The Mystery Spot

Today’s adventure started off at The Mystery Spot. Back in 1939, someone buying this land in Santa Cruz County, California discovered some odd properties. Many aspects of gravity and perspective don’t quite work the way you would expect. Is it real or is it a hoax? Many have analyzed it, but no one has proven exactly what is going on. The working theory is that a UFO crash landed on the site and the power plant is buried beneath the ground. To me, it doesn’t matter. It was fun!

After this adventure, we went to our friend Jim’s office to see just exactly what it is he does. The company provides machines used to prepare a substrate for use in making chips and circuit boards. One of Jim’s coworkers gave us a demo of how the machines work. They basically create a huge vacuum (close to what you find in deep space) to remove all of the impurities before laying down the material that forms the substrate. It’s all controlled by a Windows XP PC hooked into various process control components. let’s hope it doesn’ blue screen! 🙂

Mexican food? In California?

Of course, Mexican food in California. Darn good stuff too. We opted for El Palomar in Santa Cruz for pitchers of margaritas and maybe some food to go with that. 😉 The margaritas were quite tasty and so was the burrito de camerones (shrimp burrito). Now all I need to do is walk back to Aptos.

Mundane tasks on vacation and it’s still vacation

So I had to pick up a USB cable for my mp3 player and get some snacks to take with when hiking. It still feels like vacation. First stop was Santa Cruz Electronics to get the cable. You don’t find many electronics stores like this any more. Aside from the huge selection of parts, this store boasts (believe it or not) knowledgeable salespeople! Wow. The only problem was I didn’t have time to browse – it would have taken me hours and I don’t think anyone wanted to wait for me.

Next stop, Trader Joe‘s. If you’ve been to Trader Joe’s on the east coast, never, ever go to one in California. You’ll never want to go home! The one in Capitola is at least three times the size of the biggest Maryland store. And they sell wine – good, cheap wine!

We Made It (Summer Vacation – Day 2)

Better late then never. With all of the extra time available due to the flight change, we managed to make sure we didn’t forget anything and packed more than we really needed. So, we unpacked some. Talk about having too much time on your hands!

The flight to San Francisco was actually pretty nice. United’s Economy Plus give much more legroom than before. (I think they are worried about JetBlue!) They’ve started a new thing with charging for food. I’ve always thought it would be better if they charged a reasonable fee (probably more than they used to spend on food) and get better food. Well, it looks like they are figuring it out. For $5, you can get a snack assortment that included organic whole wheat crackers, Bumblebee lemon pepper seasoned tuna, hummus, Stacy’s pita chips, some Gouda, raisins, and a small Toblerone bar. Not too bad!

After barely navigating our way out of the San Francisco Airport car rental area, we made our way down to Aptos. Too bad it was too late to go to Manny’s (a great Mexican restaurant with excellent margaritas!). There’s always tomorrow. Today, we’re planning on brunch at Shadowbrook. Then we will be fasting for a while!

Stay tuned for pictures from Shadowbrook – a beautiful garden setting.

Summer Vacation – Day 1

Well, our summer vacation is off to a great start. Our flight was cancelled and we were booked on a flight 5 hours later. At least we found out before we left for the airport. So at least we don’t have to rush!

I guess there is no point in trying to have a nice late afternoon walk on Seacliff Beach today. 🙁