Tag Archives: Santa Cruz

Google Doodle Celebrates Drive-In Movie Theatres!

I know it’s a little late in the day to bring this up, but, did anyone notice that cool-ass Google Doodle that’s been up all day today? And if you noticed it, did you take the time to actually click on it too?

Well, just in case you missed it, here again for your viewing pleasure is Google’s salute to the 79th birthday of the drive-in theatre! Wow…who knew they had drive-ins in the 1930’s? Crazy, huh?

Anyway, enjoy the clip below and if you happen to be lucky enough to live near a drive-in, I command you to head over there and get your outdoor movie theatre on! I grew up near the late, great Skyview drive-in in Santa Cruz and have many tales to tell of my adventures there, none of them suitable for a family blog, but all of them as vivid and wonderful as drive-in culture itself! Oh, the memories…

Happy 79th birthday drive-ins…seriously, you don’t look a day over 50 to me!

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Feliz Navidad, amigos!

If you’re anything like us, today is gonna be kinda crazy. Christine will be baking till she drops, Greta and the cats will continue terrorizing our Christmas tree and I will do my best to stamp and address the mountain of unsent Christmas cards on our kitchen table. I know, I know…kinda late in coming, but they will get to you before New Years, so, I say that still totally counts!

But while our cards will be late, our warm wishes for y’all are anything but. So, in the spirit of the season, please enjoy these pics of Greta’s first visit with Santa Claus. As you can see, they really hit it off…for like, ten seconds. Ah, well…there’s always next year. Happy holidays, amigos!

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A Mother’s Cookies Christmas…

One of the coolest things about Mother’s Cookies triumphant return from the dead this year was that it meant we would have one more variety of Christmas cookies to plate for our holiday guests…you know, provided we didn’t eat them all first. That’s right, amigos, Mother’s Holiday Circus cookies are back!

We were so excited at this news — thanks for the tip, Santa Fe Sarah! — that we actually bought two bags of the red, green and white Holiday Circus Animal cookies when we found them at the store. I also just now discovered another variety of Mother’s holiday cookies online: the all-white Holiday Frosted Cookies, pictured below. Wow, who knew?

So, although Mother’s classic Gingerbread cookies have gone the way of the Dodo, the good news is that you can still get your Christmas cookie on with Mother’s this year. But you gotta act fast, because this frosted goodness won’t be around for long. They were literally flying off the shelves at the Safeway in Santa Cruz when we bought them, and that was at Thanksgiving. So, the odds may be against you at this late date, but, happy hunting anyway!

Oooo…and even if you can’t find the cookies anymore, you gotta check out the Mother’s gift shop at Kelloggs.com. Mugs, t-shirts and even a magnetic Mother’s Cookies bag clip! Best stocking stuffers ever!

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Marini’s Chocolate Covered Bacon

One of our first stops whenever we hit Santa Cruz is Marini’s at the Beach on Pacific Ave. Not only does Marini’s have the raddest selection of candy, salt water taffy and other assorted sweets on the planet, but now they also offer…ta da, Chocolate Covered Bacon.

Marini's legendary chocolate covered bacon #1

That’s right, amigos, Marini’s has found a way to merge two of Christine and my favorite food groups into one. And though Chocolate Covered Bacon sounds awesome in theory, it pains me deeply to tell you that the actual result is a bit odd. That said, I am glad we sampled it at least once.

It’s not that it tastes bad, because, well, bacon never really tastes bad. But the biggest problem I had with this concoction is that is was cold. I know that’s the only way to keep the chocolate from getting all melty and everything…but, I’m sorry, cold bacon is just not the same as the warm stuff.

And though the chocolate coating is delicious, it also seals the grease onto the bacon when it chills, which is even more off-putting. I left my piece out for a while and I think it tasted much better at room temperature. True, the chocolate was all goey by then, but the bacon was much more palpable.

Marini's legendary chocolate covered bacon #2

Marini's legendary chocolate covered bacon #3

So, if you do decide to check out this strange marriage of flavors for yourself, I have two suggestions. One, call the folks at Marini’s up and order it ahead of time. They sells out of their Chocolate Covered Bacon every day, usually before noon, so, plan ahead.

And two, and this is a biggie, do not order more than one piece of bacon per person in your party. We got all greedy and ordered a half pound — which wasn’t cheap considering the whopping $9.00 per pound price tag — and that turned out to be way, waaaay too much for the four of us to consume. Seriously, one large piece of bacon is more than enough for a party of four. Hell, one bite per person would have been enough.

And while Marini’s doesn’t offer suggestions for accompanying drinks or anything, I recommend washing your bacon down with something nice and bubbly afterwards. We had a round of ice cold Cherry Dr. Pepper’s with ours, but, honestly, any carbonated beverage will fit the bill.

Um, you know, as long as it doesn’t have any bacon in it…

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On the road with Obama

With the election just a couple of weeks away and getting crazier by the minute, Christine and I decided to take our brand new Barack Obama action figure on a quick campaign push up the coast to Northern California.

The fact that we were both itching for a fun, weekend road trip might have had a little something to do with it too, but either way, Jedi Master Obama came with us and as you can see from the pics below, the little plastic dude had a blast.

Not only did he get to cross the Golden Gate bridge during Fleet Week — and see the Blue Angels performing above us on the drive back! — but Obama also got to tour the rocking Charles Schulz Musuem in Santa Rosa, judge a surfing contest in Capitola, check out Sista Monica’s soulful outdoor gospel choir in Santa Cruz and best of all, Lil’ O got to wrap up his journey with some tasty hot wings at the Burbank Hooters.

And with stops at Taco Bell and the classic Bob’s Big Boy in Toluca Lake thrown in for good measure, well, I don’t know about you guys, but that kinda sounds like campaign heaven to me!

If you’re interested in seeing the full, unedited version of Lil’ O’s “rainbow tour” of the California coast, check out the Flickr set here, but in the meantime, enjoy the pics, remember to vote on November 4th, and, as always, go Obama!

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More shamless-self promotion…

After waking up this morning to find out that my ugly mug was appearing on the front pages of not just one newspaper, but two, all I can say is: wow, it must have been a slow news day in Burbank and Santa Cruz. Ha!

Seriously, I knew there would be a couple of Tomás-centric “American Mall” articles appearing soon, but I had no idea they would come out on the same day and both be on the front page. Crazy!

And while I haven’t seen the article from my hometown newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, in person, I did receive an awesome scanned copy of the article from my Dad and it looked cool. Thanks, Dad! And it sounds like my friend Ginger — who is actually quoted in the article! — has secured me a goodly amount of Sentinels as well, so, I think I’m covered.

And I think I’m pretty good on the local front as well. After reading the Burbank Leader about twenty times this morning, Christine and I spent the rest of the afternoon snatching up free copies of the paper from news racks around town. She drove, and I jumped out and grabbed Leaders from every rack we passed. We were the Bonnie and Clyde of stolen local newspapers, but we had a blast.

Speaking of fun, the pics here were taken in front of this strangely futuristic video kiosk at the Burbank Town Center which was playing “TAM” previews of a loop. So, naturally, while hitting the mall with my brother on Friday, I forced him to take these spectacularly nerdy picture of me in front of it.

You can imagine the stares we got as Ryan and I stood there waiting for the kiosk to cycle through the ads for GNC and Forever 21. Seriously, I’m kinda surprised no one called Mall Security…we must have looked so creepy just lurking there with our cameras at the ready. Yikes…

Anyway, the good news is, we got the pics! So, enjoy. Oh yeah, and before getting to the actual article links, I gotta give a huge shout out to my boy, James for writing the juicy little press release that made all this shameless self-promotion possible to begin with. You rock, dude!

You can check out the Santa Cruz Sentinel article here: “Harbor High Graduate debuts show on MTV”, and the Burbank Leader piece here: “From malls to MTV”. And don’t forget to watch the actual movie this Monday night, August 11th, at 9:00pm on MTV. Rock on!

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Fourth of July Crab Boil

Sorry for being such a bad blogger lately, but Christine and I have been on vacation for the past week and a half and sadly, blogging was just not in the equation. But the good news is that we did lots of fun stuff that I’m just itching to write about…so stay tuned.

In the meantime, wanted to post some pics of the tastiest Fourth of July feast we’ve had in years! Forgoing the traditional BBQ meat and chicken route, my Dad, Wendy, Courtney, Christine and I elected to have a crab boil instead! And what a treat it was…

The crab was pre-boiled and cracked — not all the way, but just enough to still make foraging for the meat fun! — at a crunchy hippie store in Santa Cruz called Staff of Life. I have not been to “Staff” in years, but man, if you wanna taste (and smell!) Santa Cruz in all it’s earthy glory, you gotta check this joint out…time warp city.

Seriously, if I wasn’t carrying a digital camera and a cell phone, I’d swear I was shopping in the patchouli-scented Santa Cruz of old. And the food, well, the food there is even better. Fresh, organic, green and always totally awesome. With the exception of some foul carob chips in my youth, I have never tasted anything bad from the Staff of Life. So, rock on you old hippie store!

And since no crab boil would be complete without corn on the cob, we had some heaping piles of that too. And when you throw in some fresh-baked bread, a nice big salad, and a view of seaside fireworks in the distance, well, what else do you need? Happy birthday, America!

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