Yesterday we headed north a good solid ten minutes to Davenport. When I talk about what I liked about living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I always tell people that you could drive ten minutes out of town in any direction and be in the middle of nowhere.
In Santa Cruz, there’s three directions to choose from:
- South: Spend the hour to get past Monterey and you’ll be rewarded by the Big Sur coastline, which is so achingly beautiful that I know someone who started crying just watching the waves crash on a particular rocky inlet in one state park or another.
- East: The 40 minutes to an hour between here and San Jose can be spent in any number of sections of forest. I drive to school via Highway 17, which takes a certain amount of attention to the road, but does reveal a number of flashy views, including some dramatic clouds-at-eye-level stuff (yeah, I know it’s just fog) with blue sky stretching above the mountains.
- North: Within moments after crossing the city line out of Santa Cruz, the coast to the left overflows with farms. I’ve seen pumpkins in the Fall, and just about everything else. Beautiful beaches, a strong breeze, and lots of hidden local spots where you’ll see nothing but a roadside parking lot from Route 1.
So we drove ten minutes to Swanton Berry Farm‘s U-Pick and harvested ripe red strawberries at $1.50 a pound.
Ryan With Harvest – by Veronica
Berries on the Vine – by Ryan
On the way back home to Santa Cruz, we stopped at La Cabana Taqueria in Davenport. The sign on the door says the Davenport location is closing next week, but the Santa Cruz and Soquel outposts will live on. We ate the best Mexican food we’ve found in or near Santa Cruz yet, almost three years after moving here from Albuquerque. Seriously. And it wasn’t just because we could stare out at the Pacific Ocean across the street or feel the breeze in our faces as we ate, seated at heavy wooden tables. No, really, the Super Vegetarian Burrito with Nopales (Cactus) was just plain awesome. Veronica’s nopales and artichoke tacos both rocked, too. Thanks, La Cabana!
La Cabana across Route 1 – by Ryan
A week ago, it was July 4th, and we chose East as our direction of choice, off to San Jose to check out the America Festival. It was food and music and a fundraiser for a local homeless shelter provider EHC Lifebuilders.
We threw together a fair-style lunch of garlic fries, falafel, funnel cake, lemonade, frozen lemonade, and a pretzel, then went for a walk downtown, where we took an arm’s-length self-portrait not far from a fountain full of happy parents and kids.
Ryan and Veronica – by Ryan and Veronica
Five weeks ago now, we saw a coyote while hiking in a state park not far from Highway 17. Although I didn’t manage to get a picture of the animal life, I’m always fascinated by the infinite series of interactions created by water, stone, and vegetation.
Creek/Rock/Falls by Ryan
That last one’s been through plenty of post-production, including Corel Painter. For more on what to do with Painter, check out my Mom’s Digital Painting Forum. (Why yes, that was a plug.)
Links to more photography here.
[tags]Swantonberryfarm, strawberries, davenport, santa cruz[/tags]