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December 16, 2006

Santa Cruz Saturday

Today Caleb and I decided to do a little exploring and ended up in Santa Cruz, which happens to be only a short 30 minutes away, and the drive is spectacular. Super green, it could rival Oregon. We made our way down to the wharf and took a nice little stroll down the pier. And of course, stopped for a few photos. :)

Not the best of days, but it's still gorgeous, isn't it? If you look close you can see dozens of tiny little dots in the water. Those would be the insane surfers who braved the frigid air and water.

This was all his idea......

At the end of the pier you could see tons of sea lions swimming around. There were also several perched on rafters underneath where we stood, but they were at least 4 or 5 feet above the water! We could only figure that they waited until high tide, and then spent the day snoozing!

Couldn't leave without one of the two of us. In the back round you can see one of the last amusement parks left on the California coast. However, it doesn't run during the winter but for a few days during the Christmas weekend. So let it be known, we'll be back!

Next we drove out to the official Surfer's Museum. I swear, it exists. It was small, but quaint. They had the actual surfboard that one man was riding when he was attacked by a great white shark. And let me just say that any desire I once had to learn to surf, is now entirely gone. I think I'll just enjoy the ocean from the nice, warm, not-infested-with-sharks - sand.

See that TEENY TINY little hole in the rocks in the far left? When it's not absolutely freezing, I'm going to go there. Looks much smaller than it actually was, and I believe there are some great tide pools! I love sticking my fingers in the little red and purple anemones - it feels like your finger is made of velcro. Going to the tide pools was my favorite thing to do on the coast in Oregon, and I can only imagine what it would be like here where it's WARM at the beach. :)

Next we went to check out what downtown Santa Cruz had to say for itself. And? It had a lot to say. LOTS of fun little trinket shops, candy shops, book shops, clothing stores etc. etc. etc. My favorite was "Best of Everything". SUCH fun things for your home and lots of little odds and ends. I think my favorites were the fun stationary sets and the gorgeous baby stroller blankets. Oh, and the funky toasters! And the little chocolate sets! Alright, so I'm going to have to go back... It was bustling, and I can't imagine what it would be like in the summer.

We finished off the night by finally biting the bullet (literally...) and trying out a restaurant we've been eyeing since we got here. It's called Zafran's, and it's Pakistani / Indian food. We've been hesitant because it seems like whenever we decide to eat out we're STARVING, and were both worried we wouldn't like what we ordered, and have to go find something else. :) Trying new foods is both exciting and scary for me. I love to be adventurous.....but tend to draw the line at freaky foods. It's like what I always say about "Fear Factor" - I could do ANY of the stunts, no problem. But give me some dead tarantula or 200 year old duck eggs to eat, and I'm out. Screw the $50,000, I'm not TOUCHING the stuff!!! Anyway, we actually both really enjoyed it. I loved the flavor of....whatever it was that I got....but it was pretty spicy. I'm sure not by your typical standards, but for me? Super spicy...made pretty obvious by my constant jabbering about how nice ice cream would be after....mmm....coating the throat with thick ice-creaminess......

Instead I just downed my water. And made a mental note to ask for the MILD curry next time...

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