Wednesday, June 06, 2012
My friend and I took a day trip to Santa Cruz last week. Yes, I said "day" trip. It would have been nice to stay overnight, and once we got down there and took in the ocean view, the refreshing breeze, the salt air and the eclectic Santa Cruz atmosphere, we didn't want to leave, but we only had a day. I picked her up in Sacramento and we spent about 7 hours on the road and 5 hours in Santa Cruz (a little over an hour of that was driving to & from my place). It was a wonderful five hours, though! And, because it was mid-week, traffic wasn't bad at all, so driving wasn't much of a hassle - almost exactly 3 hours from Sacramento to SC, each way.
The main purpose of our trip was to see the "Art of Nature" exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. The exhibit featured work by members of the "California Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and included my scratchboard triptych, "Blue Oak". It was also a great reason for the two of us to spend some time together. We've been friends since high school and keep in touch electronically, but don't get together as often as we'd like. We sure had plenty of time to catch up while driving!
We met up with a friend who lives & works in Santa Cruz (yes, I'm a bit jealous!). She was able to take the afternoon off and served as our gracious tour guide and chauffeur. We had lunch in a restaurant on the pier with a great view.
We took a leisurely walk back along the pier with a detour to look at the sea lions that hang out in the bay and haul out on the platforms (intended for Kayak launching, not sea lions) at the base of the pier. Dessert was wonderful "made fresh daily" ice cream eaten while sitting on a bench looking over the beach. Then it was off to the Natural History Museum. I had never been to the Museum, it was lovely. Aside from the curator, we had the place to ourselves and it was blissfully quiet; we were there a couple of hours. Especially entrancing was the tide pool on a pedestal in the lobby. We spent quite a bit of time at the tide pool, enjoying the tranquility. Reluctantly, about 4:30 pm, we decided it was time to head home, so we went back to our friend's office (where we'd left my car) and said our goodbyes. As luck would have it, she works in a complex that has a cookie factory with an "outlet" section, so we snatched up some great cookies for the trip home.