Thursday, October 15, 2009

Santa Cruz 2009

(This is one of a continuing thread of posts about the vacations I’ve taken with my foster kids. Click HERE to view the previous post on this topic.)

The beach is a favorite vacation spot of all the kids. It’s one of my favorites as well. Almost every summer we spend about a week in Santa Cruz, right on the beach near the Boardwalk. My hotel of choice is the Dream Inn, now operated by Joie de Vivre. It’s located one block from the wharf, has a nice swimming pool and hot tub, and its back door literally opens right on the beach. Unfortunately the cost of a room in this place has skyrocketed over the last five years. I’ll bet it’s gone up an average 50% per year! My last comments to them were that their prices were just about a turn-off, and to think twice about raising them further. Click HERE to view this hotel’s web site.

The view from our hotel room.

This year H, K and A joined me in Santa Cruz. Some of our favorite activities were playing on the beach, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and exploring the municipal wharf. In the past I've rented sea kayaks from a vendor on the wharf and paddled to the great sea lion rock. So far none of my kids have known how to surf, and none has wanted to take lessons. Click HERE to view the wharf’s web site.

Note that the kid on the left is J, my 14th foster kid.
By happenstance we met him and his family on the beach!
J was happily reunified with his parents in 2007.

We usually save the Boardwalk for the last day -- the last and most expensive day! Between the arcade, the Old Time Portrait shop, food, and all the rides, well, let’s just say the money flows like water. The Old Time Portrait shop has become a tradition in itself. We pick an era and they dress us up for a group photo. This year we were Civil War confederate soldiers. The year before we were 1920’s era gangsters complete with Tommy guns. And the year before that we were cowboys! Click HERE to view the Boardwalk’s web site.

Another Santa Cruz tradition is a stop at The Mystery Spot. This is a strange, cash cow of a place in which the laws of gravity appear not to apply. Click HERE to view the Mystery Spot’s web site.