Beach

Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors: New Hampshire & Maine

Originally, we had decided to cancel this road trip. See, we’ve been traveling like bandits this summer, and though a budget has kept us in line, we still couldn’t justify another weekend getaway on our current funds.

But then an unknown monster broke into our apartment, and we said, “Hey, now’s as good a time as any to get out of town.” Sometimes you just need to leave.

There was no way we could swing Boston, the original destination, on our budget. So we had to think of somewhere new and cheaper. Megan was craving the ocean, and I didn’t blame her. Neither of us had ever seen an Atlantic beach town before. Ocean towns are generally cheap, since beaches are free (usually). We also decided to save on hotels and sleep in the car, i.e., the Walmart Parking Lot Express.

New Hampshire and Maine were both on my East Coast bucket-list, Maine especially (Stephen King fan, ova heer!). New Hampshire was intriguing because their state motto is “Live Free or Die,” so… As it turned out, New Hampshire has a small sliver of ocean-front property, just below Maine. Perfect.

Massachusetts

While we didn’t necessarily “do” anything in Massachusetts, we did drive through the entire the state. This was exciting for me because I have fantasized about visiting Boston for years. My California friends and I used to host “Boston Night” every Tuesday at my old apartment; we would watch a Boston based movie, eat Boston Baked Beans, and swear a lot. Just being in the state was enthralling. My big purchase? A slice of pizza and soda at a rest-stop. Go Sox!

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New Hampshire

Besides the motto, we didn’t know anything about the state. We Googled “Walmarts near coastal New Hampshire” and the results returned a town named Portsmouth. (more…)

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Beach Body: The Boogie Back-Break Blues

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The Pismo Beach Pier

Some of my favorite memories revolve around the ocean.

In high school days, my friend Tim would come over and wake me up at 6am or so. He’d pull me out of bed and we’d drive to Pismo Beach and hit the cold ocean waves.

I was a boogie boarder; surfing was too much of a commitment.

When Megan and I moved back to the area, I knew sooner or later I’d have to face Poseidon.

Beach Body

There are many beaches in San Luis Obispo County. Pismo is famous; Avila is second best and pretty good for boogie boarders. Grover has a lot of people, and Shell is just too rocky. There’s Oceano, but it’s choppy and nobody goes to Oceano.

The less people to embarrass myself in front of the better; I went to Oceano.

First, there is the issue of the wetsuit. If you’ve never put one on before, let me explain. It is the single most difficult thing you will ever do in your life. It’s like putting on someone’s skin who is two sizes smaller than you.

For shy kids like me, Oceano has bathroom stalls to change in. They’re tiny, lightless, and the locks are all broken. The door may or may not have swung wide open with the wetsuit stuck around my ankles.

Boogie Time

531646_309924065803806_274447830_nAfter taming the wetsuit for what seemed like an hour (think Tommy Boy in the airplane bathroom), I met my wife back at the car. “How’d it go?” she asked.

“I think hurt my back.” She laughed. “No seriously,” starting to stretch, “I think pulled a muscle.” She laughed louder. Somehow, yes, I managed to hurt my back while pulling on a wetsuit. A new low. I don’t want to talk about it.

“Well don’t go in the water,” she warned. “It’ll make it worse!” I looked over at the choppy blue surf. She had a point, but I was already here, and my wetsuit was on. It’s not like I’m getting it off anytime soon. If I didn’t do it now, I never would.

So I ran towards the shore. And I ran. With each step, the sand felt colder and the air tasted sweeter. I reached the waters; my feet burned from the cold, and seized my thoughts. Soon my waist was covered, then higher.

So cold. So cold. Don’t think about it.

I cursed myself, the waters that now held my life, Obama, anything I could think of. The first three minutes dragged; I needed to go numb.

Soon, my thoughts became verbal. I started yelling phrases that didn’t make sense. Fart Cough, poop magnet. Cold help Siren Tonk! AHHHHHHH!

A wave slapped my face, and a rush of memories came over my eyes.

Kevin Glasses

the post beach, triumphant Kevin

I saw Tim; we laughed over waves and cursed the cold water together. I watched the sky, from years ago, turn to day as seals broke the surface of the water, right next to me. For an instant, I saw who I was five years ago.

I saw what was important, and what wasn’t.

Reality returned, and happiness came with it. For the first time in my life I was proud of where I came from. More importantly, I was happy with who I became. I was happy with what I’ve chosen to love.

My wife, our future, God’s plan, the ocean.

I caught my first wave. As it did so many years ago, everything made sense.

I’m Trying to Kill My Wife: Montaño De Oro Edition

photoSo my wife thinks I’m trying to kill her. She keeps pointing out stuff about California I never really thought about and now I must admit; it sounds a little fishy.

“You brought me to a land of earthquakes, rattlesnakes, tsunamis, giant spiders, mountain lions, poison oak, and sharks. Are you trying to kill me?”

“But it’s sunny!” I insist.

Anyways, we went to Montaño De Oro State Park today. It’s literally one of my favorite places on the planet. Today I realized how similar it is to certain parts of the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. That could be a reason why. So if you haven’t been to this State Park before, go now!

I’ll give you a tip first: Dress warm. It’s always windy, but today was extra chilly. Always worth it of course. Thankfully, last second I remembered a puffy-vest was currently sleeping in the back of my car. That did the trick.

Before you even hit the water, the drive up is incredible. Take Los Osos Valley Rd. until it turns into a little town. Keep straight and it will take you up a little hill that eventually gets curvy, woodsy, and fun. You’ll start seeing signs for the state park. There’s also cars parked along the way, no doubt surfers attempting some “secret” spot.

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It could be a car commercial road, like wooosh

As soon you pass a gorgeous ocean scenery, well, yeah you’re there. The ocean.

Before I moved to Idaho, I told myself that my favorite spot in California was Montaño. I’m not sure if that holds true any more, but it’s Top 5. And I’m a Top 5 type of guy.

If you’re into scenic pictures, there’s even VW Vans.

Through Painted Oceans

Through Painted Oceans

If you’re into surfing. Don’t go to this beach. It’s very rocky, and I’m not talking Stallone. Well I may be, it depends on your definition of “Stallone.”

I won’t bore you with endless pictures taken from my iPhone. If you scour the internet, I’m sure people brought real cameras and took great shots worthy of a book or something. Still, I really like this last one. So here it is:

I call this one "Rock in Ocean"

I call this one “Rock’n Ocean”

Yeah you should come here. If you’ve been, then you know what I mean. If you are a friend from Idaho reading this, you need to see this for yourself. So come visit already.