Hello! Bonjour! Hola! Ciao! I’m back!!
To make a VERY long story short, in December of 2019 I had a double heart/liver transplant riiiiight before the pandemic. Because I’m extra. It was a long, tough recovery made possible by my doctors, nurses, family and friends. Then, two weeks ago, I had a kidney transplant, where I was in and out in 5 days! (Don’t worry, a book is forthcoming on the whole extravaganza)
And, although I am advised to wait 6 months for domestic travel and 1 year for international, that did not stop my mother and I from zipping an hour away from our ‘home away from home’ to Santa Cruz and the boardwalk!
A charming oceanside town with a world-famous boardwalk and pier, it was founded by the Spanish in 1791. It is a hippie-haven, a surfer’s paradise and all-around laid back town. The boardwalk was created in 1907 and has been a popular destination ever since. There a little for everyone on the boardwalk – a ton of arcade games, shop, restaurants, and the all-important candy store with the best salt water taffy – Marini’s.
We were meeting a high school friend of mom’s for lunch on the pier, so we got there about an hour early so we could walk the boardwalk. First, how cool is it that you can drive onto and park on the pier?! And it’s the cheapest option. Situated right next to the boardwalk, we meandered over to look around. My first stop was to get some taffy! We hit a couple shops and found a great tee shirt for my brother for his birthday. There are also a lot of rides at the end of the boardwalk, including the famous old wooden rollercoaster called the Giant Dipper. It took 47 days to build and opened in May of 1927 at a cost of $50,000. Pretty sure they’ve made their money back. I’m not exactly cleared for rollercoasters yet, so we just looked. But someday soon!
We then headed back to the pier for lunch, which also has a few shops and some great restaurants. We ate at Riva Fish House, where I had the yummy shrimp spring rolls and a cup of delicious clam chowder. I can’t describe how wonderful it was to sit outside with the sea and salt air, looking at the water and drinking an Arnold Palmer (half iced tea/half lemonade).
At the end of the day, we had walked 2 miles! And I could have walked 2 more! Even if it was a short half-day trip, it was just what I had been looking forward to after almost 3 years of being either at home or at the hospital.
Check this space in the not-to distant future for more escapades.