May 9, 2019

California, Part 1 : Santa Cruz

FILED IN: Personal, Travel

Last month was our 10-year wedding anniversary so Kevin and I had planned a trip out to California. While we spent most of the time in Yosemite, if we were going to be that close to the ocean anyway, I wanted to sidetrack to it. It’s bizarre; having grown up in the Midwest, there’s no real reason that the ocean calls me so, but for some reason, things seem so much better, everything makes more sense, the world is calmer, by the waves. Does anyone else feel that way?

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We flew into San Jose and stopped at the Apple Park Visitor Center first thing before heading down to Santa Cruz. The interactive augmented reality exhibition was especially cool to experience and, as is on par for everything Apple, the overall design of the space was so clean and beautiful and minimalist.
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After visiting Apple Park, we headed down to Santa Cruz. I had booked a hotel that was directly across from the boardwalk so we were able to park our car there and then just walk everywhere. It was chillier than we expected with rain popping up on and off, but we had brought layers, knowing we would need them in Yosemite.

Every time I’m in California, whether it be north or south, I cannot get enough of the Spanish-inspired architecture. It’s so different from the Midwest and I love the beautiful greenery against white stucco, the arching doorways, the cap of red-tile.
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I know that seals are to Californians as deer are to Iowans, but since I’m Iowan and never get to see seals in nature, I was fascinated by their lounging and barking and swimming. santa_cruz_california_travel_emilycrall_photo_0318.jpg
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We stopped at Natural Bridges State Beach on our way out of town to see the rocks (or “natural bridges”) before heading instate toward the mountains. We spent just 1 night in Santa Cruz, but because we got there really early the first day and had no rush to leave the second day (and maybe also because we had no agenda and walked everywhere), it felt like we got to spend ample time there and get a perfect dosage of waves to soothe the soul.
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Coming up next: Yosemite!

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