What a day! Lee and Jeff arrived early after having breakfast at their hotel. We drove up to the tunnel, parked in the lot and hiked on the old highway along the cliffs. Thankfully, I had my oxygen with me. It was a road etched out of very steep, unstable cliffs, which were first used by the railroad to bring people down the coast from the big city. The views were beautiful and it was clear. The water sparkled. We didn't walk too far into the 2.8 mile hike but this was something that I think they will want to complete during their next visit.
We then drove down the coast to a remote expensive campground with canvas tents on wooden foundations and cabins and a lodge house. It is always booked for corporate events or weddings. Lee works for a large corporation and fell in love with the remoteness right along the ocean. She thought it would be perfect for some meetings. A great restaurant and General Store are also on the property.
Onto Santa Cruz! But, suddenly, we were almost swallowed up by the fog. We couldn't even see the ocean. Oh, no! We drove on. Pulling into Santa Cruz, there is a sneaky way to see the sights. A quick turn here and a turn through there....we arrived at the beginning of W. Cliffs Drive. And it was well named. Beautiful old and remodeled homes lined the twisty road right on the ocean. We spotted the famous pier and Boardwalk but we were headed elsewhere for lunch. We took them to our favorite dive where everything is homemade, even the bread. The sweet restaurant was in a converted house in a family neighborhood overlooking the Boardwalk. They loved it. The fog lifted and it was sunny and warm.
We made our way back to the Beach Boardwalk, parked and enjoyed walking the entire Boardwalk. I love that it was free admission. They are known for their old wooden roller coaster and carousel. The rides are paid by wrist band tickets but we enjoyed just watching it all. It was spotless and looked so pristine. It had just opened for the season. The entire Boardwalk steps down onto the beach then just yards to the ocean. So must fun.
With the fog lifted, the drive home was stunning. The ocean views, the cliffs, the hills. My sister and her husband live near Sacramento. No ocean. No ocean breezes. They really enjoyed spending time along the coastside.
They went to their hotel for a quick nap before coming back for cocktails and dinner. We drove to the harbor and had views of the fishing fleet and private boats. We all ordered seafood and had a delightful dinner. Muscles for me! Pasta with Prawns for Michael. Tuna Melt with a tuna steak for Lee and Jeff had Crab Louie. When we drove home, there was the Irish Fiddling group practicing on Leslie's front porch. I haul Lee over with me, Michael rolled my bass into place, Jeff stayed down on the street with other neighbors and we played. Suddenly, other neighbors arrive then more came out to listen! We had a pretty good audience at one point!
It was the perfect end to a nice two days of their time in our lives here on the coast.