Thursday, September 25, 2008
If I'd known the beach was only about 30 minutes from here I would have gone a lot more over the years. Although the drive down Highway 17 to get there would be a lot nicer without the maniac drivers...and I wasn't even going with the regular rush hour traffic. Of course I went on a Wednesday afternoon, not a weekend when I'm sure both the drive down and the beach are more crowded.
I'd been planning to go to the beach and today was hot. I also felt the need for a little reward because this morning I went through the bags of junk I brought home from my old office. I was able to condense all of it into one small box, ready to move to my next office, whenever and wherever that may be. Taking a cue from the organization and "clean house" shows on TV, I labeled 5 grocery bags with: trash, recycle, keep, donate, and sell. In the end the "keep" and "recycle" bags were full...not so much in the others. I'm still feeling weird about taking a break from work, so going through the stuff was a little hard. Part of me wants to go back to work right now because that's all I know but part of me is also enjoying the time off.
The beach was pretty empty. Being that it's late September, there were few tourists. I almost got to watch someone get arrested though. Santa Cruz unfortunately has a large population of homeless and drug addicts and one young kid, who was no doubt affected by some substance, was walking along the beach yelling, waving his arms, and barking like a sea lion (lots of sea lions hang out on the Santa Cruz pier and from the beach you can hear them barking). If the kid was just acting out, oblivious to others, that would have been one thing, but he was yelling at people. He wasn't swearing but yelling at them to "go in the water", for example. I think some people got nervous when a group of young girls, about 8-ish, all stopped their play in the surf and stared at him as he walked by. Fortunately he didn't interact with them but afterwards I noticed two cops on the beach waiting for him to come in from the water. He eventually came out and the cops walked with him and talked to him and then tried to restrain him. He freaked out and got away and the two cops, along with two others who showed up, started to make chase but then stopped and let him go. Drama on the beach!
Other than the impromptu episode of Cops, I just sat in my beach chair and knitted a sock for about an hour and a half. I'm sure other people on the beach thought I was strange for knitting on the beach. One guy approached me and I was expecting him to say something about my knitting but he asked if I knew where he could change his clothes. I suggested the bathroom in the Arcade and afterwards realized that he might have been expecting there to be cabanas like on European beaches. I'm just guessing because he had a Scandinavian accent and looked surprised that I'd suggest a bathroom for him to use as a changing room.
Afterward I walked on the pier and had a bowl of clam chowder and an ice cream and watched the sea lions lounge about. We like to call the sea lions "sea cats" because they are fat and sleep a lot and have whiskers.
Since I've not spent much time in the area (and yet it's only 30 minutes away!), I drove along the coast to Capitola to check out its beaches. The beach area is very quaint with little shops near the beach and it seems like there's very little parking nearby, though there were signs about a larger parking lot somewhere else. But since it's post-season I easily found a parking space. I fed the meter a few more quarters and dragged out my beach chair for 20 minutes more beach time. The ocean was extremely calm today so the waves weren't roaring. I do love a roaring surf, but the gentle swish-swish of the tiny waves today was nice too.