To Santa Cruz and beyond…

Stephanie and I knew we wanted to do something over Labor Day, but we couldn’t decide on what. The crowdedness factor of many popular destinations (Yosemite for one) and our mutual desire not to be too planny contributed to our indecision.

After work on Friday we decided we would head down the coast (towards Big Sur/Santa Barbara), so we packed and made a reservation in Watsonville—all in about 30 minutes—before heading out of the city on Highway 1.

It was overcast, foggy, and dusking along the way. Sometime after 8 we got off in Santa Cruz for dinner and drove by the Beach Boardwalk amusement park. Stephanie very much wanted to check it out, so we bought 60 ride tickets (good for ~10 rides) and tried to do as much as we could in the hour before they closed, including two rides on the Giant Dipper. Built in 1924, it’s America’s 7th oldest.

Justin and Stephanie on the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Giant Dipper

And here we are on the Fireball, possibly upside down:

Justin and Stephanie on some other ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Fireball

Afterwards we found dinner at the amusing (and open!) Charlie Hong Kong, thanks to a bartender’s recommendation and a waiter’s exquisitely detailed directions. Then we got on our way to Watsonville, to crash and decide where next.

Next: Towards Big Sur via Pebble Beach



It sure looks like you having a fun time in those pictures. Enjoy the holiday. Thanking of you. Love


I went to the Beach Boardwalk when I was 27 months old! I rode the 1911 Looff carousel, the Giant Dipper roller coaster, and the log flume with my aunt!!! I also went to the Casino Arcade and rode video games!!!! I had lots of fun!!!!! (I’m still looking for pics and videos of my trip there, though…)


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