Just arrived home from our most excellent road trip. The kids are ensconced on the sofa with Tommy Boy, some non-educational programming.
Let me see…I’ll start with Monday: we took off, stopping first at the local WildFlour Bakery for bread and to tour their garden. They’re growing hops, which are going to stink up the whole town in the fall. I know that from Germany.
We headed straight to The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz (www.mysteryspot.com/). Smartypants say it’s all an optical illusion, but we campers were pretty awed and puzzled (a common feeling for us). It’s an area “where the laws of physics do not apply.” We had to wait for our tour, so we whiled away the time with some rowdy games of golf, with genuine Mystery Spot playing cards. This was the start of being among mostly foreigners. Lots of languages other than English being spoken. Good for us, since we tend to say whatever we thing, especially while playing cards; a happy coincidence when nearby people don’t speak English (or at least not as their mother tongue – they’ll think that they just don’t get the nuances of our witticisms). We ate nachos, hotdogs and what they called a grilled chicken sandwich (me); they use the term loosely. Our tour guide was a font of bad puns and jokes. We loved them.
Next stop was The Seymour Marine Center, sort of a mini Monterey Bay Aquarium. We got to touch a swell shark (it swells up to scare/frustrate predators), saw a ginormous blue whale skeleton, and strolled, safely, along the very very edge of the bluffs on Monterey Bay. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was waiting for us, so we made our way further down the coast. AB does her research, so we knew that all rides were $1 after 5. Oh yeah. Plus, hotdogs, cotton candy and fountain sodas. Fat city! It was a beautiful night, a ticket line opened as we stepped up to the counter, and we were off to the races. To start, we took the sky ski lift thing, that traverses the whole Boardwalk, so you can get an overview. The kids talked me into doing the water logjam ride. “We won’t get that wet.” Right. Then the Giant Dipper beckoned, an historic landmark wood roller coaster. I like new things when my life is involved. The kids went on first, as I ate way too much kettle corn (full price item), and they swore that it’s not too bad. So, then we all went on. I really didn’t enjoy it. Mich stole the outrageously-priced official ride photo with her IPhone. She is clever, and somehow I didn’t feel like it was all that wrong. Loose morals at CAB. You can see for yourselves, kinda, how much “fun” I had.
After that, James went on some crazy ride with centrifugal force and dropping bottoms and almost upside down spins. Other rides happened, along with arcade games. We encountered a woman who needed repeated and long explanations about how the water pistol blowing up the balloon race worked. That was weird. Michele won anyway, and very graciously gave her stuffed toy to the stupid woman’s grandson (poor kid). They didn’t know what hit them! Then we ate. Not hotdogs, sadly, but there were healthier options at the teriyaki chicken stand. Don’t worry, we got plenty of cotton candy. As the sun slipped into the Pacific, we headed to our hotel. We got right into the rooftop pool and hot tub, under the stars. James was working on his dive, and was assisted by a dude with a major tattoo (“Only God can judge me” around his neck. We think that’s not completely true, but we waited till he was gone to discuss. Tattoo notwithstanding, he was a nice guy). Mich swam laps. I didn’t. To end the night, we got a little more card playing in, with the TV on.