October 4, 2012

31 Trips in Cali, Day 4: The Santa Cruz Boardwalk

 What could me more all-American than an oceanside boardwalk in July? Soft-serve ice cream and fried Twinkies and popcorn and funnel cakes.  A cheesy "dark" ride from 1961.  Kiddie-rides and ferris wheels and tilt-a-whirls.
We visited the Santa Cruz boardwalk in summer of 2009, as part of our week-long vacation on the north end of the Central Coast.  Ice cream was consumed by all, and my kids rode the kiddie rides over and over. Me, I liked the old-fashion Sky Glider, where I could take in the entire panorama. And there may have been some rounds of skee-ball, my favorite arcade game.

I'd thought maybe a boardwalk in Santa Cruz, home to mellow, liberal UC Santa Cruz (school mascot: the banana slug), would be somehow snooty or populated by stoned-out, hemp wearin' college boys. But nope. This was a working class, family-oriented, classic boardwalk scene, all the way. 

It reminded me of Springsteen's song, 4th of July, Asbury Park:
And me I just got tired of hangin' in them dusty arcades
bangin' them pleasure machines
Chasin' the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where
they all promised to unsnap their jeans.
And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag?
I got on it last night, and my shirt got caught
And that Joey kept me spinnin', I didn't think I'd ever get off.
Oh Sandy, the aurora is risin' behind us
The pier lights our carnival life on the water

Thanks for coming along!  Come back tomorrow for Day 4 of my 31 Trips in California series, when we'll visit some gorgeous, much less crowded sites on the north-central coast.
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