Last weekend presented an unusual gift: a Sunday with absolutely no plans. Couple this with living in California and you can pretty much choose your own adventure. Go north and sip wine. Go south and enjoy the beach. Go anywhere and experience practically anything.
So in keeping with making the most of even the smallest things, I planned something I never do: a little solo adventure to Santa Cruz. It’s only an hour away from where I live but the traffic to Santa Cruz can build enough to say, “No thank you, I’ll pass.” But after a few Google searches and an early alarm, I had a lovely little morning planned out.
With my camera in tow, I was determined to make this day solely about wandering. I started early, the key to any successful trip to Santa Cruz, and made my way to less touristy Wilder Ranch State Park. I trekked along the bluffs, attempting to take photos of the hundreds of bunnies in the thick fog. Groups of runners passed me and I tried to restrain my envy for their cool morning run.
As I finished the loop, the fog began to burn off and I opted for a more touristy attraction: West Cliff Drive. Get there early enough and parking isn’t a problem. The meter ate my quarters and I was smugly proud of myself for being early and prepared.
Thanks to recommendations from friends, I walked to Cafe Brasil for the aforementioned acai bowl and delighted in a treat that was as big as my face. The rest of the day followed the same theme: walk, snap, repeat.
I snapped photos of the view and Santa Cruz’s cast of characters, wondering if I would be getting a contact high from the ever-present clouds of smoke. I walked further down and saw the flag pride hanging proudly as there was a “Paddle for Orlando” event happening. To see all of those black specs enjoying such a beautiful day for an important issue made my heart smile. I couldn’t help but to ask myself, “What am I doing with my life?” and ponder this question for the next three miles of walking.
Thank you, Santa Cruz, for a beautiful day. And making me more confused than ever.