Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Old Stomping Grounds - Santa Cruz

It's been quite some time since I was here in Santa Cruz.  Driving through town brought back lots of memories.  The first question that came to mind however, was where did all these buildings come from??  As a 16-17 year old kid here with my best friend Lynn, the road went straight to the beach.  Now the streets are so convoluted, it's actually hard to find the ocean.  I'm pretty sure Lynn is having some lovely memories right now too!!

My first trip down even more winding Hwy 9 into town resulted in me getting lost.  SO many one way streets!!  Almost immediately, my low tire light came on again, so once I spotted the antique store I was looking for which was closed, I headed slowly back up the hill to the park where I waited for Patty and Dan Chance to arrive.  Half way back, the light went out.

Thank you to my friend Dave Burdick for the cable hookup suggestion ... and to my fifth wheel neighbor who happened to get a glimpse of my TV.  Both said there is a button to push to switch to cable.  After pushing everything that even LOOKED like a button, I finally hit the ONE that fixed the snowy picture.  What would I do without you guys!!

After Dan arrived and got his rig set up, we headed back to Santa Cruz for dinner on the wharf.  This is truly Dan's stomping grounds ... he grew up here and definitely knows his way around.  My how things have changed.  Lynn and I used to drive our cars right down on the beach you see here.  You could even spend the night in your car if you wanted.  Although the Boardwalk rides have changed and the Fun House is gone, at least some of the major buildings are still standing.
The brightly painted Neptune's Kingdom was hosting a National Cheerleading Contest with dozens of kids checking in.  Dan says it's a big deal around here.  My favorite was indoor miniature golf, no longer here.  The indoor saltwater swimming pool is also gone, but the building has survived.
You can still drive out on the pier, a big plus if you want to eat at the many restaurants there, but it cost us $5.00 to park for an hour.  It's definitely worth the view however, especially at night.  You can get some great pictures of the Boardwalk lit up like a Christmas tree.  
Sadly we found that Dan's favorite place to eat had closed down, so we chose Gilda's, whose $10.95 turkey dinner had the small restaurant pretty crowded.  WE on the other hand, had the biggest crab cakes I've ever seen, along with clam chowder, veggies, a baked potato and delicious warm bread.  
I know these are all terrible images .... I was in such a hurry to get to the Boardwalk I forgot my camera.  Otherwise I might show you pictures of the sea lions floating around under the docks.  We did see this sailboat full of people cruising around the pier.  In the far background, the shoreline is the best site in Santa Cruz to catch some waves if you surf.  That's the exact spot my girlfriend Lynn and I found out what the word CURFEW meant.
Back at the rig, I watched some crystal clear television, checked the brake lights on my Jeep since someone told me one was out (they all worked fine, so I don't know what that was about) and enjoyed the view out my window.  These redwoods that completely surround me are just amazing!!
We have some running around to do today in preparation for the rally which actually starts Thursday. You know those little collapsible rakes you've all seen at Quartzsite and didn't buy?  I could really use one to keep Cooper from tracking in half a tree every time he goes outside.  I also got a line on a WiFi signal booster that just might meet my needs.  Hopefully I'll have some better images for you also!!

Cowwa Bunga Dude ..... we're in Santa Cruz!!!!!


  1. Is the BIG Merry-Go-Round where you can toss rings into the Clowns mouth still there?? How about the wooden Roller Coaster, they HAD to keep that! I too hung around Santa Cruz...a week or two each summer.

    1. And just remember, if you ever need to watch "over-the-air" TV again, you will need to click that button to activate your booster or you won't get much of a reception.

    2. The Merry Go Round is there, as is the roller coaster. One building was just taken down however. The fun house is gone too, but I was told the miniature golf still exists ... I just didn't see it.

  2. I don't think I have been to Santa Cruz since the "incident". Haha

    1. You wouldn't recognize it Lynn .... although that cliff above the surf zone is still there!!! LOL