Santa Cruz is an extra special stop for me, because I got to see my (long since last seen) niece and her family, and had the opportunity to spend some great time with her and her family! Yeah!
We camped out at the Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park, which is essentially a marina that has a dozen spots for RV’s. The location is great – obviously right on the harbor. Think of your site as a boat slip – on land. The location is such that we were able to bike from our campsite around town.
Being mindful of my meat-smoking friends, we had dinner in Aptos at a local BBQ joint called the Aptos Street BBQ, and let me tell you – their ribs were to die for; clearly in my Top 5 all-time ribs. Even better of course was to spend time with family. Oh, and a great live band. How does it get better than that?
Well, the next day it did. We went paddling in our kayaks in the Elkhorn Slough (pronounced slew), which is a tide flat or marsh, where we saw all kinds of bird life, seals and otters. This was simply a gorgeous setting and a most awesome place to go paddling.
When you paddle in such conditions, it is essential that you replace those burned calories, so we followed paddling by going to the Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville, CA where we had Nita’s Very Berry homemade pie a la mode. Can I get an Amen for Nita and her pies? We were so smitten that we bought one of her apple pies to bring home – and proceeded to devour it for breakfast the next two mornings. Health food. It’s not just for the rich and famous anymore.
To add balance to our diet, we got up early on Saturday morning to go to the Aptos Farmer’s Market, held in the parking lot of Cabrillo College. We loaded up our shopping bags with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, farm raised bacon and meats, bread, and who knows what else. In our never ending effort to sustain our energy, we (I) had fresh oysters shucked for breakfast, followed by a nice serving of Ceviche, which is a dish that is made from fresh raw fish that has been cured in lime juice, cilantro and peppers. If you have not had it, it is outstanding! Sorry, no pictures, except for this one cheesy picture with the accordion player.
And we enjoyed dinner at several restaurants in Santa Cruz including the Crow’s Nest (on the beach) and Caffe Lucio (recommended by one of our friends), each of which was outstanding, and each of which we were able to ride our bikes to.
All in all, our trip to Santa Cruz was fabulous – loved this place, loved getting together with family, and look forward to getting back here!!!