Last day in SF to last night in Santa Cruz

Trip Start Jul 17, 2008
Trip End Aug 17, 2008

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Where I stayed
Sunset State Beach

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, July 31, 2008

We departed San Francisco around 10:30 am. We gave the girls a treat and let them sleep in. Albert and I left the hotel at 6:45am and took our last stroll in San Francisco. It was a beautiful, clear morning. We walked to Fisherman's Wharf area which took about 40 minutes. It was neat to see many people swimming laps in the Bay (wearing wet suits of course) and many out for a morning run, walk or bike ride.  It appears that many people  cycle to work in this city.
Just a few things we've observed before we get to Santa Cruz.
The highest gas prices we've seen so far, was in the Redwoods. We paid 4.75 a gallon before we left there. Today we saw 4.29 in Santa Cruz.   Since we left the Redwoods, we've noticed that the choice of cars for many in California is Mercedes, Volvo and BMW's! Motorcycles are widely used as well. By the way, if you are thinking of buying a small house, condo or apartment in San Francisco you will need to pay at least 600,00-700,00! Many properties are well over a million.
On to Santa Cruz...  (Thursday)
Santa Cruz was a short drive for us. It took us about 2 hours to get here and we had our campsite set up by 2PM. The area is really beautiful. We are on Sunset State Beach and the area is surrounded by Mountainous Sand Dunes. The closest town is Watsonville and
we are totally surrounded by fields of fruits and vegetable fields.  We took a walk on the beach and discovered that the water here is also very chilly but the beach is white sand and goes for miles.  We had a quiet evening with another walk on the beach at dusk, just in time to see the sunset.
It gets pretty cool here at night as well-down in the 50's.
We don't have internet connection at the campsite so we've had to be creative in finding a connection in town.  We got up early this morning and were greeted to a beautiful, sunny morning. According to the campground worker this is rare as it is usually foggy here first thing in the morning and it burns off around noon.  We went into Santa Cruz to check out the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk also has an amusement park so the girls and Albert rode the Giant Dipper which is a wooden rollercoaster with many dips and turns. Jennifer held on for dear life but she did it!  After a picnic lunch, we went to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz. It is a marine study center that is part of Santa Cruz University. They have several marine exhibits including aquariums, touch tanks and a tour where we saw dolphins.  We ended the night with a campfire on the beach. They actually have fire pits on the beach for people to use. This was a first for us. We were able to watch the sunset and roast hot dogs-lots of fun.  One thing we did forget was to bring a flashlight to get us back to the parking lot!! It was quite a trek with all our stuff but we made it.
Our final day in Santa Cruz....
This morning we headed on down the coast. We passed Monterey, Seaside and many other oceanfront towns. We took the 17 mile Drive which travels around the Pebble Beach properties. We didn't see Tiger out practicing though! The drive has 21 marked stops along the way including some amazing beaches and golf course. We stopped at Spanish Bay for a picnic lunch and enjoyed the view and warm temperatures.  Our next stop was Big Sur Coastal area. This by far has been the most spectacular coastline we have driven. The Big Sur coastline covers 100 miles and we drove it for about 30 miles. We stopped at one of many of the beautiful beaches and spent a couple of hours. It is too cold to swim but it was fun to watch the surfers and take advantage of the warm temperatures and beautiful coastline.  We are headed back down Highway One now to prepare for our departure tomorrow am. We have a longer drive ahead of us to get to Malibu. It will probably take use close to 5 hours so we plan to leave early. We'll be there for 3 nights. The only thing we have on the agenda right now is our tour to LA and Hollywood on Tuesday.  Talk to you soon.
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