Much needed time outta Dodge with my high school buddy, Jane. Her friends have a beach house in Capitola which is NOT a beach house. It is a very very nice house that happens to 3 short blocks from the beach. Three bedrooms, two full baths and furnished with everything we could possibly need to make our vacation a heaven on earth! The old-fashioned fireplace burned real wood. We wished was cold enough to use.

Shadowbrook Restaurant was one half block away. Three-levels nestled in a wooded area alive with flowers, there was a funicular that ran to all levels if you did not want to walk the steep steps. We ate two lunches and one dinner there. Food and service were excellent.

Second day – Lunch on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach and off in the afternoon to the Monterey Aquarium and Cannery Row. It has been decades since I was at this aquarium, so it was like having never been there.

For me, no vacation is complete without a visit to the local sweet shop – Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria in Capitola.. The cakes were so tempting, but let’s be real. There was just the 2 of us – so it was 2 chocolate croissants, 2 butter croissants, and 2 yummy biscuit-like sugar-coated muffin-like concoctions called Downtowners.

My photos from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk speak for themselves. The wooden 1907 boardwalk along the beach is still there, but it is so much more now. My first time here, so I was surprised at the magnitude of it all. The roller coaster huge – the1911 Looff Carousel beautiful!

On our last night, Jane and I walked to Capitola Village, had a margarita at Margaritaville (no connection to Jimmy Buffett). It was a beautiful walk aback to our “beach house”.

The Other Thins – Jane is a great traveling companion, and these 7 days were very relaxing. We had lots of places to go and things to do, but we always had plenty of down time to read and take naps!!