At Monarch Knitting - a beautiful store with really nice staff. Wish this one was closer to me!
Sweet canvas project bag, Madelinetosh pashmina in Citrus (I was drawn to the orange, unusual for me, but I went with it), Madelinetosh Vintage in Coquette (berry), and Malabrigo Rios in Indiecita (my favorite colorway). Plus needles and a pattern so I could start on the orange right away!
We also found a bakery there and tested out their products, but weren't as impressed as what we can get at Kelly's. Then we went on to the quilt store, Back Porch Fabric, where Debby shopped like the true quilter that she is...and I even managed to choose some fun fabrics to make more project bags:
I guess you could say I am a fan of COLOR!
Once we finished up, we drove back to Santa Cruz and had a late lunch/early dinner at Kelly's. Yep...we ate there twice. Hey, why mess with perfection? Plus we needed a little redemption treat after the meh ones in Pacific Grove (which neither of us finished - yay for some conscious eating, right?).
The next day Barbara and I had lunch on the Santa Cruz Wharf, where I saw my first in-the-ocean whale! For real - its entire body surfaced above the water!!! It was an awesome sight. Of course I don't have a picture of that, but here's some sea lions that were sunbathing under the wharf:
And here's me, with the Boardwalk in the background (and a seagull getting a little too close to my head, if you ask me).
We then went on an adventure - a work friend had mentioned to Barbara that she bought succulents at a nursery in Watsonville for $1 each, which is ridiculously cheap. So, aided by Google maps, we set out for this place. It was a wholesale nursery but they had a sign out front that said they sell to the public. There were a couple cars around, but no employees to be seen. With a little trepidation, we parked the car, walked by a gigantic pile of potting soil (a good place to hide a body, I thought) and into the first very rustic greenhouse...which was filled, floor to ceiling, with trash. Like, it was so crammed with trash that it was a permanent thing! There was the narrowest of paths amid the trash, so we kept going, and came to a second greenhouse. It was really overgrown, but we could see succulents a few rows over, so we went inside. We were squeezing through the rows of plants and I made Barbara stop for a picture:
Anyway, I stayed on the perimeter while Barbara finished going through this greenhouse. When she got to the end, guess what we found? A much more normal greenhouse. Not overgrown, with no stinging nettle plants growing wild on the ground! Doh! Anyway, she ended up with a ton of plants for $25, so the adventure was worth the burn.
That evening, while Theresa was at her piano lesson, we walked along West Cliff Drive, where we got another whale show! I lived in California for 29 years and went to the beach many, many times, but I've never seen whales before this visit! Barbara said that the Monterey Bay Aquarium has been working on ocean conservation, and I'd say that it's paying off nicely! I aimed my phone at the area where we were seeing the spouts coming from the water and tried to take some pictures, but honestly, I was really just looking with my eyes at the water (and not through a camera) so I only came away with a couple of semi-decent shots:
See the spouts?! Two whales!
They were moving down the coast.
What I didn't get pictures of, but saw with my own eyes and will never forget, was the whales playfully flipping their tails out of the water, their dorsal fins coming up, and finally, spectacularly, I saw them come out of the water, head-first, mouths open - and it was amazing! I even saw their white undersides! It was like we were all watching a fireworks show, with everyone around us going "OOOH and AHHH" when this happened! What a super special treat!
I'll leave you with this - and will be back with the last of my trip recap on Friday. Thanks for reading through what basically is the internet version of vacation slides...I can't be the only one who remembers sitting through those as a child, right?