Yesterday, a few of us took a trip out to Santa Cruz -- the Santa Cruz
Food Tour ("food" was removed from the title as some were being misled as to the point of the tour -- apparently not everyone likes to eat every waking minute of their livf :P). One of the guys that went on the trip grew up near Santa Cruz and was able to show us around the town, and more importantly, was able to take us to some great restaurants. As soon as we we got into the city we made our way to Taqueria Vallarta, where I had one of biggest, best burritos of my life. To give you an idea of how big the burritos were, the guy that took us there, Dave, actually set his down vertically between bites. After we stuffed our faces there, we made it out to the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Because of Labor Day weekend it was understandably crowded, but fun nonetheless -- played some mini-golf (*cough* I won by 10 strokes), rode the "Great Dipper" roller-coaster, and did some people-watching.
The next stop was downtown Santa Cruz. We walked around and went into some stores. We passed a man playing a guitar and singing, "I'm gonna get a burrito, ain't gonna sell crack, no." He stood in stark contrast to the shoeless family in straw hats singing folk songs on the corner. Perhaps the funniest sight was that of a man and a dog on his bike; he had the dog sitting on a slanted platform above his back wheel -- it was hanging on for dear life. After exhausting the downtown area, we made our way over to Capitola, a small, somewhat 'artsy' town next to Santa Cruz. Went out on the pier there, got some drinks and listened to the band play. As we were walking off the pier we saw a seagull get caught in a fisherman's hanging hook. I almost cried. He kept tugging on it which only made me angrier; he finally cut the line. We capped off the "tour" with a great seafood dinner at Carpo's in Soquel.
I guess I should also mention that we went up to UCSC to check out the "campus." I put campus in quotes because I'm not sure one can consider it a real campus. The university is sprawled out all over the mountain there -- it's kind of like you are driving up to a ski lodge or something. It was incredibly beautiful, but I'm not sure I would enjoy the treks required between buildings. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so there is really nothing to show from the trip, save this funny pic of Dave that I took on my phone at one of the mini-golf holes (I obviously have to use that for his picture-ID on my phone :P). Even if I had taken pictures I would have been unable to share them.