Tourists In Our Own City

This Way to San Jose!

Have you ever driven by somewhere on your way home and wondered what was inside or wanted to go to that one place the tourist go, when they visit the city you live in? Well that’s exactly what we did, so put on your Hawaiian tourist shirt and strap on your camera because it’s about to get adventurous up ahead!

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The first stop was The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. It is a tourist destination, one I recommend reserving the first appointment, if your visiting on the weekend.imageOur tour started at 9:12 AM; odd time but then again it’s Santa Cruz. Our tour guide gathered our group of 12 around and explained the history behind the Mystery Spot. After a few corny jokes, we walked up a gradual hill, that was surprisingly tougher than it should have been…strange! Once we reached the top, we came upon a tilted house. We still don’t really understand, but once we were at the top of this hill, it had a gravitational pull and you appeared to be sideways. It was crazy, you could lean forward and not fall, it was definitely a…MYSTERY???imageAt the end of the tour they gave each person a yellow, Mystery Spot bumper sticker. It was one of those places we will only go once, but it was worth going; checked that off our tourist list!image

Next we went to The Buttery, a delicious bakery. It was packed, with people everywhere and two lines on either side. We quickly realized you needed a number for the pastry side, so we grabbed one and looked in their cases of amazing: pastries, cakes and pies. I picked out what I wanted and Jackson waited for his number to be called, while I went to the other side to order breakfast (this side doesn’t require a number). I ordered a cruisant breakfast sandwich and a vanilla latte. We sat outside and split everything. It was amazing, not a crumb was left; we will definitely be returning!image

We drove home to change into shorts, hopped onto our cruiser bikes and went to our next destination. We rode up to an Egyptian Museum with beautiful gold doors and giant, blue and white columns.imageWe have gone by this museum countless times, so we were curious as to what was inside. The docent explained that it was the largest Egyptian Museum on the West Coast and we were free to roam around the meseum and gardens, with our receipt being proof we paid. Jackson and I aren’t big museums goers, but we enjoyed looking at the history and how the Egyptians lived. It only took us about thirty minutes to walk through the museum and then we exited outside to explore the grounds. The gardens were beautiful and the Peace Garden was my favorite.image

After a few photo ops, we were back on our bikes and on the road to lunch. Our friends the night before told us about a new German bar, Ludwig’s German Table. It was not on the itenerery, but a true adventure has twists and turns at every corner. We pulled up to the bar and immediately thought it was a cool place, two historic ajoining houses with a large outdoor patio and lots of seating. It was a hot day, so we were happy to sit inside. The owner greeted us at the door and the decor was not what we expected, modern and beautifully decorated in navy and white. The owner said to pick our seats and he recommended my drink, a refreshing Ludwig’s House Hugo and he helped Jackson pick a German beer.imageWe split the pretzel to start and had the Jäger Schnitzel (thinly pounded chicken breast drizzled with mushroom cream sauce) and a side of fries for lunch; Jackson and I loved everything! The the owner was fantastic; he shared about beer week, he invited us to an upcoming event at his restaurant and even gave us a private tour of the German Hall amidst his restaurant. We have already been back and brought friends to enjoy the hot, new bar in town.

Our last stop was a continuation of our anniversary, a very romantic evening at The Grandview Restaurant. Before we got out of the car I had an anniversary gift hidden in the backseat for Jackson. It was our favorite wine, a 2007 (our wedding year) Jordan Cabrenet. Later at dinner we decided to drink this wine for every anniversary, it’s that good!imageWe sat outside and the view was breathtaking. Jackson and I enjoyed our slow paced meal, with romantic Frank Sinatra music playing and the food was mouthwatering at every course. It was very quiet outside and there were only two other couples, which made the experience more intimate. Towards sunset it started to get crowded and the patio was full by the time we left. imageWe enjoyed their famous cheesecake for dessert and watched the sun set on the balcony, arm in arm. It was a perfect way to end an amazing day of firsts.image

I encourage you to be a tourist in your own city and explore the area you live in; an adventure with your significant other will never disappoint!

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