Sunday, December 28, 2008

2 Trips

The winter holidays were filled with some memorable trips the last 2 years but with work playing spoilsport this year for both the wife and me, the only traveling we did was between our home and our respective offices. But we did manage to keep the travel tradition alive by squeezing in a day trip (more like a half-day trip since we left only after lunch) to the Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz on Christmas.

We first stopped at the Monarch Butterfly Preserve that is part of the park. The preserve has a short walk and a resting area where the butterflies are supposed to rest during the winter months before heading out with the onset of warmer weather in March/April. The park's brochure raised our hopes with eye-catching photos of colorful butterflies hanging in clusters from the trees. But all we saw were a few butterflies flitting around in the air and we spent the rest of the time squinting at clusters up in the trees and arguing about whether they were butterflies or simply dry leaves. We told ourselves that the rain and the wind had driven away the butterflies but one of the other visitors who seemed like a regular did mention that there had been a poor show the last few years.

Then we walked down to the beach to the Natural Bridges, which are essentially rocks jutting out of the ocean. There were supposedly two of these natural structures originally - hence the 's' in Bridges - but one of them collapsed in 1995, leaving the one that is standing now. With the setting sun, the dark clouds and the ocean forming the backdrop, the 'bridge', with the view of the ocean through its hollow center, looked gorgeous though. But we could enjoy the view for only 10 minutes or so since it started raining again, forcing us to run back to our cars.

Yesterday night, we went to Vasona Park for their famous Fantasy of Lights. The entire park was decorated with lights and several animated displays created out of twinkling lights dotted the landscape. We drove through a designated route with the displays on both sides of - and sometimes across - the road. The dinosaurs, a volcano, a ship and a gloriously lighted-up arch were particularly impressive and the cute displays, like a koala swinging on a candy cane and Santa playing basketball, were big hits too. The drive inside the park takes about 20 minutes with about 15 minutes (I've heard could be longer depending on the time) wait time to reach the park's entrance itself.

Happy Holidays...


At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

am glad that u and your family had a fun weekend in spite of your busy work schedules...

wish you, your family and all bbthotians a wonderful and joyous 2009!

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Kay said...


The Natural Bridges monumnent is where a little 11 yr old boy got caved in by a sand avalance about 3to 4 months ago. Very scary..


At 10:52 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, thanx. and wish u and ur family the same :)

kay, oh, don't remember reading about that. sad and yes, very scary.


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