Exploring Santa Cruz // Spring Break 2015

After weeks of torturing students with tedious assignments, strictly-enforced dress codes, and butt-pinching chairs, my school finally gave us a week of freedom.  And I took it as a green light to ‘spring’ up some fun spring break memories!

Day 1 of Spring Break.  When my friend, Justin, and I toured downtown Santa Cruz and explored other hidden beaches, we were stunned by the many treasures that lie hidden.

We originally made plans to find Panther Beach, eat at the 4.5-star Cafe Campesino, and do other local activities.  But of course, things don’t always go as planned.  On our hunt for Panther Beach, the two of us got lost and instead stumbled upon a cliff that was about a quarter mile from our expected destination.

The cliff overlooked the Santa Cruz coast–such an amazing view!  Standing atop, you can see the ocean water fade into different hues of blue and the stratified layers alternate in the brown and orange on the surface of the boulders.  200 feet below, you can catch glimpses of the waves colliding into the shores and seagulls scavenging for fish.  Sometimes, getting lost isn’t such a bad thing!
While on the cliff, we spotted Panther Beach and started to make our way to it, passing an abandoned railroad track and graffiti’ed signs along the trail.  There was a steep pathway from the dirt entrance to the beach that had accumulated college party remains from previous nights. Beer bottles and lost sandals were discarded on various parts of the beach.
Excited by the Santa Cruz wonders.
The moment Justin and I passed the debris, I stripped off my sandals and ran like mad.  I jumped into the freezing water, soaking my feet into the wet sand and chipped sea shells.  I felt completely alive.  The ocean breeze pressed against my body, swaying my dress, as the sun illuminated the skies.
Under Panther Beach’s arch.

The isolation felt comforting.  Lying there in the open vastness, everything else seemed so trivial—my rising goosebumps, my phone battery drainage, my quenching thirst.  Even sitting on the sand, hearing nothing but the waves rushing onto shore, the entire world seemed tranquil.

Being in solitude with nature is rejuvenating for the soul.  It brings clarity, peace of mind.  Until next time, Santa Cruz.


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