PCH Trip Day One: Santa Cruz

Yesterday we set off for our 5-day Pacific Coast Highway Trip.

On the plane the flight attendants  handed us goody bags made by a woman on the flight.  They had candy and this note:

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 It made me cry like a baby. 

 We landed in San Franciso about 45 minutes behind schedule.  We immediately headed 90 minutes south to Santa Cruz.  We had a surf lesson scheduled at 1:00.  When I called to tell them our flight had been delayed and we were running behind they told me “Don’t worry about it!  We’re surfers, it’s not like we’re sitting here looking at our watches.  Get here safely.”

We reported for our lesson and got changed into wetsuits, which was a chore in itself.  We then took a short walk to the beach.  As we approached the water, surfboards in hand, I thought about how cold it was going to be.  It was about 70 degrees outside, but the water temperature was 57 degrees and felt like ice on our feet.

Our instructor gave us a quick 10 minute lesson on land.  We learned how to stand on the board, how to paddle, how to push ourselves up.  And then we went out to sea.

We hadn’t been out there for 5 minutes before he was pushing us into the waves!  He reminded me of a mother bird pushing the baby bird out of the nest. The waves were small, just two or three feet tall, but perfect to learn on.  I caught my very first wave and rode it all the way to the shore!  My second and third rides weren’t so smooth; I crashed both times.  It took the husband a few tries to get the standing up part, but he went on to catch several waves of his own.  Over the course of the two hours we both had several rides and several crashes.  Surfing is both easier and tougher than I thought it would be.  It was easier to stand up, balance, and ride than I was expecting.  Going into the lesson, I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to ride a single wave, but I ended up riding at least as many waves as I crashed. And it was tougher than I expected when I crashed!  Some crashes were relatively smooth, just stepping off the board.  But some were full on crashes, where you drink salt water, get tossed around, and maybe even get slammed by your board.

Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of us actually surfing :(

Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures of us actually surfing 😦

After surfing we headed back to the house where we were staying.  We rented a room through AirBnB.  It is someone’s normal house that they live in, which is both weird and kind of cool.  The room was fine, nice but nothing special.

After showering we headed to the Boardwalk.  The old song “Under the Boardwalk” played on loop in my head.  Walking towards the Boardwalk I felt like I was in an old movie, like I was on the postcard of the quintessential West Coast Beach Town.  There were roller coasters and Tilt-A-Whirls and bumper cars and arcades and salt water taffy and funnel cake smells wafting in the air.  The air smelled so good I wanted to eat it!  But I thought that would be weird.  The husband and I strolled around for awhile, ate a quick dinner, and eventually purchased our tickets to ride the Giant Dipper, one of the oldest coasters in the United States.  Luckily, or unluckily, it was 1907 Night and tickets were only a buck.  Lucky for us because the ride is usually $6 a person.  Unlucky for us because cheap rides=long lines.  But, the line moved fast and we were on the old wooden coaster in no time.  The ride was fast and actually scary!  It was cool to look over the side and see the beach volleyball players. 

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 After the coaster we walked up and down the Boardwalk a little more. The husband regrettably beat me at skiball.  I disobeyed the posted signs and chased some seagulls.

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We got some of that salt water taffy and some ice cream and talked about what we wanted to do next.  I suggested a movie.  20-year-old Jayme would think that seeing a movie on vacation was LAMEO but 29-year-old Jayme hasn’t been to a movie in 17 months and has been itching to go.  The movie started 4 minutes after we made the decision to go.  We hurried back to the car and went to see The Conjuring, which was entertainingly scary. And that was the end of day one!

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