Ashley’s day is the third in our series A Perfect Day in Santa Cruz.

My perfect day in Santa Cruz starts with me waking up without the sound of an alarm clock. Now, if it is truly my perfect day, then that means my fiancé is already up and the Surf City or Java Junction coffee is freshly brewed and ready to pour. I can’t dilly dally for too long though. I’ve got my coffee in a to-go cup, dollar bills in my pocket, and I’m off to the Santa Cruz Flea Market. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure I say. I meet up with my friend Jennifer and we are on a serious mission to find the deals. This is what we do best and, on really good days, we have to make multiple trips to the car. Used bowling balls as garden art, frames and mirrors to redecorate, and fresh fruits and vegetables are just a few of the goodies you can find at the swap meet.

After the flea market we must fuel up for more shopping and walking. We head to The Crepe Place and sit outside in their quaint garden patio. I love the luscious feel of all the plants and flowers outside but inside it is funky and fun if it happens to be raining. I think The Crepe Place has the best Bloody Marys in town and so far I haven’t been proven wrong!

With our bellies full, we are off to our next destination, The Goodwill Thrift Store. We are still in the treasure finding mood and why buy full price when you don’t have too?! [For all the book worms out there, the Goodwill has a location that only sells used books located on Soquel Ave next to Tony’s & Alba’s.] We also make a trip to The Daisy; another one of our favorite places to bargain hunt. Added bonus: both The Goodwill and The Daisy raise money for wonderful causes within our community.

Okay, so there are some things I am willing to buy new. Like a new pair of Bunny’s Shoes. The draw of the cutest and hottest shoes around brings us to Bunny’s in Downtown Santa Cruz. But we can’t go there without heading across Pacific Ave to their sister store Bunny’s Too. There we find everything from yummy smelling soaps, colorful and sassy dish towels, sparkling candle chandeliers, etc… If you are ever in need of a gift for your best girlfriend, sisters, or mom this is surely a one stop shop.

With the car full of my goodies and the dollars gone from my pocket, it’s time to go home and justify all the bags coming into the house. [Tip: put bags inside of others so it looks like you have less bags and therefore didn’t spend as much.] After a short rest at home, the man and I are off on a walk through the Santa Cruz Harbor. If our timing is right, we can catch the sun setting over the ocean. We are so fortunate to live in this wonderful place. I love the sounds of the harbor; the mast on a sail boat clinking in the wind, the birds circling for fish, and of course the waves crashing louder and louder as we get closer to the beach.

We stop by Bayside Marine to say hi to friends and then continue our stroll to the Crow’s Nest. We head upstairs to the Breakwater Grill and from any table we have a great view. After our spirits and pupu pupus we walk along the beach and then head home. Once home, the man builds a fire in our outside fire pit and my perfect day in Santa Cruz comes to an end. Good night!

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