Shelly’s day is the fifth in our series A Perfect Day in Santa Cruz.

I wake-up to a steaming cup of Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company’s Steve’s Smooth French coffee, lovingly prepared by my husband, Larry (Mr. Cookie). He’s just returned from his daily elliptical work out at 24 hour Fitness with his gym-rat buddies, Cliff, Greg, Ceil & Virginia. This morning I dip our newest iteration of our Ginger Spice cookie in my coffee. I think we are very close to perfecting this recipe. We’re looking forward to the customer response from the downtown store.

After breakfast, I wander down to my raised-bed veggie garden. Thank goodness the sun is finally shining! Larry and I had fun choosing our tomato plants this year from Cynthia Sandberg’s famous Love Apple Farm in Ben Lomond. My family really enjoyed the “Black Cherry” tomatoes last year. We also selected a golden beefsteak, “Chuck’s Yellow”, an “Early Girl” variety and “Casey’s Pure Yellow,” a new variety that is a large yellow with a pink blush. My three fabulous grandchildren love to spend time in our garden. Lily (4), Ivan (2 ¾ ) and our newbee, Mila (1), will love eating sweet snap peas off the vines and helping to water the beets, 3 types of squash, cucumbers, green beans, swiss chard and herbs.

As midday approaches, it’s time to meet my friends for lunch at The Walnut Avenue Café. The servers are so nice and efficient. My favorite is the Ahi Tuna Salad with balsamic dressing. The owner, John Climber does such a great job with the menu and the consistency of the food. After lunch, I stroll through Pacific Garden Mall and check out Stripe, such a fun store with a vintage flare. I also stop in The Sock Shop, Old School Shoes, Shoe Fetish (I think you can see that I like shoes!). There are also so many places that carry great things for kids. The Baby Shoppe on Pacific Avenue is great and Lolly Tree Toys on Cathcart Street is full of well made toys for children and the owner is so helpful picking out age appropriate gifts for birthdays.

After a lovely afternoon downtown, I pick up Ivan at pre-school and drive to the Santa Cruz Wharf to see and listen to the sea lions. He likes to go into Stagnaro’s Restaurant and look at the fish tank and then to Made in Santa Cruz to play with the wheels on the skateboards. I guess I have to wait until he’s 3 to buy him his first board. Ivan loves the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum so we head over to the Seabright neighborhood. The tide pool exhibit is especially fun. We take a walk to Seabright Beach and sit on the bench overlooking the cove. It is a memorial to my late father, Charlie Miller who was the unofficial mayor of Seabright. We then wander up Cypress Avenue to see if my granddaughters, Lily and Mila are home.

The end of my day is usually spent strolling the polished wood floors at Shopper’s Corner grocery store. The original owners, Bud Beauregard and Vinny Williams helped to start us into the wholesale cookie business and Jim Beauregard (Bud’s son) has continued to be super supportive. The store is always spotless and amazingly well stocked with every epicurean necessity and a cookie available at the butcher counter for the kids.

I’m so fortunate to live in this special community and share it with my close family and friends. So here’s to Santa Cruz and 30 wonderful years spent enjoying some of my favorite local spots.

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