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August 4th, 2010, just another day for most, but for me, well we just say it’s my 40th birthday! I knew it was going to be a long day, at least 24 hours. When I woke up, I knew I had to pace myself to make it to my party.

The first two things I did, even before I brushed my teeth, was a shot of 1800 and I mixed up a fat bloody marry! Yeahhhh! Just kidding!

I started my morning with the usual cup of Joe. I quickly jumped in the car and took the short ride over to the West Side. I picked up my kids from their Mom’s and hit Café Brasil. This little gem is nestled on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, on route to UCSC.

The special on the menu today was fresh grilled banana slug! We placed three orders. No! They don’t serve banana slug, it would be hilarious if it was on the menu.

Anyway, as I walked through the door and was greeted by a few friends who work there. First Rafael, he runs the smoothie bar. He also is a Leo, Happy Birthday Bro!

If you’re into Acai, the Amazon energy berry, Café Brasil delivers the bomb. Acai is fresh fruit and granola. You could order a bowl or a smoothie. Good stuff.

Next I was greeted by a Brazilian beauty named Natasha. She has paid her dues over the last several years at the restaurant and is now rightfully so the manager.

I usually come here for lunch on my birthday and order the Feijoada. This is a black bean stew with all the pork parts they have to offer. This is served over rice and salsa. Very heavy meal, not recommended for breakfast if your anticipating a busy day.

Today I ordered the Orfeu Negro. This plate consists of two pieces of bread covered with black beans, two poached eggs with onions and salsa served with potatoes. I love this dish. Fills the stomach, brings great energy and easy to digest. It gets the day going right! I also had an Acai bowl. I was full.

My kids hit the menu hard. My son had an open face tortilla served with two eggs, potatoes and all the right breakfast veggies with sausage and Acai. My daughter ordered a banana pancake, with potatoes, eggs, sausage and Acai. You would have thought it was her birthday. We eat well.

We finished our meals said our good-byes and we were off. I made a few stops to drop off the kids and went to work for a few hours. I have learned over 40 years that it’s better to take the day after your birthday off, instead of your actual birthday. Fortunately for me this year, I have to work both days, and STOKED to do so.

Before I forget Café Brasil offers a verity of imported beers with your meal. This day I had to pass.

When I got home from work I was starting to get a little hungry and a little thirsty. It was closing in on 5 o’clock and I have not had a drink yet! What’s Up? It’s my birthday! I had to load up the RV with firewood and all the good stuff for a ragging party at the beach .By the time I got done I was starving and wanting to get my drink on. Their was no second thought on where to eat. SUSHI NATION!

I usually don’t go to Sushi Nation until 7:30 or 8pm but they knew it was my B-day and had been expecting me. It turned out nicely because my son joined Jena and I for dinner. We went off! Salmon, tuna, mackerel, octopus, eel, fried tofu... We had rolls, we had sashimi. We eat nageri. Not to mention we kicked back a few Sapporo and a few shots of sake. My son drank about three 7ups.

The restaurant was filling up and they were starting to get really busy. We thought it would be a good time to place one last order, get our check, and say our good-byes.

Next stop was the beach! The last best secret spot on the East Side of Santa Cruz. For the record we will call this spot Secret spot. I had sent out the invite that I was turning 40! I got the great idea from Rob’s party to tell everyone to bring 40oz. of their beer of choice.

The access to secret spot kind of sucks, especially with glass. A week earlier I had spent some time moving rocks, making a stairway and an open path to the party zone. My hard work paid off because no one got hurt and no glass was broken.

I do know a lot of people but I was quite surprised that about 65 people showed up through-out the night. It was a great mix of people. The friends I grew up with from Mtn. View, my friends that moved and live here in SC and of course the local crew. People brought their kids, their friends and their dogs. My ex wife even came for a while! It was a great turn out of friends and family. I could not have been more STOKED!

Right before sunset the fire was started and the bbq was going. The highlight of the que was a leopard shark my son caught the day before. We marinated it with butter, salt. pepper, onions and garlic. It was on the grill and devoured in record time. We fish and usually will throw all sharks back into the water, but this shark’s time was done. He swallowed the hook and was bleeding bad from the gill. We had no choice but to eat it, and with all due respect, it was shark week!

We also had jumbo dogs and chicken. There was no left-over food or beer.

Everyone brought a forty or two. We had it all, Mickey’s, Saint Ides, Coors, Bud, even King Cobra! I thought we would run out of beer so just in-case I had brought 60 Tecate cans. I had them chilling on ice.

I did bring a bottle of tequila I bought in Mexico. I had one shot, passed the bottle, and it was gone. There were a few more bottles that were brought that didn’t last long either. I had one shot at the beach the whole night knowing I had to work the next day.

I did take five bottles of tequila home with me. Patron, 1800, Tenampa Azul and a few others. I also got a few other gifts. Thanks you guys, you’re the best!

After the guitars left the beach, and the wood was gone, it was about time to motivate to the bar. We cleaned the beach and left our secret spot. There were about ten of us left, that wondered to the Corner Pocket, the local bar. Most of us walked, some chose to attempt to ride their bikes. It was a short walk from secrets to the bar, but we had enough time for some good laughs and good times along the way.

As we walked into the bar we were greeted by Jerry. He is the new owner of the Corner Pocket, next to 7/11 on Portola. He just purchased the bar and is making vast improvements to enhance the bars flavor, to make it a new happening bar. He’s doing a great job! If you are ever in the area, stop by for a drink, play some pool and throw some darts. You could even do your laundry next door why you drink.

It was still my birthday, so it was still on. Jerry bought me a few drinks and we were having a great time.

My third and last shot of the night came from a great friend of mine, M. Reilly. He also, on occasion, works at the bar. He offered me a shot, and because he’s Irish, I had to order a Jamison. Cheers! Bottoms up!

After a few more beers, a lot of dancing and more laughs, it was time to call it done. The two o’clock hour was upon us and the bar was closing.

I had a great birthday and turning forty made it even more special. I owe it all to my friends and family for making it happen.

I did hit the beach the next day to make sure we packed all our trash and to my surprise I found one bottle tucked under a big rock, I’m not even sure it was from my party. Good job guys! Let’s do it again next year!



Cafe Brasil
1410 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4739
(831) 429-1855


The Corner Pocket
3102 Portola Dr
Santa Cruz, CA 95062


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