I fell in love with Santa Cruz and the west coast! It was my first time out there, and my 25 year old daughter and I went out to see my son who is living in Boulder Creek. It was a whirlwind visit, just 3 days, but absolutely perfect. I had been a bit apprehensive about Hwy 17, but since Bryan lives in Boulder Creek (well actually on the side of a mountain a bit north of there) he had us come across Bear Creek Road to meet Hwy 9. OMG. Thankfully it was not a busy road, as it was incredibly windy and narrow. My daughter navigated it beautifully though. We got my son and then traveled down to Santa Cruz. Had lunch at the Buttery I think it was called, then went over to Live Oak to check in at our airbnb home where we had a most comfortable room. The house was 6 blocks from the beach. Walked up to the beach and it was so nice that both my kids went swimming and no wet suit required. Had dinner at a restaurant in downtown Santa Cruz that is now escaping me, after we walked around Pacific Avenue, if I have the name right, the main shopping district.
Sunday morning we had a 12:00 wine tasting and tour at Beauregard Vineyards in Bonny Doon. That was just perfect. Their wines were delicious and at 10 dollars a tasting quite affordable. I bought two bottles to be shipped home. Bryan then took us for a drive further up the mountain, and then down and across to where he lives. That was an experience, going up his mountain on an ATV! We then went to Pizza My Heart for a late lunch. We had dinner at Cafe Cruz and that was good too.
Monday we trekked down to Monterey and went to the aquarium. It was busy as it was Labor Day, but an absolutely lovely place. We have the National Aquarium here in Baltimore, but it pales compared to this! Ran into a bit of traffic coming back around 4, but made it back to Capitola/Live Oak around 5.
Sadly we had to return home on Tuesday, drove up Hwy 17 about 10 in the morning to catch a flight out of SJC.
It was a perfect trip and I have decided if I can't retire out there in a few years, I at least want to spend a portion of my time out there! I know my son will not be heading back East, why would he when it is paradise out there?!