I wanted to see the ocean today and step my feet in the sand. I didn’t really have a plan except to be there, wherever there might be.
We all got up early to work on a service project at our church in honor of Martin Luther King day today. We bought and brought supplies to support our local homeless shelters and our town’s local community services center that provides clothing, school supplies, food, toiletries, towels, gloves and socks to provide warmth and comfort. We were going to help sort and bag the donations but by the time we arrived, 30 minutes after the event began, the work was mostly done. We were able to still write letters to soldiers and veterans which was humbling.
We finished earlier than expected which allowed us to drive over the hill to Santa Cruz. We went on yelp to find a new place to eat. The only suggestion I had from the family was they wanted seafood. We found a Hawaiian poke place that we enjoyed. It was kind of funky and different and probably a place we’ll only visit once, as the food sounded and looked better than it actually tasted.
Before you think this was a day in paradise, let me just tell you it wasn’t perfect. It was perfectly imperfect as I like to say, with lots of bickering and disagreements, trying to get everyone to agree and not touch one another nor say mean things. We are a modern family with lots of opinions if you know what I mean. We finally found our rhythm, but some days it takes awhile. Just keepin’ it real. And once we do, it’s awesome! Thank God for patience and perseverance!
We walked around downtown Santa Cruz and then headed North to admire the coastal views first along Cliff drive and then heading towards Davenport. We pulled off Highway 1 at one point, to walk along the cliffs. This was breathtakingly beautiful.
This connects to my perfectly imperfect vision of life. I was so excited to get down to the water and discover the path through the arc and to the water but if you look behind Jeff, there is a dead whale! The smell was so bad, I almost cried! I had to get out of there before throwing up. So much for putting my feet in the water! I had to run!!
We were happy to get back in the car and to admire the coastline from a nicely enclosed space. We drove towards Pescadero and fondly remembered our first trip to Harley Goat Farm with Michele and her kids. We took the time to go say hi to the goats and to pick up some of the most delicious organic goat cheese. I love this place and the sweet memories of visiting here when our kids were little.
Our next stop was Half Moon Bay. We found this cute little shop called Oddyssea, which is an interactive retail shop with an outdoor creative garden. We had fun touching the toys and exploring and the kids made dog tags with hammering tin type letters into the metal tags and then rubbing black shoe polish into the debts to make the letters stand out. They had a lot of fun and it was something we didn’t expect to experience.
The craft project took a little longer than we thought and by the time we were done, the sun was setting and we missed watching it set, which was ok. We decided to drive back over the hill and had dinner at a place that Jeff has been wanting to take us to in Menlo Park, called Refuge. They are known for their pastrami and Belgian beer. It is definitely a guys place and was really loud. I’m glad we finally tried it but it was not my favorite place. I really loved their roasted root vegetable soup though.
We drove back home and all of us were tired and happy, having spent the day together trying and seeing new things. I’m glad that we had time to explore again, just like our days in Holland. I miss our expat days and am thankful to be able to enjoy our California.
Hope you had a good day and enjoyed California with me!!