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I Can Still Surf

December 8, 2011

Wait. Let me start from the beginning here.

So for as hysterical as the last flight was, the next, got even worse. Kidding. I felt compelled to start like that because I know the particular person I sat next to will read this at some point…

I take my seat and watch to see who is going to end up sitting next to me. Lady with a baby… Nope. Guy who’s already talking everyone’s ears off… Nope. How about the dude who looks my age with the incredible facial hair that resembles the Omega sign when he looks up…? You bet. Sweet. The first hour is spent on the tarmac/runway, but I don’t even realize it since I’ve dozed off and can feel my 8lb head lose its balance and swing in every direction. Apparently I have no neck muscles while sleeping.

When I finally come to, my neighbor and I start up a conversation and it turns out I’m sitting next to Denny Morrison, 3 time Olympic speed skater. No Kidding! We spend the rest of the flight chatting about our vacation plans, how speed skaters wear kevlar suits now to prevent being sliced to death, and how Boulder, CO rocks. Totally pleasant and no screaming babies. Minus the one he’d recorded on a previous flight, that he insisted on playing for me (yes, I think this is odd too). At this point I wanted to threaten his pretty, unbroken iPhone but I refrain.

I meet my parents and we spend the night at the Vida Tropical in Alajuela. Tomorrow Nosara.

It’s maybe 180 miles from San Jose to Guiones where we live, but the trip takes 6 hours (minus a 30 minute stop at the Maxi Bodega). Today I am reminded that third world travel is; cramped, hot, slow, painful, downright dangerous and worth EVERY second. The scene out my window is lush green and speckled with colorful buildings. The mountains rise on either side of the car and every where you turn there are new flowers, trees and streams to look at. We spend the ride talking up until the last 20 minutes, when the potholes turn so big we can only laugh we’re bouncing around so much. But with Dad at the helm we’re home safe.

First order of business is to go for a surf. I haven’t surfed in 3 years. I haven’t surfed with my dad in, I can’t even remember how long. We catch a break between sets and paddle out. By the time we’re in the line up my arms and shoulders are screaming at me. I am not in surfing shape, but I’ll be damned if I can’t keep up with my old man. Waves are bigger then I remember, but I start to paddle for one, I’m wimpier than I remember. I pull out and curse at myself for wasting a wave. I swear internally I will not do that again. The rest of session is spent remembering how to use my sea legs, and catching quite a few really nice waves. I’m pleased with myself and my ability to surf after so long and look around at where I am. I still can’t believe I’m here. There is beach as far as the eye can see with not a single house to interrupt the view. Huge cliffs to the north that, from this distance, look like the sea is holding them up. Someone has built a large sculpture in the sand with drift wood and I can watch the sun going down to the west and the moon coming up from the east.

I find myself alone in the line up and remember what it’s like to be with my thoughts, rocked gently by the rising and falling ocean. Yep. Best day ever.

So now, I’m sitting on my porch, listening to the infinite number of bugs and birds and watching the bats swoop in close for an evening snack.

Pura Vida.

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One Comment
  1. Jama permalink

    Wow – I’ve seen those places, heard those sounds – your words take me back….Pura Vida – oh yea – paradise!

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