The second day began in Monterey. We had a continental breakfast at our Inn before heading to the Fisherman's Wharf to walk around a bit. It was a typical foggy morning, cool but not cold. We saw David, my old roomate's car at the wharf and wrote him a nice note in the copious amounts of dirt and dust on his back window ;)
Monterey is a great place to visit, it seems to be the perfect example of a Northern Californian coastal city.
We took photos and shopped around a bit then made the decision to head back down to Big Sur to buy the shirts we had been eyeing while there the day before. With that purchase made, we headed into Santa Cruz.
Our last few moments in Monterey county were at Dominick's Fruit stand in Watsonville, where I often shopped for fruits and veggies while I lived in Aptos last fall. We bought honey sticks, dried fruits and flavored pistachios and headed across the county line. We got off at Rio Del Mar to see my old houses (yes two in four short months, that's another story) as well as my old school, Cabrillo College. From there we drove into downtown Santa Cruz to find lodging for the night. We found a perfect place within easy walking distance of the boardwalk and pier, the Ocean Pacific Lodge, off the corner of Pacific and Front Street.
Big Sur is so breathtakingly beautiful - it may be one of my absolute favorite places in California.
After getting our hotel, we headed to UCSC for a brief visit to the campus, which was just as beautiful and peaceful as I remembered. Almost like you're hiking in a state park, not walking around a University... We then went down to the Promenade on Pacific Avenue, where we listened to a few different street performances, the best of which being Woodsong, a perky little band with entirely wood instruments - think carribean style. We stopped into my favorite store on the strip, World Market Bazaar, where I bought myself a boho scarf to wear to dinner...
We walked down to the boardwalk, which was overflowing with people. The weather was quite nice, cool yet not uncomfortably so. There was a band was playing, and we took the chairlift that ran the length of the boardwalk, and got a bird's-eye-view of the concert.
We had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Cruz and a must stop for me everytime I'm in town, Olita's. It's a mexican/seafood type restaurant on the end of the pier with delicious chips and salsa, plus a view of the entire boardwalk. I had my usual, the lobster quesadilla and Pete had a chicken mole dish.
We finished the night by briefly meeting Charlie - my best friend from the semester I spent up in Santa Cruz - at the bowling alley in downtown (best prices I've ever seen for bowling!). After that we headed back to the hotel to turn in for the night, the end of a another awesome and eventful day.
I have a lot more photos from this day especially, but for some reason blogger won't load them so they may have to go in a photo-specific post of the trip highlights... =(