What the Hills Y’all: Adventures of a Texas girl living in San Francisco
The first time I went to Santa Cruz, it was with a friend of mine and we took the doggies, watched pelicans nose dive into the ocean and hiked a forest. So when Justin and I were trying to decide where to go for our 3rd year anniversary, Santa Cruz was a place I wanted to explore a bit more.
This was a fairly important year for us with a lot happening that definitely tested our marriage. Moving to a new city, leaving friends and family, getting out of my comfort zone and adjusting to a new lifestyle (hello public transportation!), overwhelming was putting it mildly.
Since we now live in California, we thought it was fitting to go somewhere we could drive to and explore a bit more. it gave him a chance to re-visit a place with old memories while at the same time show me more of why he loves this place so much.
Santa Cruz is beautiful. The warm sand, picturesque views of the ocean and laid-back vibe is exactly what we needed.
Our hotel was right off the boardwalk, with a patio that overlooked the water. We walked around the pier, jealously watched sea lions veg out, picked out sweets at a local candy shop (maple chocolate covered bacon y’all!) and even salsa dance on the boardwalk.
That night Justin booked us a reservation at the famous Shadowbrook Restaurant. A romantic spot embedded in a forest surrounded by trees and nature. It was absolutely beautiful (if you go, get the ahi tuna as a starter, we could’ve had a whole plate of those).
The next day we walked around the boardwalk, rode the Giant Dipper and played some games in the arcade (I’m pretty much awesome at Skeeball). I am NOT a fan of rollercoasters, but Justin convinced me it wasn’t that fast and that I would like it. Let’s just say there is a picture of me with my eyes closed, screaming in horror. The sky tram was much more my style.
To end our Memorial Day anniversary weekend, we picked up BBQ at an authentic spot and ate it poolside next to a fire pit with the beach as our sunset backdrop. It was amazing.
Justin really did a fantastic job with booking the hotel, planning a romantic dinner and showing me Santa Cruz. We came back relaxed and more in love than ever.
If you ever go to Santa Cruz, I recommend checking out the following places: