Sunday, November 17, 2013

Santa Cruz 2013 - Part II (The End)

Oh well!  So much for me staying on top of the blogging.  My gusto for knocking out these posts has diminished to the point of avoiding my own site. It's a reminder of my lack of action. 

Let's see if we can correct that!  Just a summary of what's been going on lately.  I haven't been riding much, even though the weather has been beautiful around here.  I did change Bonnie's oil yesterday.  She was ~280 miles over her 5000 suggested change interval.  My friend Tuyen sold his Honda VFR to a guy at his work.  He's not getting out of motorcycling though, I think he just wants a change of pace.  We spent last weekend hitting all the local shops, checking out new bikes.  I'll be sure to post when he picks his next ride.  I've found out that the Progressive International Motorcycle Show is coming to Phoenix in January.  I'm excited to go as I've not had the pleasure of visiting one yet.  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures.

So now that you're up to speed lets finish off our Santa Cruz trip that Kiri and I took at the end of July.  The day before we had arrived at the Costanoa Lodge, about 30 minutes north of Santa Cruz.  We slept in, the next morning, and had breakfast at the local lodge/restaurant before hiking across Highway 1 to explore the beach at Ano Nuevo State Park.
 Being from the desert we always assume it's going to be cold wherever we go.  The cloud marine layer didn't help the situation.  After hiking to the beach we were a bit warm so off came the jackets, shoes and socks.  I had to stuff everything into my backpack which was now seriously overloaded.
 Ahh the beach!! Always a real treat for us desert rats.  Most of the time we think the ocean is a myth.  Stories that visitors tell us when they've been out in the sun for too long.
 We spent the entire morning wandering up and down a large portion of the park's beach front property.
 The local seagulls had just hatched some young and we're very wary of us coming close.
 Didn't stop us from taking pictures of their newborns though.
 Before heading back we spotted these sea lions, off in the distance, sunning themselves on a rocky outcropping.  The young one was hopping up trying to make it to the big guys.  He never made it, but did find a nice spot about half way up.
 That evening we drove into Santa Cruz and had dinner with friends in town.    The next morning we decided to explore the opposite direction and hiked the "Ohlone Ridge Lookout" trail heading into the hills behind the lodge.
 This is looking back towards the Lodge.  The cabin accommodations can be seen front center in the photo.  I believe there are two residences in each cabin.  If you were visiting with friends it might be the perfect setup.
 We walked further up into the hills and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the coast to the south.
 Living in the desert you get used to the color brown.  Anything lush and green is a sure sign your on a great nature walk:)
 There were some really great spots to stop and take in the views!
 Although it looked like rain or fog, the marine layer was just running up and over the top of the hillsides. 
 Ahh! Finally the high point of the hike.  Where's the beer cart?  Someone told me there was going to be a beer cart at the top.  Liars!
 Looking down you can see the main lodge just left of center.  Our tent is the first white square you see to the right of the lodge.  We could have spent all day hiking but we had to head back and get ready for the yearly Santa Cruz party.
 That evening we spent an enjoyable time with friends.  I may or may not have set off the inside smoke alarms with the small bonfire I had going outside.  Nothing was ever proven and no firefighters had to be called.  Other then that we had a great time.
 The next morning we had to catch a flight home.  Our flight was in the afternoon so we had time to drive into San Jose and meet some friends for breakfast.  I highly recommend a place called Stacks if you find yourself in the area.  Just make sure you show up early to get your name on the list.  This place is hoppin'!
 I had the chicken and waffles.  Kiri partook of the biscuits and gravy.  I refuse to kiss her when she eats something that looks like gruel.
 Every Saturday Downtown Campbell holds a farmers market.  This was our second time attending and we always have a blast.  So after breakfast we wandered up and down the street a bit.
 The fruits and vegetables are always gorgeous to look at.  Not to mention snacking on!  The booths usually have people handing out samples.  You could get full just by visiting every stand!
 One of our friends bought a box of blackberries and we sampled them as we walked.  I may have eaten half the box when all was said and done.
 If we lived in San Jose I'd do all my grocery shopping here:)
 Talk about some fat carrots.
 We had a great time but our friends had to take off.  They bid us farewell and pointed us in the direction of our next stop...
 We still had some time to kill before our flight so we headed over to the Hakone Japanese Gardens west of town.  We're big fans of the Portland Japanese Gardens, so we wanted to experience the San Jose version.
 Kiri had to stop me from running full speed through the bamboo forest.  I said I had to show off my Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fight skills.  She just rolled her eyes and walked away.
 There is no correct way.  You must follow your own path!
 Kiri perfecting her photography skills using off center points of reference.
 I just enjoyed watching the Koi. 
 Sometimes you just need to take a break and sun yourself on a rock!
 After leaving the gardens we took a leasrily ride up into the hills west of San Jose before driving back into town and catching a flight back home.  Another great trip!  I'm sure we'll be back next year.
Next up, the trip everyone has been asking for! Stay tuned.


  1. Great trip review.

    I think it is in the Wife's wedding vows somewhere about the eye roll and walk away. I am sure it is there somewhere.

    Not much riding or blogging here lately. Sadly, grey skies make for no motivation.

  2. Kiri says she's rolled her eyes "so many times" that their bound to roll right out of her head any day now.

    Storms headed our way this weekend as well. I'm hoping for a break in the clouds!