...and a short TR.
I didn't realize until that night that this adventure kicked off on Earth Day. Possibly good karma was at work. My means of getting there: bus. My motive probably wasn't so Earth Day-ey though: I was here to
Downtown San Jose, for a short while
A big sports arena it looks like. I haven't yet looked it up to see what it is.
My folks live in the area, and I visited and stayed. The following day, having taken care of the business I came here to take care of, I headed off into town to mess around a bit.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
There's a series of concerts this summer, featuring several bands from the 70's and 80's. The designer of this poster has helpfully provided the name of a well-known song by each band.
These shots are a bit underexposed in general, making the weather look rather gloomy. It wasn't: there was just some of the usual low-lying coastal clouds/fog along with a bit of normal cloudiness. Being an off-season weekday, there were only a limited number of attractions and dining open, with the ride-pass price adjusted accordingly; ~$16 I think instead of the usual $30-something. I didn't ride any today, wanting to limit spending. (But don't worry, I'd been here once before and rode the two main coasters.)
If you're riding this for the first time, try to ride near the back: the already-cool beginning is made all the better.
Closed today: off-season. It's not rainy, it was just being washed.
This is called "Hurricane". It's OK; a bit clunky, but has some interesting elements. According to RCDB it was built in 1992 or so. I was here last in 2003 so I don't know if it's any different now (refurbished, degraded, etc).
25 feet! Wow! (Alright...it's on the small side at 125', but it's the "bouncing" type so it's not over in a flash. This could be a good "intro" ride for those wondering if drop rides are their thing or not.)
Originally there used to be a big swimming pool in here. Oh, and, something here looks familiar somehow...
...all the way to the clerestory.
In addition to the mini-golf (I'd like to play this course sometime), there's a pool hall (as in billiards), and one of at least three video arcades on the boardwalk. After this I meandered over to the main arcade, nearby at the west end of the boardwalk under the Cocoanut Grove ballroom (which in recent decades has been relegated mostly to serving as a conference center).
I wandered out on the beach, and then over to Wasteotime Pier for pictures. The conclusion I came to after coming out here last time was only verified and reinforced: it's indeed a waste o' time to come out here. But, I wanted pictures. (Possibly, though, the two seafood markets and their fish-n-chips outlets might be worth patronizing. The rest I've officially written off, the reason being excessive negativity.) I did get my pictures:
Here's a quick-and-dirty panorama. Click on it for a big version !
(Due to various limitations, this had to be done off-forum and in sections.)
...and then made like a tree and skidaddled.
(It seems mine and probably other lower-end digicams aren't consistent from picture to picture, even when using the same manual setting for each.)
This was about it for the pics. I was kinda starving now. Out of curiosity, I wandered a bit around town behind the boardwalk to see what was around. This area is mainly just homes and apartments, and several hotels. Plus this area is separated from downtown by a ways. (I was thinking about walking downtown to doink around a while and then coming back, but it was further than I wanted to walk.) Any stores and such are limited to along the street outside the boardwalk.
This caught my eye:
There's a big event and dinner coming up, related to the Boardwalk's 100th anniversary I think. Parties of 7 or more are subject to a 15% service charge. Yes, that's what it really is, not a--hey, you know what, unlike a certain--ahem--barbecue, those who made this one actually got it right!
After wandering around a bit more, it was a wrap and I hit the road. Now very starving, I headed out of SC and off east to the "modern" areas. Going by past experience elsewhere, I was thinking the places back around the boardwalk area would probably exhibit the needless unfriendliness like at Wasteotime, and I wasn't in the mood to put up with this and really just wanted Ordinary and Reliable. Without too much trouble I found what I had in mind, and it was oh so worthwhile.
That's all, folks!