Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Aptos / Santa Cruz / Capitola / Monterey , CA

We had a wonderful vacation just an hour and a half’s drive south of the city. We rented a house in Aptos, CA. It was spacious and clean, in a quiet neighborhood and located right next to the beautiful, tree-lined, path down to the beach.

It was a beautiful beach. It had a single pier off of which sat a half submerged ship, the Palo Alto. The Palo Alto was a ship of war made of cement. The war ended before it was finished so they brought it down to Aptos and let it sink off the pier into what must be a lively reef of sealife acivity.

The ocean was fairly tame but by the second week I was able to surf some decent sized waves on a boogie board. The water was still pretty cold, but I found it refreshing. The boys didn’t ever get in the water, more than happy to just play in the sand.

We would often see dolphins swimming by, pelicans diving for fish, and the odd sea lion or two just off the beach. On another trip, Merritt and I saw what we’re pretty sure was an orca. It’s dorsal fin was way too big to be a dolphin’s but it was also quite close to the shoreline.

One of our first trips was a 45 minute leisurely drive to the Monterey Bay Aquarium which is always a big hit with the boys.

Only a few minutes drive away was Capitola Beach which is even more calm for the kids. We met our friends Esther and her daughter Lotus there for a playdate. Esther had grown up in Capitola which is a very cute little beach town.

We also went to Santa Cruz and hung out on the boardwalk, caught some rides and ate some food. The boys liked the spectacle and it was a lot of fun.

We hiked a few trails, and visited some tidepools, almost every day started with an adventure in the morning, followed by some downtime at the beach near our house. Or a dip in the hot tub at our house, or should we say luke-warm-kid-friendly tub. Seth, Mia and their son, Strider, joined us one Saturday afternoon.

Merritt planned the vacation close to home knowing that I dislike to travel. She really wanted sun, sand and water. This area of Santa Cruz fit the bill perfectly. It was a great vacation.

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