"Why would anyone ever leave Santa Cruz?!" I believe was the exact phrase I exclaimed upon hitting the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California.
"A lot of people don't," my good friend E laughed.
The Pacific Coast Highway winds South from San Francisco past the cliffs and rolling seaside agricultural plots of strawberries, artichokes, and fields of dairy cows, before cruising along the coast to Santa Cruz. As cliché as it is to call a town sleepy, everyone we encountered on our walk along the shore seemed to have just woken up from a post-surf nap in the sun-- complete with wind-blown hair and sweatshirts emblazoned "Santa Cruz" lest you forget the name of the laid back local surrounded top to bottom by blue sea and skies. The whole short but sweet duration of my time in this city I couldn't help but think, this is the life.
It's easy to see why so many people come to Santa Cruz and stay. Not only is it a beyond beautiful stretch of California coastline, the food is great, and the people could not be more friendly. It was the perfect place to call it a day for the first stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway road trip. After the overnight, Southbound drive from Portland and hitting the ground running in San Francisco, we needed the relaxation and all the good vibes that Santa Cruz had to offer. This Pacific Ocean paradise proved to be kind of a restorative chicken noodle soup for the soul-- but, you know, if you switch up that chicken noodle soup for a warm burrito, Rainbows, and a hoodie. All I needed was a hammock and I would have been set in life. Thanks for the good time Santa Cruz, I'll be back.