This is from the movie We're the Millers, but I'm sure that somewhere, some actual person has this misspelled tattoo on their body.
Anyway. California! Specifically northern California, where I grew up, is home to year-round perfect weather. It's a place where I actually had to use sunscreen because I was outside for long periods of time during the day - unlike Texas, where I'm only dashing out to check the mail or walk from the parking lot into a store during our long hot months. On my recent visit, I spent a lot of time outdoors and enjoyed every minute of it - here's a recap:
Sunset walk along West Cliff Drive - best time of the day to be out walking.
We walked along West Cliff Drive quite a few times; there's a 4.2 mile out-and-back route that is full of good sights, ranging from the coastal houses I'm always choosing to live in, to the ocean and cliffs, and of course all of the Santa Cruz characters hanging out along the way. I didn't take as many pictures as in previous years, but I enjoyed the walks (and talks) just as much as ever. Funny story - Barbara and I went for a walk while her husband Dave was taking care of picking up Theresa from her piano lesson. We were expecting him to join us, but that didn't happen. When we returned home, she asked him why, and he said that he drove by but we were talking, so he didn't want to interrupt. OF COURSE WE WERE TALKING - it's what we do! After that, he had no issues with joining us - just go with it, Dave. It's easier that way.
Surfers, the wharf, and the Boardwalk in the background - another perfect day in Santa Cruz!
Sometimes I run a lot when I'm visiting, but we were pretty busy this trip, so other than my race, I only got in one run. My childhood buddy Matt came over the hill and accompanied me on my run - he's been into racewalking lately and is really fast, so he slowed down and we covered 4.2 miles, stopping for some photo ops along the way:
On our way out - still a bit overcast in the morning...
Blue skies were appearing as we turned back toward our starting point.
I wish I had run more while I was there, but dang, we were on the go pretty much every day! And because I'm not familiar enough with the area to know the safe places to run while it's early (and dark), I didn't feel comfortable heading out on my own at 6:00 am, like I could do at home. It's all good, though - every day was super fun, so no ragrets.
Another adventure we had was our trip to Tiburon, which is just north of San Francisco. We drove there, going through downtown SF, which was interesting - I haven't been to the city in years. Something that was new to me was the look of this tunnel, as well as the name:
A rainbow entrance, and also, it's named the Robin Williams Tunnel - sweet.
We parked the car and set off for our walk, wandering along, stopping for pictures, and enjoying the gorgeous weather. It was windy, which is normal for that area, but I wasn't cold. Here's some shots from our day:
Beginning of our trek - Barbara and Dave leading the way.
LOTS of picture-taking, including trying to get Theresa to pose like a model, which she did - love it!
Side adventure down the steps to see what was at the bottom (nature and some trash, which Theresa picked up and carried to the trash can on the path - what a good kid).
We found a nice market and stopped for a bite to eat, then wandered around Tiburon some more while Dave walked back to get the car...we'd gone over 4 miles one direction, and while the adults could have made the trip back, Theresa was done, so we chilled out at a fountain.
This was a moving sculpture and we were all slightly transfixed as we watched the individual sails slowly form one big sail.
On our way back, Dave drove up the Marin Headlands, where I got a different view of the Golden Gate bridge than I've ever had in my life - it was windy and cold and absolutely amazing - a great end to an active day:
If you click on this picture, you can see Alcatraz island on the left side.
Barbara and I, August 2016.