Last Sunday's day trip was to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. (^not my photograph) Such a long day! But I didn't mind; this place holds a special place in my heart. Groom and I went camping on our honeymoon near here, long ago, and one day he and I took time out of our, erm, busy schedule, to play at the park.
Traffic was horrific due to a) Father's Day, b) the weekend, and c) very poor urban planning on the part of the City of Santa Cruz. Honestly, this amusement park must make a killing--would it hurt to install a parking structure? If they're worried about disrupting the skyline, well, even a two-story structure would double the capacity for the pitiful couple of blocks that are allocated for boardwalk parking.
Because here's the essential hypocracy of Santa Cruz: On one hand, it cherishes an old-fashioned hippie, Surf City U.S.A. vibe that embraces a low-carbon-footprint, environmentally-friendly lifestyle. But at the same time, it blithely allows thousands of tourists to come to town every day and spew carbon monoxide for an hour apiece as they crawl down narrow streets in underdeveloped neighborhoods, searching in vain for street parking.
I think I'll write a letter. Santa Cruz's irresponsible attitude toward traffic flow has awoken my inner Leslie Knope.
Anyway! We had to drive down in two cars. We lost my uncle twice along the way and once on the way back. We had to split up in the course of finding parking, ("Every Van For Himself"), and for a while I really believed Uncle Don would be lost to us forever. I mean, he was alone in a strange town with no cell phone and no way to call any of us. But in retrospect, I believe it was the nicest part of his day, being away from all our yammering.
Once I knew we were all parked and accounted for, the day improved for me. I ate ice cream and rode the sky tram, teased my cousins and got too much sun. Also visited a psychic, but that's a story for another entry!