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California Dreaming: Redding, Ca - Santa Cruz, Ca / Santa Cruz - San Luis Obispo... Pismo Beach... Buelton!

Boy and ball
moving on up! 

all the way to grabbing the camera!
We did not have a good night with the boy in Redding. He woke up in the night multiple times and eventually we brought him into bed with us. He was done sleeping at 5:30am. We were up and out of the hotel by 7am. As soon as we were moving the boy was sound asleep in his comfy car seat. (Thanks mom and dad! He has the best seat in the car.)

We decided the night before that we would head off the I5 to the coast to Santa Cruz. We stopped once for gas and McDonald's for a pee and breakfast stuffs. We were in Santa Cruz by 11:30am.. but I was so tired! I was a bit squirrelly. I didn't know whether to park for $12 or get a hotel right away or where we were going to stay. I couldn't think straight. I needed a nap.

Santa Cruz pier

Where I fed rice to the boy and he accidentally fed the pigeons. 

 We had pizza and beer here. It is also a bowling alley. We had some shoes that were too small for the boy and left them on top of the garbage can. The girl who worked here was eyeing them and we let her know that she could have them.. and that they were practically new. She was very happy. Her daughter is seven months old.

Bubble head quad cop
sea lions! 

After driving in circles, dropping off the boys, pricing a few hotels, picking up the boys, finding a McD's to use the wifi, we ended up back at the same hotel I priced at the very start. Except now it was 1:45 ... not 11:30. I should have just got the overpriced Super 8 ($149)  and had a nap then!! Anywho... I did get a nap and then we all went down to the Boardwalk.

I don't think we have ever stopped in Santa Cruz before. If we have, I don't remember. What a crazy little tourist town. It has a carnival on the boardwalk. The boy is really going to like it when he is older. I think we will too. We walked and sat and had a beer and a snack at a few different places. We walked down the pier too. We saw sea lions under the pier. The boy fed rice to the pigeons. (Don't feed the birds! It wasn't on purpose.) AND, I got a new pair of flip flops. (YAY!) (Jonny threw mine out before we left... they weren't that bad!) We headed back to the hotel around eight to get the boy in bed on time in hopes he would have a good sleep.

His sleep in Santa Cruz started off and ended well. He went to sleep easily in his bed and slept till 6:30am. Unfortunately he was up almost every hour starting at 1:30. I think he is just getting too much sleep in the car. He started off sleeping in his bed and eventually we dragged him into the bed with us.

Being up early gave us more time to enjoy Santa Cruz. I went for a run down the pier and back. I saw a pod of dolphins swimming with a sea lion. I didn't see any surfers or any waves. I checked the surf report for Venice beach and it says FLAT. Boo! I guess Annina and I will have to drive to Manhattan beach for some baby waves.

Then we got to go for a walk and have some breakfast on the boardwalk.

The boy and I went down to the water and watched the junior surfer competitions. We watched the girls do a run, swim, run and a relay over sand hills. There were kids that were really into it, there were kids that were having fun, and there were kids that didn't really seem to care. There were lots of mini life guards and it looked like a pretty cool program. There were also kids playing beach volleyball.

We were back on the road at 10:45am. This time we thought we would drive to San Luis Obispo. I remembered Uncle Butch saying it was a good place. We drove through and didn't see much. I am sure there is a good part.. we just missed it! We continued onto the water to Pismo beach. We were done and needed to stop driving but did not recognize any of the hotels. So, we went to McD's to use the wifi and do some research. Did we really want to spend a lot of money on a crappy hotel that is nice to the beach again tonight? We will be in our place tomorrow. We decided to keep moving and take a cheap one off the highway.

Now we are in Buelton. Spent! We are at a Quality Inn ($80). There is nothing much in this place but we got here at 5:30... and we will get a nice early start tomorrow. Two more hours to Venice beach!

I drove down highway 1 today. It was beautiful and we saw some nice places that we would like to stop when we are camping. (Big Sur, Limekiln State Park, and one on a cliff looking over the ocean.. name forgotten.) Unfortunately, there was one red minivan causing a line up of cars behind him. He was going so slow and did not take advantage of any of the turnouts that we passed. Each time we had a passing line there were cars coming and the rest of the time, when we couldn't pass, there was no one coming the opposite way. We went along like this for miles. Our four hour destination turned into at least five and a half. (There were also two or three one lane construction obstructions.) Eventually, I got to pass and boy did it feel awesome! We were free! Although this way is beautiful, I don't think it is the best route if you want to get anywhere in a decent time. I think there will always be a little red minivan. We will take this route when the boy is older to go camping though. There are some beauty spots!


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