It’s a mere 50 minutes by car, but somehow it seemed worlds away. A weekend with five high school girlfriends in the small towns of Aptos, Capitola, and Santa Cruz – part of the idyllic Northern California coast. Our home base was a lovely little ocean view rental known as “The Shack” with family initials carved in the closet dating back at least two generations. It worked perfectly for us, especially when our backyard was the Pacific Ocean and so many frolicking humpback whales!
I won’t reveal all the behind-the-scenes details of our fabulous weekend spent rummaging through old high school yearbooks, eating, gabbing, walking, eating, cooking, eating, and yes – shopping (for food of course), but here are some photographic highlights:
“The Shack” and it’s lovely ocean and sunset views:
The official start of the weekend – some chilled Rosé champagne and cheese:
Wonderful Italian pizza at Tramonti in Santa Cruz:
The rare Warren Pear and shockingly orange and delicious kabocha squash…
My friend’s favorite strawberry vendor – each box hand-picked in the field and again before entering the selling container:
Even our Oakland/Berkeley resident , where wonderful grocery stores and farmers’ markets abound, was awestruck at the bounty of this market:
A walk along West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz – looking south towards Monterey:
Part of our group watching a feeding frenzy of pelicans and anchovies while the whales breeched behind them:
Looking north towards Half Moon Bay:
A quick stop at a local artisan chocolate store – so yummy that I had none left to photograph!
We cooked together, remembering the great Marcella Hazan with a dinner inspired by her Italian teachings, joining an online tribute #dinnerwithMarcella:
We have a cheesecake specialist in the group – spoiling us with her mini peanut butter, chocolate chip, and traditional cheesecake poppers:
And to top the weekend off, we stopped at the glorious Verve coffee roasters in Capitola, eliciting yelps of glee from our coffee afficionado:
And then we noticed that The Penny Ice Creamery was next door and that they topped their cones with toasted marshmallow…
What is your favorite location close to home that feels like you are worlds away when you visit?