Since I am nocturnal these days, I stayed up the night doing nothing, planning to crash in the afternoon. Afternoon arrives, and I find myself packed into a car heading off to the beach. "We'll only be there a few minutes," I'm told. Oh well. Since it's best to be prepared, I have armed myself with a polariser and a car charger for the camera batteries.
CA-1 is the classic drive in California. It runs parallel to the coast, with mountains on one side and the Pacific on the other. To get there from Palo Alto, you follow CA-84 as it winds through the mountains until you run into the sea. Unfortunately, the night-out takes its toll and I am fast asleep inside the car as the rest of the party check out our first stop at a lighthouse. The view from Stop Two is so stunning, however, that I somehow jerk off the sleepiness and waddle out with the camera. Here's what we saw (CA-1 is the sliver of road to the left of the picture, running all the way down the coast).
So we drive on and on and on down the coast, checking out bikers and parasurfers and kite-flyers...
... until we discover we're 11 miles from Santa Cruz. Seems a shame not to go all the way, we opine. So southwards and onwards!
This, by the way, is Santa Cruz...
... which has insect life, bird life, inscribed benches and a casino.
The crazily dressed women were having their photo taken, btw. We had snacks from a stall on the beach, where there was a rollercoaster and this crazy thing that was like a seat that bounced up and down 50 feet or so vertically. The sort of thing that makes your tummy hit the top of your head in free fall. There were people sitting around...
... and people winding up for the day, such as Shaheen, a caricaturist, and Kara, who sold juice or icecream or something.
Samantak is to be credited with spotting Kara, who is by far the cutest (though not necessarily the hottest) girl I've seen in some time (if certain people are reading this, "some time" does not include pre-yankland days), and bringing our attention to the matter with the words: "I've just seen a girl who looks exactly like Natalie Portman". So I went up and asked her if I could take her pic, and she grinned and said yes, and I was probably so kicked that I blurred the first shot, and overexposed the second by a stop (without noticing it until later). The second was salveagable, though.
Long drive back, followed by homemade chilli chicken and much-needed sleep.