not all who wander are lost.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Intention.

in·ten·tion (n-tnshn)
n.
1. A course of action that one intends to follow.
2.a. An aim that guides action; an objective.


Intentions. We have them, we wait for them to come, like the universe is just going to drop them into our laps. But first we have to put the intention out there into the world. It is said that at the New Moon you should make a list of your intentions.

The new moon is the birthing cycle of the moon's various phases. The new moon phase is an optimal time for planning and seeding your intentions. Seedlings need a period of gestation before they break through the soil and reach for the sunlight. This is also true for our ideas and our desires. The dark side of the moon, with its mysterious unseen forces, offers a nurturing environment where our intentions can establish roots before their miraculous manifestations begin to sprout and reach out to the stars.

Intentions are not to be confused with goals:


"Setting intention, at least according to Buddhist teachings, is quite different than goal making. It is not oriented toward a future outcome. Instead, it is a path or practice that is focused on how you are "being" in the present moment. Your attention is on the ever-present "now" in the constantly changing flow of life. You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values.

Goals help you make your place in the world and be an effective person. But being grounded in intention is what provides integrity and unity in your life.Ironically, by being in touch with and acting from your true intentions, you become more effective in reaching your goals than when you act from wants and insecurities.

There are only two things you are responsible for in this practice: Throughout each day, ask yourself if you are being true to your deepest intentions. If you're not, start doing so immediately, as best as you're able. The outcome of your inquiry and effort may seem modest at first. But be assured, each time you start over by reconnecting to your intention, you are taking one more step toward finding your own authenticity and freedom. In that moment, you are remembering yourself and grounding your life in your heart's intention." -yoga journal "the hearts intention"

You don't just set an intention and then walk away - you make your intentions a conscious part of your daily life.


*I always set an intention when I walk into yoga class. I dedicate my practice to this intention: whether it be a person, place or thing. Here's an exercise I found online:

Selecting an intention at the beginning of each class will help bring clarity to your practice, clear your mind of useless chatter and keep you focused why you’re on your mat. Keep your intention simple –a word, a phrase, a person. Pick one thing to reflect on throughout your practice and stick with it. Breathe, peace, ahimsa or maybe simply dedicating your practice to someone in your life who could use the energy.


Namaste.




Thursday, April 29, 2010

Farmer's Market

Erin and I were determined to find some good fruits and veggies yesterday - so after a quick search on Google we found that Carlsbad has a farmers market on Wednesdays! We loaded up on a bunch of fresh goodies and then chowed down on some grilled chicken kabobs!


The Art of Traveling


Found the most outstanding thrift store today in Cardiff, located next to my favorite bar in southern california, The Office. Anyways, stocked up on super cheap, super cute new digs and got a few books. One that I picked up was called "The Art of Living". It touches on...

The Art Of...
  • Giving
  • Traveling
  • Mastering Fear
  • Being Yourself
  • Laughter
  • Awareness
  • Thinking
  • Failure
  • Adventure
  • Selling
  • Happiness
  • Friendship
  • Personal Efficiency
  • Relaxation
  • Leadership
  • Being
  • Reading
  • Success
  • Thanksgiving
  • Achievement
  • Staying Young
  • Work
  • Living Forever

It's actually a pretty rad book: in reference to content as well as the design and packaging {the graphic designer in me is a sucker for any kind of clever, cute packaging}. The one that is rather close to my heart at the moment is the big of the Art of Traveling. I thought I'd share some with you:

*Travel lightly. You are not traveling for people to see you.

*Travel slowly. Jet plans are for getting places not seeing places; take time to absorb the beauty and inspiration of a mountain or cathedral.

*Travel hopefully. "To travel hopefully," wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, "is better than to arrive."

*Travel humbly. Visit people and places with reverence and respect for their traditions and ways of life.

*Travel courteously. Consideration for your fellow travelers and your hosts will smooth the way through the most difficult days.

*Travel gratefully. Show appreciation for the many things that are being done by others for your enjoyment and comfort.

*Travel with an open mind. Leave your prejudices at home.

*Travel with curiosity. It is not how far you go, but how deeply you go that mines the gold of experience.

*Travel fearlessly. Banish worry and timidity; the world and its people belong to you just as you belong to the world.

*Travel relaxed. Make up your mind to have a good time.

*Travel patiently. It takes time to understand others, especially when there are barriers of language and custom; keep flexible and adaptable to all situations.

*Travel with the spirit of a world citizen. You'll discover that people are basically much the same the world around. Be an ambassador of good will to all people.

BioSync

I have been LOVING yoga classes @ Yoga Swami's in the Yurt. I have met some genuinely outstanding human beings! One of these top notch people is Gray. We have been seated next to eachother in several classes and his energy is amazing. Erin {my lovely new friend who introduced me to yoga swami} introduced Gray and then proceeded to GUSH about how magical her BioSync session with him was. BioSync? What in the hell is BioSync? As soon as Erin started talking about it, several others in the classes chimed in - their faces lit up and their voices rose several octaves! My funds are dwindling, rather quickly, and as soon as Gray got the jist that I was interested by without cash he offered up a trade: a BioSync session for some of my good cookin'! The next day he picked me up at Lenny's, we went to Katie's yoga class together and then we headed back to his house. Even after experiencing BioSync I STILL struggle to put into words how magical it was. We started off just chatting..hanging out, Gray getting an idea of what's on my mind, where I've been, how I process things. He makes you an amazing Cacao smoothie with everything under the sun in it. Next I was put into some restorative yoga poses while Gray did some Tai Chi to work up his Chi {as he says "It's not me, It's the Chi!"}. Then there is a table, made specifically for BioSync work. The first hour was like a really intense deep tissue massage...with emphasis on steady, deep breaths - though it's not like yoga breath {in through the nose, out through the nose} it's in through the nose, out through the mouth. The second hour is where it gets really trippy. In BioSync they massage your internals - your organs. So, I laid on my back with my legs up and bent. I had crystals in my hands. I had an eye pillow on my face. And then Gray began to massage certain areas of my stomach. The stomach he said is where we process most emotions: 'sick to my stomach', 'so nervous, i have butterflies in my stomach', 'upset, can't eat'. He was finding knots in my stomach...how he felt them, I have no idea - but when he touched them and said "here's a knot" he was spot on and I would wince at the pain. Once he finds a knot you take a big belly breath in, expanding the stomach. Then you exhale out of your mouth, a long intense exhale. You now relax as he massages the knot. Well, everyone I've met in Encinitas has had this done {for the most part} and they all talked about how uncontrollably, insanely emotional they became. I was wondering...what the hell were they talking about!? This was until he touched a spot about a half inch under my belly button. Instant tears...and I'm not talking little weepy tears - I'm talking hysterical crying. He talked me through the tears - working out what it may be about, etc. etc. The internal massage continued and then I laid in savasana for what felt like an eternity. When I took the eye pillow off I felt like a new person...like a weight had been lifted, a weight that I didn't even knew existed until it was gone. Trippy shit! Finished our session with another round of smoothies and a chat about what in the hell just went down. I cooked up some curried zucchini and garbanzos and over the past few days I drop off a bit of whatever I made for Lenny and I. I might have another session before I leave...and I hope that everyone else looks into this bodywork, it's amazing.


Gray, hunting down ingredients for the smoothie.

Drink up!

Though I've been unable to put exactly into words "What" BioSync is...and though my friends have been unable to describe it - there is a website that attempts it:
http://www.biosync.com/

What is BioSync?

BioSync, developed by Mark Lamm, is based upon the values, principles, and practices of natural health as well as deeply held spiritual and metaphysical world views. The term "BioSync" includes two essential components: "bio" - meaning life, and "sync" - meaning synchronicity or harmony --- embodying the belief that a healthy life possesses the ultimate balance between mind, body, and soul.

The BioSync method is both a physical and energetic form of somatic bodywork which has received international recognition for its remarkable success with a wide range of muscular and trauma-related challenges. BioSync combines diverse Eastern and Western methods of healing to free the body/mind of limitations and associated dysfunction which present as pain, limited range of motion, structural anomalies and soft-tissue injuries.


Who Would Benefit?

What do Meryl Streep, Orlando Bloom, Cher, Lee Iacocca, Sasha Cohen, Margaret Thatcher,
Miro, Willie Nelson, Sting, Travis Rice, John Travolta, John McEnroe and Madonna all have in common? They, like so many others, are involved in some form of bodywork or somatic therapy.

BioSync is for everyone, from those who have experienced physical injuries and emotional insults to those who feel the everyday effects of stress, as well as those who simply wish to experience living life to the fullest.

BioSync is an extraordinary alternative to drugs, surgery, rehab and living with pain. So, if you are an athlete experiencing a hamstring pull, a chronic pain patient suffering from a back injury, a business executive seeking a higher level of performance, parent/grandparents wanting to remain playful throughout life, a weekend warrior suffering with knee trouble, or simply seeking to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health all of these challenges respond quickly and dramatically to BioSync.


BioSync Philosophy

The human body is a walking history of a person’s life, containing “recordings” of events which are experienced from infancy onward. These recordings include memories of trauma, resulting from either physical, emotional, or psychological insult or injury. Sources of these stressors include:
  • Genetic predispositions
  • Acute macro-trauma or chronic micro-trauma
  • Accumulation of negative thoughts
  • Physical effects of aging

In my experience, working with hundreds of people over the last 40 years, I have found that traumas can literally freeze time in the body. We all know people who are still living the Holocaust, Vietnam, the death of a loved one or most currently the events of September 11th. Please, take a moment and answer these questions:

  • Are you caught in a time warp caused by a traumatic event(s) in your life?
  • Are you free to move through time not hindered by your past?
  • What emotional traumas are keeping you from truly experiencing a joyous life free from past grief and sorrow?
  • What physical traumas are preventing you from leading an active life free from injury and pain?

As we experience insults and injuries, we begin to store and stack emotional and physical traumas. We are not our traumas yet most people live their entire lives through insult and injury - through the filter of emotional and physical traumas.

Unfortunately, the trauma of insults and injuries whether physical, mental, or emotional if left alone create a continuing loop of dysfunction. These trauma patterns, when left untreated, can show up as adverse health manifestations that can be as mild as a pinched nerve, sore neck, trick knee, anxiousness and nervousness or as extreme as a major illness and until these patterns are released they can continue to dominate and rule our lives.

BioSync is a proactive and preventative way to address these challenges resulting in restorative and lasting wellness. BioSync provides the technology to transform and restore the body to its true potential.


BioSync Touch & Movement Principles

The BioSync Method is an elegant three-step process that releases soft tissue at the deepest level, permanently erasing trauma and dysfunction. At the purely physical level, BioSync focuses on trauma memory recorded and stored in the body. There are three general principles to the physical interventions of BioSync:
  • Penetration of soft tissue
  • Lengthening of tissue through manual traction
  • Unwinding of cross-liked connective tissue

Penetration is accomplished through direct physical contact, lengthening is done through manual traction, and unwinding via the consultant’s movement in a spiral fashion is unique to BioSync and is what differentiates it from other forms of bodywork such as deep-tissue sculpting, passive joint movement or assisted stretching with compressions.

In actuality, these three touch and movement principles are part of a whole approach, or a greater gestalt. The intuitive and energetic aspects of BioSync, however, are absolutely critical to its practice.

Through touch and movement the BioSync consultant connects energetically with the client where there are dysfunctions as well as an ideal vision of the client’s structure and function.

This is why BioSync is so unusual. It is a highly technical, structural work which requires a thorough knowledge of anatomy. However, the effectiveness of this work is greatly dependent on the strength of the consultant’s intuition, and on the energetic connection between client and consultant.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

25 Years.




April 27th

My parents have been married for 25 years. They've raised one kid, 4 dogs, and 2 cats. They've grown huge gardens, raised pigs and chickens and pheasants and chukars and even a goat. They have traveled all over and spent summers on Sumner Ave. At the end of the day, they are best friends....BEST friends. And now through my dad's brain tumor they are stronger than ever - a team. And really, being a team is what it's all about. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I love you.





Monday, April 26, 2010

Yoga Swami

Last night had the most amazing yoga class ever @ Yoga Swami's.

Yoga Swami is a donation-based yoga studio in downtown Encinitas, CA, on the historic 101 coastal highway.

912 S. Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
Tel: (760) 840-1189
Email: info@yogaswami.com

Yoga Swami is a donation-based yoga studio in downtown Encinitas, CA, on the historic 101 coastal highway. It was founded to inspire a different way of being in the world by providing a place of nonexclusive community involvement and consistent practices that inspire its sustainability and the preservation of land. Yoga Swami is certified by the Green Yoga Association, a network of businesses, teachers and individuals who practice non-violence to the Earth through business and yoga, as an eco yoga studio.

Yoga Swami sits on land certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a part of its worldwide network of mini refuges. The certification recognizes the center’s conscientious planning, landscaping, and sustainable gardening, which allows for wildlife to find quality habitat-food, water, cover, and a place to raise their young. Built in the early 1940s, Yoga Swami is an integral part of the heritage and history of Encinitas.

Yoga classes are held inside a yurt, a circular structure that provides beauty, comfort, and durability. With its circular design and spacious interior, the architecture of the yurt encourages both an active yoga practice as well as quiet contemplation. What makes this space so special is that students practice together in a “kula” – community – setting: mats are facing toward the center, symbolic of both the inner center and the coming together of community.


The teacher that I had last night was amazing, Katie Brauer. I can't wait to take more of her classes in the upcoming week.

Originally from Sydney Australia, Katie teaches Kripalu/Vinyasa Flow Yoga and is a practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.

Known for her inspirational teaching style and ability to create a safe and sacred space, her classes are blend of Kripalu/Vinyasa Flow Yoga infused with yoga philosophy, technical alignment and her heart felt humor she draws on her own life experiences, her many teachers and her numerous adventures around the globe to bring you a truly multi-dimensional practice and experience.

Katie is a Certified Teacher of Kripalu Yoga, Shiva Rea Vinyasa/Prana Flow, Pre/post natal Yoga, Journey Dance and Yoga Trance Dance. A Certified Practitioner of Bio-Dynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Thai Yoga Bodywork and Massage Therapy. She has studied Reiki Level I & II, Reflexology, Chi Nei Tsang, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu in China. She is also Certified in Classical Pilates and studied Anatomy and Physiology at the University in Sydney. Katie teaches and leads workshops Internationally and throughout the USA.


*If you live around this area, or ever find yourself passing through - CHECK OUT YOGA SWAMI.



Liberation comes when you drown yourself in the nectar of who you are -Chris Tompkins

Sunday Siren Surf Session




So I finally got to meet the maker of my beloved bread n'butta...my 9' pintail singlefin longboard. Kevin. He's the man. And his girlfriend Amanda is the woman! AND world champion Kristy Murphy is hysterical and rips better than all of you! So stoked to finally meet up with this crew and super excited to have a surf with them. Tried out Kev's new model and we got to snap a few photos despite the lack of sun and not-so-epic surf. Siren {which is a branch of Channin} has a blog and posted a little blurb, check it out...you can also go to their gallery to see all the photos:
http://sirensurf.blogspot.com/2010/04/easy-like-sunday-morning.html

Here's some shots...





Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good Days, Every Day.


Good times on the regular.

Since I've arrived in Encinitas I have met a gajillion cool people, surfed some super fun {chilly} waves, cooked up some good meals for me and Len, hung with Fat Cat and gone out for some fun, cocktail filled nights with the crew. Having wheels has made a huge difference on this trip for me - though I spend most of my day with Lenny it's nice to have the independence of going where I want whenever I please...I think that Lenny likes it too, that way I'm not tagging along with him all day. Every morning starts with coffee of course! This is then followed by a surf check - we either walk a few steps and peek at the closest beach entrance or hop in the truck and check a few spots. When we get back to the house I slice up a bit of fruit to munch on before we head out for a surf. The rest of the day is spent putzing: Lenny is retired for the most part, but he's a workaholic - so this 'retirement' is actually torture for him I think. He spends his time working on the motorcycles and researching investment properties online and several other business ventures. He is constantly moving, so the second that he's not doing business he is either

-playing tennis
-playing soccer
-going for a walk
-going for a run
-cruising on the bicycle
-taking the stand up paddleboard wayyyy offshore to the kelp beds
-surfing
or anything else that you can think of that involves intense physical activity.

After coffee and the morning surf I spend my days eating, thinking about eating, cooking, thinking about cooking, or food shopping. There is some facebook there inbetween the food and more food, but conveniently enough the laptop I use is in the kitchen! I've also made a habit out of going to yoga class everyday, which has been delightful. Somewhere along the line I too participate in some form of physical activity - though not nearly as intense as what Lenny's on par with. I just go for a little stroll or a bike ride - but never too far. Yesterday {Saturday} was really fantastic. Woke up - morning routine {coffee, fruit, surf} and then we headed into town on bicycles for the Encinitas Street Fair.

It was more of the same stuff: unhealthy fair food {which is deeeelicious but not at all nutritious} and a bunch of stands selling the same things. We posted up at Beachside Bar and Grill...outside in the loveeely sun that finally decided to warm our hearts and faces. Met some MORE of Lenny's friends { by the way, he knows everyone} and was delighted at wonderful they were. Mia and Jesse were by far my favorites, and Jesse's equal passion for food made us instant friends. We spent the afternoon sitting in the sun, sipping on cocktails, and having intense conversations about salad dressings. We all cruised back to our friend Nick's house, who lives just a few houses down from us.

Old school, we pulled up some beach chairs around a table, drank beers and played cards. It was a blast. A legitimately wonderful time with some kickass people. I bowed out early to get my cook on: chili, curry apple salad, and a tossed green salad for later in the evening.

Apparently there was to be a huge fight on TV, so everyone was coming over to Lenny's to watch it! Aldo vs Faber. The fight was intense, the food was good, and the company was phenomenal. Len, Nick and I headed out to the Shanty afterwards, a little dive bar just around the corner. I was in my PJ's and only had one glass of wine. The boys were en fuego, playing intense rounds of fooseball.

We ended the night @ the Saloon where I met and fell in love with Erin. We made a yoga date for the next day to check out this studio Erin claims to be "the best". The boys had a good laugh that I picked up a girl at the bar {insert "ha ha" here, it's a joke} and then we all went home to bed. Woke up this morning and surfed Cardiff with the CHANNIN crew! Kevin, the shaper, was on the beach taking photos while his girlfriend Amanda and team rider {world champion} Kristy Murphy caught some waves with me. We had great chemistry in the water and out of the water the laughs were flowing. I was stoked to have met the creator of my favorite board, and Kevin was stoked to meet his biggest fan.

Passed some time hanging next door with Wallman, the neighbor and then hit yoga class this evening with Erin. Holy Christ Almighty - amazing. Aside from Michelle's classes back home, this was the best yoga class I've ever been to! I can't wait to go again tomorrow....and the day after, and the day after and the day after. Which reminds me - when am I heading home.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Encinitas, California




I’m going to move back to Heaven and open a coffee shop…I made 16 cups of coffee yesterday for all of my new friends here, and I made a wonderful batch of oatmeal for about half of them. I love it. I love feeding people, I love to eat, and I love the great sense of family and community that you experience when you sit at a table and share a meal. The coffee club has certainly grown in the past month. Now as I write this it is my last day in Mexico. I haven’t blogged in the past few days because I’ve been having too much damn fun. Dinner party, 6 people. Dinner party, 6 people + 1 straggler. Dinner party….4 courses, 13 people. The amazing thing, I cooked all of this food on one burner, with one pot and one mini-pan. I’m gonna toot my own horn and say that I even impressed myself! I’ve been having a blast hanging with our good crew: JamieD, Scott and Alex {Vancouver, Canada}, Luli Scott and Bill {Encinitas, California}, and Javier {Mexico City, Mexico}. Javier is 51 years old, a chef…a lover of women and food. He’s too kind, too compassionate and a good friend. Luli is a fucking fireball. Puerto Rican, ripper, en fuego 24/7. Her boyfriend Scott is tall, quiet, slow to talk and move but fast in the water. A shaper, a simple man, a perfectionist. Billy is their friend…originally an East Coaster, but living on the left coast for along time now. Blues band man, always smiling ear to ear, catches waves from the outside allllll the way to the beach – always a kind word rolling out of his mouth followed by a little chuckle. Good man. Scott and Alex, well they are just epic. New to the dinner table for my final night was Juan, Camilo and his girlfriend Nina. All from Panama, all absolutely lovely. Juan is very precise with his words, softly spoken, intelligent beyond his years and compassionate towards all things: large, small and inbetween. Lawyer turned environmentalist…lover of photography and Bonzer surfboards. Camilo is the frontman of the band CIENFUE – and outrageously talented, and successful Latin American band. His drop-dead-gorgeous girlfriend Nina is their manager. The centerpieces on the long beachside dining room tables were coconuts filled with fresh flowers that I’d collected from town. For dinner we started with a salad topped with tomatoes, marinated onions, bleu cheese, cucumbers, sunflower seeds and raisins – dressed with a homemade balsamic vinagrette. Next was a spicy seafood soup with lime and cilantro. It was supposed to have avocado in it and crackers on the side but the whole 13people/1burner thing had me a bit stressed out. Following soup was spaghetti with a white clam sauce. For dessert was flambĂ©ed mango and pineapple topped with vanilla ice cream, cinnamon and granola. Christ. To end it – we had shots of tequila. Vavavoom. We digested around the bonfire, had a few laughs and then retired for bed. Woke up, had some coffee, started to pack, had a little surf, and then finished packing. Had Luli and Bill over for some coffee and then we all went to the little shack up the way for some filet de pescado, served up with freshly made blue corn tortillas! MmMm! Loaded up the car, said our goodbyes – and finally parted with Jamie for the first time in two months! Bill, Luli, Scott and I hopped our flight to LAX and to my surprise and delight Alex and Scott were at the airport too…on the same flight!! The three hour flight to LA flew by because I was sitting with my favorite Canadian duo. Scott is an expert on Bali, so he helped me plan my trip for next year. Woohoo!! As we were approaching Los Angeles my excitement was quickly displaced by disappointment as the first billboard I saw read “1-800-GET-THIN”. Ugh. It’s going to be a bit of a culture shock being back in the States…especially being here in California. I know that I’m going to have a great time and I’m looking forward to heading home in a few weeks…but it finally hit me that my wintertime rendezvous is just about over. Currently I’m freezing my ass off in LAX with the crew, waiting for our commuter flight to San Diego where Lenny will be waiting to pick me up. I gotta say – I’m blessed with great adventures, beautiful surroundings, perfect waves, delicious food and good friends. Great friends. Amazing friends. Some that I have only known for a short amount of time- going to great lengths to accommodate me. Hospitality taken to a whole new level. California here I come.




I’m totally overwhelmed with hospitality. Lenny is amazing. Picked me up at the airport around midnight, hauled all my shit back to his house in Encinitas, and since my arrival he’s gone out of his way to make sure that I’m totally 100% comfortable. He has two vehicles, so he gave me the keys to the one…a new Toyota Tundra. Well, I haven’t driven a vehicle in over 6 months, and the one that I was driving here and there in Costa was like driving a tractor. I sat in the car for 5 minutes before I put the key in the ignition – mentally preparing myself to drive a vehicle…and not just any vehicle, but a beautiful clean and shiny vehicle that wasn’t mine, and in California traffic none the less! Bopped around all day running errands and spending lots of money. I bought a new camera, a new iTouch, badass microphone-included earbuds so I can use SKYPE on my iPod, a new cell phone, a wetsuit and some jeans – because it’s FREEZING here right now! Lenny told me that the news said it’s 20 degrees colder than the average for this time of year! Just wonderful. Made some friends in town at the surf shop where I was buying my suit and the one girl that worked at the shop even lent me her suit, which would be more appropriate in this cold ass weather! How cool! Brought the truck back to the house and walked a bit over a mile to Yoga Tropics for an evening class. It was $10…and that’s good for the whole week. Also, they run about 8 classes a day! Holy mackeral. The yoga class was great…in a heated room that they keep at around 102degrees. I was sweating to death, we all were, and we were crammed in that room like sardines…but it was a totally new, exciting class. Walked my sweatyass home, hopped on the Tetanus Shot {Lenny’s favorite bicycle} and sat at the beach – watching the sunset and the waves. The storm surf is finally gone and has cleaned up into some nice overhead, clean waves. I think that tomorrow will be really good. Going to catch a 5:30am yoga class, coffee and then a surf. Good times.


Lenny's Garage: all his toys and my tacklebox of a boardbag

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bonfire and Beers

Bonfire and Beers.

I decided that I’d had enough of everyone in this town just smiling at one another and tossing a wave in the air – we should all know each others names, have some conversations and get to know the people that we are sharing this intimate surf break and town with. SO, I invited everyone over for a bonfire and some beers. It was a great time and there was wonderful chemistry amongst the whole eclectic group. Scott played guitar and sang which was just amazing. Some people write beautiful lyrics, some people are extraordinary guitarist and some people have a voice that takes your breath away – well, Scott has all three. Jamie and I have become really close with him and his girlfriend Alex, sharing meals, music and laughing in the lineup. Anyways, there were still about a dozen people sitting around the bonfire when I retired for bed just after midnight, and at 6:30am when I woke the fire was still dwindling out front. Sipped some coffee and had another day of amazing surf. The vibe in the water this morning was especially special – the chemistry from the night before at the bonfire carried through to the lineup. Made some zucchini and onion curry over rice for breakfast and then made some dinner plans with Alex and Scott…it’s their last night L Just hanging at the house now, in the hammock…just being in the moment.

Be Here Now

Be Here Now.

Really been digging Mason Jennings’ record “Boneclouds”. The first song is titled “Be Here Now”….and it’s fucking amazing. It really hits home, and I thought that I’d share it with you all. These aren’t all the lyrics, but it’s what I’ve jotted down from listening to the song over and over and over again.

Be here now
No other place to be
Just sit here dreaming
Of how life would be
If we were somewhere better
Somewhere far
Away from all our worries
Well, here we are.
Be here now
No other place to be
All the doubts that linger
Set them free
And let good things happen
Let the future come
In to each moment, like the rising sun
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Its all new today
All we have to say is…
Be here now.
No other place to be
This whole world keeps changing
Come change with me
Everything that’s happened
All that’s yet to come
Is here inside this moment
It’s the only one.
Be here now.


Wow. Chills. Up and down my spine. Mr.Jennings, you sure are spot on. Be here now. My last week in Costa all I could think about was Mexico, and now that I’m in Mex all I can think about is California and what I have to do when I get home, I need to take a step back and just be here NOW. It’s like at the end of yoga class when we’re laying in Savasana. This final pose is to just be in the moment, absorb all that you’ve done and simply enjoy. Don’t worry about what you’re doing after class, a fight you had the night before, or the mile long chore list you have….just be.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Baller On A Budget

Heaven is expensive. Go ahead, laugh…but it’s true. People are always saying “Oh man, Mexico is so cheap…Costa is so expensive”…well, I say bullshit. The only way that Mexico is wallet friendly is if you are camping and cooking your own food. Lagarto, you told me about all of these little taco stands that have tacos 3x $1….they don’t exist anymore - atleast not within a 20mile radius of Heaven. Now, I’m not complaining, but – well, I’m complaining. And it’s not just me, I’ve heard this complaint from just about everyone under the sun here. The only person who has it wired is Bill. He drives his truck with a camper on top down to Mex and camps under a palapa for $5 a night. He cooks every single one of his meals, except for Tuesday nights when he goes out for Chile Rellanos which are $5. But for the average bear who isn’t driving down a camper for a few months, Mex is burnin’ through our pockets muy rapido. For example, the cheapest place to stay in town is $55 a night. That’s crazy! With my Spanish I bargained and bargained, threw my hands in the air, kicked the sand and finally got the Shack for $30 a night because we were staying for two weeks. In Costa I had a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with a pool, a huge backyard, a view of the ocean, internet, a cool breeze because we were atop the hill and a ginormous kitchen…which worked out to be $35 a night. In Costa you have the option to live dirt cheap or let the cash flow – in Heaven, I’m finding it difficult to live on my somewhat strict budget. Internet is just under $5 an hour which may not seem like much but when you are spending five bucks a day it adds up…quickly. I had two shots of tequila at the bar last night, in Mexico – the LAND OF TEQUILA…it was $8. FOUR DOLLARS A SHOT. I thought that tequila was supposed to be cheaper than water? Bent on my camera that drowned, my split lip, expensive internet and shots of tequila I rallied some of my other frugal frustrated friends and we all went in on a bottle of tequila together so we could drown our sorrows. Again, it was listed at 200pesos for a bottle, but somehow when we went to pay it was 250pesos. I guess that when they realized we wanted it that they could charge us extra…and we were so bent on being ripped off, we just paid it! G’dang I say! Scott, his girlfriend Alex, Jamie, Miles, his brother, Zoe and I all headed back to the Shack, started up a fire and started drinking tequila out of coffee cups, bowls and cleaned out yogurt containers. Two guitars were making their way around the circle and we just enjoyed some good time, inexpensive fun. Now, the crazy thing about tequila is that you keep drinking and drinking and you’re not drunk…until you’re drunk. I sipped on tequila for well over an hour, occasionally taking a bite of lime here and there. And then it was like a light switch was flicked and I had a tingly feeling all over. Boom, I was drunk. Woke up this morning feeling like a million bucks – tequila, you are too kind. Had some coffee and shook all the bad vibes away. Heaven, you are expensive – but I still love you. Next time though I’m going to Honduras or Guatemala because this girl is a baller on a budget.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mad Mexico

I think that Mexico is mad at me…I’m not sure why, but she’s let me know. Last night while walking back from Heather’s place my camera fell out of my bag {I only discovered the hole in my bag this morning}. I didn’t realize the camera was missing or discover the hole until about 6am today. As soon as the sun rose I began my walk down the beach, scanning the sand hoping to come across it. No camera, but I did come across my new friend Leslie who said that she’d found it last night and left it at the bar up the way- It was ruined by the ocean, but maybe I could salvage the memory card. Damnit. To cheer myself up I paddled out for some waves. The first wave I take off too deep, miss the section, abandon ship with my arms over my head, and underwater my board punches me in the face. I split my lip on the outside and my teeth went through my gums on the inside of my lip. I was just praising the higher power that my teeth were still there…I thought for sure I was going to look like a 7 year old, missing my front two teeth. I was on the brink of tears when a man paddled up to me a few minutes later, a good surfer who’s been in town for a few days with his wife. He said “Are you on the pro tour?”…I started to laugh, but my lip hurt too much so I just let out a giggle and said “No.” I thought he was just being polite…’oh, poor girl with a fat lip’, I guess I’ll say something nice. HA! Then he said “Well, who are your sponsors?” Again, I let out a little laugh and said “Just me.” And as soon as I thought he said all the nicest things possible, he says “Well, the only other person that I have seen look so beautiful and graceful on a longboard is Joel Tudor”. Well, G’DAMN! Despite the fat, split lip I was grinning from ear to ear. Surely an exaggeration on his part, but it filled me up with some good stuff none-the-less. Despite the nicest compliment I’ve ever heard my face was throbbing and I was just having a hard time shaking my funky mood. Cut my session short, only two hours today. Came in for some oatmeal and decided to sit down and come up with a PLAN…you all know how much I love a plan! Sat down at the internet and began looking up flights and sending out emails. I love surfing, but my FAVORITE reason for travel is meeting new people…and heavens almighty I have met some wonderful, outta-this-world people over the past few years. I’m pretty good at staying in some form of regular contact with my many newfound friends, and I try if at all possible to visit when I can. An easy place to visit is the West Coast, and I’ve met boatloads of people over time who reside there. So I decided…California it is. Now, where to stay? Earlier this year when I was in Costa my friend Brian Bouregious was up north in Samara. He is developing land in nearby town Camaronal and invited me up to his place. Brian told me that there would be several other people coming and going over the two weeks he was there, but that I was more than welcome to stay at the casa. So, I rented a car and drove four hours north for a visit. The house was absolutely stunning and I was instantly glad for taking him up on the offer. Also at the house was his cousin Ben Bourgeious {pro surfer}, Nate Lee {professional videographer and photographer}, Travis Deitz {comedian…}, and Lenny Jones. Lenny is Volcom’s #1 rep…he has been in the surf industry for a long time and is very involved with the surf community as well as his hometown community of Encinitas. For the week I was there I was cooking three delicious square meals a day…a treat for these boys who are accustomed to PB&J’s and spaghetti on surf trips. Lenny said that whenever I wanted to visit that he had a house on the beach with a spare bedroom in Encinitas. I shot him an email this morning on facebook and now I’m going to ENCINITAS!! I leave Mexico on April 23rd and I’ll be in California until May 6th. I cannot travel on the train with my 9’ longboard, so I plan on leaving that at Lenny’s and taking the train up the coast to visit some friends and family. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet up with new friends Zeuf and Heather in Santa Cruz for another premier of Heathers’ film The Women and the Waves. All in all, excited for a new adventure and looking forward to being home in three weeks. It’s been a great year, and I know that they will only get better. And as long as I don’t have a split lip, I won’t stop smiling!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Women in Waves





Women in Waves:

Just got back from the showing of the Women in the Waves…and it was outstanding. I shed a few tears, burst out into laughter several times, and was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time. If you have not seen this movie, go out and buy it. Not now – right now! There were some amazing surfers in the movie that Heather created, but one that really stood out was Zeuf. Zeuf is one of the women who has been here in Heaven with the group of California women. She has a crazy head of curly hair and a huge smile. Her and I have had a good connection and we’ve been enjoying our water time together the past few days. It wasn’t until I was watching Heather’s film that I discovered she had beaten breast cancer…TWICE and is currently battling bone cancer that has spread throughout her body. Her and her husband both were interviewed in the Women in the Waves, and both talked about how fighting cancer has given her a new appreciation for life: all aspects…small, big and inbetween. She talked about how you appreciate the color of the water at sunset, or the smell of the beach. Every day is a blessing. It really hit home with me and instantly brought up thoughts of my Dad. Some people don’t understand why I travel while my Dad is sick…but what makes him happiest is me enjoying life. I drink it up, every day. And keeping this blog is my way of sharing with him {as well as my mother and all of you} how exciting life is, every second. My parents were always lovers of life, but this battle has certainly given them, and me, a whole new perspective on the beauty of life. So, not only did I think that Zeuf was a kickass woman when we initially met, but after hearing about her strength and her journey – well, she’s simply amazing. I’m really enjoying my time here in Heaven, and I feel especially lucky to have strolled in during this window of time when such awesome people were in town. The universe has a funny way of filling you up with just what you need at just that moment. Pura Vida.

Gorditas pero Bonitas.



GORDITAS pero BONITAS.

Day 4 & 5:

Lourdes Bar & Grill has a great upstairs…all open, a few hammocks, overlooking the ocean. A perfect spot for a yoga class! SO, a few girls that I met in the water, Lourdes and I had a yoga class up in the airy loft. It was wonderful and relaxing and oh-so-necessary after my 5 hour super session earlier in the day. I came downstairs and the family that lives across the way was hanging out in the restaurant. I played some ping pong and then headed back to the families house to play some music. Miles plays guitar, and I joined in with my Martin. A few songs into our jam session, newbie in town, Scott, strolled over with his girlfriend. I’d heard he was a musician so I insisted he take my guitar and play a few tunes. Well…holy shit. Scott is somethin’ else. Picture Brett Dennan meets Mason Jennings meets Xavier Rudd – but with a unique voice and the most alive guitar playing that I’ve ever witnessed. MUY cool. After hearing him play, neither Miles nor me wanted to chime in – so we just sat in awe, listening to several of Scott’s outstanding original tunes. Headed to bed and awoke to the sound of waves – big waves…just outside my door. Made coffee and then JamD and I waited for the sun to rise so we could check out what mother nature had in store for us. Well, it was kinda messy and mixed up. We watched for two hours, waiting. Everyone that exited the water had the same thing to say, “Well, it’s just okay. Had one or two good ones but that’s about it.” Robert said it was nothing to write home about, so he cut his surf session short and sat with us. Made him some coffee, and his buddy Brad some tea with honey. It was their last day in town, and it was Brad’s property manager Beto that was going to drop them at the airport and let us tag along to stop at the ATM and the supermarket in Ixtapa. Woohooo! Beto is probably in his mid-thirties. Wife, one daughter, Mexican, and has lived in La Saladita his whole life. He speaks a tiny bit of English, but most of our conversations were just in Spanish. We dropped the men at the airport and then stopped off at Commercial, the huge supermarket. Jam and I loaded up, hit up the ATM and then were back on the road. Beto insisted we stop for lunch at POLLO FELIZ for the best chicken around. Well, I was muy feliz with my pollo at Pollo Feliz! The three of us split the Pollo Entero: a whole, huge roasted chicken. With it came a lip-smacking salsa, lettuce, pickled onions, limes and an endless supply of freshly cooked tortillas! The three of us ate until we were on the brink of exploding. Once again, I was so relieved to have worn stretchy shorts! We also had 2 beers, 2 bottles of water and one club soda. The grand total for the three of us to leave fat and happy: 150 pesos. That’s about $13. When the bill came I pulled out money to pick up the tab – afterall, Beto didn’t have to drive us all around, and he was doing us a HUGE favor {there is no supermarket or ATM within an hour of Saladita}. Beto was appalled that I had even THOUGHT of paying a dime, and he insisted on paying the tab. He said in Mexico the women NEVER pay. Never. Nunca. And that this situation was no different. All that I could do was to say thank you with a big smile and a full belly. I patted my stomach and said “Oyyy, GORDITA!” {Gorda is fat. Gordita is like saying little fatty or chubby girl}. He laughed and said in Mexico they have a saying “GORDITAS pero BONITAS” which directly translates to “Chubby girls but beautiful girls!”. They don’t want any skinny girls with flat asses around here! Haha. The whole lunch made me think of my parents: first of all because my Dad eats the shit outta chicken, it’s his favorite food – and second of all, because my Ma is a gordita too! Food coma the whole way home, and then Beto dropped us off at our front door with all of our groceries. Not much else to report. I think that tonight we are headed to Troncones to see a surf video at Present Moment, a huge yoga studio. The video they are playing is Women in Waves that was actually created by the woman Heather I’ve been mentioning in the blog. She’s been here with the group of women from California. I’m pretty excited, might even shower and slap on some earrings…

Monday, April 12, 2010

La Punta de Mujeres

“La Punta de Mujeres”
Day 3 & 4:
So yesterday we left our temporary digs for our permanent residence…”The Shack”. The Shack is about 6 steps from the beach, and well quite literally, it’s a shack. There are two beds with mosquito netting, two fans and two “windows” with no screens, which we can open or close. The bathroom is outside. We have no sink inside, just a minifridge and a little burner. It’s PERFECT. It gets a great breeze because we are right on the ocean. I bargained the price down as low as the owner would go, to $30 a night. This is the cheapest place in town by far. Love it. After we moved in we went out with Bill to a place just a walk down the beach. We had chile rellanos for dinner with him and a group of his friends. A good group of people. It was Izzie’s birthday, so we all had shots of tequila. Woohooo! Woke up to a chilly morning…I’m glad that they gave us heavy covers. Put on my sweatshirt and sipped coffee outside with Miss JamD, just barely able to see the waves through the darkness. 7:15am the sun began to peek through, enough so that we could see the waves. We were waxed up and in the water a little after 7:30. Now, I’ve been asked by several people to leave this town unnamed – they’ve specifically asked me not to mention it on my blog. So, I’ll call it “La Punta de Mujeres” or for short, HEAVEN. For the 3rd day in a row I surfed with just under 20 women in the water. It’s amazing. There is a big group from California, ranging from their 30’s to 60’s, all traveling with Linda Benson. Linda is 66 years old and still shines. She paved the way for women’s surfing, among her many accomplishments was being the first female to surf Waiemea in Hawaii. All the women traveling with her are really fantastic surfers, which is great – because it’s raising the bar for everyone in the water. We are all pushing each other and encouraging one another. One of the Cali crew is Heather. A mother of two, soul surfer, smile from ear to ear. She’s wonderful. Heather is a filmmaker, and has be in and produced several films about surfing, more specifically – women’s surfing. This break has been a bit crowded with crews of people, but everyone is amazingly friendly and there is a great rotation in the water. The waves just fire through, constantly. To paddle back out takes a good 5 minutes, so it keeps the lineup flowing. My body was exhausted from the two days prior, but you wouldn’t know it by watching me. I surfed for FIVE hours today – nonstop. No breaks, no lulls…constant surfing. I was being hooted into waves by the famous Linda Benson, smiling from ear to ear as I’d pull into a perfect wave, solid overhead, and hang five for what seemed to be miles on end. We were joking and calling it “Ladies Point”, but really…this spot is Heaven. Well, my exact heaven would be a RIGHT point break as opposed to a left, and it would have a hummus + pita shack on the beach – but those minor details aside, this is as close to heaven as I’ve ever been. Another favorite of mine in the lineup is Robert. Robert is 51 years old, from California, and he has a great, smooth style. He is a 6’2” black man, and with that comes a thousand funny jokes, all made by him. Just a good guy, with a good vibe….not afraid to be surrounded in the lineup by a ton of girls who are ripping it up. Following this mornings surf was some kickass oatmeal and then some R&R in the hammocks hanging outside our house. This is so very different from Oeste, but in a way that is perfect for me right now. I’m really excited to spend some more time here and meet some more of these outstanding people. Bah, if anybody asks….I’m in HEAVEN.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Mex

Day 2 & 3:

Well…two beers, internet and then some chill time on the porch. Playing guitar, watching the pipas grow. Excuse me, “coco’s”. For dinner I made a big salad, rice and beans. The salad had roasted beets, goat cheese, avocado, pickled red onions and sunflower seeds. The dressing was honey & lime juice, salt and pepp. MmMmMm. Woke up at 5:30 this morning and did yoga on our porch, only light being a few little tea candles. A little after 6:30 we started on some Bialetti and by 7:30 we were sitting in the lineup…the sun still struggling to come out. I was freezing…cool water, cool breeze and no sun. Goosebumps in Mex! Bah. We shared the peak with a few other people for the first hour and then it got really crowded after that. Still managed to catch some amazing waves…fast, perfect faces, peeling forever. After about two hours we decided that we were tired enough and hungry enough to let the crowds force us out. I made scrambled eggs, rice and beans, some sliced up tomato and cabbage topped with lime juice and a dash of EVOO. Sipping on some hot black tea {Lipton’s, of course} with cream and sugar, typing this blog as I sit on my beachside porch. The waves are still firing in – well overhead, clean lines. Maybe we will rally and paddle out for a second session. Or maybe we’ll just lay in the hammocks and watch the coco’s grow….

I always miss my family – starting the minute I pull out of their driveway en route to the airport. But it’s really starting to sink in. It’s been about 4 months since I’ve seen them, and about 6 months since I’ve been settled back at home. Missing Shawnie too. Hoping that he is having a good time in Australia. We decided that it’s best to cut communication, which I’m finding rather difficult. For two years he was my best friend and confidant. I want to tell him all about my fun adventures – the perfect waves I’ve had, and the funny face plants. Several times I day I think “Bah, Shawn would love this” or “Ha – wait til I tell Shawnie!” I’m guessing this gets easier with time? Also, Jamie leaves in 10 days, but I think I need a bit more time here before heading back to the Northeast. I’m giving myself one week for things to work themselves out, and if they don’t – I’ll return to the States. Otherwise, the adventure will continue for a bit longer. As of this moment I have no ticket, no plan and no idea of what’s next. I think I like it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

MEXICO.

First Class to our final adventure.

That’s right. FIRST CLASS.

Wednesday afternoon Mike {that owns Costa Rica Dive & Surf in Dominical} and his girlfriend, Alicia came to visit. We walked out to La Sirena, had a beer, swam in the pool and then cleaned up for my last dinner in Costa Rica: TSUNAMI SUSHI. It was only appropriate…it always seems to be where I have my farewell Costa dinner, and it’s perfect because I highly doubt there are sushi places where we are headed in Mexico. After sushi we went to Vago’s for some beers, and unfortunately a few tequila shots. Vago just won’t take no for an answer. JamieD was skating all over the place, in a little onesie and some flip flops – still whooping the guys asses, busting ollies and a bunch of other crazy shit. We retired home before 10pm and went right to sleep. Woke up the next morning and took Mike and Alicia to Bejuco. I was hoping for a repeat of the day before: overhead barrels, crystal clear water. It was pretty similar, just a lot faster and a lot heavier. Went back to the house to get ready for my LAST yoga class of this season. It was lovely and peaceful and all that a yoga class should be. Following the class I served up some brunch and before you knew it there was a full blown party happening at my house! Beers, pool, and more than 20 people! Though the day was filled with chaos I managed to sell my truck, get one puppy adopted in Dominical {Arena went home with Mike and Licia for a friend of theirs} and in the final hours Brett decided to adopt my little Miss Tibby! Mama Lee arrived a little after 2pm and joined in on the festivities. We hung around for a few hours, said our goodbyes and then hoped in the car with Lee and headed back to Atenas. I was definitely filled with a bit of sadness as we pulled out of town, but not to worry…I’ll be back in a few months – this family and I will pick up right where we left off in no time! Back in Atenas, Mama Lee fed us a huge delicious dinner – we started a movie, and were all asleep within 20minutes. Woke up at 4:25am, loaded up the taxi @ 4:45am and were standing in the airport by 5:30am for our 7:15 flight. My PIC and I were all smiles and so ready for our next adventure.

We board the plane and quickly realize that we are seated in FIRST CLASS. Once before this has happened to me, but we didn’t get the royal treatment, I think that they had just been out of seats. Well seconds after sitting down we are approached by the steward who asks us if we’d like a refreshment before takeoff. Of course! CafĂ© con leche, por favor! We were grinning from ear to ear, or as JamieD would say “STAGE DIVING” over this little perk…and after takeoff we almost died of excitement when they fed us fresh fruit and orange juice, using real tableware…and CLOTH NAPKINS! We had more coffee and then just when we thought it couldn’t get any better they asked “French toast or omlette?” I had the French toast, which was probably the best I’ve EVER had. It was served with delightful sausage links and warm rolls – with butter and jam. Jamie had the omlette which she was moaning and groaning over: filled with meat and spinach with melted cheese and topped with a perfect salsa…served with grilled potatoes. We were like little girls, laughing hysterical. We couldn’t stop. Two scruffy, unshowered, sleepy surfer girls…surrounded by Mexican businessmen, laughing uncontrollably. As soon as I thought that our laughing was done I took a sip of my OJ, only to have it come out my nose seconds later – prompted by more hysterical laughter from my PIC seated beside me. “Good times on the reg.” We stretched out in our huge, comfy “lazy-boy-esque” seats and napped for a while. When we went to the VIP first class bathroom, we were ecstatic with the discovery of HOT WATER. We both gave ourselves mini-facials…the first hot water that we’ve had in months. Now we are sitting in the airport in Mexico City. We have a few hours to kill before our one hour connecting flight to Ixtapa, so we are gonna chillout, have some coffee, laugh over the goodtimes, think about the adventures to come and lay in the Legs Up The Wall pose for a while – all this traveling has made us stiff! Pura Fucking Vida.

A quick and easy flight to Ixtapa, about the same sized airport as Atlantic City. Perfect. Grab our boards and my big duffel bag filled with coffee, spices, condiments and food and then we are through customs. You can’t miss Bill, he has a crazy head of curly hair—and he couldn’t miss us, two riff-raff scruffy girls hauling a ten foot double board bag through the airport. We all hit it off instantly. Loaded up Bill’s Toyota Tundra and then cruised to the big supermarket in town. Well, Bill’s got quite the setup. For $36 he is allowed to bring his truck into Mexico. He has a sweet camper on the bed of the truck and for $5 a night he can camp on the beach under a palapa that has hot water and all the amenities. Pretty sweet. Anyways, arrive at the supermarket and Bill warns us to stock up – because we won’t be coming back this way, and the two little supers that are near our town don’t have much – and by the way, they aren’t walking distance, so you probably won’t be visiting them much either. We grab all the essentials and for a little under 70 bucks each we a full cart and enough food to last us the two weeks until JamieD leaves. I was pretty impressed with the supermarket, they had a huge variety: and we even treated ourselves to goat cheese with herbs, bleu cheese, and some amazing baguettes and loaves of bread! REAL bread, delicious, you’d-think-it’s-from-the-states bread! Dear Mexico, please teach Costa Rica how to make a decent loaf of bread. We load up the truck with our essentials {rice and beans} and treasures {good wine, bread and cheese}, and then we are headed towards the beach. Bill is the BEST tour guide ever. Super informative, super helpful and has made this transition from Costa to Mex super easy. We pull up into a very small, muy tranquilo town. It’s less then half the size of Esterillos, which is pretty damn mellow. We traded in our huge house on the hills in Esterillos where we’d lay in bed sipping coffee and watch the sunrise, for a small shack literally steps from the beach in Mexico, where we can lay in bed and sip wine {or rather, Tequila} and watch the sunset. Not too bad. I’m a bit thrown off by the sunrise and sunset here: right now it is 6:30am as I lay in bed and type this blog, yet the sun has still not made it’s presence known. Pitch black. And I’ve been up since 5am! Last night the sun didn’t really go down until just before 8pm as well, which is a few hours later than Oeste. Oh, the excitement of a new place! Hopefully the bugs are more mellow here than they’ve been in Costa the past few weeks. JamieD said that she surely has more bug bites than there are people in this town – and I’m not too far behind her. In this new place we are looking forward to early nights, early mornings filled with yoga, less bugs, spending less money and surf surf surf. This is a left point break, so it looks like my backside is going to be whipped into shape. Oh, and just FYI: every freaking break in a 100 mile radius is a left point break. Whooopow!

We’ve traded one paradise for the another. Pura Vida.

Okay, Saturday morning. Alarm goes off at 5am. Hit snooze several times because there is no sun in sight. Wake up at 6am…still pitch black but figure that the sun has to be rising soon. Made coffee in my Bialetti…Adam was holding it hostage for awhile, but now it’s back. 6:30am, JamD and I are sipping coffee, wondering where the sun is. Listening to the waves, began prepping our boards: fins in, waxed up, ready to go. 7am…where in the hell is the sun? I would have been in the water for atleast an hour by now if this was Costa. Christ. What’s going on. Finally around 7:15 the sun begins to peak through and around 7:30 we paddle out to the left point break. Whoa, get worked cause I drop in too late and too deep. This wave has power. Shoulder high {not on me, on a person of average height} and then a few feet overhead on the sets. Clean and perfect and peeling and holy shit, we are in heaven. Now if only this were a RIGHT point break as opposed to a left. Oh well. Start out with only 5 people in the water…great vibe and steady exchange of waves. About two hours later team Roxy, literally team Roxy, paddle out. With them is Linda Benson – she paved the way years ago for women’s surfing. A whole crew of Cali girls…and now we are outnumbering the guys – 16 women in the water. Holy estrogen! Peak gets a little crowded, but everyone is super friendly and sharing waves. We get out of the water at 11:45…a solid four hour session. Despite the long water time we don’t have a sunburn! The water here is cool, actually a bit too chilly for me the first hour out this morning. The air is cool and sun is not nearly as fierce as Costa. Stomachs growling, we throw down some yogurt and granola and then nap…for a few hours! Bill came by for a visit so we chatted away on the front beach, steps from the beach and a beautiful breeze. Unfortunately you can only get one session in around here this time of year, but I’m not too upset – because my one session was pretty freaking fantastic, and four hours has left my body feeling whooped. Going to do some yoga, hop in the internet so I can post this blog and let my family know I’m alive, drink a beer and then head back to la casita for dinner and bed. Life is good.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Two Thumbs to Dominical


Oh me, oh my. The adventures we've had.



First of all, I realize that I keep talking about Semana Santa...and you probably have no idea what the hell Semana Santa is:

Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) and Good Friday, and lasts from Palm Sunday (or in the Eastern, Lazarus Saturday) until but not including Easter Sunday, as Easter Sunday is the first day of the new season of The Great Fifty Days. It commemorates the last week of the earthly life of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Well, for those who live in Costa Rica at the beach it's absolute hell. Tico's fill the town with their coolers and tents and food and garbage. They shower in the river...as well as swim in it, shower in it, and god knows what else. It's like the 4th of July in Ocean City...but on crack. JamieD and I decided to escape the chaos and head for Dominical for a few days - a town that is usually busier than Esterillos, but for this Tico holiday it would be less crowded and just full of the normal flow of tourists.

The adventure begins...
We get out of the water with 20minutes to get rinsed off, changed, boards put away and down to the bus stop...which is outside of town. Bah. We are hauling ass down the hot blacktop, sun beating down on us -- I'm carrying a backpack and a bag full of groceries: bottle of red wine, pineapple, 5 mangoes, bag of linguini, pasta sauce, dried bananas and raisins, and tortillas. The essentials. Jamie is making me laugh, so I have to keep stopping to cross my legs so I don't pee my pants...then I need a second to regain composure, catch my breath, and catch up. We get to the bus stop and we wait. And wait. Hundreds of cars pass us, all beeping their horns - which isn't too unusual cause we are two gringas standing on the side of the road. It's actually unusual if they don't honk. Little do we know that they are all beeping and laughing. Why are they laughing, you ask...because it's Good Friday, and there aren't any buses that run on Good Friday. Dumb gringas. We were already completely set on heading to Dominical, so we decide that we are going to have to thumb it there. As soon as the thought popped into our minds a man stopped his car and asked where we were going. A tico, mid-40's, glasses...and sized so that Jamie and I could both kick his ass if he tried any shit. With both of our assessments we glanced at eachother, smiled, and hopped in the car. Martin didn't speak any English, so him and I chatted in Spanish. We all stopped for breakfast, we picked up the tab, and then within an hour we were hopping out of the car in Dominical, waving goodbye and thanks. First stop was Soda Nanyoa, clearly, my favorite place in Dominical and where I eat all of my meals. Gave hugs and kisses to the whole family that owns/operates it and sipped on some of their delicious coffee. After cafe Jam and I strolled into my friend Taylors' bar, Que Nivel. All rooms were rented in town but one of her employees was away on a surf trip so she put us in his room. She assured us that he wouldn't mind, and she apologized profusely for how dirty it was. Boys....ew. Clean your room. Details aside, we were thankful for a {free} place to stay. We cruised around town and reconnected with all of my old but dear friends. It was GREAT to see everyone's familiar faces and we made plans for the next few days. Took a dip in the river with Taylor and Brittany {britt works with Taylor at the bar, and is originally from margate. we've known eachother for several years now...}, played with the dogs, and enjoyed the nice cool water. Because it was Good Friday, no alcohol was to be served until midnight...good thing we brought that bottle of red wine! We made some makeshift Sangria {club soda, Te Frio fruta mixtas, and red wine} and brought it down to the beach for sunset in a water bottle along with plastic cups. Had some dinner at Que Nivel, hung out with friends, and then celebrated the stroke of midnight like it was New Years Eve...which a shot of tequila! Went out to a local disco later for some dancing and then to bed.

Next morning. Saturday. Day before Easter. Buses are now running, alcohol is being served, and Jam and I are a bit hungover. We have some coffee, laugh, and then go for a refreshing swim. We swim and swim and swim and smile. The simple things. So wonderful. Head back to Nanyoa for cup of coffee #2 along with Gallo Pinto and some fried plantains. Yum. My friend Mike owns the dive shop in town, Costa Rica Dive and Surf. He took a half day from work and so did Taylor, so we all headed up to Gil's house. Gil is from North Carolina, a dive instructor working for Mikey. He has one day off, and we totally invaded his peaceful home atop one of the highest mountains around Dominical. In our truck was Mike, his girlfriend Alicia, Taylor, Brittany, Me and 3 dogs: Mickey a huge rottweiler, Lulu another big rotty, and then little miniature Mowgli. Unexpected visitors, The Goodmans, showed up too. The parents, their 3 insane boys until 12 years old, and one of the boys friends. The pool was mayhem and the dogs were running around like lunatics - so Taylor and I took refuge in the kitchen and started cooking. After the Goodman army rolled out everyone relaxed and enjoyed the silence. We all vowed not to have children for a long, long time. We ate and chatted and laughed, a lot. Headed back down the mountain and into town and got ready for ROCA VERDE!!! The Saturday night disco...my favorite. It would be especially fun tonight because everyone was at the beach for Semana Santa. Well, when we got back to the bar there was a guy who approached Taylor with a confused and somewhat frustrated look on her face. It was Frederico, her employee that had been away on a surf trip. He came home a few days early....and his room was filled with bathingsuits, towels and backpacks. Ha. We all laughed off the situation and moved our stuff up into Taylors room - even though he insisted we stay in his bed. Ha. Right... We pregamed at Taylors, Que Nivel, with shots of tequila. It went like this: glass of water, shot of tequila alongside a shot of orange juice. This process happened about 5 times and then we were out the door, into a cab, and on our way for the DISCO. Everyone posted up at the bar but Jamie and I beelined for the dance floor. We didn't leave the floor for 3 hours, except for the occasional bathroom break. At 3am when we hopped a cab home we both looked like we had just gotten out of a swimming pool. Completely saturated with sweat. Shit eating grins from ear to ear. We instantly went to sleep, and we slept hard. Woke up the next morning: coffee @ Nanyoas, long swim in the ocean, back to Nanyoas for food. Taylor had business to take care of at the bar, but Jamie and I decided to spend easter with Mike and his girlfriend, so we hitchhiked up to their great cabina in the hills headed to San Isidro. We were tired and hungover, but Mikey mentioned WATERFALL and we both perked up. A decent, somewhat scary adventure and then we arrived. The most beautiful views I've ever seen in Costa Rica, and I forgot my g'damn camera! shit shit shit! Well, we were at the TOP of the Nauyaca waterfall...a waterfall I have frequented several times on horse tours, but we came in from the opposite side - and from a few hundred feet above. We trekked down the side of the mountain to the base of the smaller waterfall and swam in the refreshing, cold water. Left the waterfall and had some dinner at a great Mirador further up the mountain. I was so cold that I was craving a sweater. What a good day. What good people. I love Costa Rica.

Spent the night @ Que Nivel and hopped the 5:45am bus back to Oeste this morning. Hung around the house, napped, putzed and cleaned. Only a few days left in paradise, so I'm soaking it all up. Pura Vida.