Saturday, July 31, 2010

Boardwalk Taste on a Baltic Ave. Budget

While the Bay Area’s attention was focused on the Gilroy Garlic Festival last weekend, we decided to go to the beach.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a great place to people-watch, enjoy the weather, and entertain oneself without too much damage to the wallet. Its rides, games, and carnival fare hark back to a less electronic era when recreational pursuits engaged all of one's senses.

We arrived during the early afternoon when it was cool and overcast. I found a parking place by the Boardwalk and dropped $4.50 into the meter. Your humble (and cheap) correspondent refuses to pay $11 to the all-day lot when his visit will only last three hours.

We strolled down the Boardwalk to the old casino. Originally built in the decade before the Roaring 20's, its target customers were the young, well-heeled, and fashionable who wanted to carouse all night. A century later the complex has been renovated to appeal more to toddlers than flappers.

We couldn't resist trying the Pirate-themed indoor miniature golf course that had audio-animatronic special effects, fluorescently lit "night" holes, and, best of all, undamaged putting surfaces.

The sun had burnt away the fog after we had finished the 18th hole, and the beach began filling up with sunbathers, swimmers, and surfers. During my salad days I would have eagerly hopped onto the Giant Dipper roller coaster, but on this day the sedate Sky Glider provided more than enough thrills as it ski-lifted us above the Boardwalk. We got back to the car just before the meter expired.

Herewith the final cost of our day trip:

Parking         $4.50
Mini-golf       10.00
Sky glider       6.00
Train ride        8.00
Gas (6 gals)  18.00
Food              15.60

Total           $62.10

1 comment:

Rachel E. said...

Wow! You're up late tonight, uncle.