Earlier this year, when I first learned that I was going to be moving to San Francisco, a friend of mine told me about an excellent cider festival in Santa Cruz that she was going to and that I should join her. 5 months later the event was upon us and we were there.
My roommate and I drove down from San Francisco stopping at Stanford for a few hours in the early morning for my her appointment. While she was busy with work I went to the Stanford mall and realized it was very upscale and I was unable to afford anything besides a coffee from Starbucks. The mall itself was beautiful and amazing, mostly due to everything being outside. They don’t have enclose the entire mall within another building because the climate is so moderate. It made it great.
After walking into Bloomingdales, anthropology, pottery barn, and free people, and only stopping for the free drinks from teavana, we were back on the road again and headed again for Santa Cruz.
We arrived at the park the small festival was being held and met up with a few more friends, (one of them was the one who original told me about the occasion.) When we entered the grounds we were given small mason jars and a wrist band, and then were set free to go up to any booth that we wanted and try any cider that they were giving out. There was a live band playing and a lot of fun games set up in the middle of the lawn. Sadly I lost at giant Jenga (I still say it was because of the wind), but did incredibly well at corn hole.
Each stand had between 2-4 different ciders to try, and I tried a very large range of flavors. There was a lot of different berry cider, a good amount of hoppes cider, and even some barrel aged cider that was basically whiskey with some apples. There was everything from sweet apple juice to German sours. Bottom line, I am now an expert on all things cider.
We spend about two and a half hours there and then decided it was about time to go and grab some food. We made our way downtown and grabbed some not too terrible pizza and some excellent ice cream. Santa Cruz has a nice downtown area with a lot of cute shops and restaurants that aren’t too crowded.
Afterwards, because the day wasn’t nearly over yet. We headed to the famous Santa Cruz beach and boardwalk. The boardwalk was a mad house, but it was the first one I have ever been too (even just to walk through) and I was fascinated all the same.
After an eventful Saturday, I had a pretty relaxed Sunday to look forward too. We left Santa Cruz without a real rush, grabbing coffee and saying goodbye to friends, and drove along highway 1 back up the coast to San Francisco. It was beautiful and my roommate (being a local) knew just what beach to stop at and take a stroll down to the water.
I finally got to see the towering cliffs of Northern California on a warm day on the first of October. All-in-all, autumn has started out pretty well.