Beach bum destination: Capitola, CA
You should beach your bum in Capitola.
Smack dab in the middle of the California coast is a tiny beach town named Capitola, where colorful homes reminiscent of those in Murano and Burano, Venice line the beachfront of this quaint, coastal village. With Chloe fresh out of her finals-slump and me fresh out of the blizzard conditions of New England, we were eager to make our first stop on our California adventure on the beaches of Capitola.
Just a quick 45 minute drive from her home, we arrived to Capitola with the sunshine greeting us and the salt water beckoning. We found parking right by the beach and walked through the town taking note of each eatery and boutique we passed. We noticed an adorable cafe as we initially ventured into town, so we walked back to grab a morning bite at the Avenue Cafe. Considering we were there on a Monday morning, we were delighted to find that the cafe was open and we grabbed a table next to the window where the morning sun was pouring in.
We were both in the mood for a wholesome, delicious, slightly extravagant breakfast to kick off our week of beach days and road trips. We ordered the Florentine eggs benedict, a short stack of homemade pancakes, and two coffees. (I should mention that coffee was ordered many times throughout my trip in California, as Chloe and I enable each other’s addictions.) The eggs benedict was creamy, cooked to perfection, and overall decadent. The pancakes were hot, fluffy, and had the perfect sweetness to them that balanced out our savory egg dish. We cleared our plates in record timing.
I’m a sucker for the quintessential breakfast cafe vibe. But really, who isn’t? Sitting in this charming cafe, with its whimsical decor, delighted patrons and the smell of the ocean in the air brought me to realize all at once, I’ve actually made it to California.
Seated next to Chloe and I were two women into their 60s, who turned to us wondering if we were sisters. They, like us, were best friends, vacationing in the area they have come to love over the years. Chatting with them was effortless and enjoyable; they were in great spirits, perfectly fitting in with the rest of the cafe. When we left, they wished us luck in our travels. Chloe and I later joked that they provided a look into our own futures.
From the cafe, we strolled back through town and over to Zelda’s On the Beach to place a reservation for dinner on the deck later that evening. Although we took our visit to Capitola during the midst of the off-season, beach go-ers, families, and travelers alike flocked to the town to catch the first glimpse of the spring sunshine. The staff at Zelda’s was friendly, and were able to accommodate our desire to sit out on the deck overlooking the shore-- considering we were probably 1 party out of 12 that dined that night.
What made Capitola stand out in my mind was how much it transported me back to my time in Italy. Perhaps it was Chloe’s presence, or the feeling of having 0 responsibility besides choosing a good meal and a place to catch sun-- but Chloe and I both agreed that our sense of wonder was starting to creep it’s way back into our spirits. Like I said, after a difficult final semester, fruitless job searching, and the depressing winter months, Chloe and I were both in desperate need of a tiramisu! (And not the dessert, I’m talking about it’s translation, a pick me up!)
Our marathon of catching-up took place right on the shore, overlooking the famous stretch of colorful homes and buildings that deeply resemble the appearance of Burano, or Cinque-Terre.
And from there, we made our 5:30 reservation and feasted on the healthy, tasteful food Zelda’s menu offered. We got there a bit early to capitalize on the end of Happy Hour, getting some delicious drinks for 4$ each. Once it came time to order (even though Chloe asked for the dessert menu first, lol) I decided on the “Bay Shrimp Louie,” a fresh shrimp salad, and a side of coconut flavored jasmine rice. Our meals were delicious, and tasted even better as we watched the sun vibrantly set on the water.
We did splurge on this meal, I mean, come on, it was our first night out! We had to celebrate. But we did tactfully strategize the rest of our itinerary for our broke-girls adventure down the coast. Although this was just day one, I was already in love with my California adventure. I wanted to see as much of this vast state as we could physically (and financially) manage!!!
And for our next stop… SLO, (San Luis Obispo) here we come!