Nomad Christmas: Part 2 – Santa Cruz, CA

Our road trip north was a trial run for an epic national parks road trip I hope to have sometime soon.   Leaving from Malibu, we made our way towards Santa Cruz.

 

I put together a travel guide for both my kids for our road trip.  I included a kid-friendly map, some pictures all about the State of California and some road trip scavenger hunt sheets so they can keep a look out for what they have seen instead of being glued to iPads the whole trip.

First leg was smooth, we were able to see some of the Thomas Fire devastation along the way, it was terrible to see so much scorched land.  We stopped in Pismo Beach for a quick lunch of In N Out and a park pit stop.  Perfect way to get the wiggles out.

 

Upon arriving, we got to spend time with one of our favorite families.  Thank you so much for hosting us and mostly loving on my children.

We wasted no time exploring, first stop was Monterey Bay Aquarium, a family favorite.

 

I get asked a lot why I support certain animals facilities and not others.  The plain fact is they vary so much from one to another – whether it be a focus on conservation and education vs just making money (ahem, SeaWorld) Monterey does a fantastic job being a leader in Ocean Health and especially the impact of plastics.

And next up was seeing the tall trees of Nicene State Park. Bonus points for finding a swing over the creek.  It was wonderful to smell the fresh air that you really only get in the middle of the forest.

 

I did get to try a few new things before the year’s end as well.  One was visiting a float spa.  Basically you float in a pod of perfectly temperate salt water in the absence of stimuli.   It took me a few minutes to quiet my mind, but I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxing it was and how much quality thinking I was able to do.  Thank you Sage Float Spa of Capitola.

 

It was a quick few days but such good ones for the soul.   Family, fun, and all the feels.   Next up, the final leg in Oregon.

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