Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Well, this is getting crazy. I really have to think about where we woke up this morning.  We have been so many places over the last month or so, it is hard to get your head around.  I am so glad we have blogged everyday so we have a great record of this adventure, and do not have to rely on our memories.

After consultation with my good husband, we agree that today started in Monterey California.  Instead of heading to the town centre we head south about 15 miles to Carmel as I had read about a place called Earthbound Farms – it is the world' largest supplier of organic produce.  I thought the Mothership would love this.  And she did.  She also impressed us with our local trivia knowledge – Clint Eastwood lives in Carmel and was once the mayor!  I have since verified this on Wikipedia and the Mothership was spot on.  We did not see Clint, but we did get a bit of a 'Clint vibe’ when we saw the many ranches.

So we arrive at Earthbound Farms (with a little bit of getting lost on the way and Noah seeing a huge spider crossing the road) and it was love at first sight.  They had a gorgeous pumpkin display at the front, a corn maze for kids, a children’s garden,  a herb garden and a super dooper tree for climbing.  All this and the sun was out too! We had a ball.   Elwood loved the maze and it was perfect scenario for his rescue missions.  Elwood also spent a lot of time up a tree playing ‘Brother Bear’ games with Noah.

Mum and I stocked up on caffeine and nutritious supplies.  Everything was delicious and tasted all the better for being eaten in the middle of a garden, by a climbing tree, with a gorgeous view, and with the knowledge that Clint Eastwood might call in at any moment for a pumpkin.  He didn’t.

In the car, we ate cheese and crackers and followed the glorious sun (and the sat nav) towards the coast.   We drive to Cannery Row, Monterey.  This area was once the home of sardine cannery processing.  It is now has a little beach front and lot of lovely shops for browsing.   The whole place also looked fantastic and away from the city smog the sun was back to it’s gorgeous best.  The fellas played on the sand and rocks and the Mothership and did a bit of wine tasting overlooking the bay.  It was impossible not to feel ridiculously lucky in this moment.  The sun on the bay was amazing and the coastline was fascinating – the view was completely absorbing.  The wine added to the loveliness of this moment, obviously.

Back with the fellas, we decide we will get some of today’s journey underway.  So, we agree Santa Cruz because it is on the way, it sounds cool, and it is a name which likes to be sung over and over again.  So that is what we do.  The drive is fantastic – farmland, coast and forest.  Apparently, we’re in artichoke country.  

Mum sees a sign for a turn off for a town called Freedom.   She points out every sign and exit.   It appears she is desperate for ‘Freedom’.   We taunt her a little, and then drive by.  We are worried if she experiences ‘Freedom’ she won’t come back.

En route, Noah and I had a kind of confusing conversation.  I guess it was technically 2 conversations, as we were talking about 2 different things.  He was talking about where we might get Elwood some dinner and I was talking about where I might go to the toilet.  That was a very odd moment and for a second it looked like Elwood was going to be eating something very unpalatable.

We arrive in Santa Cruz – and we all love it.  The moment is slightly spoiled by mum saying how boring the song ‘Santa Cruz’ is, and we briefly wish we had dropped mum off at ‘Freedom’ after all

We wander along the boardwalk with ice creams and marvel at the beach and pier.  None of the rides are operating but it still manages to be beautiful and captivating.  We play on the beach, dig holes, and have several rounds of pile on as the sun begins to set.  We wander back to the car via the amusements and let Elwood run around on a few rides.

Back in the car, we get Woody some dinner and make the hour long journey to San Francisco. (And strangely, the song 'Streets of Philadelphia' is stuck in my head. My internal soundtrack is 3,000 miles off course!)  Noah and I were very excited about this (Mum was less excited, she dosed off..) That first glimpse of the Golden gate bridge was breathtaking.  We are so looking forward to an explore tomorrow. 

Back at Holiday HQ,  Noah and I plan the next 2 days and book a hire car for Hawaii.  Mums gets Elwood ready for bed and manages to empty most of the sand from Santa Cruz beach into our bed – so that is going to be fun later.

We briefly wonder what we are going to do about work and I am starting to wonder if we will ever be able to adjust back to ‘normal’ life after such a massive holiday.  hmmmmm

Good night people from Santa Cruz (it’s not that far)

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