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 passed quickly and 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 look like any other farm along the path. As we pulled in I saw blue benches and a small sign that said enter.

Entering the farm I was taken back by the beauty and style of the interior. I looked around and saw the incredible array of jams, fresh cheesecakes, and tables with big books and small games

We browsed around until we came across a 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 ollalieberry. My girlfriend pointed to the wall and there was a small family tree of all the different berry families that they grew. Tayberry was my favorite, being a mix between red raspberry and blackberry.

After we had out second round of delicious berries, we drove toward Santa Cruz for a little bit before turning into another small place called 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 - an amazing get away from our hectic life and school. We were alone with our own thoughts and there was no one there to bother us. We walked onto the beach and just admired how incredible it was - the untouched sand, the waves rolling in, slowly getting closer and closer to the benches.

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 was incredible how every store had its own people working it, and each had its own story and passion.

After, we went to Verve coffee, which is one of the most beautiful coffee shops I’ve been to. They have an incredible selection of roasted beans. Incredible interior design with loads of light pouring in through the windows. We ordered a couple of coffees and sat down and just enjoyed.