Everything went relatively well. Except my flight home from DC cut the amount of packing time I had planned for for California so it made me late to the airport. But I was able to get to my flight on time. The men I had sat next to on the way to Houston and then to San Jose were friendly (in the good way) the one I sat next to on the way to San Jose gave me a few suggestions for Santa Cruz. When I looked them up when I got the chance they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. I arrived in San Jose okay and was able to call for a shuttle with no problem. I’m really glad I decided to stay in a hotel room for a night because I was able to get transportation to and from the airport for free. I chose the San Jose Airport Garden Hotel because it was right near the airport and was really convenient for transitioning. I got transportation to the airport for free from Enterprise when I dropped off my car and I didn’t have to pay for a taxi or take the metro.
Another thing that came up when renting the Car online was that it was cheaper to do so in San Jose than to pick it up in Santa Cruz. So I saved money by switching pick up locations. I also saved money with Enterprise because they gave me the 25 age price instead of the underage price. I was thrilled to hear that – since the car ended up costing $30 cheaper than I had originally saved up for. Enterprise may be expensive if you rent from them directly (which I didn’t and rented from Carrentals.com) but I was able to SAVE a lot of money with them! I also got a free upgrade upon arrival because I think they were sorry that they made me wait for almost 2 hours to be picked up from the Hotel. So I got to drive a nice car for the week! Awesome! Also, GPS! If you have one and go to another state and plan on renting a car, definitely take your GPS. Helped me a ton to get me around. I’d be totally lost if I didn’t have it with me.
I arrived to Caroline’s Cottage safely and smoothly and the highway to get there CA-17 made a huge impression on me, which is why I decided to name this series after it. That highway was through the mountain and unfortunately with roads that are fast and curvy you tend to use a lot of gas or at least I do. So I had to fill up the tank at the beginning of the week and the end. I ended up driving 666 miles in 6 days!! Devil’s number!
Upon arrival, Caroline showed me around her property and told me about some things to check out and do. One thing I decided to go to from Caroline’s suggestions was the Capitola Art and Wine festival. So glad I did!
Later in the week, a scheduling error came up where I didn’t realize that airbnb scheduled mornings instead of nights. So I was technically didn’t book Thursday night at the cottage whoops! Which had caused a bit of an overbooking for Caroline which I felt bad for. But since I had to change my flight to the night flight and I had planned on the morning flight to get the afternoon of Friday the 13th so I ended up not being able to use that day/night, but it didn’t matter in the end, but I theoretically was able to use that unused day for Thursday night. Caroline was very accommodating and gracious and allowed me to sleep somewhere else in her house for the night. I didn’t mind since it was only an evening!! The only ‘rule’ I had in terms of working things out was that I couldn’t find somewhere else to sleep because I had already had to do that with the first night. So BEWARE!! If you use Airbnb for your travels, it goes until the next morning and not night. I think if you book at a hotel it goes until the next night, which is confusing. Oh well!
My mom had asked me if there were money surprises during the week, and I hadn’t really come up with something. In order to make sure I had enough money for the trip I was able to find most of the prices online at website and budget in some of the activities that cost little more – like the candle making, and trip to Big Sur. I was able to use a student discount at the San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textiles. One thing I learned was, if you are still in your 20s and look like you can still be a college student and did go to college, take advantage of that discount! I saved about $2 for museum admission by doing that.
Also make sure to include the addresses for your locations on your itinerary, for some reason I always seem to leave that piece of information out. So I had to spend an evening on line writing the addresses down. AND double check your locations. I wanted to go to a beach called Sand Dollar beach and find sand dollars, but when I googled the address it showed me an address in a town next over called Wastonville. I had remembered reading about a Sand Dollar beach in Big Sur, but for whatever reason when I tried to search for that address, the Wastonville address showed up and didn’t catch my mistake until I got to Wastonville. But anyway, it was a happy mistake, because the beach next to the Sand Dollar beach (that happened to be a private beach) was a state beach called Manresa, and I was still able to pick up Sand Dollars!! I feel like that was supposed to happen, because it led me to the goal/intention of that trip in a shorter distance. I eventually went to Big Sur anyway, but didn’t have to make that special trip to Sand Dollar beach because I had already picked up my sand dollars!
I had to spend Saturday afternoon dealing with a work situation; as the Tearoom had shutdown temporarily its’ establishment while I was in DC. Caroline was very gracious in letting me use her office to print out an application for a license that I needed to fill out and get back to them by the end of the week. So I was able to fill it out and then sent it off on Monday. That kind of dampened my arrival mood, but I wanted to get it done and out of the way so I didn’t have to worry about it for the rest of the week.
Overall the trip went pretty smoothly. There was a 2 hour delay coming home because of bad weather in Houston, which meant that I didn’t actually get home until 2:30 in the morning. This trip was a huge accomplishment for me especially in terms of money.
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