Monday, October 22, 2012

A Tale of Two Beaches Part I: Aptos and Santa Cruz



In July when the twins were two-and-a-half, Mark took the day off and we drove to the Santa Cruz area for the day. First stop was Cafe Bittersweet in Aptos for lunch. I gave James some of my cole slaw and the name seemed to cutely confuse him: “It not hot. It cold slaw.” He was also excited to eat some of our delectable banana chocolate bread pudding.


Outdoor lunch at Cafe Bittersweet


Happy chocolatey boy

For James and Julia’s first big trip to a beach, we went to Rio del Mar in Aptos, parked for free right next to the beach (a godsend when transporting toddlers), and got the twins dressed and ready in the hatchback of the Prius (which has essentially become a mobile diaper changing station).


Heading to the beach

It was my first time at a non-San Diego area beach and with the sun beating down it felt like home. As did the cold water. Speaking of which, as soon as we arrived Mark and I led the twins to the water, but the the tide going in and out scared them. They would look at the waves and get upset and point as though to say “What kind of witchcraft is this?” They were convinced that Mark was behind it and wailed, “Daddy, stop it!”

I suggested playing in the sand and returned to our picnic blanket. James insisted at first on playing in the sand behind the blanket, as though the blanket was a wall that could protect him from the evil waves.


James Sad Face suspiciously watches the tide.


“We should be safe from the waves in this bunker.”

James and Julia were upset at first when Mark waded in the water by himself, but they liked what he returned with: pails and yogurt containers full of water. The first time Julia misunderstood and tried to drink the seawater! Soon they realized it was fun to pour out the water, and then as soon as Mark would return they’d immediately dump the contents onto the sand.


Daddy brings the twins cups of seawater.


They promptly pour it out and demand more.


“Yay! Daddy’s coming with more water!”

James discovered he loves kicking sand. Too bad there were no weaklings nearby to bully as well. I showed them shells and they picked out a few to give Gaga for her upcoming birthday.


Daddy shows them how to make a wet sand mound and James immediately shows Daddy how to kick it.


James readies his kickin’ foot.


Julia looks at shells.

Before we left I held James’s hand and Mark held Julia’s and they seemed fairly relaxed as we walked to the shore. We carried the twins while the waves hit our feet. James was quite stressed as the waves hit my legs and, although calmer than before, he’s still not getting a foam finger that says “Go Waves!” anytime soon.


Mommy holds James to let him see the water.


Watching the water isn’t nearly as scary as standing in it.

We drove to Pacific Avenue, the main retail drag of Santa Cruz, for dinner. James overheard me refer to it as an outdoor mall and hearing the word “mall,” kept looking around for his favorite thing, escalators. They ate corn dogs for the first time at Hoffman’s (the subject of a Food Network Restaurant Impossible special several months before), and we arrived at home an hour past bedtime with a James who did not take well to being awoken to get out of the car.

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