California Trip Days 5-9: Santa Cruz Fun

Dates: August 8-12, 2021

Before the pandemic hit we had planned to take the kids and grandkids to Disneyland in the summer of 2021; but it became clear early on that wouldn’t be a good idea. As things started to loosen up in Spring 2021 we evaluated alternatives. Carla grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and came to Santa Cruz with her family when she was young; and the two of us came over for a day when we were dating. It seemed like Santa Cruz could be a fun place to hang out for a few days.

After Bandon, Oregon, the Redwoods, and a visit with Kate and Don we made it to Santa Cruz on Sunday August 8. Our son and his family drove down separately camping along the way and arrived a few hours after us. We relaxed on the deck of our room at the Beach Street Inn and Suites when I thought I heard a train. Wait! What? an excursion train rolled below our deck right down Beach Street. That was totally unexpected.

We went out for a walk to scout the boardwalk and a place to get dinner. Ah, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Neptune’s Kingdom Arcade at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Our walk to the entrance took us by the big drop of the log ride. Fun to watch other people ride.

Logger’s Revenge ride at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

I wanted to get a picture of the Giant Dipper roller coaster that built in 1924. But it is so big you have to get out on the wharf to be able to take it all in.

Giant Dipper roller coaster on the Santa Cruz boardwalk.

Even though it was late Sunday afternoon the place was hopping; we were conscientious about keeping our masks on.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

As we started to exit there it was! The Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railway.

Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railway train

We found a place just across the street from our motel to order takeout and called the kids to see what they would like. They were just pulling into Santa Cruz and were in their room by the time we got back with the food. Our two rooms were next to each other and shared an enormous deck overlooking the water. And for three days Brian and Marie joined us; they got the room on the other side of us and we got to all spend time together. Jurgen and Cornelius loved having a couple more grownups around to help spoil them.

We spent the next few days enjoying the sites. The ocean water wasn’t as nice as we had hoped so we didn’t get to spend as much time on the beach as we would have liked; but, there was plenty of fun to be had.

On Monday evening Carla and I hung out with the littles so Andrew and Henriët could have an evening on our own. We had ice cream for dessert and watched the kids do a few rides.

Cornelius and Jurgen on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk carousel.

Carla found the details on the excursion train so be booked tickets for all of us. It leaves from the Santa Cruz boardwalk and travels northwest for a one hour trip up into the Big Basin Redwoods State Park ending at Roaring Camp near Felton. After having lunch the train returns to the Boardwalk. It’s a great way to spend three hours if you like trains or travelling through redwood forests.

Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railway at Roaring Camp

As the lunch hour closed the train has completed its turnaround and comes back to pick us up.

Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railway at Roaring Camp

I just can’t resist posting this picture of my grandson’s curly hair. I took it on the open train car ride.

Grandson’s curly hair

Here are a couple more pictures of Santa Cruz Boardwalk fun,.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk main entrance.

Sometimes you just have to sit down for a moment.

Resting up for more fun on the boardwalk

We headed to Carmel – about an hour south of Santa Cruz – with Brian and Marie one day; and the family went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium another. In my next few posts I’ll have pictures from both of those days along with some of the things we saw in Santa Cruz

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