Voted the World’s Best Seaside Park

The Plunge, 1951

When I was 5 years old my Grandparents, Amy & Dick Luke, took me to the Salt Water Plunge, to learn how to swim! I remember walking down a long set of stairs from our Vacation Cottage up on Beach Hill, holding on to Grandmother’s hand. Then we walked along the beach and entered this big building with an arched ceiling that echoed with the sounds of laughter and whistles.

One of the most vivid memories was the smell! Hot, steamy salt water has a definite odor, but I got used to it quickly. Grandmother walked down some step into the water with me hanging on like a clam! She told me the salt water would help me float and sure enough, soon I was on my back with Grandmother pulling me through the water!!

The whistles I soon found out were from the life guards who were working to calm down the hyper-active kids that just couldn’t keep from running, jumping & splashing.

After swimming we took showers and dressed to go ride on the Merry-Go-Round!! I wasn’t tall enough to grab the rings, so my Grandfather grabbed them for me for me and threw them through the Clowns mouth!

After a fun day of rides and cotton candy and playing in the sand, Grandfather would go back up the hill and bring down his big car to take us back to the Cottage. I remember he always had wonderful wrapped salt-water taffy in his pockets for me. It was fun to have them tuck me into my own little bed after having some warm hot chocolate.

Little did I didn’t know then, that I would come back to Santa Cruz, several decades later and start a Vacation Rental business that would continue to provide wonderful memories for other families at the Beach Boardwalk!


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