Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Momma's Birthday

Today is my Mom's birthday. I started calling her Momma when I was little, but she wasn't sure about it and preferred Mommy instead. But the name came back, the way nicknames like to, and she is Momma to me because that name makes her feel the most like mine. I know I am very lucky she is. Without gushing too much, I wanted to share a few things  you might like to know about her...

She has read every post that's ever been on this blog at least twice. You can thank her when I say lose instead of loose or choose instead of chose (confusing!) 

She volunteers every week at a secondhand shop that donates all profits to Working Wardrobe, a non-profit that provides clothing for men and women looking for a new start. 

My mom is so good to shop with. She doesn't even take credit for being fashionable, but she is. I feel bad I said I hated going to the mall when she wanted to go in February. It ended up being fun because she is fun to go anywhere with. 

If I wear a dress of hers and she thinks it looks good on me, she always insists I keep it. She gives me jewelry to go with it, too. 

She has baked me a funfetti cake for my birthday nearly every year even though she thinks it's disgusting. 

She put together a gigantic party for my 21st birthday at the house (dad too) and I acted like a huge brat at some point afterwards saying she made it more like the kind of party she would want. Twenty five of my drunk friends sleeping over and playing guitar until 3 a.m.? It's unlikely this is anything she would have chosen for herself. When it was my actual 21st birthday a few days later, she and my dad still drove all the way down to San Diego from Orange County to surprise me at a restaurant called Dick's Last Resort. They were sitting at the bar with masks and hats on.

She gets so hysterical over inappropriate humor (me telling her about a bad day, potty talk, the syringe emoji...).

She loves my dad so much. She folds his clothes so nicely. She tried to teach me, but I don't have the patience to fold our clothes that way yet. She cooks most nights and makes sure he eats healthy. She did the same for her kids too. 

She is really honest with me. She has made it really easy for me to see it's important to be honest with myself. 

She tries to learn all the time. She does Yoga and has gotten really good at it. She loves it, though, and I know that's what's important to her and not trying to be a psycho-perfectionist about it, even though she does want to improve and grow. 

To end with the obvious, I love her so much. She is the best example and I want to be just like her, except I'll surf :)

Happy Birthday Momma! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Why I Went to Mexico

It's hard to capture what something so significant and short meant to you. 
There is something to be said for the satisfaction you feel after a week of hard work. 
The drink at the end of it all tastes so good.
But what's to be said about the gratification you get from time away? Too much, maybe.
And so, I'm kind of at a loss for words.
I don't want to go on saying something over-used like "Every day was my favorite day!", even if it's true. Or "It went by too fast."
So I think I'll tell you a dozen things about the trip and you can decide what it meant. 

We lived at the end of a dirt road-the four of us; once roommates in San Diego and in camping tents and hotel rooms around the country and now, again in a white house surrounded by bougainvillea.
And there were neighbors.
Some from mainland Mexico. Michocan, I think. 
Some from Wyoming. 
In the late morning a man attached himself to a hang glider and flew right out of an old barn on the beach. 
Every evening we watched another man ride a chocolate colored horse along the shoreline. Maybe it was his, but it didn't behave like it belonged to anyone.
And the green flash went off as the sun set. You have to remember it's not kelly green, but more the color of a highlighter. You can't blink, and you have to believe you will see it, or you won't. 
The nights came cold and clear. And we looked up to Orion, but I wasn't sure he was looking back because I wasn't sure it was him. Stars have never looked like people to me.
There was an ant hill right in the middle of the walkway because they didn't know it was a path. Or they did, but were too busy to move it.
And we saw stray dogs, 
two of them running at us at dusk with their teeth out. They followed us through the fields and yards that seemed to have no fences, but they only wanted company too and to know who we were.
In La Paz, the water, shiny like broken glass bottles, was sipping up the sun. 
You hid from it when you visited the skatepark, in the crevasses and corners.
Just beyond the hills to the south, there were waves taller than me most days, breaking in water only waist high. I tried to ride them, but they didn't always want that. 
But a bigger board did it, 
and determination did it,
so I took home something special in the end.
And bugs buzzed and worked while we reclined and laughed and drank and told stories and listened.

Travel information and recommendations:
Have you ever been to Baja?
+Where we stayed: Pescadero, BCS. A little over an hour outside of Cabo, 15 minutes from Todos Santos and about an 1:15 from La Paz. We loved this spot as it was close enough to everything we wanted to do, but felt remote and peaceful.
+Our accommodations were provided by The Osprey San Pedrito.  The cozy feel, full kitchen and patio with hammocks were a bonus to the location.
+Skatepark: Pescadero Skatepark; ask a local. It's easy to find, but it's not obvious where to look.
+Here are some more pictures Phil took (and he took the one of the Pelican above). He's a great photographer who has taught Scott and I a lot .

Trip Tale Index

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Stranger, The Book, The Future

I'm always caught somewhere in between everything happens for a reason and you create your own destiny

I met a lady who was a psychic the other day. I called her a fortune teller when I mentioned the encounter to my family, but I'm actually not really sure what she is. A nice, intuitive lady who offered Scott and I to join her and her husband at dinner when we couldn't find a table.

She spoke of places I had never been like the French countryside and Missouri. She talked of her father and how he died, and her mother and how she taught her about astrology. I felt like I could see her mother through her eyes. I felt affected by that imaginary glance, even though her mother wasn't a character in my story. 

After her father died, she was never a child again. She said when she turned 12 she actually turned 21. A psychic told her so, but she knew it was true because she hung around 30 year olds all summer.  

She knew a lot about me. That I was an observer. Quiet, but listening. That I was stubborn. That high school was challenging for me. 

She said I would write a book someday, but she couldn't tell me when. She wrote my name down. I knew I would't forget her either. 

What I always feel God is telling me is: "You have the ability to do great things. Make sure that you do them." 

It means a lot of things. Some things I don't even know about yet. But I know I'm going to write that book someday. I work towards it every day, even if it isn't noticeable. I'm just not sure when either. 
{image-this video's pretty hipster, but I like the track}

Have you ever been to a psychic?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Scott's in Surfgirl too

Scott and I did an interview with Louise from Surfgirl a little while back. You can find it in the spring issue. The title of this edition is We Are Family: Surf Kin. It focuses on the ties we weave through surfing that make our relationships with the sea and each other stronger. I really enjoyed looking through it (and the smell of the fresh, new pages... man. I love that smell). There's also some great articles about healthy living, saving the earth, riding big waves and making surf connections. You can order a printed copy online, buy a digital issue or find it at your local Barnes and Noble, if you're interested. As always, thanks for your support guys! Hope you had a good weekend! 

 +photo by our friend Jason (thanks Jay!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Surf Footage, Tequila, Success!

I was never really worried that this trip would suck. Of course, when the airplane went missing a few weeks ago, I tried not to watch the coverage on TV since I wasn't sure what good could come from it and it definitely might have encouraged my mind to wander towards its unreasonable side pre-takeoff. 

Best friends who used to live together, but now only see each other every few months (if we're lucky)... would things be different? Maybe, but I wasn't that concerned about that either. Some things you choose and some things you don't. Basia and I chose to be friends, we chose the cities where our adult lives would begin, but we wouldn't choose to let things change between us. We never had to talk about it for me to know that.

Bad weather? That didn't cross my mind at all.

There was one thing though, that I thought stood a chance kill my buzz some days. 

Getting good surf footage: my joy, my misery.

Sometimes I try to make up my mind about whether it's better to re-live a good wave on video or in my head. Usually most people surf better in their mind's anyway, so it might be the call to store the memories there. But then, sometimes it doesn't seem enough. I want to see the wave from another perspective, hold it in my hands, bring it home with me and share it with other people I know would feel the stoke. 

And then there's the fact that acquiring good surf footage can be so unattainable. Having someone to film you with the right equipment and the proper attention; having good waves and rousing crowds, the right mindset. If it all comes together and you get really memorable waves you can relive, it's kind of intoxicating. When it doesn't, I begin to wonder if I should return some of the confidence surfing's allowed me to borrow from time to time. 

The first day of the trip, I got some good waves on film. The other days, I got less. But, whatever. I have the rest of my life to surf, let's hope. The Sea of Cortez was just an hour away. Basia promised to shake my head and blow a whistle in my face while I drank a shot of tequila. The Pescadero skatepark was hiding somewhere in the Cerritos hills and if I wasn't going to feed the stray dogs the Pedigree bones I bought from the Soriana, I'm not sure anyone else would have. 

On the last day, Scott and I surfed all morning and Phil filmed us. I fell a bunch. My last wave I thought was good, turned out to be pretty uninteresting when played back, but we swam in the pool at the local hotel and ate quesadillas and it didn't matter. There was even the elusive Wi-fi we hadn't used since home. One thing we didn't have though, was surf pictures. Scott lugged the water housing from San Diego to Mainland Mexico to Cabo, and so far, for nothing. So even though we were tired and the waves were bad, we knew what we had to do. 

After some more closedout, scary waves that had me worrying about breaking my neck, I told Scott I was going in after one more. He popped up from a long hold-down and agreed. 

One thing I had been working on at this surf spot all week was my backside off-the-lip. When a left came to me, I knew no matter how blasé I was about my surfing performance, that my adventure in Mexico only stood to be enhanced by making this one last turn. 

When I was showering off afterwards, Scott came to tell me he had missed it, but he was lying :)

{+photography by Scott
+accommodations by The Osprey San Pedrito}

Trip Tale Index

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mexican Habits

Rhythms and habits are hard to break, but not impossible. 
What's more challenging is to remember this wild life we created while we were away and not want it back.

My finger nails were always dirty there.
Sometimes I didn't brush my teeth for the full two minutes.
I never drank out of the tap or watched TV. 
I woke up every morning before seven and sat in my bed trying to decide if I wanted surfing to be work or play.
I drank tequila in the afternoon.
I didn't turn on my phone for four days and if hadn't been for my mother and Phil's international T-Mobile plan, we wouldn't have even known there was concern about a tsunami.
I left beans in their open can in the fridge. Normally, I always use glass or tupperware.
I didn't go outside much after dark for fear of mosquitos.
I learned something new about Basia every day.
When I went in to the bathroom, I reached for the light switch next to the door, but it was behind it. 
"Mexican construction," our host had explained.
When I came home, I knew I was going to reach for the light switch behind the door, instead of beside it. If our bathroom had been the same shape, I probably would have.
Habits change.
And that is vacation to me.

{+Our accommodations were provided by The Osprey San Pedrito
+I highly recommend eating at Hierbabuena, the organic restaurant pictured above which is down the street from The OspreyThe ingredients for the food, including homemade soups, fresh squeezed orange juice margaritas and wood fired pizzas, are all harvested from the garden that surrounds you as you eat. 
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