66 hour spur of the moment adventure…part II

….Day two of my Aptos adventure

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Watsonville, the artichoke capital, is right next door….so you gotta buy them!

I again slept really well and enjoyed a leisurely morning with my coffee out on one of the decks.  One of the recommendations from my exchange hosts was the Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo College on Saturdays, so I thought I’d give it a go. There’s nothing like being with all the locals to make you feel like you belong.  I couldn’t resist all those gorgeous fruits, veggies, breads, cheese, homemade jams & almond butters…and quickly decided I was eating in again for dinner.

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fresh homemade pastas and sauces

 

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gorgeous berries
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fresh jams & butters
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the old Bay View Hotel in Aptos Village

I had made dinner reservations at the recommended Cafe Sparrow in Aptos Village, but seeing that I’d changed my plans I figured I should try it out for lunch. Aptos Village is just that, a quaint throw-back village with a few shops, an old hotel and a Starbucks, but I did make a pit-stop on the way to the village at Aptos center and found a few treasures. For lack of a better word, Aptos Center is a strip mall on Soquel Drive, but with much more charm, architecturally, than your average strip mall. It was a nice little place for a quick stroll through some shops before continuing on for lunch. Outside-In has some local artisan items, as well as the perfect hostess gifts and just generally a nice little store. I found a perfect little cross-body purse for my travels…

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how perfect is this for me…had to get it!

There’s also, Pacific Coffee Roasting, which is obviously a total local hangout…with a nice patio and some good coffee.

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…back to Cafe Sparrow! It’s a popular place. I arrived around 11:35, thinking I was early, but the place was packed, with one large party celebrating a Santa Cruz graduate. I ended up waiting around 20 minutes, which was actually a fun people watching activity. The menu looked really good, but I wasn’t super hungry after sampling all the wares at the farmer’s market & coffee at Pacific Roasting, so I opted for a menu item that looked like it would pack a lot of punch in a small package, the Fromage Baguette. It was described as “fresh baguette rubbed with garlic & topped with cheddar, gruyere and brie, broiled golden.”  It was perfection! How can you go wrong with 3 cheeses & garlic on a crusty baguette….and low-calorie too! I guess I’ll have to go back someday to get the recommended Surf and Turf menu item, which is a petite filet mignon with two crab cakes..yummy!

Another afternoon on the, now very crowded, beach was followed by the serenity of the roof top…writing and reading in my jammies enjoying my farmer’s market delicacies. Isn’t that what vacation getaways are about?…changing your plan as the day presents itself!

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needed the binoculars to spot a couple of whale spouts off the beach
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rooftop dining with a veiw & some farmer’s market finds

Woke up early on Sunday and took a more leisurely drive back home on the beautiful, coastal 101 freeway…arriving home in time to share a glass of vino and swap stories with my new home exchange friends, who stayed until Monday to avoid the Sunday traffic nightmare. These arrangements are called “hospitality” where you just invite them to stay while you are still at home. It was nice to get to know them, hear about their time in my home and share my time in theirs….again, WIN, WIN!!

Weekend getaways are so rejuvenating…and even more fun when you meet and share them with new friends!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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