Ohana: Birthdays in Santa Cruz

This past weekend, the last weekend of July 2014, Nancy and I went to Santa Cruz California to celebrate Nancy and daughter Jessica’s birthdays together… along with extended family and friends. Jessie celebrated a milestone 30 years old, and Nancy made 61 years old. Nancy birthed Jessie at 31 years of age on her own birthday, so they share the same birthday together.

We stayed with Wende Stitt and her son Ben in their beautiful house on Chestnut Street in downtown Santa Cruz. We shared meals, went for morning walks along the Bay, collected firewood, had BBQs and bonfires in the backyard garden area almost every night.

We got to go to farmers markets, bringing back amazing organic food to grill and eat, highlighted by grilled home made jalapeno sausages. We also made poke Halibut with organic walnuts ginger, tamari and green and sweet onions, sweet and sour pigs feet with ginger garlic, bay leaves, apple cider vinegar with brown sugar onions and carrots and pineapple. We ate tasty, amazing heirloom tomatoes, basil, cheese and balsamic vinegar salads, toasted sourdough bread.

Ben, Geoff, Jessie, Nancy, George & Wende

Ben, Geoff, Jessie, Nancy, George & Wende

We shared breakfasts at both the Buttery and Gayles gourmet bakeries and a special birthday dinner at Cafe Cruz.

We even got to swim at the local high school pool.

Nancy hooked up with old friends and Dancing Cat co-workers Gail and Belinda.

She also went birthday shopping with Haley Brozeman who was also celebrating her birthday that was just the week before.

We met up with Ben Churchill (retired from Dancing Cat and now working as a construction dispatcher) and his son Dominic. They joined Haley, Nancy and Wende’s son Ben and we ate breakfast at the Walnut Cafe.

Nancy also took this opportunity to stalk her son, Geoffrey, working at the US Post Office in downtown Santa Cruz. And we spent time with Jessie’s boyfriend Thomas at his tattoo shop where he also does piercings.

Interestingly, I met amazing animals on this trip. A squirrel in Wende’s backyard, a possum, got to smell a skunk, saw sea lions and ahd a close encounter with a seagull. Taking this break afforded me the opportunity to people watch and I even got to watch the Santa Cruz recycling trucks in operation.

Just a weekend yet Nancy and I each gained about 10 pounds eating Wende’s fresh homemade blue berry, peach, nectarine and pineapple pies served with homemade lavender vanilla and sweet corn ice cream.  Yummmm.

-Uncle George


UPDATE: More Photos posted at:  https://kahumoku.com/2014-santa-cruz-birthday-photo-album/