Chillin' in santa cruz

Trip Start Jul 29, 2006
Trip End Aug 14, 2006

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, August 4, 2006

This morning, I woke up bright and early. Then, I went to meet a former law schoolmate (and former neighbor) Dierdre for breakfast (while my brother and friend John slept). Dierdre and I had an enjoyable breakfast catching up, ranting about our crazy neighbors and the bar exam. It was nice to see her. She used to live right across the way from me so I would constantly pop into her apartment back when we were going to school. When she moved away, my apartment complex just wasn't the same. So, it was good to see her.

After breakfast, I returned back to John's house to find both John and my brother awake and playing around on laptops. I hung out for a little bit, then we hit the road.

To Santa Cruz
From San Jose to Santa Cruz is a fairly short drive. The distance is not that far but the road is rather windy and narrow in some places, even more so than when I went over the mountains from Oregon to California. But, in less than an hour, we were in Santa Cruz at my friend's Scott's house.

I walk into Scott's house to see if here's there (I've been here before). And, lo and behold, I find another long time old friend (who I haven't seen in years) sitting on the living room couch. Niko and i had our greetings and then we went to find Scott (who was still sleeping). Then, we all just hung around the house. The house has two dogs (and two cats and one lizard) so we took the dogs to the park to run around. My brother really likes animals so enjoyed playing with the dogs.

UC Santa Cruz Adventure
Later, Scott, my brother and I went to check out UC Santa Cruz. This campus is pretty much set in a forest. There are parts where you get a nice view and on a clear day see the ocean (today was not such a day). But, there are trees everywhere. Not just little trees that you probably find on most campuses but tall redwood trees. And, there were many paths (non concrete) that could get you around campus.

After walking a bit and seeing the student center, bookstore and library, Scott led us down a path off the main road. We followed it around and then went into a more foresty part of campus. We found through one clearing of trees a bunch of chairs and empty bottles and knew this was a secret hang out place for some students.

Then, we continued on through more forest parts and down a canyon. At one point, I felt like we were on a hiking trip rather than walking through a campus. We were lost amidst the trees without a real path to guide it. We wandered down a canyon which was tough to navigate with my non-hiking shoes and already bad feeling left foot (I had woken up with it aching). I was gripping on tree and branches to get myself around where Scott was leading us (Mind you, Scott is a rather outdoorsy guy and enjoys camping, backpacking, hiking and the like).

There was one part where we were going down farther into this canyon and it was a very steep slope with nothing really to grab on or grip your shoes into (and my shoes were not meant for this terrain). So, I ended up sliding on my butt down the latter part of it to get down. Then on another part, it was steep so i ran down it and ended up tripping, falling and twisting my left ankle a bit. My left foot had already been giving me issues throughout the day so the fall certainly didn't help. I hobbled along trying to walk off the pain.

We continued through the middle of the canyon. Crossed over some logs and wandered upward and found a path to get us out and back on the main street. Quite an adventure. My brother seemed to enjoy it. He likes hiking and such too.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
After the campus visit, Scott went to go swimming with other friends and I took my brother to the Boardwalk. We arrived shortly after 5pm and there was a special for Thursdays. If you bring a Pepsi product, you can pay $7.95 and get a wristband for unlimited rides after 5pm. While the timing was good, we didn't have any Pepsi cans. So, my brother bought two cans. I drank my can fairly quickly as I happen to be craving a soda then. i also finished up the last half of my brother's can too as he was eager to get on rides.

We got our wristbands and I knew that my brother really wanted to romp around to all the rides and my ankle was only getting worst as I strained to walk on it. I told him to go romp around on his own but we ended up going to the Giant Dipper (the big wooden roller coaster) together. We happen to get in the first car so got the whole frontal view so I took a few pictures with my cell phone clutched in my hand when the roller coaster started going.

After this, I really just wanted to ride the ski lift-like ride across the boardwalk. I knew my brother wanted to ride all the rides, so I told him to go do his own thing and I'll find him later. After an hour, I found my brother and told him i was going to go back to Scott's to hang out more and have dinner. I said he could stay at the Boardwalk and i'd come get him later, which he happily agreed to do.

Just hanging out
After I got back, I sat and rested my foot which had swelled up quite a bit. Niko gave me some motrin which helped reduce the swelling but I'm fairly beaten up these days. My right leg aches from driving so much. And, now my left foot is aching and strained a bit. I also bumped my knee the other day scraping a part of it and bruising it too. Oy!

Later, Scott, another friend Caroline, and I went to Delavega Park with the dogs. We walked around while the dogs ran around chasing sticks. After that, we got back, I called my brother to see if he wanted to be picked up or to play more. He wanted to play more so i let him while I enjoyed dinner with my friends. They made hamburgers. I also got to meet more of Scott's housemates (who are interesting people).

I then went and picked up my brother. Then, we all went to the movies and watched Pirates of Carribean 2. it's nice to go the movies. I haven't been able to do it very much (if at all) during the past years of law school. And, I love movies. So, it was very chill and relaxing.

When we got back, we hung out a little bit before everyone went to bed.

Tomorrow, we head along the coast on Highway 1. Maybe we'll stop at Monterey for a little bit. We'll drive through Big Sur and then continue downward to San Luis Obispo.. .
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