Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is so cool. As the only remaining major seaside amusement park on the West Coast, the Boardwalk offers a unique combination of classic and modern rides, a sandy mile-long beach, and a variety of attractions. Fred W. Swanton, considered one of the greatest promoters and entrepreneurs of his time, laid plans for a casino and boardwalk — a “Coney Island of the West.”
This is my favorite seaside park. It has everything that memories are made of. The rides are all great for all ages. The Giant Dipper is one of the most exciting and smoothest coasters there is. Even though it was built in 1924, it's ageless. You can try and get the gold ring. How cool is that?.Riders on the outside horses can reach out and try to grab rings which then get tossed at the target which is a large clown's mouth. It is one of the only ring dispensers still operating in the world. Sometimes, riders keep the rings to remember their visit. How cool is that? The smell of the hot dogs, popcorn and sea air makes you never want to leave. At night the lights are beautiful.

The Carousel is a National Historic Landmark and local treasure. The hand-carved merry-go-round has been delighting adult’s and children’s memories since 1911. One of the greatest carousel carvers of all time, Master carver Charles I.D. Looff, delivered this hand carved beautiful carousel to the Boardwalk in 1911. Only five other intact Looff carousels remain in the United States.
The carousel music is provided from three antique band organs that are a special highlight of the Looff Carousel. The Boardwalk’s original Ruth & Sohn band organ has played alongside the carousel since 1911. The fully-restored antique received a beautiful new facade in 2009. In addition to the original Ruth organ, a rare Wurlitzer 165 band organ from the former Playland-at-the Beach amusement park in San Francisco now shares playing time with the Ruth. A smaller Wurlitzer 146 was added to the collection in 2011. 
The Looff Carousel and Giant Dipper roller coaster were both declared national landmarks in 1987.
The beach and boardwalk is a great place to visit. It’s a very cool place and is highly recommended.
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Aldo's Santa Cruz

Aldo’s, Santa Cruz Harbor is a nice place for a good breakfast or lunch. Service is terrific, and friendly. Parking fairly easy, bathrooms clean and spacious

It’s a classic laid-back Santa Cruz kind of place, with relaxed and friendly service. With that wonderful view, having a tasty breakfast or lunch & enjoying it with your dog, the feeling is wonderful and the food is good local, fresh seafood and more.
Local Rock Cod
It a great place. Guy Fieri thinks so. He did a complementary segment about Aldo’s on the Food Channel’s show, Drive ins, Diners and Dives. Guy seems to think the cioppino is the best, but I say, while it’s good, the local calamari, oysters and rock cod gets our vote. Good breakfasts too!
Fried Oysters and Chips
We dropped by for lunch and it was an awesome meal! We had the deep fried oysters & local rock cod, both fresh that morning & delicious! Especially liked the fresh-baked foccacia garlic bread; we soaked up every bit of the sauce with it & enjoyed the meal watching the sea life cavort in the harbor.
Entrance to Santa Cruz Harbor

Aldo's Santa Cruz has been there a long time and for good reason. They have delicious breakfasts, brunches and lunches. It's very casual. Most of the patrons sit outside on the deck overlooking the beautiful harbor. You can watch sailboats and power boats go in and out, and sometimes you’ll spot a sea otter or seal who has come into the harbor mouth to check things out.This place can be crowded on a sunny weekends, but it’s worth the wait. A very cool place.
Aldo’s, Santa Cruz is very nice and highly recommended.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mandarin Oriental SF

Room with a View

Stayed at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco. Got a wonderful Bay Bridge View Room that looked directly onto the Bay Bridge on the 42nd floor. Talk about cool. We could see the TransAmerica Pyramid, North Beach, etc.
View from the Bathroom

The MO occupies the top 11 floors of the 3rd tallest SF office tower in the City’s financial district. It’s in the perfect location to celebrate the new year. The beautifully remodeled hotel continues its well known excellence. 
The lobby area is modern, but warm and inviting. The hostess and managers are all very friendly, professional and well suited up for the occasion. 

The Bay Bridge
The bar area is nice, well lit, well stocked and the chairs are very comfortable. The bartenders are knowledgable and their menus come on iPads!
The iPad apps are pretty cool, you can add drinks to your favorite lists, browse drinks, browse wine menus, browse a lot of things and order from there. The service can't be beat, the drinks are well made, and the whole atmosphere is very, very nice.
Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill
There was also a cool jazz band that played as we had a champagne tasting experience which was fantastic. Tried a ’95 Krug, some of the nicest champagne I’ve ever tasted. Should be at $550 USD p/ bottle.
MO Bathroom
The Mandarin Oriental SF is the perfect place to base a good time in San Francisco. We’re already planning our stay for next year and look forward to the experience.
The Mandarin Oriental SF is very nice and highly recommended.
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