Posts Tagged ‘summer’

A rainy day in paradise.

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Sayulita, Mexico is a quiet little fishing village/surf town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It’s about a 40 minute drive north of the touristy hubbub of Puerto Vallarta, and seemingly a perfect place to start our first attempt at living a more expat kinda lifestyle. Devon and I arrived here 5 days ago, and so far its been everything that I’ve hoped for. It’s off season here, so maybe only a third of the local businesses are open, but I am truly a happy chica with at least 3 fish taco stands to choose from for dining options. That was one of the major things I was looking forward to out of this adventure. Fish tacos, surfing on the regular, bangin’ margaritas, writing more, swimming as much as humanly possible, improving my Español, earning some more freckles on my pasty white skin (cuz you know mamacita is physically incapable of taking a tan).

So, I’ve been doing pretty well with my goals. With the exception of yesterday. I kinda earned myself a bit of heatstroke/exhaustion yesterday with an overzealous hike on the beach in the 90 degree sun with no water. Also, heat exhaustion = not fun = totally terrifying! Hydration is key, yo. So after spending most of the afternoon in bed with lots of ice water and Mexican real life crime documentaries on the tele, I woke up this morning raring to go. And then the sky opened up and it has been a torrential downpour ever since.  Of course. But really, sitting on an open air covered patio, with temperature in the high 70s, watching and listening to the rain, hearing los gallos down the block, and smelling the sweet ocean air, life doesn’t suck.

The past few months have been kinda crazy; stressful and emotionally difficult for me, and it’s nice to be able to hit reset and start recharging in such a peaceful, quiet place.

New Adventures: 8 of 30 – Take part in a beach bonfire.

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

This adventure is what happened immediately following adventure #7. Basically Juice & I had been surfing on the Cape, it had gotten dark, we went on basically a fruitless (ha!) search for local organic food, and then hung out on the beach near a place that played the worst reggae music ever while we pondered our next steps. I wanted a bonfire, and we needed to figure out where we were going to camp for the night. We could camp on an ocean beach, but we’d probably be woken up super early by tons of people & the sun rising directly into our faces. Or we could find a beach on a pond that Juice had a vague recollection of… Somewhere off the beaten path, not on maps, super small, pretty secluded where the trees would surround us and let us sleep in past 5am. He called it the “secret spot”. Immediately, that piqued my interest, and we head in that direction. Keep in mind that its about 1am, totally dark. I’m sleep deprived. Juice doesn’t remember exactly where we’re going or how to get there, and the roads are all screwed up and covered with debris after a storm that had passed through recently.  Luckily, we needed some firewood, so as we drove through these dark unlit side roads, we were able to stop & scavenge enough firewood to make a good size (and free!) bonfire.

We keep turning onto smaller and smaller roads. And then we get to what seems like a dead end, but it’s not, it just turns into an unmarked & unpaved road. Driving down a super narrow dirt road through the woods in the middle of the night sounds kinda scary, but oh ! it gets even better. We then come to fallen trees in the road?/path that we had to get out of the car to move….in the dark…… And a few terrifyingly steep and washed out embankments that I had to drive down, with faith that Juice knew where we were going & hoped that I had cell phone service in case I needed to call AAA to tow us out if I got stuck. But damn, you gotta love Audi’s and their all-wheel drive! Eventually Juice said that we were there & we unloaded the wood & some blankets. And alcohol. Because I certainly needed it after that terrifying drive of doom, and also, you can’t have an authentic beach bonfire without open containers of alcohol.

It was a new moon, so there was nothing lighting our way other than thousands of stars, and a tiny flashlight on my key ring.  The beach was only about 20×20 feet, and there was a still silence. We were the only signs of any light or noise, so it felt like we needed to respect that serenity, talking in whispers & shutting off the car’s lights. Juice built an awesome bonfire (with my super helpful and totally appreciated guidance of course!) and we set up our respective blankets on both sides of the fire. That way, we both got a front row seat & we could also poke at the fire & bask in its warmth.

We stayed up for a few hours, talking, listening, feeding the fire. Talking about all of those wonderfully random things that only start to come up in conversation when its super late, you’re half asleep and in a chilled and relaxed state. And then the birds started getting noisy, and the sky started turning that light grey/purpleish color that it turns, right before the sun rises. That was our cue for bedtime. Right before I feel asleep, Juice said something like “Just wait till you wake up; the beauty of this place will blow you mind.”

And the next morning I awoke to this serene setting.

We spent the morning swimming in the lake and catching frogs.

And then we packed up our gear & then headed out to try for another surf session. Trying to leave the “secret spot” as pristine as we had found it.

For a bonfire experience, I had expected something much closer to a beach bonfire scene from a 60′s beach party/surfplotation movie like Gidget or Beach Party. But this was really awesome in a relaxing and chilled out sort of way. I got to experience the bonfire & appreciate the setting (even if I couldn’t really see it until the next morning), instead of having to concentrate on navigating social scenes. Good times, good times. I can’t wait to do it again.

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: 6 of 30 – Drink out of a Fishbowl.

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Alright, so title standing alone, this entry already has a lot of WTF in it. I should state for the record that I’m talking about a touristy alcoholic beverage, not some sort of crazy ass stunt that you’d see on a CKY video, or an episode of Jackass. It’s pretty darn random, but it kind makes sense when you look at the big picture. It begins to balance out Adventure #3 of me not drinking for a month and the idea is something that I’ve been fascinated by for a while.

I have previously proclaimed my love of fro-fro technicolor concoctions. The more plastic do-dads attached to my adult beverage the better. A few years back I came across a super awesome party-fun-times picture of my friend Kay-Shee drinking some kind of booze out of a fish bowl at a place in Miami, and I knew that some day I needed to get all up in that. Unfortunately I had no idea that any place in Boston was awesome enough to serve drinks out of an aquarium. That was until the day that I received word from my Scorpion bowl drinking partner, Andrew, that there was a place along the Boston Harbor waterfront that was only open during the warmer months, but that actually served these mythical beverages. And so, this went on my list of things to do.

1st things 1st. Drinking fishbowl drinks require drinking partners. So I tracked down my friend with possibly the lowest alcohol tolerance out of all of my friends that drink (Brendan) and made plans. We decided to meet up at the Landing on a Thursday afternoon in August. Perfect. Mid-week, mid-day, so the bar wouldn’t be packed, but with enough tourists in the vicinity to make it hilarious for people watching. The Landing is pretty awesome. It’s an open air establishment with an awesome view of the harbor and all the boats arriving & departing. When we went it was pretty low key, with just your typical mid-day bar-going alcoholics & tourists looking for somewhere to cool their barking dogs.


We decide on an aqua-blue colored, vodka based drink called the The Blue Lagoon. When it arrived at our table it was totally color-coordinated to my sunglasses, so I knew that it was a sign that this was all meant to be. Since there were only 2 of us, we were limited to the “Guppy Bowl” size drink, for a minimum of 2 people. It mainly consisted of vodka, blue curacao, raspberry vodka, pineapple juice, more vodka, sprite, and of course more vodka. Once you get past the teeth rotting sweetness, the flavor actually wasn’t too bad. Totally a sugar fest, but I dig that sort of thing once in a while. And the drink actually tricks you because it’s so sweet which confuses you flavor-wise because although it has a boat load of vodka in it, all you can taste is sugar.

Luckily Brendan & I weren’t in any sort of rush. We had a bunch of catching up to do and creeping people watching to take part in & so the Blue Lagoon took us a while to pound. By the time we reached the bottom of the Guppy Bowl, although the bartender offered us a refill, the last thing we wanted to drink was another 32 ounces of sugary alcohol.  That would have been a very poor (pour?) decision, but that afternoon I decided to go the -somewhat- responsible adult route. So we called it a day and stumbled went on our merry way, and I was able to check this off of my list of random stuff to try.

6 of 30 completed.

New Adventures: 5 of 30 – Run a Mile.

Monday, August 8th, 2011

I’m not your typical athletic person. Apathetic is more like it. I dislike competitions. I’m not big into dripping sweat or huffing & puffing like one of the 3 little pigs. Buying clothes for function over form makes me cringe. I got a bunch of curves that are built for admiring, not moving quickly. I’m the kind of person that attracts a strong hunter type to fend off the lion that wants to eat me, instead of me running away from the lion…..

Now granted I’ve had a few forays into athletic territory. I was on my high school’s swim team. But that team was kind of like a non-competitive sisterhood, where they never cut anyone from the team, and everyone cheered for everyone (even people like me, who finished a lap or 2 behind everyone else). As far as sporty stuff goes, I also love to surf, but that’s also very different. I like prancing around in a bikini while checking out other hot surfers and then splashing around in the water, catching waves and pretending to be an tall Amazonian version of Gidget. I’ve been doing it for a couple years, but I don’t get to go that often, so I’m not super awesome at it, and I think that because of my lack of madd skills, I don’t feel like I need to really kick ass at it & impress anyone.

I think my inherent distaste for exercise can be traced back to a super depressing exercise related moment  in 6th grade when we had to do the President’s Fitness Challenge, or test or whatever horrible thing they called it.  We were required to run for a 1/4 mile & then our results were posted for everyone to see. I couldn’t run most of it, and ended up finishing somewhere in the bottom 10 students, along with the kids that had broken legs and were on crutches and asthma sufferers.   Another failure in running was the time that I tried out for my high school’s volleyball team with my mindset being “I’m a foot taller that all these other girls. I’ll be doing the volleyball equivalent of dunking on these chicks… Oh, I soooo got this.” And then they made us run laps around the gym…..Or rather, one lap for me, and then I was done. It was all about the cardio & I had none.

And until a little while ago, I’ve had none. About a year ago, I started walking in the woods near my house as a cold season alternative to summer surfing. As I got better I started interspersing little sprints in my walks. And everyday I pushed myself a little bit more. Around that point, I decided to make this 30 by 30 list & was thinking, “Oh yeah, run a mile. Yeah it will suck, but that will be quick and easy…..”

Since I also want to do a 5k, I figured I could just find a running iPhone app, and along the way I’d end up running a mile in training for that…. So I ended up stumbling upon Couch to 5k. C25K is a really awesome app. It’s $3 and plays your own music & then will pop on to tell you to run or walk. Its like having a personal trainer who only does cardio. It pushes me slightly past where I’d normally stop running on my own. Also the schedule makes it so you only have to run 20-30 minutes every other day, which is super easy to find time for. If you can’t spare a half hour every other day, your life needs some serious re-adjusting. The workouts get harder and harder, so I’ve really felt like I’ve been accomplishing something with every session. Also, since it’s an iPhone app, the technology aspect totally sucked Devon into doing the challenge with me…. Now, THAT in itself is a miracle, because normally he’d probably rather wrestle poisonous water snakes than go running. (I’ll refer back to the 1st paragraph where I mentioned that I was built for attracting strong hunter types.)

I started the program on July 7th and it had me alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking. I thought I was going to pass out because it was so hard to catch my breath, and my leg muscles were burning. Over the last month, I’ve had great running days, and really horribly terrible days, including one where I almost puked. But today, just one day under a month after I started, I ran a mile for the first time in my life without stopping. Actually it was more than a mile, I just figured I’d keep going as long as I could.

But yeah, running a mile!!! It was hard to imagine being able to actually do that, especially only 1 month after I set my mind to it. I also don’t feel like I was pushing myself super hard. 3o minutes of not-fun, every other day really isn’t too bad. Also. It’s July and August. What idiot starts running in the middle of the super balmy and muggy summer in New England. This gal apparently. :) But if I can go from not running to running a mile in August, anyone can totally do it. And now I’m psyched for the 5k in 3 weeks. I’m going to be slow as hell, but it is definitely doable!

5 of 30 Completed.