Monday, June 6, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth: NorCal Edition

First off, today I am doing a little retail therapy. 
For a cause.
Head on over here to find out how you can help those affected by the Tornado in Joplin.

Last Monday was Memorial Day.

Which means, NO WORK FOR ME!


Which also means, I call my parents and ask them to take me on an adventure!

AKA, they drive.

They pay.

It works out well.

Anyway, my favorite "I don't have to work today" adventure is heading to Santa Cruz.

Spring, Fall, Summer or Winter.

It is a happy place.

Unless you go in summer, the whole Boardwalk will be shut down.

No rides.

No food.

No sunshine.

But come summer, the Boardwalk is bustling!

Anyway, my parents have a way of doing things. They are weird like that. But I roll with it. After all, they are buying me lunch, ice cream, churros, and a few rounds of Ski Ball!

They park a gagillion miles away. Up a mountain.

And apparently, I just learned this time, my dad doesn't like corndogs. TRAVESTY.

Sidenote: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has THE BEST corndogs in the world.

But only if you get them right under the Hurricane roller coaster. Trust me.

So, instead, they always eat on the Wharf.

Mom requires a window table.

Getting a table with my mother, is quite the process. I won't go into it here.

But we get one. And love watching the sea lions float by. And sometimes an otter too.

Usually there are some surfers in the distance. And a few boats.

It really is gorgeous.

Anyway, we had a nice lunch on the wharf. And after that visited the noisy Sea Lions floating on the docks. I seriously love these guys.

After that, we headed to the Boardwalk.

The place just SMELLS yummy.

We walked through the arcade and my mom REALLLY wanted to play air hockey.

But it was a holiday. And the arcade was seriously louder than being front row at a concert. I could not handle it. So we kept walking.

My mom wanted to pop into all our favorite stores. Which I gladly complied.

And then she wanted to play Ski Ball.

You may not know this, but I'm pretty good at SkiBall.

I am not Words With Friends good. But I am decent.

On one dollar of tokens, I got 25 tickets. Woot! Which meant I got three jelly bracelets, and a clacker toy.

Yeah, I know. Be impressed.

After that we just hung out on a bench, and did a lot of people watching. While inhaling the deliciousness that wafted by.

My mom kept offering to take me on a ride, but I was really just enjoying sitting in the sunshine.

Mom and Dad got chocolate dipped cones (I was holding out for Marianne's on our way home - another Santa Cruz MUST DO).

 But I did indulge in a churro. And got this epic picture of a churro.

I mean, if there was some kind of contest for the artsiest churro pic, I think this one would win. By far. Don't you agree? Blue Ribbon Certified.

Anyway, after enjoying the sunshine. And, some chilly wind. We started making our way back to the car.

But not without first picking up SIX corndogs to go.

Um. Yeah.

And some salt water taffy.

And of course the stop for ice cream at Marianne's on the way out of town.

In case you were wondering, I got Burgundy Cherry.

And it was SO GOOD.

I guess as a kid Santa Cruz is all about the rides. And the beach.

And as a grown up. It's about the food.

Either way, it is FUN FOR ALL! :)



  1. I agree all about the food :) the beach is much too cold and crazy to enjoy there and the rides aren't quality lol

    Diggin the 6 corndogs, My mom and I love corn dogs! Fresh dipped ones though, Costco box kind don't count :)

  2. don't forget the deep fried oreos! SO. GOOD. I love the boardwalk!

  3. um. i bet i could take you down in skiball.

  4. (looks like we need a skiball tournament in september)

    awesomeness! goodness, california seems like the dreamiest place. wowza. corn dogs are my fave "street" food;)

  5. Oh, I {love} Santa Cruz, too!
    It feels like such a getaway,
    even though it's so close.
    We stayed at the Dream Inn for a few nights
    last summer.
    Dreamy Inn.

    I'm a taffy girl...cinnamon, please.
    And I'm ashamed to say I've
    never had a corn dog there.
    But you'd better believe I'll remedy
    that next time we're there.


    {btw, there is a restaurant downtown SC that has the *best* Mexican food I've ever had}

  6. I love churros! Beautiful pics - loving the sea lions!

  7. I still ask my mom to take me "on adventures" with all those same perks. hahahah

  8. love me some santa cruz beach boardwalk in the summer time (watch the second video here

    when i was in 8th grade i made up a jingle to the tune of one of the andrew sister's songs about santa cruz... i still remember it because i'm a dork. i'm going to share it with you because after reading your post it's in my head (will likely be in my head all day. thanks)

    "wouldn't it be great to go to Santa Cruz
    play out on the beach or maybe take a cruse,
    go to Gilda's and have some prawns,
    maybe we could start a new phenomenon..."