Thursday, July 28, 2011

Adventures in Santa Cruz

     My family loves Santa Cruz. We try to get there at least once a year, usually for a Beach/Boardwalk trip. I love pulling off Hi-way 17 into town and seeing that first Santa Cruz native. He/she lets you know you've arrived. As we were planning our summer calendar trying to keep the kids busy while school is out, I discovered the Beach/Boardwalk was hosting movie nights each Wednesday. They were showing "E.T." one evening, so I thought that would be a good flick to watch on the beach with the kids. It was also Pepsi can $9.99 wristband unlimited rides night, so we bought the kids the bands while we waited for showtime.
     It's interesting to see your kids grow up by the rides they graduate to. This year, the thrills were a little bit bigger, a little faster, but I enjoyed watching them laugh on not so kid-like rides such as the Tilt-A-Whirl. I'm waiting for the day when we're on the Giant Dipper together.
     Now, the boardwalk comes with traditions. Gotta have my corn dog and nacho cheese fries. And I don't know when the first time was exactly, but I started a tradition when I was on a trip with the youth group. Since Marty couldn't make it to those outings, I bought her a pair of earrings from the main surf shop just to let her know I was thinking about her. Ten, eleven pairs later,  I once again snuck off with Max, seemingly on a bathroom run, but that was a guise to go get Marty her customary pair of earrings, and as always, from the same shop (I said this was tradition). Max asked if he could deliver them to her. Sure. Earrings delivered, wife happy, worn the next day, success!

     We bundled up and settled in to watch the movie on a humongous screen. Snacks were served as we waited to experience Eliot and his alien friend break our hearts. I was really looking forward to Max's reaction to the movie. He's a 5 year old boy so being friends with an alien is pretty appealing to him.
     Right as the movie started, a local couple plopped down right next to me and I mean literally plopped since they were pretty plastered. She kept saying "I love this movie," and to her partner, "Shut up and watch the.... movie," yet with more color. I was worried Julia could hear them, but she was oblivious to their language.
     There's a crass line in the movie that I didn't want my children to hear, so of course I did the obligatory loud cough when that scene came on, but leave it to my drunk friends next to me to repeat it over and over as they laughed. Oh, well. We were in Santa Cruz.
     The idea of a free movie on the beach was a good one, but we left at intermission and didn't get home until 11PM. The kids didn't even take their sandy clothes off, just climbed in bed of their own volition. So I rented the flick the next day and we finished watching it at home. Much clearer picture, a sound system that I could more effectively cough over, and no drive afterwards. But I'm glad we did the beach thing. We made a memory and that's what I'm all about.

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