Sunday, October 20, 2013

Santa Cruz 2013 - Part I

Still trying to catch up on my posts.  Wanted to show a few photos of a small vacation Kiri and I took at the end of July.  It's becoming our yearly visit to Santa Cruz, to see friends, and get away from Tucson for a bit.  We flew into San Francisco on a Thursday and thought we'd explore the Sutro Heights portion of San Francisco before driving down the coast.

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We grabbed a quick bite at the Seal Rock Inn Restaurant before wandering around. Always nice to have a window seat with a view.
After lunch we began our exploration of Sutro Heights Park.  This whole area of San Francisco has some amazing history.  The park used to be the home of one of San Francisco's mayors at the end of the 1800's.  Kiri is sitting with one of the lions that guarded the entry gate of the estate.
This is what the entrance used to look like.  Can you spot Kiri's lion?
 The estate was covered with statues.  Now only a few survive.
A place to escape the rain if need be.  Luckily for us it was just cloudy today.
Up top the mayor built quite the lookout.  Who is that dashing young couple??
Looking south, down the coast.  The views were amazing!
I thought this tree was just asking to be climbed.  Kiri helps me put it in perspective.
After exploring the park we crossed the street and wandered over to the Sutro Baths ruins.
Believe it or not this used to be the site of a indoor swimming area built in the 1890's by our old friend Mayor Sutro.  He must have been an amazing character!  There were seven pools, one fresh water and six salt water with different temperatures!  The baths burned down in 1966 but you can still explore the old ruins.
Here's what the building used to look like from the same angle.  Notice the rocks, in the ocean, line up in both photos. (Next three images were found on Google Images.)
And a glimpse of what it looked like inside.
This image shows the old Cliff House in the background.
Same view from our trip.  Notice the people wandering the concrete walls down below.
Kiri is smiling because I told her "not to slip" and "the water sure looks cold!".  She responded with some kind words about me closing my trap, otherwise she was going to "show me just how cold it was."
In the same area you can explore old caves that lead to a nice view of the ocean.
We could see cargo ships coming in from the Pacific.
And the Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance.  The low cloud cover prevented us from seeing the top of the bridge.
This portion of San Francisco also has the Land's End Trail.  A nice hiking trail that Kiri and I stumbled upon a few years ago by accident.  Every time we come back to San Francisco we try to go visit it.  The little jut of land in the center of the picture is called Eagle's Point and it usually has a hidden labyrinth design on it.
Here's Kiri sitting at the center.
I dug back through our old photo archive and found this picture of Kiri at the same location in 2006.
One last shot from the trail before we have to head back to the car and drive towards Santa Cruz.
From San Francisco we took Highway 1 south to a small resort that Kiri and I wanted to visit called Costanoa Lodge.

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We had wanted to stay here a couple of years ago but it didn't work out.  So this time Kiri and I decided to go for it.  You have a couple of accommodation options if you stay here.  You can, of course, stay in the lodge.  Or try one of the small rustic cabins.
We decided to stay in a tent bungalow!
Home sweet home for our weekend getaway!
This wasn't your normal tent. It comes with a super comfy bed and heated blankets!
Our view of the coastal hills while preparing for a serious power nap.
We had stopped at a groceries store on the way and picked up a few necessities.  Strawberries, almonds, goat cheese, and some nice sourdough bread.  And a little wine to wash it all down.  Camping has gotten a lot easier from when I was a kid:)
I'll try to finish this trip off tomorrow!  Thanks for following along!


  1. Now that is a way to camp.

    I think if I can ever talk hubby into going back to SF (he hates big cities) we'll have to go by car and do a little exploring. You guys found some neat spots. I like the way you worked in the old and new pictures.

  2. Haha I find it hard to believe he hates San Fran. You guys had so many beautiful pictures from your last visit. It's such a great city and there are always new spots to explore and visit! Thanks for the comment!