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I took a trip to Santa Cruz recently, a very hip and happening college town about three  hours north of where I live in Morro Bay.  Santa Cruz has a lot to answer for: It’s what made me decide to move to California. Specifically, it was the sea lions.

Santa Cruz sea lions I was visiting nearby San Jose (this was back in 1983), interviewing for an editor’s job at the San Jose Mercury News. After the interviews were over, they had someone drive me around the area. So we went to Santa Cruz, drove out to the end of the pier — and heard all this raucous barking! It was the 20 or 30 sea lions hanging out on the cross beams under the pier. Openings with railings had been cut in several places in the floor of the pier so visitors could lean over and watch these sleek clowns from a distance of about 12 feet! Well, that did it. I asked myself, did I want to live in a place where I could go watch sea lions anytime I wanted to, or should I accept the other job offer, the one in Washington, D.C.? You can guess what happened.

On this trip to Santa Cruz we took a friend to see the sea lions, and then we went downtown where I looked at shoes.  I thought you’d enjoy seeing a couple of photos I took at a shop called Old School Shoes, purely for the joy of the colors. I have left these photos fairly large, so when you click on them, you’ll get a bigger view of the fabulous rainbow of colors that confronted me and got me to whip out my camera again.

Old school shoes pink at 72 dpi

I loved this display so much, I had to take pictures of it from each end.

Old school shoes purple at 72 dpi

Fuchsia glitter hightop at 72 dpi

Of course, it made me want to do a similar display of glittered hightops, like this one. This was a shocking pink hightop from Payless that I covered with fuchsia Glitter It! paint for my daughter Bronwyn.  I also did decorative stitching on the laces for her using topstitching thread and a topstitching needle. Way easier than it looks.

A final note about that great shoe store in Santa Cruz — They had a terrific sign in the window, which I’m also including here in a fairly big size (after you click on it) in case you want to print it out.

Old school shoes sign at 72 dpi

My sentiments exactly!  Thank you once again, Santa Cruz!

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