Okay, so a week ago Simon Goldrei invited the three of us down to Santa Cruz for the day, to check it out. He moved here (permanently) about a month or so before I arrived, and has a nice shiny car (in the photos). Thus, given Santa Cruz is some 50km or so away from us, he kindly offered a lift. :)
So he picked us up fairly early in the morning (10ish, I think) and we cruised down to Santa Cruz. We spent most of the afternoon just driving around, checking out the sights. I must say, Santa Cruz is nice. It’s kind of like a cross between Mt. Martha and St. Kilda, in a way. The photos don’t do it justice, but they give you a vague idea.
It was also nice to find people my age. Of course, there’s some 10,000 people at UCSC (University of California, Santa Cruz), on campus alone! So it’s not too surprising that on a beautiful day like we had, a few were out and about.
All in all, it was very nice. We stopped by a bakery for an early lunch, which was nice… although I can’t find it or the street it was on… apparently I imagined that bit.
We also dropped by Lulu Carpenter’s coffee shop, where Simon apparently wrote most of his thesis and presently more or less lives. :)
We went cruisin’ in Simon’s convertible along the coast, with the soundtrack from Garden State playing extra loud. Very nice music, albeit rather atypical convertible cruising music. We also hit the main pier, and checked out the candy store at the end of it… very nice. :D
And we also took a walk along the boardwalk. We even went for a quick ride on the rollercoaster, which was pretty cool… it’s been too long since I’d been on a rollercoaster. :) It was also Ashley’s first ever rollercoaster. He took some talking into it, but he had fun after all. :)
We also spent a good part of the afternoon shopping… three supermarkets later we apparently had enough ingredients to make pizza’s for dinner…. bizarre, monster pizzas of Simon’s own design… involving corn, apple… he was going for mango paste as well, but we drew the line at that. Despite their unorthodox ingredients, they were actually very nice.
So what Simon organised that night was for a bunch of his friends to come over and join us for dinner. People he’d met at uni and so forth. There’s two – Bronwyn and Rosie – in the photos. I didn’t want to scare everyone else away by pulling the camera out earlier. :)
They were a cool bunch of people that we met. All about my age, a lot from UCSC. ’twas a nice night – Simon put on quite a feast, and we all had a good laugh and what not getting to know each other. Bronwyn’s nice. :)
After everyone buggered off – their cover story of being uni students fell completely to pieces after they tried to convince us they had to get some sleep for school the next day – Simon drove us all back home to Cupertino. He stayed the night here, since it was about midnight by then, and had to put up with my horrible coughing until the wee hours of the morning. I think he’s nearly forgiven me. :)
So that’s more or less the short of it. I’m being lazy at the moment, as you can probably tell, and not filling in the details. I’ll get to them one day.
One key thing about the trip was that I’ve finally found somewhere here I’d really like to live, thinking for the long term. Where we are in Cupertino is really convenient and certainly nice enough, but I wouldn’t want to be here my whole life. Santa Cruz I could definitely get used to. :)