One of the many great things about living in Santa Cruz is that it’s never difficult getting people to come visit. Friends and family seem to jump on the invitation, and who can blame them? We live in one of the most awesome cities in the world! Beautiful weather and beaches, the redwoods, great shopping, scenic drives, the sound of crashing waves at night, and who doesn’t love to walk west cliff to watch some world-class surfing?
I vividly recall the first day I moved here about ten years ago, driving past The Point and thinking to myself, doesn’t anyone work around here?! It was mid-week and mid-day, and the street was packed with people, just hanging out and talking to each other on the bluff. I had moved from a small California city that could easily be categorized as a ghost-town between the hours of nine a.m. and five p.m. Why? It was because people worked “regular jobs” with “regular hours.” To someone like me, Santa Cruz seemed like a scene plucked from an old episode of The Twilight Zone. In the decade since, I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me the same question: “Doesn’t anyone work around here?” Friends and family visiting from out of town, and most recently, a couple I have never met before. I was taking some photos at Steamer Lane when a man and woman approached me (they told me they were from Missouri). They wanted to know why there were so many spectators out in the middle of the day–perhaps there would be a surfing contest? I smiled and explained that it was just a normal day out there, and no special event had drawn the crowd. “Well, what about work? Don’t people work around here?” I am sure I grinned from ear to ear as I answered, “I used to wonder the same thing.”
Being a resident of Santa Cruz County, I feel grateful every single day to live here. Sure, I pay more than the average American for our home. Sure, my husband has to drive over the hill every day to get to work. Yes, it is often frustrating trying to drive through town during the “high season.” Without question though, it’s completely worth it. I used to only take jobs that I could work at night, which afforded me the opportunity to bum around the beach all day. I know many people who do the same, or work in grocery stores, coffee shops, and surf shops….all of which afford a certain amount of flexibility. When a large swell comes in, there seems to be an unspoken understanding in which we all can agree on one thing: the people of Santa Cruz don’t live to work; we live to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and everything else will surely fall into place. Don’t get me wrong– the locals work hard in order to live here; but I think it’s commendable that we don’t take for granted how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful sanctuary. And by the way, apparently people don’t work in San Francisco either!! Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8vJgYQU_lY
Article by: Sherida Robertson