Me and my beachwear.
Over the summer, Kendrick’s friend at work told him about a beach town not too far from us called “Capitola.” He said it had a cute downtown, great restaurants, and a cafe right on the water where you can sit and get a drink while you watch the surfers. We’ve been meaning to go forever, but because we have spectacular timing we decided to wait until November. To go to a beach town.
We checked the weather (about 60, but we figured it’d feel colder right by the water), and bundled up for what we imagined as a cozy afternoon of wandering through the village and window-shopping. I’d spent some time that morning scrolling through my Instagram feed and getting all misty-eyed after seeing photo after photo of New England leaves, so I put on a “hooray it’s fall” outfit: plaid button-down, bellbottoms, and lace-up (heeled) combat boots.
And a hat. And a blanket scarf.
This was, needless to stay, not exactly the correct choice of attire for what turned into a full-on beach day. Weather.com really needs to up its game, because we arrived to 70-degree air and warm water, and all our son wanted to do was run immediately down to the ocean, take off his clothing, and fling sand in the air while screaming “I’M THE MUD GOD!”
So obviously that is what we decided to spend the afternoon doing. I took off my hat and my scarf and my heels (I mean, REALLY, self?), rolled up my bellbottoms into an approximation of shorts, scooped up my daughter, and followed Indy into the waves…where we stayed for the next two hours.
(The bellbottoms ended up falling down over and over and over and I ended up completely soaked straight up to my thighs. I solved this problem by taking off my pants and sitting in one of the beach chairs that we conveniently keep in our trunk with my hat casually set in my lap – you know, “covering my bathing suit bottom” – while trying to get my jeans to dry out in the sun. They did not dry out; not even a little bit. And the people behind us definitely saw my butt. But ’twas a small price to pay for a pretty epic afternoon.)
Eventually we did manage to pry our son away from the sand with promises of ice cream, and – wet pants and all – we headed into town in search of food. We peeked into the beautiful bars and restaurants overlooking the water, but then Goldie passed out in her stroller and Indy declared that he wanted sushi (me, too). So we ended up tucked into the back room of a quiet “sustainable sushi” restaurant called Geisha with roll options so interesting that it took us a full half hour to make our way through the menu. We ended up ordering a bunch of delicious (if occasionally odd, with “oooo-nagi” subbing in for apparently non-sustainable unagi, and lots of vegan options) rolls, plus the single strangest piece of sushi I’ve ever eaten in my life: albacore wrapped around scallop, with a tiny raw quail egg sitting on top. (I nibbled it and wasn’t a fan; Indy inhaled it.)
Other cool finds: Souza, an ice cream shop straight out of 1955 where the proprietor psychically knew exactly what Goldie would want (a wafer cone with a teaspoon-sized scoop of strawberry ice cream, a pile of whipped cream, and rainbow sprinkles) and wouldn’t let us pay for it, an all-suite boutique beach motel with a rainbow exterior overlooking the water, and the awesomely cool Gallery 1, where the proprietor sells custom signs that he makes out of his massive collection of vintage license plates. (I want one so badly, and they’re so reasonably priced I may actually end up going for it. If you want one too you can give Todd a ring at 831-291-0522.)
But the best spot? Back on the beach while the sun went down. We ordered glasses of wine from the beachside bar, lifted our kids over the driftwood wall onto the sand, and gave names to the seagulls.
We were “supposed” to get back in time to go grocery shopping before bedtime, and my jeans were still sand-filled and soaked. We stayed right were we were anyway, playing with sticks until it was too dark to see anything but the lights on the water.
(The scarf came in handy, after all.)