After our dazzling adventure in Half Moon Bay Saturday, we headed down Highway 1 to Santa Cruz. We did not stop in Pescadero for artichoke anything, and we did not stop at Pigeon Point to look for whales, and we did not stop to watch the kite surfers — we just wanted to get to the beach.
We tried out Natural Bridges but it was a bit nippy so we ended up at the boardwalk — it’s a bit more inside the bay so more sheltered and warmer. Oddly, this is the first time Chad and I have set up camp on the boardwalk beach together.
We ate, then went for a stroll down the boardwalk. It was insanely crowded and took us ages to get to the far end.
Then we decided to go ahead and walk out to the end of the pier.
We saw a rockabilly beach wedding and battling sea lions and an awesomely cool X-wing kite.
By the time we started walking back, the sun was already setting.
Our beach blankie was practically the only thing left — everyone had packed up and gone home already.
We watched the sun set over the parking lot from the beginning of Lost Boys.
Then we headed downtown.
Things to do in downtown Santa Cruz on a Saturday evening:
Admire the gorgeous lamps at Om Gallery.
Have a tikka kebab and samosas and pomegranate juice for dinner at Khyber Pass, then some Princess Torte for dessert at Hoffman’s Bakery.
Visit with some very hep mannequins at one of the various vintage shops.**
Say hello to my friend Gordon the Cheesemonger author on display at Logo’s bookstore.
* If you are wondering why we skipped from part one to part three, it’s because I have not done the part two photos yet. Life just works out that way sometimes.
** that photo of me is from several weeks ago but I needed something to fill the space. and I wanted to show you that I finally made something out of one of those spectacular vintage glass rings I got at the Alameda Antiques Fair months and months and months ago.
Saturday we went on a date day down the coast [I know, I know, you’re all shocked]. We used our new Fastrak gadget [a debit thingy that allows you to zip through the toll lines at the bridges here] on the San Mateo Bridge for the first time, then sat in lots of traffic going over the peninsula hills because it was Saturday and gorgeous out and who wouldn’t want to go to the ocean. I mean, really, this is why we all live in California.
Our friend George had a gig at a café in Half Moon Bay that we tried to catch but we were late because of the traffic and me screaming STOP HERE!!!! when I spotted the BERRIES 99¢ sign at the honey + produce stand.
99¢ is a third what blackberries and blueberries cost over on our side of the bay and corn was 10/$1 so you’d better believe we stocked up. In case you didn’t hear me, that’s TEN CENTS FOR AN ENTIRE EAR OF CORN.
And there was lots of local honey.
When we got downtown, George was already headed out, so we said hi then picked up some picnic provisions at the deli and did a little window shopping on Main Street. I loved this under the sea wedding cake:
While Chad was picking out cheese, I ran across the street for a fix at The Posh Moon, which is a lovely little boutique run by a seriously francophilic [?] mother and daughter and is wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling romantic neutral bohemian etc. clothing and accessories and some housewares, many of which are made by locals — I’m just in love with this girl Effie’s line that they carry. Anyway. It is the sweetest place and I just love walking in there. I bought a green silk summer blouse and a tiny pewter blowfish made by an artist in Rhode Island — I’ll try to take a picture of it later because it’s about the cutest little figurine ever.
I snapped a shot of their ribbon flower hair clips as a reminder, there’s an excellent book at our library about making these and it’s something I keep meaning to do. But you should go buy some, they’re very affordable.
I shall return with part two of our day.
Pretty much any time we go anywhere scenic, at least one person will ask me to take their picture. I take very nice pictures of them. Every once in awhile I will ask someone to take our picture. I say, push the button halfway to focus, then all the way to shoot. I only ask people who are carrying their own cameras and I am pretty sure this is how most digital cameras work, right?
Yet almost invariably, we end up with a completely out of focus, crooked, feet-chopped-off photo. So you can imagine how pleased I was when today’s shooter returned my camera to me. Look at that. Nicely composed with our whole bodies in, heads above the horizon [which, you’ll notice, is not at a 45° angle!]. Thanks, lady stranger, you totally made my day!
[Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove, California]
Three more bits of sea glass. Are you sick of it yet? How was your weekend?
Finally getting around to the travelogue for our drive down to Santa Cruz a few weeks ago. I figured I’d better get to it because we went again on Saturday and I don’t want to be two road trips behind.
We started off with a stop at Wescafe here in Alameda. They make a mean americano and serve some extraordinary almond croissants.
We used to always take 880 down through San Jose and over the mountains to Santa Cruz, but got in the habit of the slightly longer but less traffic-y and more scenic route across the San Mateo Bridge [which, I have just read, is the 25th longest bridge in the world!]
over the hills to Half Moon Bay then down Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean [world’s largest!]. The view is pretty spectacular and there are gorgeous beaches all along if you want to take a break.
I prefer to have the windows down because of the delicious ocean smell.
We often stop in Pescadero, which is a one-light town halfway between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.
We picked up a to-go cream of artichoke soup from Duarte’s and a hot load of artichoke garlic bread from Arcangeli’s and had a little picnic right there.
Another 40 minutes or so and you arrive at the western end of Santa Cruz — Monterey Bay is a big C shape, with Santa Cruz at the very top — which is where one of my favorite beaches is.
Natural Bridges has one of the two monarch butterfly sanctuaries on Monterey Bay [the other’s in Pacific Grove] and if you’re up early enough in the winter months, you can see the huge bunches of them hanging from the eucalyptus.
We were there too late in the year and never get up that early anyway, so we walked down to the beach…
…where we spent some enjoyable hours lolling about doing nothing in particular.
Then it was time to dust the sand off and head home.
Last week we had a date day and went for a walk along a path in a park along the San Francisco Bay in Hayward, California, a bit south of where we live. We were in search of a sea glass beach a friend of mine had been to. It was very windy but the sun was excellent, and the path from the parking lot at the far, far end of W. Winton Avenue is wide and paved — perfect for bikes but also nice for a leisurely stroll.
Near the beginning of the path is a hillside of of mustard hiding the bulldozers at the landfill on the other side.
It was very windy and I took a bunch of photos that were big blurs, so I cheated and had Chad try to hold the mustard still for one more shot. He’s just out of the frame here. I really like this shot so it’s big. It’s larger here.
The path leads to what used to be a ferry landing back in ye olden times. There’s very little left except for little stubs of wood poking out of the mud.
We did find a bunch of sea glass, I’m going to post those tomorrow. I will just say: there is a lot, though it is mostly not fully “cooked” [as I have seen it referred to while poking around the many sites that are devoted to sea glass, this meaning it is not as sea-tumbled as it could be and most of what we saw still has hard if not sharp edges and there are very few of the small pebbly bits that I’d like to find for jewelry purposes].
Isn’t Chad cute?
He is also eagle-eyed, he spotted this half of a robin’s egg on the path. It’s barely bigger than the end of my thumb and I never would have noticed it unless it crunched as I stepped on it.
So: there are paths along both sides of the slough but we took the wrong fork when we came back on the other side and ended up on the wrong path, which gets bushier and bushier and by the time you realize things are not as they ought, you are at a locked fence separating you from your vehicle and you have to crawl through all kinds of underbrush unless you want to walk the quarter mile back to where you should have gone to the right. It’s an adventure anyway.
The best thing I spotted on our date day at the sea glass beach in Hayward last week was an intact green bottle stopper.
p.s hi Paul, I found your dishes from when you were a boy!
Saturday we went to a meetup of the San Francisco Bay Area flickr group down in Davenport, which is a tiny town a bit north of Santa Cruz. We got there an hour late but found them easily because there aren’t a whole lot of places a group twice the size of the town’s population can hide.
I didn’t take many photos, which is okay, I was really just there for the ocean. I could happily spend the rest of my life on California’s coast [incidentally, this best guidebook EVER]. It was 70° out when we left Oakland and about that when we got to the coast, I had on a 3/4 vintage jacket on that I had to take off because I was sweating.
We stood on top of a bluff like video stars, then spent awhile looking down a crumbling cliff at an inaccessible beach. We tightrope walked on the railroad, stopped by a lighthouse [where they have a hostel with private rooms, highly recommended!], then watched sunset at the tafoni tidepools at Pebble Beach [there are about 80 Pebble Beaches in California, this one is near Pescadero; the one you’re probably familiar is an hour or so south in Carmel]. So of course I have a sunset photo for you. Because you cannot get enough.
Chad took tons of photos [though he’ll probably never go through them or post them, so you will just have to imagine]. I took a couple of him, this is him shooting and the dress I am wearing, which belongs to my friend Jen. It is the Target Rodarte mustard crepe and mesh dress, and I do not intend to return it because it is so, so, so cute.
I also finally got a shot of the scarflet I made Chad for Christmas. I used a rugged thick slate wool, it is very manly! and a grey vintage German glass button that has some geometric trangulations on it, and I think the whole thing looks a little TNG, which is perfect because my boyfriend is the world’s biggest little Star Trek fan.
Here’s one of Chad’s photos [I went through and pulled out the ones of me, that is all you wanted to see anyway, right]. It is also of the sunset, and me. The temperature dropped like a rock in tandem with the sun, so most of the dress is covered by my half-dozen layers so you cannot see its glory but whatever. You can look it up online if you really care. I think it’s a pretty lovely photo.
Bonus cliché shooting each other photos:
We went to see our friend George and his friend Lisa play in Half Moon Bay yesterday, sat and crafted and enjoyed the music and ate, then walked down Main Street [it’s a total little tourist town over on the coast, everything is kind of unnecessary and charming]. THEN we went to this artist enclave where Lisa’s dad rents a space to write in, it is this crazy set of wooden buildings the one guy started 40 years ago right on the shore, I have some photos that I will get around to. Really cool though. I daydream about the kind of life where people are always inviting me places like that. Oh, there are some photos here [the Miramar beach entries].