As you know, I spend a lot of time waxing poetic about San Francisco. But relatively speaking, I’ve hardly spend any time writing here about my home area of Santa Cruz County, about 90 miles to the south. That’s because to me, it’s never held the allure and sophistication of the City. It represented a backwater known for growing apples, artichokes and serviceable iceberg lettuce – the kind my family’s ag business produced.
Surfing, its most indelible native association, wasn’t something I did nor cared to learn, so that didn’t keep me tied down to the place. And it was home for my first 18 years. I only thought about the milestone day when I was going to leave for Southern Cal and college, because being in a small town area bored my restless adolescent mind.
Hopefully, that will now change when I come to visit.
Now, some 30 years later, I love coming home. JRS and NLS now seem to share that sentiment, only because they bugged me senseless to visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and going on just about all the rides (they’ve finally broken their fear of roller coasters and other spinning and dipping contraptions). A visit isn’t complete without running along West Cliff Drive, indulging in a slice of ollalieberry pie à la mode at Gizdich Ranch in my actual hometown of Watsonville, or walking along the Pacific Garden Mall.
On this last trip, we only managed the second thing, but that was because we had only one day to visit. Trying to make the most of what little time we had, we packed in having lunch on the jammed Wharf and taking the girls a second time to the Boardwalk. This was after their very cool auntie C took them there the night before.
The Wharf in the background, with the very popular beach in the foreground:
I somehow got dragged along into going, while RAS took his mom and my stepmom out on a drive around town. And even though I can no longer go on roller coasters without feeling a bit of vertigo, I went on the Giant Dipper and still had a blast with them. My apologies for not having pictures of this ride – I value my cameras and didn’t want to lose them
However, the Skyride is definitely now more to my liking (not recommended if you have acrophobia):
I do have to mention one San Francisco thing: Before we headed down the coast, the girls and I had a great lunch at Yank Sing, arguably the City’s best dim sum restaurant and must-do if you’re visiting. They both wanted me to make sure I mentioned this here. So here goes:
Char siu bao (steamed pork buns), shrimp dumplings, and siu mai (dumplings with shrimp, pork and vegetables)
The clear teapot I would love to have, if I were willing to pay $40-50 for it.
NLS attempting chopsticks – she managed just fine.
You can’t leave this place without having one of these melt-in-your-mouth custard tarts. It’s city law!