Monday, September 26, 2011


No trip to California would be complete without a trip to the beach! 
(warning long post lots of photos)
I am in Northern Calif where the beaches are much different then in the Southern part of the state.
We went to Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz
This is the only remaining natural bridge
*back in the 1900's 3 arches carved by nature out of a mudstone cliff inspired the naming of Natural Bridges.  The arches were formed millions of years ago when water, silt and clay sediment combined with one-celled marine plants

Wave action against the soft rock formed the bridges and also undercut them eventually wearing them away and leaving only islands.  The outermost arch fell in the early part of the 20th century and the inner arch broke during a storm in 1980
Only the middle arch remains but it is slowly being eroded by the waves
*Information from the State Beach brochure for Natural Bridges
This has become a favorite spot for Pelicans
I had a great time watching them swoop and dive 

I always take a 'foot' photo at the beach
I'm telling you that water was cold!!
Ash enjoyed it also
The other end of the beach has homes perched on the cliffs...we stayed several hours and then went in search of lunch
We went to Zeldas on the Beach at Capitola
Wonderful view from the outdoor restaurant
Mojito anyone?  Yummy! 
I remembered to take a photo half way through my food!  I had a shrimp and crab melt with potato salad... it was very good!
This is the life!
We spent the rest of the afternoon at 
Lighthouse Field

Lighthouse Field State Beach

Also known as Point Santa Cruz, this area forms the northern boundary of Monterey Bay. It is one of the last open headlands in any California urban area. Surfers, tourists, birds – including the rare Black Swift and wintering Monarch butterflies are drawn to this area. Sea lions populate the offshore rocks.
Lighthouse Field State Beach has the distinction of being home to California’s first surfing museum. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse at Lighthouse Point on West Cliff Drive. Overlooking internationally renowned surfing hotspot Steamer Lane, this museum has photographs, surfboards, and other interesting items tracing over 100 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz.
The museum was not open while we were there
but we did see some surfers out in the water
Waiting for that perfect wave
Most of the surfers had wet suits on as that water gets really cold

The view out over the cliffs
The sea lions were really loud!

This was also a dog friendly beach
It was so much fun to watch them run, fetch and dig in the sand.  The owners seem very responsible and most had 'poop' baggies with them

From the beach look towards the lighthouse
Yes, I was here!

The sun was starting to set

We headed home a little sunburned and much more relaxed
 then when we started the day! country!



Barbara F. said...

Looks like a perfectly wonderful day! xo,

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

Looks like an awesome day Linda! I would love to have a Mojito!

Betsy said...

It's my old stompin' ground! You look like you're having so much fun. Glad the weather is cooperating with you.

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Lovely photographs. I haven't been to the beach in ages and looking at your photos makes me long for it! Enjoy your day!

Gina said...

Wonderful pictures Linda & it looks like you are having the best time...enjoy!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like you're having a wonderful vacation Linda! The ocean views are just gorgeous-enjoy:@)

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Gorgeous photos, Linda. I'm glad you're getting to do so much sight-seeing!!! Thanks for taking us along!!!

Patti said...

Gorgeous photos, Linda! Thanks for sharing.

While I have never been to the Southern California beaches, I can certainly attest to the fact that the Northern California beaches (and those in Oregon too) are much different from the Gulf and Atlantic beaches of Florida. Though I prefer the warmer (and less rocky) Florida beaches, I think the ocean is beautiful regardless, so I enjoyed my visit to those beaches anyhow.

We went to the Redwoods and NOrthern California beaches 4 years ago...we had the same experience with the sea lions. Loud! But totally cute, huh?

Oh, and that lunch...I'll take it! It looked delicious!

I'm glad you're having such a nice time with your daughter.


Chatty Crone said...

You and Ash look like you are having a great time together - enjoyed all the sites and your feet in the sand. Can't wait to see the wine country.


Ames said...

Beautiful! I used to live in Monterey. I should go back and visit sometime.~Ames

mrs. c said...

What a lovely place! Hubby and I had a wonderful week there. I know you are having a wonderful time. I remember the first time I saw the ocean, we had crossed on a state hwy. near big sur and the clouds were looming over the water. Beautiful!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You look so cute...and HAPPY! I always pull on a baseball cap! Enjoy your wonderful visit! I'm loving the photos! ♥

Vonlipi said...

What fun you had! I had fun too seeing all these beautiful pictures.

I love the beach but have never been to northern california, it's breathtaking!

Thank you my friend for taking me on that wonderful day with you!

Susan said...

Oh Linda, great shots. Soooo happy you are having such a blast with your girl. Loved seeing the pelicans. Thanks so much for sharing. Susan

Red Couch Recipes said...

Linda, I hope this isn't a double post but wanted to say that I loved your day at the beach. I lived in CA for over a decade and LOOOOVE the N. California beaches -- they are so special! Glad you had such a great time at the beach.

Annesphamily said...

Hi Linda! I have to come back and get caught up with you! I am glad you are enjoying your visit. I knew you would be with your beautiful daughter! How fun! I will come back tomorrow and read more! Hugs Anne

BECKY said...

What a beautiful place to be! I am so happy for you, Linda. How long are you staying? If you posted it, I missed it. Or are you staying forever?! Hugs to you!

Connie said...

Oh, I want to move ??? So beautiful there and your pictures are gorgeous !!!

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I literally feel refreshed after reading that! Thanks to the gorgeous photos, I got to live vicariously through you and Ash! What fun!

Catherine said...

Look at that beautiful beach! What a wonderful time you had. Good for you!
xo Catherine

Cheri said...

It is on my Bucket List to visit northern CA and wine country but for now I will live vicariously through you. You look relaxed and having a good time with your daughter. Enjoy!

Jenny said...

Looks like a perfect day! Thanks for sharing your glorious pictures - I feel all relaxed and warmed by the sun!

Scarlett said...

Linda I want to go to the beach with you!! Looks like a fabulous day out and there is always room for a cheeky cocktail ;o) Scarlett x

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Thanks for sharing these photos, Linda. We went to Santa Cruz last year on a trip to Cali. Loved it! And yes, you're right, the water is COLD!