|A tough six weeks, a bad month and worse week finally
came to an end. We needed an escape. Since we had started Orb Seekers, and
Santa Cruz had an infamous haunted cemetery, what the heck. Only later did
we discover this was Band Review weekend in Santa Cruz. Do we remember
Saturday morning, we packed, had a late breakfast at the Cinema as usual, and headed out. We drove through sprinkles near Sandy Mush, but had clear weather after that. Cotlets and a magnet rock bracelet were purchased at the usual walk n' potty stop at Casa de Fruitas, and we arrived in downtown Monterey in time to see the Stevenson House. A bit of a disappointment. The docents are clear the ghost stories are no longer in affect as the top floor is now off limits. The building and the floors, however, are spectacular. A walk through town, past the building used by General Sherman (great doors) and the Colton Hall is equally silent and un-revealing. Rather like looking for the non-existent or long gone ghost towns scattered through out the western states. The best of the stop was when we returned to our gypsy meandering through town without goals.
A quick stop for a heavenly lunch at the International Market & Deli for falafaels, a chicken shawerma sandwich and hummus. Pure yum. Off to the tide pools at Pacific Grove where we discover a gorgeous fish caught by low tide: a seagull's dinner to be sure! Anne actually took off her moccs and scooped the poor guy up into the next pool until he reached open waters. A quick tour of the deer at the golf course and cemetery, than off to Santa Cruz for the night.
We checked into the Pacific Inn, then off to Grahm Hill Road and the Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery. Definitely locked up, but the three foot perimeter ivy covered fence provides plenty of viewing, and photography. See the pictures of that hunt here. It got quite cold for us, and we finally headed out to the wharf for dinner. Where else would two tourists eat when in Santa Cruz? What a surprise! At 8 pm on a Saturday night, they only open restaurant was the Miramar. We should have gone to McDonald's. The manager was too busy holding someone's baby to care she has two very unhappy (and still hungry) clients.
A wharf highlight was the sea lions. We could hear them making quite an uproar, (this late at night?) so we peered over the wharf railing to see what everyone else was watching. Lions by the dozens were lounging around on the floating docks, playing, teasing, biting, swimming. A fireworks display from the Boardwalk across the inlet quickly emptied the dock, but they were quick to return. We left laughing, despite our horrific dinner.
Something told us to return to the cemetery. Poor David is being such a good sport, he never groaned at all. He was, however, quite amused to find the camera case he had left behind sitting on the ivy wall, waiting for us. There are no coincidences.
A fairly good night's sleep, casual morning, and off to find breakfast in downtown Santa Cruz. The Hoffman Bistro proved to be a valuable find, we left absolutely stuffed and purring.
Shopping in downtown Santa Cruz is a delight. The local bookstore sports a mug that says "Keep Santa Cruz Weird." Bead It, a bead shop to die for, The Hat Company, an incredible hat shop, (I now own Minerva's witch hat from Harry Potter,) a poncho style dress I could not live without and another lovely couple statue at East Meets West, Chefworks for pepper grinders and wooden spoons, and the World Market Bazaar for a wooden pelican, they all now have a fair share of our money. Even the twenty dollar meter parking ticket (we stayed a bit longer than we planned) did not darken the day.
One more pass by the cemetery for daylight pictures, and I spot the ice cream store! It IS still there, after all these years. Mariane's! So good to have some things never change, well, outside the colour of the building. It is now screaming red and the two neon ice cream cone signs we looked forward to in the sixties were gone.
Back on the road again, with a stop in Capitola to hunt for Poor Clare's Retreat. This is now the Rispin Estate, but I remember the days when it became a commune, the revered location for those who had taken wings of freedom, turned on, tuned in and dropped out. Capitola doesn't smile about this one, they have been trying to resolve the financial drain for years. It is completely fenced off as construction has begun to turn this into a grand hotel, I am sorry to say. I do have a few pictures, but I would have given my left something to have had access to the building, still looming, spooky and inviting. A tour across the river, trying to get a better peek, was useless but fun. The Riverview road winds through the trippiest community with lanes barely large enough for a car, house after tiny house crammed together in a get-to-know-your-neighbor-intimately style of the sixties.
Inland, we hit fog. Amazing. An artichoke hunt was fruitless (pun intended) but I did manage to snap a picture of the artichoke statue in a famous, long standing artichoke shopping center that probably won't last long. If you want a real coffee between Watsonville and Prunedale, forget it.