The boys played all day, every day with new friends. So great to watch the sweetness and ease with which these solid new friendships were formed with the children of some of our dearest friends. My 39th birthday was spent eating really really really really really well, and enjoying the incredible 70° and sunny afternoon on Seabright Beach.
Santa Cruz is a pretty incredible place. It doesn't feel the same as when we used to live there, but many of our usual haunts were familiar enough to feel homey. I'm pretty sure I was even offered some shifts at the store. How easy and odd would that be to just slip back in?
The place really started tugging at me when we drove up to campus. It's difficult to comprehend how beautiful this setting for higher learning truly is. It even smells amazing... redwood duff, coast live oak, and California bay all mixed together underfoot. I know that the most likely way we would ever find ourselves living in this part of the world again is if Jeff got an incredible job here. And right now, we're not considering this.
Photos here, by Petra.
I feel like we left Santa Cruz really grateful for friends who let us into their homes, friends who were so happy to see us and our boys and spend time catching up. I'm so grateful, too, for the years we lived wonderful lives there. Because of that time we can call it "Home" and we will always feel welcome and familiar there. To be able to say that about such a special part of the world eases my mind and lets me enjoy and embrace any time we spend in Santa Cruz. We just need to visit more often!
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We had a blip of a visit to Oakland the last few hours of our trip. Found a few cute things in Atomic Garden and Diesel bookstore to bring back to the fabulous friends who cared for our house and pets and shuttled us to the airport. Ours was the earliest of morning flights, but the timing afforded us an incredible view of the sun coming up on the Bay. I took this shot while holding and consoling a screaming Lake. He, apparently, is not one for flying. :( Or butterflies... remember? Poor guy. I hope this fear doesn't last a lifetime, but we get it. A tin can staying aloft as it hurtles itself through the sky does seem pretty improbable. But if you didn't go, you'd miss out on views like this. I hope he decides it's worth it.