Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stay-cation: Day 2 Santa Cruz

We extend our coastal theme in Day 2 with a trip to Santa Cruz.

We headed to Wilder Ranch. They have amazing bike trails, but we decided to use our legs. We have two new bike riders and didn't feel they were ready for trail riding just yet.

Wilder Ranch is an old dairy farm that used to supply the Santa Cruz mission, among others. They still have horses and chickens on the ranch.

The old buildings and barns are really cool, but a bit unnerving when the swallows start flapping around your head!

We spent about an hour walking around the grounds. I'd like to go back on the weekend when they do reenactments of full dairy farm production.

We then headed down to Natural Bridges State Park. This has been our favorite beach in Santa Cruz. It has the beach, of course, trails to the Monarch butterfly gardens, and amazing tide pools. It was a bit cooler than we expected so the girls decided that they'd play in the waves up to their knees.

An hour running in the surf is all that was needed to wear them out. We did try the tide pools but the waves were crashing a bit more forceful than we were comfortable with. The low tide didn't coincide with our visit.

Afterwards we set off down Mission Street and thought we'd carry on the California Mission tour to the Santa Cruz Mission. This must be the smallest mission. It was a bit disappointing after being in the Carmel Mission the day prior, but the gardens were very peaceful.

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