I promised myself I wouldn't subject anyone masochistic enough to enjoy pushing through my Monday posts to yet more "I feel like crap today" exposition.
But I lie to myself all the time...and I feel like crap.
So there. That information is the key to the fulfillment of all your hopes and dreams, I'm certain.
This weekend featured little in the way of party-boy antics for yours truly, as I was engaged in the initial re-visitation of an activity that will likely become an annual family tradition...
That would be the summer beach picnic, out in Santa Cruz. Home to legions of surfers, skaters, hippies and at least one blogger, Santa Cruz is one of the most awesomely strange places in California. Combination burrito stand/head shops...a massive full-pipe for junior to play on...rabid seals (OK, I'm lying about the seals being rabid, but their never-ending barking might drive you crazy)...Santa Cruz is loaded with stuff absolutely worthy of "lookee here."
Anyhow, my immediate/extended family and friends caravaned down to the Boardwalk from San Jose Saturday morning. I swear I crack a dopey, ear-to-ear grin every time I go to Santa Cruz. It seems like the type of place where children receive school-issued jars of glow in the dark silly putty on the first day of class. As we drove toward parking near the Boardwalk Casino Arcade, I marveled at how different everything felt.
I mean, up is still up and down is down in Santa Cruz, but it has this tangible, almost-alien vibe. It feels almost like the town has a secret side only known to the locals. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that if you stay past midnight, everyone turns into donkeys that bray at the moon - all still sporting shorts and bikini tops. Or maybe the town is full of gay-looking vampires that prowl the Boardwalk looking for beach keggers. I have an overactive imagination as it is. Combining Santa Cruz with that imagination is comparable to allowing a 10-year-old to wash down No Doze with Mountain Dew.
I must note that being the genius I am, I forgot to bring my camera. As to not take credit for pictures I didn't actually take, I'm letting you know I "Googled" these pics. They are accurate representations of what I saw though. Next time I'll be more prepared, I promise. These are things I saw and heard at the Boardwalk that are probably only interesting to me...
- Kiddie Rides: a Boardwalk staple
These are miniature versions of rides that typically cater to boys between the ages of 16 and 16-and-a-half. All of them primarily involve spinning you around at high speeds until you either blow chunks all over the person behind you, or you're so dizzy you couldn't walk down the Golden Gate Bridge without falling over the side. Take all that fun, then work the same magic that gave the world bite-sized Snickers, and you get "Rock & Roll." Obviously, it's a music-themed ride. If you have a Peeping-Tom's eyes or a magnifying glass handy, you can see the awesome music-themed mural at the top. It features several of the hottest musical artists adored by children everywhere. That's 'tween favorite Elvis Presley rockin' out on a mean guitar on the left. To the right of Mr. Presley is the "Private Dancer" making every little boy swoon, Tina Turner. And further right are the king and queen of the kiddie Jazz and Latin pop scenes, Louis Armstrong and Gloria Estefan. Kids will no doubt know this is the ride for them. My sister's stepkids will testify.
- Giant donuts aren't popular in Santa Cruz
I saw, about two dozen of the biggest, baddest donuts God ever allowed to grace this green Earth. I really should kick my own ass for not having a camera on-hand to document those warlocks. They were at least as big as the wheels on your average Toyota. I wondered aloud to my sister, "Why aren't people buying these bad boys? They only cost, like a nickle apiece." Then I got my answer when a saw a mosquito...imprisoned in the gooey glaze of one of the display donuts. "At least he died happy," I said. Then I spotted the ice cream stand.
- Grandmas are apparently magic
Remember this guy? A young version of Tom Hanks makes a wish on this machine in the movie "Big" and presto...instant hairline issues. Anyhow, the Boardwalk folks, intent on one-upping Zoltar in terms of pay-for-play wisdom and mystical potency, have their own spin on this at the Casino Arcade named "Grandma Says." It featured an animatronic crone that looks like the type of old woman that would take all of the money she tricked out of everyone dumb enough to give her any, and go hit the nickle slots in Vegas. Since when do grandmas grant wishes? I mean, if you wish for fruitcake or cookies, their powers might prove quite formidable. It's when you're trying to wish away foreclosure on your home that things get tricky. Since I'm apparently a dumbass, I wished to be a kid again and waited and waited, but nothing happened. After playing video games and eating ice cream for over an hour, I gave up waiting and ran back to the beach to make a sand castle.
This is just a mere taste of last weekend's nuttiness. To be continued...