We decided that, with the hectic schedule of the rest of the summer, we needed a chance to get away, just the two of us. This was especially nice considering that Richard is off to a class for an entire week at the end of this month, and leaves on our anniversary – a class which requires him to be gone on our anniversary. Not, mind you, that either of us is hopelessly anal about making sure we celebrate things on their exact days, but it was as good an excuse as any for a weekend escape.
We picked Santa Cruz, only because it is within driving distance, and really, neither of us have ever really had the time or chance to explore the town. We'd both been there for work with Benthic Creatures, but the schedule for that job was always long and left little time for exploration.
Richard tracked down the Babbling Brook Inn, a little sprawling hobbit sized bed and breakfast nestled in the middle of lush gardens and surrounding - appropriately enough - a little brook complete with water wheel.
We didn't get there until shortly after 8, since we had to wait until after we got home from work, and then still had to pack. Initially the intention was to find dinner in Santa Cruz somewhere, but the hostess offered us cookies and sparkling cider and little plates of cheese and crackers and homemade pizza as we checked in, and suddenly we weren't so hungry any more.
We checked into our room and sat on the tiny little deck, surrounded by ferns taller than my head when I was sitting, and ate our cheese and crackers and drank our cider. And then we wandered off towards downtown, to see what we could find in the dark.
The downtown stretch is typical college/tourist town - pizza and coffee shops every time you turn around, and more 'natural' or 'organic' product stores than you might find in others. We did stumble across a large used bookstore and spent some time in there happily browsing. I found two books by Terry Pratchett and one by someone else. I am in the middle of reading it now, curled up in bed and listening to the water right outside our door. It is not the best possible book because there have already been parts where things happen that seem to have been added without much thought to how to incorporate them into the story, but it is about cats and magic and mysteries and the importance of friends, and I am pleasantly tired from all the walking, so it will do for now.