Santa Cruz

Magic Sunday visiting Santa Cruz

After driving up from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz on Saturday evening, we woke on Sunday morning ready for some fun at the beautifully set Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

We spent a morning enjoying the sunshine, rides and thrills of the fun-fair.

Couldn’t believe Miss 4 wanted to go on the Haunted House ride! She spotted it as we rode the ‘Sky Ride’ over the boardwalk and insisted we go on it. She really surprises me sometimes. Her older sisters joined us and it was actually quite entertaining, rather than frightening – though I had my hand ready to hide her eyes if anything was too much!

Santa Cruz boardwalk

The funnest children’s ride was ‘The Speedway’. It didn’t look much at first, but once the engines roared it sped off, slow and gentle on the straight, but taking the corners at a great pace. Great entertainment and amusement for the parents watching on!

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

After a couple of hours well spent we hit the road again, heading up to San Francisco. We made a pit-stop at a place called ‘Dave & Busters‘ in Milpitas, to rendezvous with a friend of our older daughters – a friend they’d met online via Minecraft!

Dave and Busters

It was a fun meet-up and her parents were so lovely. We ended up heading to their place afterwards for a quick splash in the pool, where all the children had such a great time together – as us ‘old folk’ enjoyed a good chatter.

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We arrived in San Francisco as the sunset, looking forward to Monday being a holiday, thanks to Memorial Weekend here in the USA and not having to bid farewell to the man of the house.

Arriving in SF at sunset

Great to have a change of scene from Santa Barbara – as lovely as it is there – it’s a little ‘quiet’ for us and we do love a bit of action!

Fun at the Fair in the sunshine of Santa Cruz

“It’s ‘Blackpool Pleasure Beach’ in the sun!” we both said in unison as the children ran around us in excited circles waiting for their tickets.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Old-fashioned rides blended with fair-ground games, candy floss and hot dog stalls were on every corner and the sound of screams, mixed with shrill laughter, filled the air. The only thing missing were trams and donkeys. On the expansive beach there were people in a lot less clothing than on your average day at Blackpool too, but then this was Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park in sunny California.

Swings

The symphony swings flew out in an arc over the beach, as the sun beat down on the beach below. Our seven year old daughter rode on the swings over and over again, whilst her oldest sister rode on the boardwalk’s landmark ride – ‘The Giant Dipper‘ – with her Daddy.

The Giant Dipper

Whilst the screams of excitement, intermingled with music and laughter, rang out from every direction of the boardwalk, our youngest, Miss 3, took a nap in her buggy. Her dreams filled with riding a friendly dragon, as her Mummy and Daddy smiled on with delight; as she pulled back on a lever to fly her dragon into a cloudless, blue sky.

Alice on the dragon ride

And whilst she continued to dream, I watched the smile on the face of one of my daughters. She was having the time of her life, riding on a car waltzer, making me reminisce on days when the fun-fair would visit the town where I grew up, in Hampshire, England.

Miss 7 having a blast!

There were some rides that filled my husband and I with less than pleasant memories from our younger years, but filled our two older girls with rapturous glee, calling out to go, ‘Again! Again!’.

Let's get dizzy!

The first time they rode the spinning machine of stomach churning madness I thought they’d come off green, with tears streaming down their faces! But their stomachs are obviously made of something stronger (that perhaps age makes worse!).

Happy to be spinning around and around!

They delighted in getting their Mummy and Daddy to go on the ‘scary’ rides with them – taking huge pleasure in seeing us cope less ably than them.

Crazy Surf

Thankfully we had the excuse of young Miss 3 to ‘cop’ out of too much stomach churning. As much as we still love a good thrill, we got equal pleasure from watching our youngest child’s face light up riding independently on boats, whales and ‘Pepsi’ delivery vehicles!

Alice on the whale

She rode a little boat with such concentration, truly believing her actions on the steering wheel would make a difference as to how the boat moved.

Boat riding concentrationAll the while the sun continued to beat down on the beach and fun on the boardwalk.

Santa Cruz beach

Whilst cuddly toys called out to be won…

Catching a prize

And ghosts were preparing to meet with their demise as our older two ‘ghost busters’ powered up for action.

Ghost busting

This was definitely one family adventure not to be forgotten. We’ll be talking about this for a very long time!