Friday, August 5, 2011

Santa Cruzin'

I got to spend a day in and around Santa Cruz this week with Diane. When Diane lived here many years ago, I'd visit frequently and fell in love with the beaches, restaurants, and the laid back lifestyle.

But now that she's no longer living in California, it is only rarely that I get to visit with her and to go back to some of our favorite Santa Cruz area haunts.

We started our day in Capitola at Gayle's. Gayle's started as a small bakery i 1978 and has thrived and grown into an ever-busy bakery and cafe. We had our early-morning coffees and our favorite pastries, pecan tassies.

Pecan Tassies are bite-sized pecan pies and Gayle's are perfection. I've tried to make them myself and never get the same results.

There are a few shops in the same shopping center as Gayle's. We then spent time exploring them. Three LIttle Birds, a gift shop featuring French gift items, was our favorite of the shops.

Our next stop was in Soquel at Wisteria, which describes itself as an Antiques and Design shop, but it is so much more. It is sort of hidden off a main road and is not the sort of place you would just come upon by accident or while you were wandering around.

The first thing you see is its rambling nursery and gardens.

All the plants and furniture are for sale. The shop itself is a many-roomed house that is packed with home furnishings, gifts, books, and more.

I encourage you to click on the link to Wisteria's web site to get a better view of all it has.

By this time, we were ready for lunch. Our choice was another old favorite, Cafe Sparrow, a country French restuarant in Aptos Village.

We shared the Sparrow Omelet, a unique omelet filled with sautéed chicken livers, bacon, apples, and crème fraiche.

We ended our day back in Santa Cruz where we decided to take in a movie ("The Trip") at the Nickelodeon, the areas arts/independent movie house. To the locals, it's known as "The Nick."

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