The legendary cement ship in Aptos, CA. (12/30/2007)
The house is located on a charming street in the Seacliff neighborhood. The home is beautifully decorated with stunning wood floors, ample living area and lots of windows that fill the space with natural light. The neighborhood it was in had so much character. And only a short walk from the beach too!
The cement ship up close. (12/30/2007)
One of the first things we did was walk to Seacliff State Beach, where we saw the famous Cement Ship that's permanently docked at the end of the pier. The ship dates back to 1919 when it was constructed for use during World War I. Originally known as the SS Palo Alto, the ship was built from reinforced concrete, a common method of shipbuilding in the early half of the century. As it turned out the war was over by the time the ship was finished.
The adorable Snow White drive-in is walking distance from their house. (12/30/2007)
In 1929, the Seacliff Amusement Corporation brought new life to the ship when the company permanently docked the ship to its present location. The idea was to use the ship for entertainment purposes. The company retrofitted the ship by adding a dance hall, dining room, arcade, even a swimming pool!
This cute convenience store is a short walk away. (12/30/2007)
I guess the idea didn't go over so well, since the company went bankrupt two years later (I'm sure the Great Depression didn't help). To make it worse, the same year the ship also cracked in half! Ultimately it was abandoned where it primarily served as a fishing pier. A few years ago it was completely closed to the public. The only ones who use it now are the dozens of pelicans who use it as their hang-out.
Doris & Jon at Ciao Bella in Ben Lomond. (12/30/2007)
After our brush with local history, we headed back to Doris and Jen's to clean up before dinner. Our restaurant destination was Ciao Bella, a quirky Italian restaurant in the town of Ben Lomond, California. This was our second time there, having eaten there on our last Santa Cruz trip.
Blondie entertains us while we enjoy our dinner. (12/30/2007)
As it was last time, the restaurant was a riot! The place is decorated in high thrift-store chic, with vinyl LP albums on the walls and an assortment of street signs, piñatas, and just about anything else you can think of. Our waiter was a friendly guy named Jewly, and his young assistant Blondie, who managed to step onstage every now and then to entertain us with dancing and/or singing.
Doris and Jen pose with Jewly, our waiter. (12/30/2007)
Between the walk to the historic beach, and the unforgettable evening at Ciao Bella, it was definitely a day to remember!