About a month ago, I left my parents’ house in bucolic upstate New York, packed up the car and hit the road with my dog and partner in tow. After stopping for a few days in Chicago, where I’d been living for the past year and where my belongings still were, we headed west, winding up here in Santa Cruz.
Before moving here, neither of us had ever been to Santa Cruz. In fact, my boyfriend had never even been to California, and my only Californian experience was a trip to San Francisco close to eight years ago.
One of the first things I’ve learned here is that I’ve been pronouncing “Santa Cruz” all wrong. I’d been emphasizing the ‘t” and saying it as two separate, distinct words – as in, “San-Tuh Cruz.” This, I’ve quickly learned, make you automatically stand out as a non-local. It should be pronounced with barely decipherable ‘T’ sound and as one word, as in “Sannacruz.”