Saturday, June 27, 2009

Giants Game, Big Basin Redwoods, Santa Cruz

very broad title, I know.

Jonathan's parents came to visit for a week, so we did a mix of new and old things. They did visit Napa Valley and Gilroy Gardens without us, but here's the first post of things we did together!

We took the Caltrain into San Francisco to catch the Giants play the Rangers at AT&T Park. We caught the bullet train up, but the regular train back, so it was interesting to compare the length of the trips on different trains. Jonathan had gotten the tickets from work, and we had seats in the nosebleed section near third base. The game itself was pretty interesting, and fast! In two hours we were already in the bottom of the 6th inning (we left so it wouldn't be after midnight when we got home). There were a couple homeruns, and they are of particular interest in this stadium because the players can hit the balls into the San Francisco Bay (one of the two made it, and a "splash hit" counter shows there have been 48 others). There were a few other good plays as well. I was excited that we were able to squeeze in this event, since I've been trying to get a lot of things in before we end up moving again soon.
view of the Bay Bridge heading into the gameview of the Bay Bridge heading out of the gamethe Coke bottle is a playground! Lou Seal climbed up and hung out in our section!
Big Basin Redwoods State Park was a little more than an hour away from our apartment. While there was no traffic on the way there (there were hardly any cars at all headed our way), the park itself was full, and within an hour of our arrival, parking was pretty scarce. It was kind of chilly, and we decided to take a 4-mile loop-hike to see the Sempervirens Falls. We were going along, snapping photos of the giant redwoods, and the trail was fairly easy.
it is estimated that this tree sprouted in 544 CE!
However, after about a mile, it ran parallel to the road, and only about 25 feet up. People walking the road were talking about the falls, and we found out that you actually need to get off the trail and onto the road to see the falls. So, we got off when they merged, and went to see the falls. They were kinda puny (we knew in advance they'd be just 17 feet), with the falls themselves being gutter run-off style. We actually decided to walk the road back instead of do the rest of the loop, and took more photos on our way back.

After the park, we drove to Santa Cruz. Jenny, a friend of Jonathan's since the first day of college, was there visiting her parents, so we met up with her at the wharf. It was neat to see a Pacific Ocean beach, sea lions, and learn about the area and the fishing industry there. We also got to see the Santa Cruz boardwalk (there are many commercials on television for it), which looks about as expected. It's a neat idea to have the park so close to the water though. We had a late lunch at Gilbert's Seafood Grill, where every table had an oceanview. Jonathan and Jenny both really enjoyed the New England clam chowder. I really wanted to get the Shrimp Melt, but the mushrooms were cooked with the shrimp, so I went with the Fisherman's Pasta. It was well worth the money, and I'm certain that if you love fish, you'd enjoy it greatly. There were probably four kinds of fish in it, plus GIANT scallops and a few shrimp. The pasta was fettuccine, and the saucy was a white cream sauce with very little cheese. I had half boxed up, and enjoyed the reheated leftovers with extra cheese. Jonathan had the Stuffed Salmon special of the day, which was stuffed with crab and shrimp, covered in hollandaise sauce, and served on top of asparagus and mashed potatoes. He enjoyed it quite a bit, and took the leftovers home. Jonathan's mother had the snapper (very fresh!), served with a vegetable medley and a fantastic rice pilaf. Jenny ordered the same. Between the view, the service, and the ability to watch the sailboats come in and the sea lions play, it was really a fantastic restaurant that we'd all recommend!
Jonathan's dishmy dish

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