Have you been to a place you practically know nothing about and ended up being pleasantly surprised by what you saw, so much so that you thanked yourself for not having looked up the place before you left? That’s a long sentence but I just could not put it any other way. I just had an experience of that kind and wasn’t it lovely!
We were on our way to Aptos, CA just to have a nice and quiet seaside weekend. I did not want to do any homework and spoil the idea of a lazy weekend. So we simply packed an overnight bag and began driving down to the Central California coast. It was almost noon. Our check in-at the seaside property was in the evening so that left us with some time to while away. That meant we had to stop for lunch and since the Capitola Wharf was on the way, the plan was to find something to eat over there.
I’ve seen a few wharfs around here; the ones in Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Monterey. Now how much different could this one be? I expected to see a few restaurants specialising in sea food, a coffee shop or two and a whole lot of gift shops selling Tees and hats and postcards.
However Capitola Wharf was a sweet surprise in the true sense of the term. This one was smaller, quieter and cruder (in a nice way because it seemed far from touristy). The planks that the wharf was made up of was not polished to a finish, there were far less people that I had ever seen on a wharf and this one was not lined up with the business establishments that I spoke of earlier. The Capitola Wharf had just about one souvenir shop and one restaurant on the ‘wharf,’ as such. And there were a few anglers trying to catch some fish at the end of the wharf. It was such a peaceful place.
It was not just the wharf that won my heart that day. Capitola village charmed me too. Sans all the hustle and bustle, it was undoubtedly delightful. Yet it’s not place I would call ‘a sleepy seaside village’ because it had its boutiques, restaurants, art shops and souvenir outlets, It also had a fair share of tourists, only that it would be more apt to to replace that word with visitors. And the visitors to this place seemed unhurried and totally relaxed.
We lunched at a restaurant that overlooked the uncrowded wharf, a lagoon that was home to some seaside birds and some very colourful two storied buildings.
I must admit saying that I couldn’t take my eyes off that part of the scene. It wasn’t because of the colour but because the of character it exuded. I suddenly felt like I was in Italy; not that I’ve ever been there but that was the picture I had had in mind of seaside Italy. After lunch, we had a stroll past these multicoloured walls and found that it was called the Capitola Venetian (Hotel). Hubby too had a good look at this place. Now don’t be surprised if you see a post about a night at the Capitola Venetian (Chuckle, chuckle).