Thursday, September 6, 2012

A good LA day

 I wrote this blog a few Sundays ago:

Greetings from Malibu.  I write this blog from a Coffee Bean, tired from surfing at Surfrider Beach, drinking a decaf coffee with soy milk, 2 Splendas and 1 raw sugar (this is now my go-to coffee make-up), and watching the sunset over the Malibu canyons. Drinking a decaf at 7:15pm is a bit of risk given my reaction to caffeine and desired bed time of 9:30-10pm, but I'm hoping that the tiredness from surfing (1 hr 10 minutes of surfing with 15 minutes of lugging my surfboard from my car to / from the beach x 2 = 1 hr 45 minutes of activity) will cancel out the 15-20 mg of caffeine in a small decaf.

Every city has a season when it excels. I would imagine that Lillehammer, Norway, is a winter city (not that I have ever been there but would love to go). Boston / New England could be a city that is most iconic for it's Autumn (leaves changing color, etc.). But, LA is without a doubt a summer city.

In the last few weeks I think have really captured the feel of summer in LA. Two weeks ago, I had a proper beach day. Surfing at Sunset / PCH (my spot, I guess), lunch at Urth cafe followed by beach volleyball, football, and frisbee on the Santa Monica beach. This was followed by a restful nap (I proudly average over 8 hours of sleep per night). At night, I visited some clubs in Studio City and Sherman Oaks. What a day.

What constitutes a good LA day for others? A typical Saturday for one of my friends includes kite surfing, cycling, running, lunch, vegging out to Californication, and going out at night. For another one of my friends, all Saturday morning begin with a 2 hour bike ride. Another co-worker begins Saturdays with yoga. Yet another co-worker gets up before dawn, drives down from Valencia (where she lives), and hikes in Malibu to a point where she can watch the sunrise. Almost everyone I know in LA incorporates physical activity into their weekends. I love to see that, as health is my first priority (this is why I'll prioritize sleep over most things).

Yesterday was another good LA day for me. I surfed Surfrider beach for the first time in the morning and finally understood what all the hype was about. I have also never seen a surf spot so crowded. The vibe was pretty good though - not as competitive as you might expect given the sheer number of people in the water (I estimate 30 - 50 people). I've learned that surfing in a crowd can be fun as long as you don't expect to catch every wave - your first priority should be to make sure that you're not in anyone else's way; if not, then try to ride the wave. Also, a lot of fun can be had by just sitting on your board and watching the really good surfers tear up the waves. Most of these surfers are 12 - 20 year old kids who have a chance to go pro.

Today was another fun day for me at Surfrider beach. It was less crowded, and like yesterday, I was enjoying the session in my new board shorts and long sleeve rash guard. Surfing is so much more fun sans wetsuit. I didn't catch many waves yesterday or today, but a key thing happened today: I learned roughly when I need to stand up to catch a breaking wave. Typically, I let the wave flatten out before standing up. This unfortunately makes it nearly impossible to turn and ride the face of the wave. Trying to catch a wave at it's peak height is necessary to ride the face of the wave but it's intimidating because you're a few feet above the water (more on a larger wave) facing down at a 45 degree angle (steeper angle if a larger wave). Today, I tried to catch a wave at it's peak and fell, but I know what I need to do.

But that wasn't even the best part of my session. A seal swam up to me (it chose me over the 10 surfers in my area, I like to think) while I was chilling on my board. I was so shocked I didn't know what to do. But next time, I'm going to see if I can pet it. It looks friendly enough. 

Coffee Bean has closed and it's time to get a few tacos at Howdy's Taqueria.

So that's what I think a good LA (summer) day looks like. What does a good day in your city look like?
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