Santa Cruz

Hannah had a “recharge day” off from work, so taking advantage of COVID’s work anywhere option, we went to Santa Cruz for the weekend. I worked from the hotel while Hannah wandered on Friday.

This was the view from our hotel.

After randomly picking a coffee shop from the map, we ended up at Shrine, a Catholic non-profit coffeehouse. The contrast with the surf-town vibes was perfectly embodied by these two statues across the street from each other.

We had dinner at Bad Animal. We had found this restaurant/bookshop combo somewhat randomly the previous time we’d visited Santa Cruz, and we’ll continue going back for its amazing book selection and interesting food pairings. Of course, we left with 7 books between the two of us.

Downtown Santa Cruz has a weird mix of tourist traps, hippie stores, and the sameness of middle-America’s Main Street. These guys were having a birthday party on the curb.

This guy was casually balancing a banana.

We went for a hike at Henry Cowell State Park.

The sun was coming down behind the visitor center, so I decided I’d experiment with this shot. I thought this would be way more blown out.

Natural Bridges State Park.

The tide pools, and a pagoda in someone’s beachfront house.

On our way back to SF we stopped for brunch at Whale City Bakery along Highway 1. There were so many birds.

We stopped to walk along the beach, and saw these fishermen. Yes, the studio messed up this photo while developing it.

Oh, hello again. You might remember me in black and white from just a few scrolls up. I’m trying something new here, and sharing photos I took on my phone as I was going through Santa Cruz. It’s remarkable how different my style is on film. Our tools influence our output.

Henry Cowell, now in color.

The mountains on the other side of Monterey Bay are somewhat disorienting.

That’s one way to cross the river.

You truly feel small among the redwoods.

Natural Bridges, now in color.

It’s pretty amazing that I carry this thing in my pocket all day and can get shots like this out of it.

Same tide pools, same pagoda.

A classic “Avy holds nature” shot

After seeing these guys, Hannah insisted that we had to watch Pixar’s short film, Piper. It was awesome

Inspired by Jessica Christian, we went to Año Nuevo State Park to look at the elephant seals. I had run out of film, so the seals were an iPhone only experience, and likely the reason you got to see these color shots, too. I couldn’t not share these.

The seals come to breed along the California coast every year. It’s a sea of blubber out there. You have to get the guided tour to get this close to the breeding grounds. I went in knowing nothing about the seals, and learned a lot - they’re a much more interesting animal than I expected!

Sea of blubber, I’m telling you.

Want to see more photos like these? Sign up below: