Thursday, February 28, 2008

Santa Cruz Harbor

Our Campsite At Santa Cruz RV Park.JPG The View Out The RV's Window At Santa Cruz RV Park.JPG
Wednesday: We came over to Santa Cruz to the Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park this afternoon. We'll be here through the weekend. One thing i forgot from our last visit is that there is no satellite signal here due to a ridge above the RV park with a grove od trees. No way for any signal so this post is via WiFi hotspots. Notice all the trees to the left of the RV with is the direction of the satellite. There are only 12 campsites and only one has a possibility of seeing the satellite.

The Big Picture Our RV is In The Center Of The Picture On The Far Side Of The Harbor.JPG
Dinner was at Gilda's Restaurant on the Wharf. We planned on eating at Stagnaro's at the end of th Wharf but they were closed for remodeling. Guild's is actually another Stagnaro family restaurant which we didn't know before. We all had their Wednesday Prime Rib dinner special an it was excellent.

Thursday: I cooked eggs and sausage with pan fried toast for breakfast.

We then went downtown to look around. We returned to the RV for lunch of terryaki chicken with rice and vegetables a leftover dish that Lou fixed.

We then went over to the Capitola Mall. They have a good hotspot in the food court. I managed to check email and update the blog.

Dinner was left overs. Dawn had her leftover prime rib with vegetables and baked potato from Gilda's the other night. Lou and I had terryaki chicken from a meal at home a couple of days ago. I had leftover rice and she had a freshly baked potato and we shared a little leftover grapefruit with dried cranberry and lettuce salad from the same previous dinner. I read a nice PC magazine that I got at the Santa Cruz Bookstore yesterday. I don't look at PC magazines much but it had some very good tips and also included a Best 157 Free Programs list. I do like free and find I prefer the function of the free programs that I use over the not free.

Walnut Street Café Santa Cruz.JPG

Friday: It was a bit foggy when we awoke this morning but it burned off very quickly. We drove to downtown Santa Cruz and had breakfast at the Walnut Avenue Cafe there. Lou and Dawn shared a smoked pork and eggs breakfast an I had Huevos Rancheros with carnitas. All very good.

Dawn hit the bookstores and Lou and I looked around and did a little grocery shopping nearby at Trader Joe's and at the New Leaf Market. About noon we enjoyed an ice cream at Fostor's Freeze and then Lou and Dawn looked around a thrift store while I utilized an open WiFi to check email and update the blog.

We looked around town some more and then had dinner at Zoccoli's Italian Deli on Pacific Ave. Lou and Dawn shared some portobello and pesto ravioli and I had a tri tip with roasted peppers sandwich. We had passed the deli earlier around lunch time and the line went out the door so we figured it was probably good. It was still good at 3pm when we arrived, but no crowd.

When we returned to the car where it had been parked for about 6 hours, we had a parking ticket. There were no signs about a three hour limit that we had seen even though we looked around for them when we arrived. Several cars adjacent to us had tickets as well. I took a bunch of pictures of the signs I did find. Most entrances have signs but not the one we came in on. That doesn't seem fair. I'll probably have to waste some time fighting the ticket now. I hate that. Why can't the officer be smart enough to look around themselves, notice that there is an unusual bunch of violations here and question why and report the problem or is this just a trap?

Our Parking Space.JPG The Entrance We came In.JPG
The pictures above show our parking space and no signs and the entrance we came in from with no signs.
A Properly Signed Entrance.JPG
The above picture shows one of the properly signed entrances to the parking lot.

Lou and Dawn went to an open house that the Vista Center was having at their office in Santa Cruz. Vista provides services to the visually impaired community.

The Arana Green Belt Above Our Campsite.JPG
I took the opportunity to walk back toward camp via Soquel Ave. Rather than follow the path we drive, I cut cross country through the Arana Green Belt. This is the open space that adjoins the harbor where we are camped. We had noticed people hiking there but hadn't seen the path yet. That's because the path isn't marked on the harbor side. You have to go down what looks like service road to get the the entrance. The views from the ridge in the Green belt are nice.

My RV Made Apple Pie.JPG
As I walked into the RV, Dawn called and said they were finished at the open house. They met me at the RV We then went by Save-Mart Supermarket for a few things. When we got back we had a barbecued chicken from the market and some mashed potatoes for dinner. I then started to make an apple pie. I haven't done any baking in th RV yet, especially pie. Primarily there is the problem of rolling the dough for the crusts. There is also the problem of work space and mixing the dough. All problems had been considered and the decision was that it was possible and no, we didn't need a bunch of stuff like rolling pins and food processors to do the task. I do like the food processor and that is what I use at home to mix the dough. I also use a rolling pin there. So how did I do it? The dough was mixed using a knife and fingers. More messy than the food processor but kind of fun. I pressed the crusts between two of the rubber cooking sheets. I got them for doing cookies but they worked great as a press. The crusts turned out much better that when they are rolled and were less messy. Now mess is an important factor in the limited workspace. There is only a 16" square surface to prepare the crusts and the range top. No problem. I also made a batch of tarts as well. One mess, two deserts. I wasn't finished until 11pm so Lou and Dawn were already asleep but I enjoyed a tart or two before going to bed.

Saturday: Breakfast was apple pie, of course. We then went looking for a new keyboard to use with Dawn's laptop. She has a program that requires a numeric keypad and laptops don't and there is no workaround so we'll get a keyboard. We found one at Staples, a wireless Logitec keyboard and mouse. It seems to work. With our work done, we went to Capitola Village for look through the shops and around the interesting village. It has a bunch of tourist trap shops but the stuff doesn't all come from China. They also have nice beech and a wharf.

Taqueria Baja In Capitola.JPG
We had lunch at Taqueria Baja. Dawn got a carne asada plate and I got a couple of rellenos with rice beans and salad. Lou shared with us both. The rellenos were very good.

We then went to see the movie Spiderwick at a theater near the Capitola Mall. It was a very enjoyable movie. We try to keep unnecessary costs down so, of course, didn't have popcorn at the theater. However I love real popcorn so I made some when we got back to the RV. It really hit the spot. After a little relaxing it was dinner time. Lou fixed some hamburgers.

Sunday: Final preparations to leave. Lou fixed French toast and bacon for breakfast. We then took a walk around the green belt area above the harbor.

When we returned it was time to leave. We had a quick trip back home. The entire round trip was about 85 miles. This may seen an oddly short trip but it's a nice place to visit and explore from. We've enjoyed our stays in Santa Cruz both at the harbor and near the lagoons a little further South.

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