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Friday, February 17, 2012

Vacations Reconsidered

Beachside on the Gold Coast.

If you had asked me a few years ago what my ideal vacation was, I would probably say something about hiking in South America or exploring cities in Europe or skiing. I would not have mentioned the beach. I don't like sitting on a beach and relaxing all day and getting sandy. OK, I could probably do it for one day but then I need to do something more. Plus, I get all hot and sweaty and my sensitive, eczema-prone skin starts to flair up. Not exactly a pretty sight. However, since I've started surfing, I've started to reconsider my vacations. Vacation decisions now largely hinge on one question, "Can we surf?"

This made me think back on some of the vacations that Ed and I have taken in the past. I realized something. We have traveled quite a bit over the last ten years and we have been to some of the world's premier surf destinations but didn't even know it - weren't even interested in surfing. If we saw someone surfing, it was just another sight to see and a fact duly noted -"Oh look, someone's surfing out there." Most of the time we didn't even mention it.

Surfers in the San Jose Bay of Los Cabos

For example, a few years back, we traveled to a friend's wedding in Cabo San Lucas. The wedding was held at the Cabo Surf Hotel! As my friends got married on the beach, there was a good number of surfers in the water. As we were enjoying cocktails and snacks, surfers were coming out of the water, rinsing off and talking about the amazing surf session they just had.

Matt Wilkinson at the Rip Curl Pro Search contest in Ocean Beach, SF

We've traveled along the Gold Coast in Australia, in Mexico and around Hawaii. Ed went with a couple of friends to Nicaragua and hung out in San Juan del Sur, a popular surf destination. And California and New York!! Rockaway Beach is a 40 minute drive from our house and there are numerous surf spots on Long Island from Montauk to Long Beach. We travel to California a couple times a year. Mavericks - one of the most famous big waves - is a half mile off the coast of Half Moon Bay which is less than an hour from where my family now lives (and much closer to where I grew up). Not to mention the surf at Ocean Beach in San Francisco where the Rip Curl Pro Search contest was held last fall.

Long Beach, New York - a 40 minute train ride from Penn Station in New York City

All of this time, surfing has been right under our noses and we didn't even realize it. Isn't it funny how your perspective can change? How it can change how your view, your decision calculus and your priorities? Now, every time I catch a glimpse of the ocean, I scan the water for the beautiful, organized lines of swell in the water making their steady roll towards the shore. Every time I see a wave, I begin to wonder if it's surfable whereas before, I would look for calm ocean water. Vacation planning has definitely taken a distinctive turn. It means that I get to go back to some of these places, right?

Your Turn!
What's your ideal vacation spot? Has this changed over the years? Has your perspective on something changed in a way that's surprised you?

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At February 19, 2012 at 3:00 PM , Anonymous allison w said...

haha totally with you on this! been to tahiti, cabo, bali (3x) with nary a thought of surfing, now no beach vacation considered unless surfing is a possibility! last christmas zihuatenejo - meh overall but amazing deserted point break. next christmas mal pais/santa teresa. and saturday, nosara! now all I need to do is get my daughter and husband on board!

At February 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thanks for you comment Allison. It is crazy how everything has changed. We usually spend part of the summer up in the Hudson Valley but have decided to head out to Montauk this summer instead. I'm lucky that my husband is on board with me but now we're working on our sons. Trying to convert them while they are young and it's easy to learn to surf!

At February 19, 2012 at 7:53 PM , Blogger Hannah Cloud said...

you are a blogging rock star. i definitely need to figure out how to get my email alerts turned on. sorry to hear about your knee. boo.

At February 20, 2012 at 2:00 PM , Blogger Surfing Grandma of OC said...

I HEAR YOU!! As a matter of fact I just came back from a 3 day trip from San Diego. I did stop at 3 surf spots on the way. ONE Of my favorites.. but alas I didn't bring a board or surf.(However I did pick up my custom board on the way home.. a blog to follow shortly) AND I past 3 of my favorite spots to surf while driving up the coast. I could not stop at them all. I really wanted too. AND while driving I kept peaking at the ocean and said oh that would be too walled to surf. OH there are some clean lines here.. OH tide is really low. SO funny how surfing instills into your blood when you become a surfer. EVERYTHING revolves around it.BUT this trip was not about surfing it was about my daughter and we went to an art exhibit at the SD Museum of Art. Did other side fun things that revolved around her. It was HER trip..BUT she did humor me with a few surf stops.. just to look along the way ;-)! AND Yes now that my husband has started to surf...We talk about camping and now not only we talk about camping where he can fish..which was the norm.. BUT now lets find a surf camp spot. HA!

At February 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM , Blogger Christine said...

That sounds like such a great trip with your daughter. I can't wait to hear about your board! I know, it's funny how differently I look at the ocean now. I hope you and your husband find a nice surf camp spot :-)


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