Road trip to remember,
Explorations of everyday life,
Sand, Sun, Summer.
This past summer my family took a road trip down the west coast to spend time in coastal cities and tour potential colleges. We started in the fun loving city of Santa Cruz! While we only spent one night in Santa Cruz, it was a night well spent. The humidity in the July air made for a chilly adventure as my family and I explored the carnival at the boardwalk. I recommend to you, readers, that you explore the boardwalk on a Monday or Tuesday night. They offer cheap entertainment; all rides only require one ticket (usually most rides ask for four or five!) We became dizzy with excitement on rides made for speed and our stomachs turned in knots while we stood in line for the 5th oldest roller coaster in the United States. While we avoided stands that sold deep fried twinkes and oreos, we couldn't resist candy coated nuts – we nibbled on this classic carnival treat as we stood in lines and felt the vibe of Santa Cruz.
The next day we loaded up the family car and set out for Santa Barbara. The town where my entire family was born and where my parents were raised. The wealthy living style is enviable and we drove through Montecito admiring the houses. The next few days were spent reminiscing and relaxing. The UCSB campus is night on the beach and the college town of Isla Vista was just ringing with fun, even with a majority of college students at home for the summer. My family ventured into beach shops and bought bumper stickers and sweatshirts, hoping that we could somehow acquire the surfer state of mind! The following days led to hours logged at Goleta beach, trying to impress lifeguards and scouring the sand for shells and treasures. We ate our way through the city, visiting classic restaurants: Brophy's at the Harbor, Petrini's Italian Restaurant, and Longboards grill. Family bonding at its greatest.
When our time to leave Santa Barbara came, we ventured on to San Diego. Our hotel was a Hilton nestled in Mission Bay and offered a beach to play volleyball at and share laughs. A tour of the University of San Diego campus was breathtaking and we understood why it was recognized as the fourth most beautiful campus in the nation. The private Catholic college made its way to the top of my potential college lists very quickly! San Diego is a young city with a professional feel. Pacific Beach and Mission Beach provide fun for the younger crowd! Surfing, fishing, bikes, volleyball, and fun radiate from these areas. We spent a day exploring the beaches until we came across Birdwalk Avenue. At Birdwalk we could hop from rock to rock and investigate the tide pools! We saw little fish, crabs scurrying about, and sea snails and hermit crabs hiding inside their beautiful petite shells. Had it been a "negative" tide we could have looked further, but the water was closely approaching. When in San Diego there was no way we could miss going to Hodad's for lunch; a burger joint with a line constantly out the door! You could say we ate our way through the road trip. Eating and Beaches. But when you're seeking relaxation and an adventure, what more can you ask for? Mission Accomplished.
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