Posts Tagged ‘new adventures’

New Adventures: 7 of 30 – Watch a sunset.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Watching a sunset on the East Coast is easier said than done. The sun sets in the west, however the ocean is generally to the east, so finding a good vantage point to check out the dwindling daylight is key. I thought that this would be one of those easy things to do during a boring week so I could check something off the list: Drive up some hill, watch sun set, go home. Nothing life changing, Easy peasy. Luckily this adventure was way more than that, unplanned, not well thought out and wonderful in its randomness and spontaneity.

So I have this friend who I hadn’t seen in 8 years, let’s call him Juice for the sake of some semblance of anonymity on the interwebs. I met Juice back in 2001 when we were both riding the Red Line from Braintree into Boston pretty late on a Sunday night. Normally I don’t strike up conversations with strangers on the T late at night (in fact, generally I advise against it), but he was carrying a surfboard and since there is no beach near the Braintree train station I was curious about what the deal was and what his story was. I struck up a conversation and the rest was history. Anyways. He moved to Californina around the time that I moved to Seattle and we kinda lost touch. Until recently that is.  I’ve been on the lookout for surfing buddies & his name popped into my mind, so I decided to see if his cell phone from 8 years ago still worked. Shockingly it actually did, and he was east coast bound again, and he was looking to reconnect with adventuresome folks like myself. Funny how stuff works out like that.

Fast forward a few months. After some misfires on hanging out, I gave Juice a ring last Tuesday morning & was like “Yo. The fun time waves of awesomeness are here. I wanna go surfing. Let’s do this.” And then he was like “I’m in, but it’s all about making a trip out of it and going down to the Cape. Screw a day trip to New Hampshire. You drive and I’ll provide stimulating conversation and knowledge of the Cape geography where it relates to surf spots and illegal camp grounds.”

It was relatively early in the day, so I figure we could make it down to the Cape’s National Seashore and into the water by 4pm, and hang out in the water for a while. But I had forgotten how time flows differently around Juice, and how stuff always seems to take forever. When I got to his place he was still working on packing & he was very meticulous about it. (Somewhat randomly, I was also thrown off my game by the huge fricking beard that he had grown since we last saw each other, but that’s neither here nor there.) I just wanted him to throw his gear in my car so we could get moving, but it didn’t quite work out like that…. Although looking back at it, that’s probably for the best, since we ended up camping under the stars, so all that random shit like blankets and bio-degradable hand soap totally came in handy. My board was very excited, because it was the first time that it got to spoon with another surfboard on top of my car….

Our surfboards spooning.

Anyways, so we finally get to the beach around 6.30pm, but then drive to 3 different beaches to find the best conditions. Finally, it’s about 7.20 and its starting to get dark, so we settle on the last beach, Nauset Light Beach in North Eastham. We throw on our wetsuits and carry our boards down the stairs to the beach, passing about 5 other surfers who are done for the day. There are only 2 other surfers in the water & then they too call it a day a couple waves after we get in the water.

It’s solidly dusk, and Juice and I are alone with our boards out in the water. (Well, alone if you don’t count the Gray Seals that were hanging out with us, swimming around us and popping up every now and then to see who we were and what we were doing in their ocean.) You can actually see the waves on the horizon way better when it starts to get dark, which is pretty cool. Looking towards the shore, the sun was setting over the sand dunes. It was a bit cloudy, and all of the fluffy white clouds had become neon shades of pinks, purples, oranges and reds. It was really magnificent. And then the lighthouse on the beach came on and added a whole different level of beauty to the setting. In fact, the sunset was so beautiful, that I had to keep forcing myself to turn around & keep an eye out for good waves to surf. It definitely wasn’t my best surf session because I was pretty distracted & in sensory overload. But, it was definitely the most beautiful view I’ve ever had while surfing. We ended up surfing till it was so dark that we could barely see the beach anymore & then we decided to call it a night & figure out the eating/drinking/camping situation. It was really a remarkable sunset. The view, the location, the vibe. I couldn’t have imagined a cooler situation to just sit & watch a sunset.

Me (Emma) & Juice

Thanks to Juice for taking so long to get ready that our surfing at sunset was a necessity, his senior surfing expertise & advice and also for the awesome company.

New Adventures: 3 of 30 – A month of alcohol abstinence.

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

In general, I’m always the voice of reason and moderation, as well as a pillar of self-restraint. Surely people would describe me as a temperate woman…… A delicate flower of staidness, if you will. So I knew that my 3rd adventure of not drinking alcohol for a month would come naturally for me and be a piece of cake.

IMG_0687Now, I’m a pretty awesome drunk. I’m not a sad drunk who ends up crying all night. I’m not an angry drunk who tries to fight everyone. And other than a few miss-steps in my youth, I’m not a “I don’t know when to say when, so I’m going to be puking in the bushes all night” drunk. I just become more happy and outgoing and I want everyone to be friends and get along. I like pairing wine and beer with meals. I like the ritual of preparing fancy and/or unusual drinks. I like celebrating life. And hell, sometimes I like doing stupid things and then being able to blame it on alcohol the next day. So what.

Instead of wimping out, and only doing 4 weeks, I decided to be alcohol free for the entire month of June. No hooch at all June 1st thru 30th. It has been….. well, it’s been something. Responses to me turning down drinks have generally been either “Now why would you go and do something stupid like that?” or “Wha? You aren’t pregnant, are you?”.  Oh hells no. Truth be, I have a few reasons for giving it a go. One, I wanted to revisit this whole sobriety thing. I have a bunch of friends who don’t drink by choice & sometimes I don’t really get that deal, but it’s good to try and see things from other people’s points of view.

Another reason is that it’s always good for your mind & body to dry out for a bit. To focus on things with a clear thoughts and a level head. I’m part party cat, part hippy-granola eating-health nut, so I gotta keep those both nourished, and therefore the opposites in check. Somewhat related, I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks from time to time & have noticed that alcohol is definitely plays a part in that battle. As in, I’m wayyy more likely to freak out on days after I’ve had alcohol. And voila! No panic attacks for me during my dry month of June. So that was pretty awesome.

Good things about not boozing it up for a month: Never feeling/being hungover. Feeling more healthy. Being way more productive. Going out to dinner is soooooo much cheaper when there’s no alcohol on the bill.

Bad things about not boozing it up for a month: I ended up replacing my evening cocktail with a big bowl of ice cream, every day.  I was bored more often. Not like that’s the end of the world, but it was a bit of an adjustment figuring out how to fill new free time. Sometimes I’m kinda a total bitch when I’m sober, so this month was kinda rough for my friends and family. Having to watch other people order super awesome looking cocktails (I’m a huge sucker for jewel colored concoctions with umbrellas and plastic figurines.) and then having to listen to them talk about how delicious they are.

Whatever. I’m not sure exactly what I learned from this experiment that I didn’t already know somewhere in the depths of my soul. Maybe this was just a masochistic exercise in self-denial. Or possibly it ended up being something life changing… But probably not. I’m not sure I’m ready or willing to swear off alcohol all together. After all, if I swore off alcohol entirely, how would i be able to taste the awesome Coq au Vin that I want to learn how to make…. (Number 11.)

3 of 30 completed.