Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Last weekend, Steve and I spent some time at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. For those unfamiliar with Bay Area geography, Santa Cruz is just south of our offices and then west to the ocean. Rather than drive home Friday night and then back right past our offices Saturday morning on a 2-hour drive to Santa Cruz, we decided to leave right from work Friday and spend the night. During the summer, the Boardwalk has free concerts on Friday nights. When we were choosing our weekend, I took a look at the concert schedule and saw that the Gin Blossoms were playing on the 22nd; I had always liked them in college, and none of the other groups really appealed to us, so we decided that was the weekend to go.

We got to Santa Cruz in great time, but didn’t get to the boardwalk until just after the show had started because the service at the local Denny’s was, ummm, good but laid-back. Anyway, this meant that we didn’t have a great selection for planting our butts on the beach in front of the stage. We finally found an open area and sat down to enjoy the concert. Shortly thereafter, we discovered perhaps why this area had been empty as 3 drunk bimbos stumbled over to re-arrange their blanket. One of them (with the biggest, blondest hair of the group) said “hold this” to Steve and thrust her purse and beer can at him so she could get to work on their patch of sand, holding her blanket this way and that and effectively blocking the view of everyone behind her.

The guards rather quickly tossed her and her brethren off the beach. Apparently, their 40 oz of Bud Light were not allowed on the beach. I was a little afraid we were going to get tossed with them since Steve was still holding the purse and beer, but we were fortunately not mistaken as part of the group. So off they went and Steve and I thought we had lucked out. But their blanket was still there and they came back shortly with new beers in plastic cups.

Which the guards promptly told them they had to chug or leave the beach. With such an option, what do you think they did?

At any rate, with the beers gone there was significantly less chance that Steve would get a beer spilled over his head.

The concert was fun; the Gin Blossoms played all of their hits. And I was really impressed with the sound system. Remember, this was outside, on a beach. Honestly, the sound was better than the last concert Steve and I went to at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland (which was really disappointing).

Staying overnight in Santa Cruz allowed us to sleep in and still get to the boardwalk right when it opened at 11AM. The day started off overcast and there weren’t many people there, so we hopped on the rides quickly. I rode the Fireball again and, like last time, had great fun.

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Rides generally do not make me ill; I love the teacups, much to Steve’s dismay. But I may have finally met my match. The Tornado is like the teacups, but the cups are suspended in mid-air making them rotate that much more vigorously and sway in 3 dimensions, not just on the linear plane. Steve refused to go on it. I knew I could never get the thing rotating enough on my own, so I found myself a strapping young lad sitting by himself and took the seat next to him.

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We did get the thing going, and it was fun, but I didn’t feel quite right afterward. Steve and I took a 20-minute break while I regained my equilibrium, but I was a little worried I would spend the rest of the day feeling off. With a little trepidation, I agreed to another ride on the Giant Dipper. And I was fine afterwards. The roller coaster seemed to shake me back into balance and I was back in ride mode!

And we were off the Logger’s Revenge!

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Half-way through the day, it was time for mini-golf. I’m always up for a good game of mini-golf, especially when I can take the opportunity to wipe the floor with Steve. I played an absolutely magnificent round, while Steve. . . Steve’s worst hole took 15 strokes. Heh heh heh.

I was so on that I actually made the hole-in-one at the end! I didn’t think such a thing was even possible, but there my ball went, right in. It must have been the laser-guided targeting mechanism in my eyes, in evidence in the picture below, that guided my golf ball straight and true.

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By the time 4:00 rolled around, the boardwalk had gotten very crowded and the lines were way too long. With a 2 hour drive ahead of us, we made a final purchase of salt water taffy and cinnamon apples and headed out.

We got home tired, but happy, and were looking forward to a nice relaxing evening. But there was a phone message about a baby raccoon at WildCare that needed to go into foster care. But that’s a story for another post.