their free HBO. What more do you want, picky?  I recommend a trip where you stay in one dive and one nice place. Each makes you appreciate the other. We seem to have made this a pattern.

Then we spent most of the day doing nothing in particular, stopping by some of our favorite Santa Cruz places.

Pacific Ave in Santa Cruz

Bookshop Santa Cruz

Bookshop Horse

That rocking horse has been in Bookshop Santa Cruz for I don't know how long. It looks well-used, doesn't it? Laura spent a lot of time as a baby playing on that thing while we browsed, and that was 8 years ago. I got a little sentimental seeing it still there, and thinking of her as a toddler. 

Updated to add: Ooh, I just remembered that in another post, I told you how I once walked in on a homeless man washing his ass at the sink in the women's bathroom in a bookstore.  This was that place.  So, you know, it's got public bathrooms.

Santa Cruz Clock

We always use to compare Santa Cruz to a town in one of those Richard Scarry books for children, like Busy Town. It's so small that there are really only a few places to be. If you want to find someone, and you have only the vaguest information about their whereabouts, like that they're "downtown," you can go find them. I miss that. I don't need many choices.

Some of my other favorite stores downtown. This first one is the Shoe and Sock Shop:

Shoe and Sock Shop

Surf City Barber Shop

Stripe in Santa Cruz

The Palomar

Matt at the Palomar

Back there, over Matt's shoulder, through those double doors, is the Palomar's late night taco and margarita bar, site of many a glad hour. If you can get a stool to perch on. I've seen this whole place be standing-room only.

That night took us away from the Coastview Inn to stay with friends in Los Gatos. They have grapes on their property, and like any good Silicon Valley techie types would do, they're learning to make wine in their garage. I got to help punch down the skins of the Cabernet Sauvignon. It was warm and it smelled delicious.

Garage Wine

Then we headed on up the peninsula to take residence in our wedding base of operations, the SFO Marriot. Bedscape for you, before:

SFO Marriot, Before

And after.

SFO Marriot, After

There, I think you've got the full picture. The wedding was one of the most fabulous I've ever been to. More pictures to come, unless you're sick of me or you sprained your scrolling finger. Ice and rest, my friends, ice and rest. xoxoxox--B


Mad Woman said...

Ok the bedscape at the bottom? WAY better than that dodgy bedspread at the top. Yikes!

Santa Cruz is beautiful!! And yeah, it kind of does look like a Richard Scarry town! Keep the pictures coming!

The Dental Maven said...

Never been to Santa Cruz and now I want to go. I'm glad Laura's rocking horse is still on active duty.

Michele said...

I've been waiting for the bedscapes. There is nothing better then small quirky California towns.

Did I see a Happy Hour menu? Now, I just have to go.

gretchen said...

I have somehow managed to live in Los Angeles for 20 years and never go to Santa Cruz. I don't know how this happened. We seem to go up the coast and get bogged down somewhere in the middle. Anyway, thanks for inspiring me to take a drive!

Amy said...

Great pics! What a nice trip for y'all. I forgot how quaint Santa Cruz is. Imagine trying to find someone in "downtown" Atlanta!

Sweet about that rocking chair. I am impressed, actually, that it's been there for that long!

Jenni said...

that's so perfect - Santa Cruz is like Busy Town. And I've had that exact conversation, "Where is Sean?" "Oh, he's downtown." and then we went and found him.

Michele Renee said...

What an awesome place to visit. I was at that beach and boardwalk once when I was 10. I think we may go to Cali June/10. Some young dudes want to visit the Skatepark in Santa Cruz. At the Coastview prices we could get a separate room from the boys!

Michele Renee said...

P.S. Is Matt always too long for most beds?

Becky said...

Michele R, y'all would have a blast. That's the perfect time to go too.

And yes, Matt even hangs off the end of our king-sized bed, but as long as there's no footboard, he doesn't complain.

Gretchen! You should definitely take a trip up there! It's true that you have to pass some beautiful places to get to Santa Cruz, but you could take your time.

Lisa Lilienthal said...

Becky, I love your blog, and I'm an Atlanta girl transplanted to Orange County, Ca. Turns out this is not where I'm meant to be forever, so we're looking at Northern Cal/Bay Area -- love your point of view on Santa Cruz as it is one of the towns that intrigues me.

Becky said...

Lisa, thanks for commenting! Yes, if you're in Orange County then you already know the challenges associated with living in CA. But I love it up North, I really do.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Wow. Santa Cruz looks beautiful. You must really miss it!

Next time you go back, could you pick me up the bumper sticker that says "We don't have a democracy, we have an auction"? Love it!