Sunday, August 2, 2009

Santa Cruz - Things we saw and ate

10 years ago in Houston I met a crazy little blonde girl named LeeAnna who has been my best girl friend since (had to put the "girl" disclaimer in there of course, because it doesn't get better than my hubby!). We thought we were the coolest of cool. In our world, we thought we had it as good as it came. We defied all odds staying friends past high school, loving rooming together in college for a year, got married in the same temple 3 months apart from each other, and together have 7 little boys ages 5 and under! I have been so blessed to make good friends in all areas we have lived (you guys are lifesavers!), getting me through the day to day with a smile. There is also something really great though about someone who has known you through the years.

LeeAnna the past year and a half has been battling with a chronic illness and all the "growth" that comes with it - the months of not knowing what the illness is and then the challenge of figuring out how to deal with it. For those of you who know her, she has disautonomia (sp?), a nervous system illness specifically affecting her parasympathetic nervous system (or involunatary systems - heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, etc.). It's been a rough rough road and she, as always, is one of my heros for the faith she has held onto through it.

With that, we started talking about getting together and kinda creating some new memories. We have only vacationed together once, with our hubbies and two small kids, and that was 4 years ago. At first it was whismical and then it was a "why not?" She used her connections to her parents timeshares (which kinda dictated the place we went - just wherever we could get a free timeshare) and amazingly enough it worked out!
So, we left our kiddos with our amazing husbands and bid farewell to the real world for a few days. We started out with breakfast at our favorite local girls breakfast spot, Morning Glory, in Ashland. Then we took our time heading down to Santa Cruz. LeeAnna had never been to CA before, so we stopped for dinner in San Fransisco and took a look around the city. I grew up in CA until I was 11, and lived in the bay area, with my dad working in San Fransisco, so I have a lot of memories there, but haven't been there since. Though, I thought I was going to meet my untimely death driving around in San Fran! Plus, silly me, driving away from our 100 degree weather forgot to pack any jacket! Good thing LeeAnna brought two. Still, the wind blew threw us and we shivered our way through Pier 39.

This is at what was labeled as a "picturesque photo spot" showing (through the fog) Alcatraz and the Golden Gate. Though, ever since the golden gate was painted a different color (it's kind of a rusty red now - sorry if to pop your bubble if that is news to you!), I always thought it was such a gyp that the bridge isn't gold any more. Random fact for you - we had a friend in our 4th grade class whose dad worked on the building and I still have one old gold rivet from back when it was actually gold. We used to walk across the bridge for field trips. Amazing none of us died on those...

I was actually surprised at the joy I found in recognizing things from when I was 11. I haven't walked down that memory lane ever, having not been back, and it was so fun just the little things I remembered. Like the left handed store on Pier 39, or, my favorite store, Chocolate Heaven. So I drug my poor friend, who can't have sugar due to her medical condition, through a mouth drooling chocolate heaven in the name of memories. Thanks mom and dad for all the fun memories!
LeeAnna really wanted to ride the trolley, but I didn't have enough cash. So after walking 8 blocks to get there, we just settled for a picture.
We pulled into Santa Cruz Thursday night and slept until I think 9:30 the next morning. And then the only thing that got us out of bed was that the free breakfast ended at 10! What a life...This was the view from the Santa Cruz beach. Just gorgeous!
Here's me in front of the famous Santa Cruz boardwalk.

We ate at some amazing places. Friday night we just picked a restaraunt that smelled good and looked busy. Turns out, it has the world champion pizza throwing champ (and an up and coming pizza thrower) there and he does a show on Friday nights! Wahoo! It was quite impressive.

The most impressive food though was on Sunday when we drove down to Monterey for the day and ate on the pier at Isabellas. Dinner was pretty good, but here is dessert. Not only was it death by chocolate, but look at the presentation - the name in powdered cocoa, decorative strawberries, and a small bowl of dried ice just to make it smoke and for effect! I should remember that for my next dinner party....I am sure you would all be so impressed!

We spent a lot of time in the car, driving to the beach and LeeAnna insisted on a car picture. We blasted our chick songs all the way down Pacific Ave. Ah the good old days.

Sunday we drove down to Monterey (here is LeeAnna on the docks at Monterey)had lunch and then went down to Carmel and talked on the beach. Heavenly Father is so obvious in the beauties of nature! It was so awesome to just talk about life with someone who I have always looked up to for their faith. I really came back from the trip feeling not just rejuvinated but recentered.

I will be back with another post on the fun (and crazy) things we did...


Kristi said...

Just this weekend my friend told me that our close little group from high school is doing another girls weekend. It will be in October. I don't think I can swing September with Spencer, November in LA, and October with the (other) girls. After reading this post it makes me want to make it work so desperately.
Every girl needs a best friend like that. I am glad you got to go and get away.

Scott | Callie| Mia| Ava said...

Yeah for girl trips and for girl friends! I'm so glad you got to get away and have fun! You deserve it! Can't wait for LA!