Wednesday, December 4, 2013

san jose part 3

sunday (9/15) :: day 4 :: santa cruz
I would be lying if I said that I wasn't feeling a bit exhausted and sluggish on Sunday morning, but everyone had made plans to grab brunch in Santa Cruz at the hotel where my dad and step mom got married several years ago, so we had no choice but to get going to meet everyone there. The setting was beautiful and it was nice to enjoy one final meal with everyone.

[[ brunch where my dad and step mom got married in santa cruz. ]]

One of the main things I had been looking forward to during this trip was to take Pat to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, where I spent a tremendous amount of my time when I was growing up. He has been able to show me so many of the things he did as a kid throughout the years, and I was happy to be able to do the same for once. My family decided that they would like to come along as well, so we made our way to the coast, bought our unlimited ride passes, and before I knew it we were in line for the first roller coaster I ever went on, The Giant Dipper. Now, if you aren't familiar with this particular attraction, it is a wooden coaster than was built in the 20's and has remained on the boardwalk ever since (with a few safety alterations I would assume/hope). Anyway, although still a ton of fun, it was definitely a bit more creaky/jerky/holdonforyourlifeoryourhandsmightgetchoppedoff than I remembered, and we were all a little sore afterwards. I still maintain that it was worth it. No regrets. After that we just wandered around and went on whatever caught our eyes, including the classic Pirate Ship ride, which is something I have always been afraid of, and as it turns out, I still am. I did not enjoy that ride one bit, and it wasn't solely because I was a bit hungover. For the record, I am also afraid of the swings, and ferris wheels.

[[ pure childhood nostalgia at the santa cruz beach boardwalk. ]]

Several hours went by fairly quickly, and after a good chunk of rides, an ice cream cone for me, a slushy for Pat, a trip to the gift shop for some souvenirs, and a walk on the beach, we were ready to call it a day.

My aunt and uncle (Ashley's parents) wanted to grab dinner with us before we took off for good, so we rushed back to the hotel to change quickly and wash our feet, and then met up with them for dinner, which was delicious since we were all starving!

monday (9/16) :: day 5
My parents flight home was in the afternoon, so we all met up one more time to grab breakfast at a diner in Campbell my grandparents recommended called Stacks. Since it was my last day of vacation, I decided to splurge and went for the blueberry pancakes, which were huge and extremely tasty. Afterward we all headed to my grandmother's bridal store, Trudy's, to say goodbye. I hadn't been to the store since I was a little girl, at which point in time I used to run around with my cousins trying on flower girl dresses and looking at all of the pretty things. It was interesting to revisit from the perspective of being an adult who will soon be going there to try on her own wedding dress. Since the store was not very busy, people were trying to convince me that I should try something on. I declined.

[[ breakfast at stacks. a quick visit to trudy's brides, my grandmother's bridal store. a little shopping. ]]

Eventually we all said goodbye, my parents headed for a airport, and me and Pat took off for Santana Row which was recommended to us since we had a few hours to kill. It was an amazing outdoor shopping center, with so many great shops and restaurants. Very swanky. After wandering around for a while, we found a little wine bar in the center and decided to do some tasting and relax for an hour before our flight. The front of the building was transformed to look like an old church, and there was even giant chess outside that I absolutely would have gotten a picture with if it was not in use at the time. I had a flight of delicious whites and Pat went red.

[[ window shopping at santana row. his & hers wine flights at vintage wine bar. ]]

Finally we made our way to the airport where we grabbed some lunch and a bit more wine before boarding and heading to PDX for our final layover of the trip. Once in Portland we grabbed a quick beer at Laurelwood Brewery near our gate, and before we knew it we were home.

[[ enjoying a little more california wine in the airport before our flight. goodbye for now san jose. ]]