A day at the Boardwalk from Ellen Frasheski on Vimeo.
A little over a week ago, just after I broke my wrist we spent a grand day at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. I have such fond memories as a young teen going here with our church's Youth group and also with friends as we lived about 30 to 40 minutes from it. It has the old clackity clack Roller coaster, The Giant Dipper that was such a thrill. My favorite place at the boardwalk was the Fun House. You could stay in there as long as you wanted. There were funny "Ocean Waves" that went up and down that you had to cross. a spinning tunnel you went through which I usually laughed myself silly trying to go through, at the end a big blast of air would come up under your feet and we would all scream. There were the mirror "walls" to see how funny you could look, short, fat, skinny, tall, stretched, all quite entertaining to us. Once past those areas was a large room that had several areas we could use. A long row of slick wooden slides to race down on burlap sacks. I could do that over and over! A spinning disk that you had to try and stay on as it went faster and faster. No standing for obvious reasons. I don't know what year they removed it but what a loss to have it close. Probably for safety they would say.
We have brought our children to the Boardwalk a few times over the years when they were young though I am sure it has been 10 years since our last time. It is free to walk around and only the rides you need tickets or wristbands. Since I was only a looker I enjoyed the families, smells of popcorn, the deep blue sky, the happy faces everywhere I looked. I wished I could catch the brass ring on the old Merry-Go-Round, to ride on a painted horse with real horse hair mane and tail. As a little girl the horse I would pick I would imagine was real as we went round and round, in my mind we were galloping faster and faster. A little girl has to dream!
Rides have come and gone, games to play and prizes to be won. I especially liked the Horse race game because of the prize of the different sized metal horses you could win. I don't remember how the game was played only that beyond where you sat was a wall that had a faux racetrack on it where the wooden horses moved based on your skill at the game. I won many little statues but didn't save any of them. There has been a miniature golf indoors as long as I can remember but as a kid we didn't want to waste our time doing that because of the rides and the beach.
The beach is lovely here. A long and wide beach with perfect curling waves for those who wanted some water time between rides. I saw a few girls with there boyfriends in bikinis and board shorts the day we were there just like when I was a teen. Flipflops are the shoe of choice here and I saw several rides that did have a cubby area for your shoes and bags. This day we did not plan on a beach day thinking about how much time we would have and not sure what the weather would be. It was a gorgeous day however that would have been great for beach fun with a picnic. Next time and maybe even an overnight stay would be a treat.
Food....Fried Twinkies, Sno-cones where you could do your own flavors, Clam Chowder in a mini round sourdough loaf scooped hollow as a bowl, soft-serve ice cream dipped in chocolate, corn dogs, hot dogs, cotton candy, falafels, candy, big rainbow colored lollypops that could take a good hour to finish, salt water taffy, chocolate, coffee (which seemed odd but on a foggy day could be welcoming), turkey legs, garlic fries, pizza, just an amazing variety for everyone to choose from. Two of our group decided to go across the street to a small Mexican restaurant where they got some delicious tacos with homemade everything on them to go. I really wished I had gotten that. If only I had known they were considering that option.
None of the family went on some of the rides I secretly yearned to go on. Yes, the Merry-Go-Round would have been done at least once and more likely three times. The Cave Train because it is so hokey with the caveman / dinosaur theme with the goofy Flintstone feel. I could have done the kid ride Freefall which is a tame version of the Doubleshot which is a free fall that goes up and down multiple times that would make me sick. The kids and parents on the kid version were having a blast! Yes, the Boardwalk made me happy that day, broken wrist and all. I was pleased to see how clean everything was. You notice the small details when all you can do is watch.
I thought of many songs throughout the day. Mumbo Jerry's song "In the Summertime" when I heard it at one of the rides made me think of me at 13. Wildly running from ride to ride with my girlfriends, laughing and having the time of our life without our parents around. Then the old song "By the Beautiful Sea" came to me.
By the sea, by the sea by the beautiful sea
You and I, you and I, oh how happy we'll be!
When each wave comes a-rolling in
We will duck or swim,
And we'll float and fool around the water.
Over and under, and then up for air,
Pa is rich, Ma is rich, so now what do we care?
I love to be beside your side, beside the sea,
Beside the seaside, by the beautiful sea!