Category Archives: Guide to Santa Cruz

Guide to Santa Cruz: Apple Picking at Gizdich Ranch


to kick off this fall season, b and i headed down to watsonville. watsonville is a small rural town located in santa cruz county (about 20 miles south east of santa cruz). There are a number of orchards to choose from but after careful research, we decided on gizdich ranch. gizdich ranch offers four different types of apples and still allows you to pick from their strawberry fields. we started off the summer by picking strawberries so the only way to end it for us was picking apples. there was quite a few people there which made parking a little bit of a headache. we were also probably the only adults there without kids (oh well, kids at heart). we walked up and down the orchard, scouring the property for the crème de la crème of apples (one of the workers was nice enough to give us a little tutorial about the different types and why each type would be desired over the other). b was all about the red delicious (even though he kept saying they were not as nearly as tall and proportionate as they are in the store). I was all about the golden delicious. both are the sweetest of the 4 varieties to choose from. who would have guessed?





gizdich ranch charges you $1.40/ pound and provides a bucket for your use during the picking process. we did not even think of bringing a bag. whoops.

gizdich ranch also has a café/bakery/grocery store on site that offers lunch, pies, already picked apples (but where is the fun in that?) and apple juice. we arrived at the café (after picking the best apples there were in the orchard) around 1pm and it was packed. The line was estimated to be about one hour which my stomach could not handle. so we opted for some fresh apple juice available at the store nearby and picked up some authentic mexican food in town (you know it is authentic when they call your number in spanish). i really really wish I would have been able to try a slice of apple pie but i guess it means we have something to look forward to next time. and we will be sure to arrive early. the store next door offers frozen pies but i have heard they do not taste as good.




i plan on making apple crumble with our freshly picked apples so stay tuned for a recipe!

one item can now be checked off my fall bucket list. hooray.

what are you looking forward to doing this fall?


Penny Ice Creamery

So you know how everyone used to be obsessed with cupcake shops and now the obsession has moved to macaron shops? Well although I do enjoy those sweet treats, my favorite shop to scour the streets and internet for is homemade icecream. My sweet tooth loves nothing more than unique flavors and waffle cones (homemade of course). And guess what I found while in the Santa Cruz area? The Penny Ice Creamery!

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It was amazing!! Like died and gone to heaven amazing. I tried almost every flavor because with a menu that diverse how are you really supposed to settle on just one? My top three were salted butter toffee, honey yogurt walnut jam and peaches n’ cream (in the end I went with salted butter toffee). Another plus, the flavors change daily! I would probably at lease peruse the menu everyday if I lived in the area. I have to do my due diligence, right?

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Yes, this was my second dessert in 3 hours and yes it was completely worth it. B said, “This must be your favorite day having two chart topping desserts in one afternoon”. Yes B, it was a great day.

photo 4I saw this house on our walk to The Penny Ice Creamery and had to snap a photo. I really love all homes with ivy growing lusciously on the exterior. I dream of having an ivy covered home someday.

What are your favorite flavors of ice cream and where can I get it? Please do tell!


Strawberry Picking in Davenport

This weekend B and I headed to Davenport to go strawberry picking. We were excited to spend the first day of Summer at a beach town soaking up the sun. Little did we know it would be insanely windy, overcast and 60 degrees (really makes me miss my Southern California beaches) but some great memories were made nonetheless!

Davenport is a small town about 12 miles north of Santa Cruz. It is known for Whale City Bakery and Swanton Berry Farm. It also has some beautiful cliff side beaches — do stop at Shark Fin Cove (also known as Shark Tooth Beach) for some gorgeous views of the whole coast. It was a little too foggy when we went to show the views I am talking about but trust me, don’t miss it! Shark Fin Cove is located 1 mile south of Davenport Beach.

First stop, Swanton Berry Farm. Swanton Berry Farm is a quaint farm where you are able to pick strawberries from their luscious fields and purchase their homemade pies, cobblers, scones and jams yummmmmm.

I grew up with strawberries growing in my backyard so being here in these fields really brought me back. It was fun to walk up and down searching for the best of the best. Swanton Berry Farm provides a box that you fill to your hearts content and then pay by the pound. I plan to eat our strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar (have you ever tried doing that? I know it sounds crazy but it is scrumptious).

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There is a shop located in the back of the farm where they sell the baked goods and fresh jam (it is also where you pay for your strawberries). When you first step inside, you feel like your transported back in time. I almost felt like I was at my grandfathers house with all the vintage knick knacks decorating the place. It was quite charming. They even have you pay for your goods by way of “The Honor Till”, which means putting your money in their open cash register (aka CASH ONLY + no tax).

afterlight-8 afterlight-7IMG_20140621_122244  Do not leave this little gem without getting some type of jam or baked good. Everything there is so delicious and fresh! I opted for the Olallieberry cobbler (topped with homemade whip cream — the only kind of whip cream worth eating). It was amazing and not too sweet. IMG_20140621_122341IMG_20140621_122532IMG_20140621_122854  IMG_20140621_123149B had fun taking pics of all the fun vintage trinkets (including this camera). How cute is that little pitcher? I wish it was for sale!

All in all, it was a great day in the strawberry fields.

How did you celebrate the new season?


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