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Beltane in Santa Cruz

So I woke up and hit the computer on Beltane after having been out way late with Tif the previous evening (monthly shopping expedition), and JD pounced me, and proposed a trip to Santa Cruz, leaving right then or the nearest approximation of same. JD's plans included beach! and arcade! with DDR! First trip of the summer!

Amazingly, I felt like I was just about ready to go, provided I got clothes on and rent paid. I dumped stuff in one of the great big blue IKEA tote bags, got into my bathing suit with a skirt and the bathrobe I use for swimming-coverup purposes on over. I detoured by the office to pay rent; all told, that part took the longest.

I thought that Ryan was coming along too, but Ryan elected not to, due to gimpy ankle, carsick, and general disinclination to social. JD played with the radio to find stations; I am gradually filling up my preprogrammed radio slots, and had to search for an empty one to put one of the good ones in. I advised that I had soda and strawberries, and apparently this was why I'd gotten all that soda and the whipped cream, and why I'd thought I should be getting the Dramamine. (JD relayed that Ryan said that fixes things by putting him to sleep, not actually leaving him conscious but not nauseated.) JD poured soda for us both as I drove through Pacifica down 1. Apparently the soda in question was the soda that JD and Ryan can compromise on. It's also caffeinated. I'd picked some up on a whim when shopping the previous evening, because it was orange-related, and caffeinated.

I figured we could fish the satnav out of the back when needed, but it was a while before we needed it, given that last time it was at least an hour on the way there, and I knew my way from JD's to the general direction of Santa Cruz just fine without it, kthx.

There were signs advertising fruit for sale along the way. I was tempted to stop for cherries, and again because I was almost out of peas. But there will be other opportunities for fruit, and we were going a little later in the day than we would have wanted. There was singing along to the radio, much in the way of attempting to find radio stations that weren't playing advertisements at that moment, and a decent amount of shop talk.

JD had declared, a little way out, that if he saw signs for "natural bridges", he wanted to stop. He pointed out the sign, and we turned. He fished for the satnav while I tried to figure out which way to go; I made a choice based on a sign, and it turned out to be the right choice (two turns in a row, yay). By the time JD had the satnav, we were pretty much there.

There were two places to park: one, a 20 minute parking area on an overlook, and one past a toll booth for day use. I swung into the 20 minute parking lot and JD zipped over to inquire about pricing. It turned out to be $10. I meanwhile searched for sunblock, but realized, to my horror, that while I'd carefully slipped the sunblock into the red bag, I hadn't tossed the red bag into the go-bag. Woops. And given my experience with beaches, I did not want to be on the beach without sunblock. And JD had planned to do the arcade thing, and all in all I would be happy to pay $10 to park there all day, but not just for an hour or two, and without sunblock. (Azz crankiness index: rising.) The natural bridge thing was pretty, though, and it was a lovely little beach, and they have a monarch grove! We shall come back there someday.

There was an incident with a kite. People on the beach below were flying kites, and so there were kites in the sky, but suddenly there was this white string strung across the parking lot. A kite had flown up from the beach onto the parking lot, and had got itself tangled around a couple cars. Woops. There was a cute blond guy who came and helped with the untangling.

The kite roadblock gone, off we set, in search of sunblock and the boardwalk. JD searched for places that might have sunblock, and located a drugstore within a mile. We pulled into a Safeway instead. I was starting to brain much less well by that point; I realized this when I knew what I was looking for but couldn't articulate it to JD. (It was anti-chafing sports lube, so I wouldn't have to wear shorts.) Got sunscreen. I meant to get ice (to cool the strawberries, whipped cream, and soda) but I forgot; this turned out to be OK.

JD's parking suggestions would have been fine if my mobility index and shoes had both been OK with it; neither of them really were. The flip-flops were better than the last pair, though; I just didn't want to take them on an extended hike. Found parking miraculously near arcade. Apparently figuring out what I need to take out of the car with me is a processor-intensive activity, so I got cranky with JD when he was trying to be helpful. :( At least my parallel parking skills have improved! (Next thing to master on parallel parking: parking on a curve.)

We decided the first thing to do was to hit the bathrooms. The less said about that the better; next time I will know that when I am having a bad pain day, I really do need to wait for the disabled stall, particularly when the regular stalls are tiny even for a small person. There was pee all over the seat, the seat protectors were profoundly difficult to actually deploy, so badly so that the autoflusher autoflushed the first one. By the time I got out of there I was about ready to stab something.

Opted to get a drink & sit outside crocheting rather than wait in arcade (pain not-low, not braining well). The café I found was very busy, so there was a long wait; I got plum bubble tea, blended. Tapioca balls are fascinating both when hot and when frozen.

The seagulls are always hilarious. My brain began to recover; perhaps I was suffering from low blood sugar. I crocheted while JD had fun with the arcade. SHEEP FISTING.

The sun started to sink, and I realized that I should go out on the beach while there was still light to do so. I sent JD a text message advising him of this, and then prepared to hit the beach. I sprayed myself with sunscreen. I did not realize until the sunscreen was actually spraying that it would come out in little white foaming droplets: my previous spray-on sunscreen was transparent oily mist. So of course here I was, spraying my generous cleavage with a splatter of white droplets. A nearby older fellow passing by (40s or 50s, which is SCARILY CLOSE TO MY OWN AGE RANGE NOW) gave me an appreciative and cheerful cheer/leer.

The water was fucking cold. But, NO PAIN NO GAIN. I stepped into the water. It was, after all, Beltane. I silently said a few words.

I took off my sandals, set down my towel and bag, and cavorted shoeless in the waves. I found a few shells, including "Is that a sand penny?" JD showed up, and yeah, the water was cold. I snapped a few pictures of Beach JD who Needs A Haircut; he sort of did look like the quintessential Surfer Dude, except minus the board.

JD on the beach with the ocean behind him at sunset. Full length, profile. He is wearing sandals, long tropical-flowered blue and white swimming shorts, a dark t-shirt, and sunglasses, carrying a towel. His curly hair is shaggier than usual and its natural dark blond; he has a week's worth of beard stubble.

JD skipped ahead and located the footwash; we got all the sand off our feet. My attention was attracted by the dude with the hammer game; I did not win the prize, but I did get a consolation blow-up hammer. IT SQUEAKS. I HAVE A SQUEAKY BANHAMMER NOW.

Headed back to car; started off. I heard a familar violin solo piece on radio, insisted on hearing it out. It was one of the songs from the Suzuki books, and I suddenly needed more family connection; I remembered Tay-Tay playing it.

We figured we needed to so something for dinner. JD spotted a Little Caesar's. We stopped there, I tried to de-sand my cleavage & JD went in. Pepperoni pizza! Cheap! We headed down the road. Between this, that, and the other, we wound up on a slightly different road than the one the satnav was trying to have us take at first. (JD had suggested we go back through San Jose.) I thought I recognized the road. Indeed: it was the road with the icecream place. We didn't stop, though.

I got a text from Drewface; JD read it to me, as copilot, and replied. JD was going to make a more in-depth reply, but the phone, being Special and Individualistic and all those things -- froze up and then ate JD's message. Funtimes for all. JD suggested that maybe, just maybe, my phone needed a reboot. I advised JD that in fact it was a problem with the model of phone, and in fact the phone sort of sucked. (I made a mental note to see if there was some sort of an upgrade I could get for free or something. Turns out, yes.)

We drove up on the 17. JD found a station (apparently noted for "old school" which has a Disco Saturday Night. Win! There was singing along to the radio. Before the disco station, I was singing along to "What Do You Want From Me?"; yay Adam. :D

JD espied the turnoff to 85, and we took 85 to 280 and didn't drive through San Jose after all.

There was various Twitter-based hilarity that JD relayed to me. I lack a disco ball. JD has a disco ball. Jen lacks a disco ball too. JD would never eat strawberry jelly on cheesy crackers, like, ever.

JD read NYT article on politics. This mixed interestingly with the disco and the GladOS voice on satnav. JD and I can actually talk politics, and this is a good thing. Dropped off JD. Home again, home again.

Here's to the next beach trip!

Crossposted. comment count unavailable comments.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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