This trip was so many things... earlier this week the plan was to head north. Last night I decided my plan to see most of the California coast from here to the Oregon border was a bit much, and decided I was going to wake up early and finally visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
After failing to rouse myself at an early hour, and debating whether to just stay in today (to work on a song idea or two that had popped into my head
this morning er, about noonish), I finally hit the road by mid-afternoon with the grandiose and exotic goal of photographing the sunset from Half Moon Bay.
I got to Half Moon Bay with no difficulty and decided that a) I wasn't terribly impressed and b) there was way too much time til sunset so I might as well keep driving.
I passed a few beaches, one filled with kites, some bustling with people, some more quiet and isolated, and I almost stopped at a couple of them... but I kept glancing at the clock and deciding I could drive a bit further before stopping. I hit Santa Cruz a little before 5, followed some signs, parked, and walked.
I visited once before, with my family, when my sister was looking at UCSC. I don't think we visited the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.... I'm pretty sure I would have remembered it.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
So many people.... a bunch of beach volleyball games, a Where's Waldo level of sunbather density, shops, vendors, ooh, a casino, and... is that a roller coaster? Is that, like, ten roller coasters?
Arcades, balloon shooters, a haunted house, laser tag, corn dogs, beer, seafood... Like they're daring you. Eat some seafood. And some corn dogs. Wash it down with way too much beer. Then drop 125 feet and go upside down. (And shoot firearms.)
I wanna do that. I can't tell if the whole thing is way cool or just stupid but it seems stupid fun. Like retarded fun. Like you bring a friend or ten and you devolve mentally, like you didn't know that mixing calamari, corn dogs, funnel cake, beer, and some quick tequila shots from a bar would be a bad idea before riding the TYPHOON. Then drunken kayaking.
Goddamn I wanna do that. Wear a fucking poncho, what do you mean you didn't think I'd barf on you? Jesus. More calamari? We gotta finish this shit before we get on the kayak. You gotta either eat the calamari or the last corn dog. Or this crab leg... where'd that come from? 'Nother beer?
Back to the story.
So Santa Cruz is a crappy place to photograph the sunset over the water because the city faces south or southeast or something funky like that. I still had plenty of time til sunset, so I decided to head back home and stop at one of the beaches I had passed.
San Gregorio Beach
(more photos from today here)
The sun was nearing the horizon when I noticed my camera sensor was dirty. I decided I had enough pictures for the day and headed back to SF.
The clouds and sky turned a beautiful purple when I hit Half Moon Bay... gorgeous. The kind of sunset you want to quietly share with someone. I cleaned my sensor so I'll catch the next one.
I will visit the aquarium someday. Soonish. And that beach boardwalk is jes' callin' my name.