Pax (funcrunch) wrote,

Santa Cruz mini-vacation

boyziggy has been bugging me to go on a "mini-vacation" for months, so on Friday we rented a car and drove to Santa Cruz. We had a fun time, despite our less-than-stellar accommodations at the Travelodge.

Friday night we went to the Saturn Cafe, a vegetarian restaurant with a great 70s atmosphere. As Mrs. zyxwvut let us in on, they used to sell "Impeach Bush" fries. Sadly, they no longer had these, but did feature plenty of other great food. I stayed mostly on-diet and got salad and a bowl of chili. Ziggy was happy and amused to be able to order a sugar-free RC cola.

The waitresses were very hip and sat at the table with you to take your order. The restrooms were unisex, with signs explaining that they did not want to discriminate based on the assumption that everyone should assume one gender or the other. The jukebox had CDs but a lot of the titles on the covers were missing, so you couldn't be sure what you would get. (Ziggy figured that this was intentional, especially considering the sign saying that the staff reserved the right to stop or change the music at any time.) The tables themselves had lots of kitschy stuff in and on them, like dominoes and magazine clippings of Michael Jackson.

We liked Saturn so much that we came back again that night for dessert (so much for staying on-diet), and I bought a tank top with their logo on it.

After dinner we took a nice long walk, eventually ending up at the boardwalk arcade where we faced off over air hockey and Tetris. The next day we went to a vegetarian restaurant in Capitola called Dharmaland, which I had high hopes for from the menu, but it ended up being fairly bland (at least for breakfast). In contrast to Saturn, it had no atmosphere to speak of. But it was nice to see a nearly-vegan restaurant thriving on a commercial strip with an older, non-hippie, non-student clientele.

We headed back to Santa Cruz and visited the UCSC campus, as I was hoping to add to my college sweatshirt collection. UCSC has one huge campus. It took us forever to find parking as virtually all of the spaces were permit-only. They had a bus system, which I applaud, but we didn't want to take the time to figure it out for such a short visit. It's strange having use of a car for a non-car-owner; I appreciate conveniences like being able to haul stuff around and even throwing my jacket and camera in the back seat (can't do that on the bus!), but searching for parking is a huge pain. We eventually did find a meter near the bookstore, and got my sweatshirt. We had a nice short walk through the woods too, though I wasn't wearing proper footwear and ended up with a pulled muscle.

After leaving UCSC, we explored downtown Santa Cruz, where we spent far too much money. Then we walked on the beach and boardwalk, had an air hockey rematch (I remained undefeated in Tetris and Ms Pac Man, at least), and finally called it a day. I'm sure we'll go back sometime.

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