We drove to Santa Cruz. Map of the Highlights! We took Highway 1 down.
We could have stopped for something to eat or Road Trip Drinks on the way there, but we were just driving and the highway was gorgeous. I'd forgotten to bring Fruitz (my iPod) so there was fussing about with the radio. I did bring the TomTom (which I am resisting calling Riddle), programmed it, and then turned it off for the majority of the drive. The coast was gorgeous, and I probably should have hauled out my camera and handed it to other people earlier.
There was gossip and silliness. There was a general declaration that JD looks so very sweet and innocent and cute (like a kitten!) when asleep, and the introduction of a potential meme that may come back to bite us: notably, that at AF, it would be hilarious to photograph people while asleep, then make it into a userpic and upload it before they have woken up. Points subtracted for not actually getting it uploaded before they wake up.
Once in town, there was a bit of driving around and assorted funstuff trying to find things. We stopped in at a bank; while I was hitting the ATM, scaryjeff thoughtfully switched the settings on the TomTom so it spoke with a proper accent. (I'd had it with an American accent.) Riddle led us a bit astray in getting downtown, as it was trying to take us across something that just didn't turn that way. I made use of a left-turn and a parking lot to get us pointed in the right direction, and we were off!
Parking was an Adventure. My levels in parallel parking are way out of date, and there was absolute hilarity getting into the spot. Passers-by snickered. We were finally parked, though, and we hit a burrito place for lunch, and more gossip ensued. We strolled up the street, and JD introduced some of us to Jamba Juice.
We got back to the car with about 20 minutes on the meter: plenty of time. We drove to the University of Santa Cruz, and toured around the campus on their winding little roads. It is big. We stopped in one place and looked at the construction.
Pic by chasethestars
My cellphone alarm, which had been set for 9 in the morning, finally chose to go off; it was about 3. My knee was acting the hell up from the moving still. We found JD a bathroom. We then hit the boardwalk, and, amazingly, found parking. We were scrounging around for change.
Pic by chasethestars
After dropping JD off at the arcade, I located a change machine, got change, went back and fed the meter, and then hit the beach.
All the lifeguard huts were closed up.
I limped down to the beach and started poking about at the shoreline, picking up shells. At first I wasn't going to get my feet wet. You all know how that goes. Eventually I was up to my knees in sea, with corners of my jacket getting dipped. I got a whole bunch of sea pictures. I even found a crab shell! (Then I gave it away to a kid on the beach because I knew I'd break it.)
We regrouped later in the afternoon and decided it was time for ice cream. But where to get ice cream? We discussed this. Stacey and Rich were very cute.
A pigeon tried to storm a closing hot dog stand, but was chased out.
Laughing Sal is actually kind of creepy.
Sea gulls conspired against Rich.
Yeah, that seagull. That one was plotting to follow Rich back to England and murder him in his sleep.
We got a valid address, and repaired to the car, and located the ice cream shop.
Delicious ice cream! There was a cluster of kids geeking. I had the kahlua coffee ice cream, and there was a second scoop of brownie ice cream that unfortunately had walnuts. JD finished off my ice cream.
We tried to make it back to Half Moon Bay in time for sunset, but didn't get there in time. The sun was behind the clouds, so sunset was not particularly spectacular, and we did have a good view along the highway (1 again).
On the way, JD conked out in the front seat. I got a wicked grin and passed my camera back to Stacey, who snapped a quick picture.
JD woke up pretty fast, with much flailing. Next Rich tried to get a snap, but wound up getting his own face in the background, grinning like a fool, and JD was awake and glaring at the camera in any case.
When we got closer to Half Moon Bay, someone commandeered Riddle to make restaurants show up. I drove us up Main Street. We saw a number of possible places, but not much parking. There were some "NO U TURN" signs, with the "NO U" very very big. There was general hilarity. I got us turned around, and we went back the other way, and wound up at a sushi place. Sushi! Yay! Good fun was had by all, including discussion of comparative television.
By this time everybody was pretty tired, so we got Stacey and Rich dropped off at BART and then JD and I came home and proceeded to enjoy my new nice and fast internet.