Santa Cruz!

Last August, we asked Ducky if she would rather have a birthday party, or a family trip to the ocean for her birthday in September. She chose ocean (a girl after my own heart)
Cue surprise pregnancy, pneumonia, bronchitis, lack of funds, rough school year, Dayly’s birth and newborn stage, busy summer, and here we are back to Ducky’s birthday…and another shot at her beach birthday trip!
We have always gone to cold beaches as a family, so David and I decided to give a warm beach a try!
David took off a couple extra days from work and we planned a long weekend in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area.
The girls love leaving for trips when it’s still dark out. Fun for them…extra work for David and I. Worth it though because we know how much they love it.
So we hit the road at dawn on Friday…ready to finally go on the trip we’d been planning for a year.
First stop, nasty McDonalds for breakfast. They got our order wrong LITERALLY three times forcing us to make multiple trips through the drive thru. Waaaaay too much effort for semi-edible food. But we were on our way!
We drove straight through to Santa Cruz and went to the Boardwalk. It was the girls’ and my first time being there. David had apparently surfed there a few times (is it just me, or does that make him even more attractive…?)
It was gorgeous on the beach. 80 degrees and the beach practically to ourselves. The girls shrieked and screamed and splashed in the waves…it was perfect. We wandered along the shore, our curiosity leading us towards the sea lions and their constant barking. After lunch and some quality time with the sea lions at the wharf, we decided to head to our hotel in Watsonville.
We reserved a two bedroom suite, which felt like heaven after being cramped inside the van all day. The pool was heated and VERY warm, and the hot tub was even warmer…perfect for 3 chilly little Redding-natives. Between the beach, swimming, and being awake since dawn, the girls were ready for bed nice and early (bliss!)
Saturday morning we headed for Monterey and the aquarium. We had a blast! We had been prepping Dayly by showing her Baby Einstein’s “Baby Neptune” and the girls were sure she was in baby-heaven with her view from the carrier of all the fishes. She was perfect the whole day, making everything even more fun. We took home from the aquarium a stuffed otter named “Aquamarine”, a seahorse named “Bubbles”, a dolphin necklace, and a jellyfish named “Marmalade”.
A quick lunch at the Cannery Row Brewery (YUM) and a stop at the Candy Factory for candy rings and rock candy made the day about as perfect as possible.
We spent the evening watching the food network (LOVE) and again tucked 4 passed out little princesses into their beds…this time with their little marine-animal children.
Sunday was our last day there and we headed back to Santa Cruz. The girls and David road on the 99 year old carousel and the Sky Glider. It was much colder and the beach was packed due to the Big Kahuna Triathlon, making us all the more appreciative of the weather and lack of people on Friday.
We had lunch at Pizza My Heart (YUM!) and headed over to the Capitola Mall to get David and I some souvenirs before heading out of town.

It was an amazing weekend making memories with the loves of my life…I’m already looking forward to next time! :)

11 thoughts on “Santa Cruz!”

  1. Yay! You ate at Pizza My Heart! Seriously my favorite and I got there EVERY time im in Santa Cruz! Love the new blog and love that you had a great family trip! Making memories :)

  2. I love your comment “we have always gone to cold beaches as a family”. Growing up in Eureka I never knew until my adult life that there was such a thing as a warm beach :D

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