Beginning in 1957, my Grandmother Mamie started taking my brother, cousin and me to Santa Cruz each summer. Most years we would ride a Greyhound bus from Sacramento to Santa Cruz. We always stayed at a motel on Beach Street, though I cannot remember the name. Once I was old enough to drive, I started going to Santa Cruz as often as I could and have wonderful memories of swimming, surfing, eating at Ideal Fish Restaurant, being the first paying customer at Chateau Victorian Bed & Breakfast, running Wharf to Wharf each year for nearly 20 years while staying at the Chateau, finally getting enough nerve to ride the Giant Dipper (still with my eyes closed), having Clam Chowder at Beach Street Cafe. Many friends were made over the years and though we have lost touch over the years (Schaars, Benjamins), the memories are as fresh today as ever. Whenever I need sand between my toes, I still head to the Main Beach, walk the wharf and boardwalk and reminisce about a good portion of my youth spent never wearing shoes and another good portion of my adult years creating long-lasting fond memories.
And my Grandmother started it all!