Archives for January 2014
In case you’d like one with this meal, our favorite Thai beers are Chang and Singha.
The napkin is c/o Dot and Army
Q: Can you teach yourself to surf?
A: Yes. I like to think you can teach yourself to do just about anything. I actually tried hard to think of things you can’t teach yourself just to counter my point, but the only thing I came up with is maybe flying to outer space. I think you might need some people to help teach you to do that. I’m sure there are other things too…
Is it your best option? To me, it depends on your experience with the ocean and your knowledge of the surfing world. Are you brand new or have you been around, kind of on the sidelines?
The truth is, there are probably a million intricacies about surfing and surf culture that are hard to pick up on after a few years, let alone on your first session. The ocean isn’t the only element that can be unpredictable and hard to read. Quality teachers and camps can be the right option, especially if you have little knowledge of the ocean and need some guidance. Plus, sometimes it’s nice to learn with other people who are on the same page, as opposed to a crowd of lifelong surfers who can spot a beginner pulling into the parking lot.
I remember when I was about eleven years old. I had caught what I claimed was “the best wave possibly ever!” at my Junior Lifeguards Camp one morning in early July. I came home, insisting my dad take me to the beach right then so I could show him my *mad skills*. He took me to Doheny, a gentler, beginner friendly spot in Orange County at around 6 p.m. I paddled straight out and caught the first wave that came to me. A tiny little brown and green one. The problem was, someone else was already on it and he was pissed I decided to join him. The man surfed past me and shouted back, “This one’s mine, go get your own!”.
The idea that someone could claim a wave was a whole new concept to me and, although I’d never say anyone can call a wave their own, I understand now that this principle tends to make riding waves safer and often more enjoyable for all surfers (although the value of an old fashioned party wave is not to be underestimated). When I came in, my dad explained to me how the surfer closest to the peak, or whitewater, has the right of way and after that humbling experience, I never forgot (not that I haven’t dropped in on anyone since. Sometimes, I think people deserve it. See? There are so many intricacies).
It’s probably better to learn the rules from someone in the know than learn the hard way and embarrass yourself at a spot you might like to frequent in the future. If you don’t want to hire an instructor, go with someone knowledgeable who can show you what to do to have a good time and surf respectfully. You’ll be so thankful for this knowledge in the long run and will hopefully pass it on to someone else some day.
Personally, I’d probably attempt to teach myself if I were to learn today. Although, I did try that with snowboarding and it didn’t go so well. If you choose this option, spend a lot of time observing the waves and the lineup before paddling out. Drive around to many spots. Check them all out. Watch the waves. Consider surfing near a lifeguard and definitely away from other surfers. The picture above demonstrates some beginners getting a little too close.
And so, I think I should tell you, a good time to consider visiting the coast of California is January, not June.
My friend Roberta is a raw food chef genius (and if it weren’t for auto-correct I would have spelled the word genius wrong, so you can see right there that, that word does not describe me). She has a great blog you can check out with lots of other raw recipes, but I saw this on her Instagram the other day and wanted to make it myself. I love the name too. It sounds magical and fantastical and delicious. Here’s how…
I catch myself trying to think about the point of things often. I found myself trying to put my finger on what the purpose of us going to Alaska was this morning. I’m one of those people who is fairly certain there is a reason for everything and so, I sit and search for what it might be.
What did I take away from Alaska? What did I learn, why was I meant to go there?
When we went to the Seychelles I knew it was about being together with family, celebrating my dad’s birthday and life so far. Letting him know we would go anywhere for him. Letting each other know we will always set aside time to be together. Seeing a really remote part of the world was the bonus (and of course, so were lessons in patience after being on a boat together for 13 days).
I guess Alaska was about being together too. All family vacations have that underlying purpose of binding you to each other with the kind of memories that stay.
Maddie and I laughed on the plane because I was (accidentally) talking really loudly and (purposefully) singing songs that get really stuck in her head, just like I was the last time we were on a plane together. We shared i-pod ear buds and talked about our goals.
Danielle and I snowboarded together for the first time in years. We learned when she was probably eight and I was eleven, turning our skis in to try out the newest trend. It’s been a while since we’ve been in the snow together. The day we went snowboarding in Alaska it was raining at the lodge, but snowing sporadically at the mountain top. She hadn’t brought any glasses or goggles. I was happy to be able to give her mine, even though they didn’t really help. It made me feel like a big sister. I wish I could have prevented her from breaking her wrist in two places on the last day. She was practicing something I tried to teach her.
We spent a lot of time this trip sleeping. I haven’t been able to wake up early without a great struggle since we got back. I’d wake up at sunrise in Alaska with ease, but of course sunrise wasn’t until 10:30 am.
I think that might have been one of the reasons for this trip. I really needed to hibernate. You don’t quite get the same opportunity to do that in Southern California. It was nice to do a puzzle in my pajamas with my mom and dad until noon and not feel guilty about it.
Scott and I had a nice snowboard session together on our last night (night being 4:30 p.m.). We practiced going off a few jumps (you can see me above getting a whole three inches of air) just as it started to snow. When that happened I thought for a split second that if I had snow, I might survive without surfing. Of course I’m regularly convinced I couldn’t. But maybe, maaayyybe, if I had been born near a forest, I might yearn for trees instead.
When I went wandering on New Years Day alone, I walked my way back into a clearing. Being surrounded by those big, white blanketed evergreens with bristles reaching so high I thought they might comb the clouds, I felt I had left the earth for a minute. Some snow fell then too, as if to say “remember me”.
I guess Alaska was about a lot of things.
+Hotel Alyeska: Ski in- ski out, on-site tram to take you around the town, ski, snowboard and snowshoe rental shop, access to great trails for hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
+Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center: takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides spacious enclosures and quality animal care.
+Concerts and drinks at the Sitzmark
+Flight Seeing, which I will share pictures from soon.
+Vegetarian food is harder to come by. As my friend Costa said, “There’s not a lot of spinach growing up there right now.” At the airport my vegetarian pizza was called “The UnAlaskan”. JackSprat was one of our favorite restaurants.
p.s. the puzzle pictured is actually made from a picture of our family on our last trip. Scott and I gave it to my parents for Christmas. We used this company. It’s a fun gift, but next time I would make a puzzle out of a picture with a lot less sky!
Last night Scott and I had to clean out a property we manage. We had both worked all day and I’ve been a little under the weather since we got back from our trip, but we ordered pizza and had a picnic on the floor before we got to work. It made the whole thing seem more like a party than a punishment (and so did some good music). I was so happy to have my Dot and Army napkins on hand because one thing I really don’t like about takeout is the wasteful paper goods and utensils that can come from it. I set a beach towel on the floor, put the pizza in the middle and we each took a colorful napkin for a plate. The only trash was the recyclable pizza box (and a bunch of candle wax on the floor that someone left behind…).
Today Jennifer from Dot and Army is giving away $50 to her shop! And there are some really cute things in there.
Pictured above: 1) White Seersucker and Cloth Napkins 2) Shades of Blue 3) Floral Bundle 4) Striped Ticking Cocktail Napkins
|a snow bear|
We just got back from a family trip to Alaska. I found most of these things on the forest floor on a walk I went on, on New Year’s day. No one was around. It was half raining, half snowing. Most of the treasures I gathered were green or brown, but there’s something so beautiful to me about the uniformity of the colors in nature during wintertime. I would walk in the forest everyday if I could.