It wasnt the usual sunset that Santa Cruz offers - but it was still the ocean, nice weather and the salty, feel good breeze that hugs you.

I have been to Santa Cruz 3 times in the last 8 months....Its a short drive from SF and if you take 
highway 1, stellar views! 
Its a surfing town, with a boardwalk and and old school amusement park right on the ocean.  There is wineries, hippies, loads of taco bars, surfboards, boogie boards, dumpy houses and million dollar homes everywhere.  Did I mention Seafood! And Tacos

Well - I checked into Bella Notte on a last minute deal - about 5 blocks from the beach.  This place was nice.  Great linens and just redone.  A small fridge for my just bought and picked strawberries..
Santa Cruz doesnt have much to offer for great accomodations.  The Dream Inn - but its super pricey...and then a couple B&Bs that are nice - but there is no mid level anything - so this was a great find.
Breakfast included.  www.bellanotteinn.com And it reminds me of my favorite disney movie - lady and the tramp

  I have been wanting to go to Soif Wine Bar- I went on a Tuesday night.  Walked in and its cool wood floors and open kitchen behind the bar said hello, high ceilings and differnet kinds of people everywhere...business men, hippies, young ladies, and old ladies.

I sat down and host was a rude little twit.  That Didnt start off great but the server was much nicer.  She explained it was Tapas Tuesday.  There was 5 items for only $3 a tapa!  What! I will have one of each!

Roasted beets with spinach and ricotta - delicious
Heirloom tomato with basil, ricotta salada and toasted pine nuts. - AMAZING - fresh delicious
Spanish Chorizo with green lentils and sauteed onions - really great texture
Toasted brioche, Jamon Serrano and quince paste - just ok
Piquilla Peppers stuffed with Manchego Cheese - Delicious - I think Piquillo peppers are my favorite pepper

Now - they had quite a selection of wine 
I decided on a rose bubble flight

allimont-Luagner from Alsace - pinot noir rose
Kogi from Slovenia (FIRST TIME) pinot noir brut
Val de Mer from Burgundy - pinot noir

My favorite was actually from Slovenia - WOW 

My wine flight was more than all of my food! Awesome!

Great local food, great wine and cool space.  Go check it out!  www.soifwine.com

Santa Cruz has NOT disappointed yet.  I also went to Beauregard WInery in Boony Doon - their pinot noir was tasty - the white blend and the chardonnay were not great.
www.beauregardvineyards.com 


I ran on the beach in the morning and went to Kelly French Bakery for a Jamon and cheese sandy - and of course a macaroon (they are just so pretty)
www.kellysfrenchbakery.com

Last stop on the way back up was David Bruce winery - THEY WERE CLOSED! NO


 


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