Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Monday, November 4, 2013

Celebrating in Santa Cruz

Song -  Happy Birthday by the Beatles

My best friend, Jill and I headed to Santa Cruz this last weekend to celebrate her birthday (and it was a biggie too!) But that's all I'm lips are sealed!

In our younger years.....

On Saturday morning we headed to my parents cabin in the beautiful Redwood forest about 5 min. North of Santa Cruz.

We unpacked the car and headed out for lunch and to watch the surfers at Steamer Lane.

 There were an awful lot of birds, especially Pelican's flying East in formation.

 They kept flying overhead constantly.  Thousands of them.

Then we were off to Natural Bridges State Park to hopefully see the Monarch Butterflies.

From October through March they rest in the Eucalyptus trees at the park.

At first we just saw a few.

They were happily sunning themselves before they rested for the winter (after all some of them had flown all of the way from Canada!).

There is a wooden walkway that takes you through the forest and towards the Monarch resting area where there is a large deck where you can lay down and watch these beautiful creatures gently float and flutter above.

You try to see where they are landing in the trees.

But when you look around all you see is some dead brown clusters of leaves.

And they move a little and you wonder, is it really bunches of brown leaves......

Actually they are Monarch butterflies hanging together for protection and warmth.

I just wish I could transport you there, it was so amazing, beautiful and relaxing.

And quiet too because we all had on our Butterfly Voices!!!

Jill and I then headed to the mountains for some wine tasting.  In Soquel we went to Bargetto's Winery where she is a club member.  There was a beautiful little creek running by the property and the Pistache tree's were all changing color in the warm fall air.

Thought about getting this one for someone near & dear to my heart.....

We headed into the mountains to do some tasting at Nicholson Winery that is located on the side of a sunny hill filled with grape vines changing color overlooking the ocean.

We sat outside and visited with the owners, the people working there and some of their next door neighbors.   But soon it was time to head home to the cabin & make some dinner.

I had brought down some Tortilla Soup which I had made last week.  We lit a fire, sipped some wine, ate some soup and played Canasta until 2 am!  Yipes!  But it was actually Daylight Savings by then so we REALLY only stayed up until 1.....doesn't that feel better?

On Sunday morning, we headed to Gayle's Bakery in Capitola.  All I can say is YUMM-O.

Try not to drool.....

Jill's sundried tomato Frittata

Jill's semi-heart shaped Latte

My quiche....., I'm getting ready to go back to Gayle's....soon....maybe tomorow....or tonight! good!

After all of that food we needed a long, long walk.  We headed over to Aptos and walked and walked and walked our little boodies off.  Then Jill took a "power nap" while I meditated and took in some wave action.

Still more and more was beginning to feel like the Hitchcock movie "The Birds"!

They were up in the sky.....

They were down low to the ground.....

They were in the water......everywhere!!!!

Later on at the cabin, I read that it's the Monterey Bay Pacific Flyway this time of year!

So much for Alfred Hitchcock & Tippi Hedren.

Back to the cabin for a doggie walk and a visit on the deck and figuring out where we were heading for dinner.  And Laili's in downtown Santa Cruz was just the ticket, with wonderful Mediterranean flavors.

But we ate our meal with so much love that I totally forgot to take some photo's.  Next time, I promise.

It was a Lamb shank & Chicken Kabobs......Cilantro Cesare Salad & the Mediterranean Appetizer Platter.  Mika got the lamb bone and she thought she had gone to doggie heaven.

It was a mighty good weekend.

Coming and going.

Happy Birthday dear friend.

The END.

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."  ~Rabindranath Tagore

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