Friday, April 6, 2012

spring break vacation

hike to the ocean
We are back from a wonderful vacation--our first spring break vacation ever (this is the first time our spring breaks lined up exactly). We went to the gorgeous Santa Cruz area and stayed at Costanoa. We loved it! That area of the state (I think of it as the Central Coast) is downright magical. I'm thoroughly enchanted and would love to go back at any time.

beautiful central coast (California)
Look how green and pretty. This is what we don't have so much in So. Cal--green, lush grass.

Hiking down to the beach.

our cabin at costanoa
Our cabin at Costanoa was very nice--basically like a nice hotel room. The only thing "cabin"-ish about it was that the bathrooms are in a different building (the "comfort stations" as the call them). They are unheated, but in the night you can make a fire in the little fireplace, which we much enjoyed.

happy on the porch swing
There is also a porch swing on the back porch which the boys much enjoyed.

the boys had a fantastic time just throwing rocks
The beaches were rocky there. The boys had so much fun throwing rocks into the water.

playing on the beach (central coast)

rocks on the beach
Pretty rocks on the beach.

we ate here and it was quite lovely and different
We ate lunch one day at burger. Purely awesome. Here is what Ken ate.

I had a chance to go around with my big kids for a couple of hours and I loved it. These are sweet great kids and it was so fun to be shown around on their turf. We walked all around their campus (UC Santa Cruz) and they showed me its loveliness. Afterwards, Ken and the boys picked us up and we all went out for sushi. It was great having so many of us together (we wished Ben could have joined us . . .)

ocean views on UCSC campus
Views down to the ocean at UCSC.

lab building on UCSC campus
We visited the rooftop greenhouse on top of one of the science buildings. I loved this little still life.

jacob and faith on UCSC campus
Random on-campus merry-go-round.

ano nuevo island
Another day we visited Ano Nuevo state preserve. We took a little hike down to the water to see the elephant seals.

ano nuevo island
At this time of year you can see the "weaners"--the month old elephant seals who have recently been weaned and left to fend for themselves. There were docents telling us all kinds of interesting elephant seal facts.

ano nuevo island

duarte's tavern in pescadero, ca
We ate lunch here. I had cream of artichoke soup, a local specialty.

ollalieberry pie at duarte's
This olallieberry pie was my dream of pie. Super super yum.

pretty signage for the goat farm
We visited this goat farm.

the boys with Aunt Liz, looking at the goats
The boys with their aunt Liz, who we met for lunch and goat farm.

at the goat farm

overhead view of the goat farm

On the last day we stopped at Big Basin State Park. Tons of redwoods there. It's a very special place.

in the redwoods

I took gazillions of photos. See more here. I'm not normally a vacation person, but this is my kind of vacation. Relaxed and easy with lots of natural beauty.

We're home now and enjoying our last few days of spring break. Today we made granola and cookie dough and went swimming at the pool. Tomorrow we'll bake cookies and decorate eggs. Happy weekend to all!


Sarah said...

this looks like a lovely place to just enjoy family and not feel stressed one bit. Glad your timelines matched up so it worked out. Enjoy your weekend, too :)

poetic chronicles said...

Oooooh, what wonderful holidays!! Funny enough, your second picture (lucious green) could be from MY place...but not the rest! :)
Sounds like the perfect vacation...luckily, we're planning something similar, or else I'd die of jealousy ;)

Rain said...

What fun! I love that part of California, though I've only been there a handful of times. Enjoy the rest of your Spring break.

Anonymous said...

Is that campground near a lighthouse? I think we drove by when we lived up there, and we remarked that it looked like a place we'd love to visit someday.Thanks for the pictures!