Friday, March 02, 2018

Santa Cruz in the Rain.

My view of the Santa Cruz boardwalk –across from the pier where Randy and I headed out for lunch.

It’s usually NOT this grey.

But I stood there in the driving rain in the parking lot on the pier trying to get a photo of a place that meant a lot to me as a kid – SO MANY childhood memories happened here.

Can you even see the old wooden roller coaster?  It's the first one I ever rode.

Growing up in Almaden Valley in nearby San Jose, it was often that we'd make a Saturday excursion going "over the hill" to Santa Cruz, where we would park the old Volvo, grab the cooler and the beach blankets, toys, umbrella, sand bucket and shovel from the trunk to spend the day at the beach.

Arms laden with all needed beach materials, we would trundle off from wherever we had miraculously gleaned a hard-to-find parking spot, walking beneath the fragrant eucalyptus trees and pathways edged by ice plant (succulents) overgrowth to claim our small spot of paradise on the beach for the day.

I was really young at this time – maybe 10.  My brothers were 3 and 6 years younger than I, and we would wade out into the water, going only as far as our ankles until those body parts were fairly numb enough to wander in further.  

Eventually we’d come screaming back up on the sand,  lips chattering and blue, our bodies covered with goose flesh - making a beeline toward the sun warmed beach blankets and towels for whatever lunch the cooler happened to hold.

Things I didn’t realize until way later on: 

While all along I thought these special beach trips (that definitely put the SAND in SANDWICH) were magical excursions, (and they were, memories as priceless as gold) it is only through having a family of my own that I realize that to my parents - these were simply affordable trips that required little more than grabbing a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and a half a tank of gas.

These memories make me smile.


Rain on the window from our booth at lunch.

Our first stop of the day, before lunch – best idea ever – Massages at Well Within.  Click to play:

I have to say this was likely the BEST massage experience I have ever had.  And once you are done with your fabulous massage, your therapist will escort you to a private room with a shower.  After the shower, step through the sliding glass door into your own private patio area, and sink into a bubbling hot tub guaranteed to make you more noodley than you already are.

It’s just that kind of over the top.  Wonderful.


Icing on the cake!

Scotts Valley’s newest quilt shop, Modern Handmade!

There just may have been a bit of fabric fondling going on!


More pink blooming things.

With the rain stopping, it was time for a quick round around the neighborhood to get some steps in before dinner.  I love walking through neighborhoods and seeing who has planted what and what is coming up, and the different personal touches people do to their homes and yards.  Temps were only around 50 at this point, there was much walking with hands in jacket pockets.


Hexie stitching in between everything!


That is when Max isn’t demanding some pets while you sit there!

How can he be 9 already?  Remember when he was a puppy?


Randy shared her hourglass Leader & Ender challenge!

Way to go!

She still has the purple round left to go, but isn’t it looking great?

I’m so glad I came out one day early to have this time to just relax, hang out, and acclimate myself to the 3 hours earlier time zone.  The plan today is also easy.  This is posting early because another friend Claire is picking me up to take me to breakfast, some sight seeing and eventually winding me down to Pacific Grove and Asilomar.  I’m so grateful for the extra play day and the time to spend with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Next post – from Asilomar!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage Dresden Plate quilt from Randy’s collection.

Happy Friday, everyone!


  1. I think Randy'so Leader/Ender is bigger than yours. Lots of Hourglass blocks sewn between the stitching. Have a nice drive day.

  2. Wonderful to get to share Santa Cruz with you. I had many magic moments on the beach and in the water there. It is also where my husband and I spent our honeymoon back in 1966!

  3. Lucky girls! It is always nice to spend time with Randy!

  4. Randy’s Leader/Ender is gorgeous! Sounds like lots of fun is going on!

  5. I loved reading your descriptive beach memories. Reminded me of our family trips to Stewart Beach on Galveston Island. Thank you for sharing those old memories and new memories made with Randy and Claire. What a sweet furry face Max is! Hugs, Allison in Plano, Texas USA

  6. Yes! So happy to see the quilt shop open, headed up to Felton next weekend...have to pay a visit!

  7. Bonnie- I am quite familiar with Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Soquel, all around there as I was stationed in the North Bay and then Santa Clara during the early to mid 90's. That over the hill trip on Hwy 17 in the winter is not fun! I would make it during December with my boys, as their Aunt's and grand parents ran a Christmas Tree lot in Soquel during that time. They would bring the trees down from Oregon. But Santa Cruz in the Spring, Summer or Fall is Great! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you had the extra days for relaxing, too.

  8. Bonnie, Your Hexie's are Beautiful! I love the brown ones with the tan center one you were showing off! I am glad the quilt shop is open, too.

  9. Sometimes it is the simplest thing that a child remembers - mine remember going on day long adventures and we go out armed with pyjamas to change them into for travelling home in. They remember cleaning their teeth and having spitting contests to see how far the minty freshness went over the bushes or hedgerows! Never mind the great day they had before. Always the naughty bits! But like me - it's always family things that are remembered best.
    Ahhhh Max. He was a big puppy even then!

  10. I grew up on the Peninsula, but have lived all my adult life in Utah. Your description of Santa Cruz takes me right back there! Oh the memories of the hours spent at the beach- building sandcastles, digging for sand crabs, walking the pier... thanks for resurfacing those great memories today!

  11. What size hexies are you using? I am thinking of doing an elongated flower garden for our granddaughter's graduation gift. Her school colors are gold and blue, so I thought the flowers could be different blue fabrics with gold going between the flowers. Do you have any suggestions for the size hexies I should use? Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  12. Our daughter lives in Aptos which is just a few miles from Santa Cruz, so I have been there many times. A lovely place, but housing is so expensive! So we moved to AL to be near another daughter. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  13. I grew up in Sacramento and remember going to the Santa Cruz boardwalk. My dad would sit on a bench and tell us to find him there and give us a time. My brothers and I would run off to explore. Dad would usually nap. I used to think - poor dad - he's missing out on the fun! Now that I am older, I understand his desire to rest while his kids burned off their energy.

  14. I am thoroughly enjoying this trip with you to Santa Cruz! I too have many wonderful memories of this "town". My aunt, uncle and cousin lived here for a time and I myself moved here as a young adult. Beautiful place!!!


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)