Santa Cruz

Spring 2019

After a brunch of Egg Florentine in Los Gatos downtown, we drove through the narrow and windy Highway 17. Admiring the greenery overflowing from the sides of the road, the drive didn't seem nearly as long as we had expected.

Our first stop was Swanton Berry Farm, a local farm which grows a wide variety of berries. Off Cabrillo Highway, it's an unsuspecting set of buildings that looks like any other property. Entering the farm, I was taken aback by the beauty and style of the interior. I wandered around, taking in the incredible array of jams, fresh cheesecakes, and tables with big books and small games.

We browsed until we found the jam testing station, where there was a jar of animal crackers and a set of jams opened to try. I looked through the different jams they offered and was confused — I had never heard of Tayberry or Olallieberry. My friend pointed to the wall and there was a small family tree of all the different berry families that they grew. It was awesome to learn about all the different berries! Tayberry, a mix between red raspberry and blackberry, was my favorite.

After we had our second round of delicious berry jams, we drove toward Santa Cruz for a little bit before turning into Davenport Landing Beach. It was completely empty, so we found parking immediately. Walking towards the beach I saw a set of swings and we sat down and looked out into the water. It was completely quiet — nothing to listen to but the wind. The beach was right in front of us. It was great to admire the untouched sand, and the waves rolling in, getting closer and closer to the benches each time.

Downtown Santa Cruz was only fifteen minutes away. Strolling the streets, we took our time to explore bookstores, thrift stores, and small boutique shops. It's a quaint little town with a calming atmosphere. We stopped by Verve coffee, which is one of the most beautiful coffee shops I've ever been to. They have an incredible selection of roasted beans. The cafe had incredible interior design, with loads of light pouring in through the windows — a wonderful place to work. We ordered a couple of coffees and sat down to enjoy.

In the night, we went to MeloMelo Kava Bar. It was an interesting experience, and very different from what I was expecting.