Sunday, April 28, 2013

Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Redwood Canopy Tour

I wanted to share a bit about our quick weekend trip in Santa Cruz/Scott's Valley/Capitola. We decided to go to a city that neither of us had ever been to before. We mostly explored Santa Cruz, but stayed at the Hilton in Scott's Valley. It was a quick 10 minute drive to get to the hotel, but it was beautiful! The hotel looked like a stone caste, nestled in the woods. 
The photo above is our view from lunch, at The Crow's Nest. It was just "ok", not bad, just nothing special except for the view. We watched about 50 tiny sailboats going out for a race or something. 

We followed the crowd and checked out the Beach Boardwalk. I liked the sky ride, but it was a bit scary when it kept stopping and hanging there. Apparently some people have trouble getting on and off a ride that moves 2 miles an hour, and they have to stop the ride. Our bravery was rewarded, because at the other end of the ride (it's one way), there was a Dole Hut selling Pineapple soft serve and floats just like near the Tiki Room at Disneyland. It's my favorite! We made the mistake of riding the Big Dipper and HATED it. It's the 5th oldest roller coaster in the country and boy can you tell. It doesn't look bad, but every muscle in my neck and upper back have ached ever since, like whiplash. Seriously! It would be a fun place to take the kids, because you could literally walk down the steps and be on the beach, or playing games and riding rides. Plus there's NO entry fee, you just pay as you play or buy a wristband for all day. 
We decided after that first lunch, to attempt to find the local hole-in-the-walls with GOOD food. We weren't looking at the presentation, but wanted what you would eat all the time if you lived there. We used Yelp and searched "local favorites" and found Aloha Island Grill for dinner. It was REALLY good. It doesn't look like much, has a teeny tiny parking lot, but we ate cheap and GOOD! After that, we tracked down this old Ice Cream place we'd passed earlier in the day. It was an old red building and I loved the old sign. Ice Cream by Marianne. They have a line out the door, and every ice cream imaginable. 

 By FAR my favorite thing we did was the Redwood Canopy Tour at Mount Hermon. It was scary for the first time or two, but by the middle of the tour, you don't want it to end. See that faint rope bridge in the background of the photo above? That was actually harder for me mentally than the zip lines. You're on it with a few other people, and although you're harnessed in, the shaking of it as you walk high in the trees is kinda freaky as you're looking to the ground. If you look closely in the photo above, you'll see my husband on the zip line.
These photos show him as he was coming toward the platform I was on.

 Our guides were wonderful and really funny. We had Cameron and Brad, and they made us all feel completely safe and well taken care of.
You had to stand up on a mini picnic table for him to hook you up the the zip line each time. Your two safety straps are still secured when you move to another line. The different zip lines are different heights and lengths, so the speeds are different, and they also teach you how to cannonball and pick up speed.

My husband took this photo of me coming toward the platform he was on. You can even rent a helmet cam, but we used zipper pockets on our jackets for our iphones.

 This is the ending platform. Back on the ground. Insert frown face. It was a breathtakingly beautiful two hours, and WELL worth the money. I can't wait to do it again!

The last thing we did before leaving was hit up a store that I also found on Yelp. It's called Capitola Freight and Salvage.  This photo only shows a fraction of what they had. We spent a long time there, searching every nook, cranny, pile, and field. I could have bought a lot more, but I went easy, and just bought two old windows (minus the glass, which means they were cheap), and a really big old frame. All three for only $23. They had every window, shutter, door, cabinet, wire, metal, old wood you could think of! I REALLY wanted to buy one of those old rusty claw foot pieces to use in a new way, but they were $40 each! Actually I wanted two to turn upside down and make a shelf.

We had such a great time, I can't wait to go back and explore some more. There was so much that we didn't have a chance to see.

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