Tuesday, September 09, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Day Three

In The Warm California Sun

I woke up at 9:00am to prepare for Day Three activities. I got the sunscreen, ate Saturday’s breakfast, and copied Friday and Saturday pics on a CD. I brought my laptop, change of clothes, and water. I thought about getting gas; unfortunately, I was Asian Late.

I arrived at Punkbuster’s hotel room at 10:15am. Punkbuster texted me checking if I’m OK. Punkbuster choose to wear glasses instead of contacts. Cool 8-) We took off at 11:00am to Santa Cruz. During the drive, Punkbuster told me there are very few green trees and plants in her home town and the area is mostly flat with a few hills here and there. She shared a story I vaguely remember about her friend driving on a hill and the road is so close to the edge she almost got in an accident or something. Regardless, I was scared hearing the story. And she told me the story how roads were built on hills in her home area with residential expansion. Great, residential expansion in today’s residential real estate market. Smart =p We also talked about our longest day of our lives. My longest day took place in August 2004 when my brother and his wife’s family got into a car accident in Barstow, CA going home from Las Vegas. I forgot Punkbuster’s longest day ~~ I told Punkbuster Santa Cruz has a city ban on big named retail stores. The only brand name stores in Santa Cruz as far as I’m concerned are Borders, Longs Drugs, and Circuit City. There are no Wal-Mart and Costco.

We arrived at Downtown Santa Cruz at 11:30am. We found parking in about 5 minutes. The parking garage we went was full and most of the street parking was full, too. We visited Borders, two comic book shops, and a game shop. Downtown Santa Cruz is like Downtown San Francisco. The difference is Downtown Santa Cruz is much smaller and much cleaner. Punkbuster saw a coffee shop Bad Ass Coffee and she took a picture. We walked half of Downtown and Punkbuster suggested we skip the other half of Downtown and go to the Boardwalk. Good call. We skipped the rest of Downtown and drove to the boardwalk.

Yay, Boardwalk

I drove around the other half of Downtown to complete the tour. We arrived at the boardwalk at 12:45pm. We parked across the arcade. Punkbuster saw In the Groove 2 and played one game. Punkbuster commented the games in the Bay Area are expensive to play. Punkbuster’s arcades are much cheaper.

We walked to Neptune’s arcade to play air hockey at 1:00pm. Bad news for me. I hit the puck really hard and the puck hit her left middle finger. Ouch! I was shocked and I immediately apologized. Punkbuster needed ice to reduce the swelling and I got the ice from the nearby food stand. I’m so sorry for hitting you.

After the accident, we took a walk around the Boardwalk. Punkbuster told me about the arcade hours. I said the arcade opened 24/7. Oops. Wrong answer. *takes a deep breath* The correct answer is the arcades are open year around and the rides are open seasonal. I must have been hungry =__= I asked Punkbuster if she wanted to walk on the beach. She said she hates sand. Oops. I misinterpreted her. I thought she wanted to visit the beach. I showed her the Giant Dipper, the roller coaster we planned to ride on later and the Cyclone ride which had an accident a few weeks ago. The weather was really warm, too warm. I expected cooler temperatures. I was sweating.

We ate lunch at 2:00pm with a coupon for a free corn dog with a combo purchase. Punkbuster likes corn dogs. I ordered the chicken sandwich combo. I forgot to tell the cashier to hold the mayonnaise. I asked Punkbuster to split the sandwich for fear my stomach acted up again. She said OK. When I opened my wallet to put the receipt in my wallet, I realized my Hitsugaya keychain broke. *cries* I’m happy I caught the keychain and I put the keychain in my bag.

I told Punkbuster one of my weaknesses is my guilty consciousness; however, I know when somebody takes advantage of my guilty consciousness. And it explained the continuous apologies for hitting her finger with the puck. I apologized too many times throughout our time in the Boardwalk. I realized later I should have shut up because it made me look worst saying sorry too many times ^^

At 2:50pm, we arrived at the Giant Dipper roller coaster. The ride requires six tickets or $4.50 per person. We waited about 15 minutes. Not too bad. We applied lip balm just before we seated. Then we rode the roller coaster. Full of fun. We saw our pictures at the end of the roller coaster. We looked funny, happy, and thrilly =)

Monterey, Monterey, It’s The California Livin’ . . .

We took off Santa Cruz and headed to Monterey to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium at 3:00pm. The first discussion was our physical turn-ons and a person’s outside is important as a person’s inside. For example, you met a person’s inside is adventurous; however, if the person’s outside doesn’t brush his or her teeth, why do you still want to pursue a relationship? The inside is more important than the outside is full of crap. We continued to talk about what size city we want to live. Santa Cruz population is around 52,000 and the size is suitable for me for a small city. We also talked about fate. Does each of us believe in fate? And are there different levels of fate from individual fate to world fate to universal fate? We also said that everyone has bright moments and that crap happens. Tell me about the crap happens ;) The weather was warm in Santa Cruz the air condition was on throughout most of the drive. Punkbuster took a nap towards the end of the trip. Punkbuster got a headache after The Giant Dipper roller coaster. She told me she gets headaches when she rides on a roller coaster ;__;

We arrived at the Monterey Bay Aquarium at 4:20pm after parking in one of the parking garages at Cannery Row. There was a good amount of people. The first exhibit we saw was watching the anchovies swimming in a circle shaped aquarium on the second floor.

At 4:30pm, we visited the jellyfish exhibits. Jellyfish is Punkbuster’s favorite sea animal which explains why she knew lots about jellyfishes. I said the Black Sea Nettle is not a jellyfish and Punkbuster corrected me. Black Sea Nettle is a jellyfish.

Then we visited The Outer Bay containing sea turtles, tunas, sharks, and barracudas. There was an upper section with seating to relax and enjoy the view from the top. I tried to take pictures from the upper section; unfortunately, there were too many people along the bottom for a good wide shot. We walked to the first floor and entered The Jellies: Living Art exhibit. There were more jellyfish and jellyfish art. I received information the Living Art exhibit is in its last year. Lucky! The Warty Comb Jelly aquarium inside the exhibit looked like space and the Warty Comb Jelly were floating aliens, LOL.

We went to the cafeteria at 5:40pm. I was kinda hungry from the light lunch at the Boardwalk. I ordered a hot dog, fries, and soda combo. The catering company providing the food is the same company at my workplace. Punkbuster patiently waited for me to finish eating and she took a rest. Both of us feel crappy when we are hungry. It’s never good to be crappy because misunderstands, miscommunications, and misbehaviors are prone to happen. I felt better and not tired. Energize :-)

The aquarium closed at 8:00pm. We had two hours. Plenty of time. We continued walking around and headed to the Kelp Forest. We stayed briefly and then walked outside and saw the wave exhibit. Then we went to the Touch Pools. We first didn’t want to touch the sea animals. We actually did. I forgot what Punkbuster touched. I touched a manta. Very smooth and slimly like.

The Monterey Bay Habitats and the Octopus were the next exhibits. I noticed a few families were behaving inappropriately. One family the son was cranky. He was tired. And another family the parents were arguing. They were tired and they embarrassed themselves. And then we went back to the Kelp Forest. The Coastal Birds exhibit was closed. I remember the bird exhibit in my 1998 visit. It’s really good. At 7:00pm, we walked to the second floor and visited the penguins and the children’s Splash Zone. The aquarium was almost empty during the last hour. Punkbuster and I saw each other through the display window at the penguins exhibit, LOL We took the stairs to the third floor where there’s nothing. We saw the top of the Kelp Forest exhibit where there’s lighting and the water pumps. We got pictures of the fish from Finding Nemo movie as we exited the children’s Splash Zone.

The last exhibit was watching the Sea Otters. The time was 7:30pm. We talked about skipping dinner because it was getting late and we were getting tired (-,-) Punkbuster had leftovers from dinner at my cousin’s Japanese restaurant. We shopped in the gift shop for souvenirs. I suggested purchasing a stuffed dolphin for Dragonzyez. Dragonzyez favorite sea animal is the dolphin. Punkbuster texted Dragonzyez and she said a stuffed dolphin is cool. I purchased a penguin magnet for the family.

Time To Go Home

Punkbuster and I met at the exit at 8:00pm and we walked back to the parking garage. We took individual pictures of the Monterey Bay near The Fish Hopper restaurant. We arrived at the parking garage and we were looking for the pay ticket machine. We could not find the machine and we walked back to the car. I looked at the map to find Highway 1 from the parking garage. The cashier is located at the exit. I paid the ticket and we headed back to Highway 1. We didn’t get lost *__* I made a comment there was no Monterey Police or Monterey Sheriff cars for me to take pictures. Punkbuster made a joke she take pictures of police cars in her home town.

We entered the freeway entrance approximately 8:15pm. We talked about our driving habits including why people slow down and look at accidents. Coincidently, there was a minor traffic accident on Highway 17 slowing down traffic. We asked each other if we wanted to move out of our home towns. We planned to stay where we live.

We continued talking about different topics. Another topic was how people have personal bubbles and some people stay in their bubbles for security. (Days after the vacation, I thought about my personal bubble. I believe we all have bubbles. Some people have bigger bubbles meaning more secure and personal and some have small bubbles meaning less secure and outgoing. Hmmm, another blog topic here.) One way to meet new people is become interested in others. Ask questions to the other person and learn who he or she is including school or career, hobbies, and favorite food. We talked about our young ages and what we want to do with our lives. Our current careers are not long-term. We asked ourselves what we wanted to do, and we have continued to ask ourselves what we wanted to do. We have time to think about our lives, yet we continue to say we have time to think about what we wanted to do with our lives. *sigh*

We talked about cost of living increasing and raising families are getting more expensive. How can families today raise their children; in particular, lower and middle class families? Oil prices currently are dropping; however, expect prices to go back up. We shared our opinions why oil prices were record highs in late June and early July. I told Punkbuster I enjoyed her music selections she gave me and I told her the times I listen to her CDs. Punkbuster told me about the slang “junk in trunk.” Punkbuster LOL when I thought junk in trunk meant too much junk in a car’s trunk. Wrong. It meant something else which I’m not going to mention *__*

The last topic we talked about was why some drivers ride the breaks when they drive down hills. You’re not supposed to. We made the drive funny on Highway 17 as we drove down the hills. If I braked, we said break, break, break, . . . . If I coasted, we said no break, no break, no break, . . . . If I accelerated, we said gas, gas, gas, . . . . I downshifted to 4th gear or 3rd gear when going downhill. Traffic was heavy on Highway 17. If there was little traffic, I coasted all the way downhill and downshifted when there was a sharp curve ahead.

Good Bye

Punkbuster and I arrived at her hotel room at 10:00pm. I stayed for 20 minutes copying today’s pictures to CD. We were exhausted, yet we had a ton of fun. We said good bye to each other and we thank each other for a fun and wonderful weekend.

Punkbuster drove back home around 10:30am on Monday and arrived home safely around 9:00pm.

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