24 Hours in Santa Cruz

It started with a plan to take Friday off and enjoy the beach sans crowds, before the school opens. We finished some work and left home at noon. Plan was to grab lunch at Sanderlings and then enjoy a day at the beach. We were to meet our friends for dinner at 6:30pm, in Mountain View.

As we drove past Cupertino a wild thought crossed my mind. What if we don’t come home tonight. And make do a one night stay. Why? To watch the sunset. With sunsets so late in the day, we can hardly ever stay back. So while Harry Potter played in the background, I found a deal at Rio Sands. Nothing special, just a 2 min walk to the beach. Broke the news to the fam jam, and Tara was thrilled! Agam – not so thrilled. But then I had some brownie points to trade and he agreed. As we hit Capitola, we realized I don’t have my glasses with me. So what were we going to do?! I am blind without them. And my contacts only last 12 hours. Well nothing could be done. The reservation was non refundable 😜

So the plan resumed as normal. We had a hard deadline to be home my 11am since Gloria was coming to clean the house at 12 and Tara had a dentist appointment that we moved 4 times! That’s right. I knew that dentist appointment could not be moved. But Gloria is flexible. So I asked her to come late and we went about our way.

Sanderlings was amazing. As always. And then the next four hours were spent on the beach.

Left these earrings at the hotel 😦 at least I have a good pic of then.

Don’t know where time went. I touched my phone just once to take this pic

Agam built his castles, Tara picked her shells, I took my walk, and the we all went for a walk, and then Tara built her castles while Agam and I chatted about stuff. And then it was 6pm and time to head out.

We needed the basics – toothbrush, and a change of clothes. Found a target nearby and enjoyed our cheap steals and deals. (Note to self – go back to Target for cute summer dresses.) I hacked my way out of the contact lens situation by buying a lens solution, and reused the lenses for a few hours this morning – Voila!

We checked into our room. Which was nothing spectacular. Tara was not impressed. A quick freshen up and we were ready for a short trail walk – Panorama trail that took us from Rio Sands to Rio Del Mar Pier lot, flat all along the ocean.

I felt like I was in Kauai.. the sky was delightful. And then we experienced the best ever moments on a pier. This wooden pier is a bit out into the ocean. And since it’s old and rickety, as the waves come crashing in, you can see them from behind, and feel the massive force that they hit the shore with. From front they look so bubbly, gushing to the shore. But from behind, they look like a hurricane, so forceful and so massive. We enjoyed the experience and the views and walked back.

Cafe Rio was great. The server was born in Calcutta and moved to Hawaii. Born to a mother from Delhi and father from Chennai, this person was quite interesting. She moved fo Aptos when she was eight and has lived here ever since. The meals were delicious and the bread pudding too sumptuous.

We came back to the room, and slept with the lanai door open, listening to the sounds of the waves, all night.

Woke up early, and drove to Java Junction at the Santa Cruz Harbor. Right outside the shop there is a band of local “artists” who play ukulele and other instruments on Saturday morning. It’s like a community sing along. And at times there are some Hula dancers as well. Tara played in sand, we enjoyed the music and our mochas and after a light meal we were ready to hit the road.

Reached home just in time for the appointment.

The most enjoyable 24 hours, so close to home, with a mix of adventure, ocean, music, food and lots of family time 🙂

Now next week we go back to school and get back into the grind.

Ocean does things to me…

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