“What are we going to do today?”. “Short and beautiful” my mom says. She walked over 4 miles yesterday according to my fit bit. I could tell she was slowing down and didn’t join Max and I on our last walk of another 5 miles to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. We have a whole day to kill while Max attends his orientation at UCSC.
I don’t think we quite met her requirements but here is our attempts from close to closest.
Half moon bay. My mom wanted to see Mavericks: the site of some of the largest waves in California. The hike was over a mile round trip. You have to walk all the way to the point to see the north facing beach where the waves are. The beach was covered in decaying kelp and sand fleas. Each step created a flea cloud, the kelp stank, and no waves. Not short not beautiful.
Boardwalk and pier at Santa Cruz. Mom wanted to see this because she didn’t make trip yesterday. Only had two quarters for meter so only twenty minutes to walk to pier and look at Boardwalk on this overcast hill day. Short but amusement park ride skyline not quite beautiful.
Sea cliff State beach. Walk down 150 stairs to get to beach. Beached ship at end of pier is home to hundreds of pigeons seagulls and cormorants. Smell of bird feces is strong. Short but not quite beautiful.
Capitola. A quaint little beach town with lots of boutique stores. We walk along a river trail checking out quaint vacation rentals with nicely manicured gardens and thoughtfully organized patios that front their beach access with a wooden trestle for the river crossing for the train as a backdrop. We walked over a mile here but my mom isn’t complaining in the least. I’m sure this is highlight of her day. Not so short but my mom’s kind of beautiful.
Artificial blow hole. The waves crash on the rocks and cliffs and explode up into the air to street level at least twenty feet above the water. As a bonus, a set of three artificial blow holes are cut into the rocks. My mom and a couple with a small boy watch from behind a wooden fence as a large wave approaches the cliff. The wave crashes on the cliff and explodes up into the air. The blow holes grumble deeply and water shoots straight up like a whale with three spouts well past eye level. The young boy and my mom both giggle loudly at the phenomenon. I think the boy, sitting on the dark wooden fence rail supported by his dad, giggles because of the funny noises. I think my mom giggles because she is startled by the unexpected roar and surge of spouting water. Short and beautiful, just like she asked for.