Sunday, August 16, 2009

Surfing! (No, something besides the internet!)

The highlight of our Santa Cruz trip was by far living out a whim to take a surfing lessons. Why not? Doesn't putting on a beyond skin tight (like have to do more than a shimmy and a shake to get into it!) wetsuite, going out into deep freezing water, and trying to stand up on a board and not injure yourself sound like fun? Ha - none of those even came close to stopping us.

After the wetsuit shimmy, we had our short on-land low down from our nice instructor, David. He got a kick out of these crazy moms (people were always shocked to find out that we were not only moms but how MANY kids we had) who were high on vacation life. We paddled out to sea with our extra long strofoam type surfboards (I guess "training" boards? So dorky I am sure, but I was happy with it - they weren't slick or hard if you banged them). After that we took turns watching each other and trying to ride the wave. Our instructor would help give whoever's turn it was a big push to help us get up on the wave and after that it was placement of your feet and balance that seemed to determine how long you rode.

Go ahead, I know you want to ask it. The answer is YES! Yes, both LeeAnna and I stood up and rode more than one wave. Not for more than a few seconds, of course, but we did it and it was exhillerating! We loved it so much we almost took another lesson, but decided not to push it and ended up renting some boogie boards our last morning instead. Yes, we had to hide behind them when surfers passed, but though not as cool we definitely had a good time with the boogie boards too, as we had more control over them!
*Disclaimer - We wanted documentation of this crazy activity, so we bought a water-proof camera and luckily had a nice enough teacher to carry the camera on his surfboard most of the time (after informing us we weren't going to be able to stroke or surf very well as newbies with it on our wrists!). So, the quality of the pictures suffered and, go figure, we didn't get any pictures of each other on top of the waves like we wanted because the teacher had the camera (plus we were usually watching each other ride the wave from behind), but oh well. At least we have proof that we were on the water for surfing lessons, even if you never choose to believe that we did really get on top of the waves and do more than have a surfboard photoshoot!

Our nice teacher Dave. Thanks for the self portrait.
Look it's me! Yeah right...we watched these surfers from the cliffs, slightly more appreciative of how hard this stuff really is!

More surfboard, no wonder I had so many pictures of myself as a teenager and none of me now! When you don't have kids to take pictures of...

Here's some of us boogie boarding. I actually really love boogie boarding, again because it has a very small portion of that thrill of riding a wave, but is so much simpler! Oh, and PS -it is amazing how much wetsuits keep you warm! We were in disbelief and as a now west coaster (i.e. COLD water, not like the gulf water in TX and FL!), I was almost ready to buy one so I could actually get in the water in OR.

Funny story - there were NO waves to be found when we first got our boogie boards, hence the above under-the-pier photo shoot, as well as the following story. There were sea lions everywhere, which isn't unusual at all for this area. There were bunches of them clustered on little floating piers beneath the main shopping wharf. I wanted to go check them out, as they weren't far away and were still in the designated swimming area. About halfway LeeAnna decided I was crazy and kinda gave me a "I got your back" and stayed put, while I crept closer. Funny how somethings can precariously boarder between brave and stupid. I got pretty close (about 8 feet away) and then the one sea lion that was awake had had enough and started barking, waking the others who also started barking. We swam away like mad and they didn't pursue. Why I did this, I am not sure, but it sure was cool to see them close up!

Finally, our second favorite thing to do was the beach bike rentals. Wow, if you could capture the feeling of riding along the coast of this gorgeous beach with sunshine and a light breeze blowing your was amazing. We felt like we were in a movie. It was so picturesque and relaxing, I would love to do that every day.

The funny thing is that I teach 3 cycling classes a week at the gym, but am slightly scared of regular bikes due to past crashes or other people crashing into me. But, I am proud to say there were no injuries!

Right before we left we did a little souvenier shopping and had to take a picture with these winners. I guess their claim to fame was that Regis and Kathy wore them on their show, but, needless to say, we only took a picture, no need to own these babies!


Kristi said...

Surfing? You go girls! My sister rented a board when she and I went to California. I attempted surfing more than she did, "attempt" being the key to that sentence. It looks like you had such a carefree, fun time.
So, did you feel like you were 19 again? These pictures reminded me of a trip I went on with my girlfriends. We went to Santa Cruz and I was 19, no kids, no spouse. Those were carefree days, though I am sure I wouldn't have thought that at the time.
I am glad you got to go and do all of those fun, adventureous things, including sneaking up on sea lions :)

SevenVillageIdiarts said...

This is an awesome post. I'm trying to catch up, since I've been "out of it" for months, but I love this. You are spunky girl! Fun!