Earlier this year, my sister Bry (she is married to a sommelier and has fabulous taste in food + wine) gave my boyfriend and I the gift of zip-lining in the Santa Cruz mountains for our birthdays. John and I have the same birth week so I can’t really be high maintenance about it being “my birthday” since it’s basically his too, and it’s cute to celebrate ourselves together! Even though our birthdays were back in February, we didn’t have time to get down to Santa Cruz until this past weekend, so we thought why not head down while we are in the middle of Indian Summer?! IT WAS SO DAMN HOT. So hot that a horrible wild fire broke out right after we left! #prayforrain
We booked the absolute cutest bed & breakfast from Airbnb in the cute beach town of Aptos, just outside of Capitola + Santa Cruz. With a few left turns into the forest, we made our way to our lovely lodging which was remote enough to feel isolated from it all while still being close to the town square. Anytime I’m in or around Santa Cruz, I can’t help but say “You’re eating MAGGOTS MICHAEL!” because everyone who is obsessed with the Lost Boys as much as I am knows it was filmed in the area.
We had dinner at a small Italian kitchen called Little Owl (which was better than some places in the city TBH!) and then headed down to the beach to watch the sunset together before returning back to our Airbnb. It was a full on cheesy rom-com backdrop waiting for John and I to morph into Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey circa How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (cheeeeeeeeeese).
Then we had some drinks on the patio, looked at the stars, and made art. It was kinda funny looking since it WAS dark and all. Maybe a bit deformed if you ask me….but it was FUN and that’s all that matters, folks! #artforthewin
In the morning we had a fireside champagne breakfast (complimentary of our stay) which was DELISH before proceeding to our excursion at Mount Hermon Redwood Canopy Tours. Let me be real, these trainers and guides are absolutely patient and remarkably hilarious. Some of their stories from taking people up 150 feet to the top of the redwoods are nuts but hey, what would you do if you were dangling from cable in mid-air?! I went on a zip-line excursion with Mount Hermon several years ago so I was an EXPERT, and it was John’s first time. He however held it together much more than me and actually looked like he belonged in those woods (hubba hubba mountain man!!) I am a baby about heights and bees and the fact that a big meaty bee kept flying around my face on a canopy stand was all it took to jet me off the stand screaming for dear life (from the bee of course, not the zip-lining. Bees are absolutely terrifying and gross BTW).
We had a great time and recommend to anyone who is adventurous and curious enough to check it out! I don’t recommend going hungover by any means.
We also made some fun pit-stops on the way back up the CA1 for our road-trip back to SF. John is from Monterey and is a HUGE beer nerd, but he had never made it over to Beer 30 in Capitola. Of course we had celebratory brews post our adventure, not only because we made it out alive (thank you Universe), but because it was also the hottest day of the year.
Then we stopped by the local beach cove, Panther Beach, for some great views of not only the ocean, but of people getting tickets for having alcohol! FUNTIMES! Between that and the screaming children everywhere, we agreed to move forward so that we could have time to make a few additional stops. But for your viewing pleasure, I’ve included some shots that prove that the west coast is indeed the best coast. I mean – LOOK AT THAT!
Next we made it to the historical Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero for an early dinner. Man this place was SO crazy good. And old. 122 years old to be accurate. Apparently most of the time you have to wait around 2-3 hours to get a good spot, but because it was earlier in the evening we walked right in (thanks to that spell I cast!). The calamari was pretty good but the Halibut was even better. And fresh vegetables were seriously what I was craving.
After what seemed like an eternity of traffic we finally made it to Petco, where we picked up a few things for our beautiful baby cat, who was in dire need of a new scratching post. I love how roadtrips can be all sorts of beautiful new experiences mixed in with the reality of running errands. Also I miss having a car sometimes so it was nice to not have to carry home cat supplies on a bus where people would mistake me as a crazy person with a cat (I mean…they wouldn’t be far off I suppose).
Until our next adventure!