Emily’s day is the fifth in our series A Perfect Day in Santa Cruz.
The smell of breakfast sausage from El Salchichero carries on the waves of the summer sunlight that warms the side of my face as I continue to slip in and out of sleep. It drifts in from the kitchen where an English breakfast of traditional breakfast sausage and fried tomatoes are being prepared to perfection by my loving husband, Tucker. In my sleepy haze, I vaguely hear the subtle popping of the eggs he’s cooking in the sausage fat, then a quick mechanical “click” indicating the toast is done telling me breakfast is almost ready. I turn over, tempted out of bed by the anticipation of a deliciously scrumptious feast that has me salivating uncontrollably, and it’s at that moment I see Tucker bringing me breakfast in bed, a glass of orange juice on the side to wash away my hunger.
As I outstretch my arms to push my back up against the headboard and sit up, I hear a faint groan that sounds strangely like Tucker’s “I’m still asleep…is it really time to get up already?” groan. I wipe the sleep from my eyes with a balled up right fist, and I realize I’d been dreaming! Tucker really WAS still asleep, and really DID let out his “I’m still asleep…is it really time to get up?” groan. The rustling of the sheets wakes Oliver, our 1 year old King Spaniel Terrier, who then proceeds to lick us to death, or until one of us finally slides into our slippers to take care of his morning business…so romantic.
Oh well, it’s coming up on Valentine’s Day so honey, if you’re reading this, take that as a not so subtle hint of how you could make my day extra special! 🙂
Realistically, I suppose my perfect day would start with a fresh raspberry Danish from Verve to be washed down with one of their hot mocha lattes. Living in downtown Santa Cruz makes this short 10 minute jaunt a nice bit of early morning exercise (my English heritage shows through here I suppose with morning strolls and dreams of traditional English breakfasts), and as we walk back towards the boardwalk with our hot coffees in hand, Tucker explains to me the reason behind the morning’s beautiful pink streaked sunrise.
Along the way, Oliver works frantically to sniff at every passing tree, bush, lamppost, etc. before we pull him along again. Our destination is typically Its Beach on the Westside where Oliver loves to socialize with all the other doggies, but today we decide to loop back around and head home, grab a few snacks (yes, those snacks include our favorite Pacific Cookie Company cookies – Almond Joe, and Dr. Midnight), and take a drive north on Highway 1 towards Davenport, where we stop at a beach alongside the road to go tide-pooling.
Oliver leads the way to the sand, tugging his leash taunt as we cross the Highway, begging us to let him free. Not a second after we concede to his wishes does he take advantage of the opportunity to bolt away. With outstretched legs he carries himself as fast as he can to the shoreline where the water wets his feet and he comes frolicking back to us. The look on his face is pure happiness for me. We continue this way for an hour or two, as he follows us into the whitewater then onto the rocks and out into the seagrass. His curiosity gets the better of him and he misjudges the depth of a hole in the sand. But victory is his, as he doggie paddles for a moment to regain his footing, and he makes it out! We continue on in this fashion for sometime more before the afternoon winds begin to breeze through, making us realize we have all but missed lunch!
We head towards home, and stop for a late “to-go” lunch at Zoccoli’s for delicious “make-your-own” sandwiches. At home, we bathe Oliver and spend some time just the two of us at Bookshop Santa Cruz where Tucker and I buy each other a book to read. Romantically cliché, yes, But it gets better. From there we finish the night at Vino Prima on the Santa Cruz Wharf, our hands down favorite-of-all-time wine bar, and enjoy a couple glasses of local wines in good company (if you’ve never been, tell Larry, Stacey, or Craig I sent you!). The sunset there is the best in town – stunningly captivating – and dinner at Olitas is catered to you…what more could you ask for?
If you’ve never visited Santa Cruz before, I suggest putting it on the bucket list – especially if you’re a foodie. Downtown is a good place to start – just make sure to stop by our retail store (1203 Pacific Ave.) and grab a cookie for dessert!