June 26, 2008

Cruisin' Santa Cruz

With Santa Cruz as our destination, Mom and I pulled out of our driveway feeling footloose and fancy free. Thanks to the help of Raylene Werzinski and the McCracken family, we had two days and a night planned to do nothing but what we pleased. :-) Zooming down the freeway, our little silver scion vibrated with laughter and conversation as topic after topic was throughly discussed. I was in the height of my glory- Mom all to myself for two whole days!
Traveling northern California is a sensory experience. We wrinkled our noses at the garlic in Gilroy, munched on fresh fruit which was locally grown, marveled at the intricacy of architecture in Watsonville, and drove through a forest I felt must be enchanted. It was too 'LOTRingsy' not to be. :-)

Once we arrived in Santa Cruz, the search for a hotel began. We had printed out several options from online but still were unfamiliar with the streets and such. (Little did we know how much THAT would change! Ocean St. held some options and we took advantage of the fading light to snag the first one we came to. Just down the street stood an award-winning Thai restaurant, where we thrilled our taste buds with flavor. We are converted Thai enthusiasts. :-) Delicious!

The next morning we hopped into some clothes and drove to the beach for a morning walk. We didn't find the way to the hike we wanted, so settled for a stroll on the shore. Sea air is exhilarating and that morning was no exception. Before long, we headed back to the hotel for a shower and a day exploring Santa Cruz. We found a china shop filled with beautiful dishes and teacups, then discovered a natural foods store where we munched delicious organic greens- raw cheese, plump tomatoes and rice crackers.

One thing I will remember about this trip was getting lost constantly. We would ask each other for help all the time, when neither of us knew where we were going. I learned a million different ways to say . . . "I don't know!"

Downtown was an adventure. Interesting people, inviting smells, and specialty shops created an experience I enjoyed. However, this beach town was pervaded with a sense of darkness caused by separation from God. New age philosophy was widely advertised. Claiming to be the answer to life's problems this religion masked the hideous face of sin. My heart cried out for this town. JESUS is the answer!

We found these interesting plants in the Arboretum, an Australian hummingbird garden tended by collage students. I was struck by the way they look like furry little people with big lips, so I thought I'd imitate them. . . minus the fur.

Another plant in the garden. Those vibrant colors couldn't be passed over. Click!

My beautiful Mom

Along our coastline drive we stopped to watch the surfers for a while. I was amazed by their skill. Looks like fun. :-)

Sailboats, lovely sailboats

This stately lighthouse stood on the beach where we took our walk.

In exchange for veterinary care, I answered phone calls for Dr. Patrick Smith while he was overseas on vacation. This was a great experience for me, and I got a taste of what it feels like to be a vet!