Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer 2016 Trip - Day Six

July 25th - Monday

Let's see, Monday... oh yes! Amanda and I woke up hurting from the sunburns we both received at the beach the day before, but we could move around if we took it slow and easy. Since we were going to be on our way to Los Angeles and then up to Santa Monica, we all ate breakfast, showered, dressed, and then packed up our belongings into the car.

The traffic drive wasn't too bad from Ventura to LA, which made it nicer to get straight to our hotel. When we found our hotel, we checked in and unloaded the car of our luggage into the room. We left the hotel at what I thought was an appropriate time to get to Santa Monica Beach for our surf lessons... but we left a little behind schedule and was 15 minutes late because we then had to find any available parking spot. After finding a parking spot next to a parking meter, we sped walked from the car to the spot where the instructions in the email (from the people who were giving the surfing lesson) told us to meet our instructor... but there were no signs or personal equipment to indicate who to look for since there were many other random people surfing at that exact spot. So as I was calling the number of the business I booked the lessons through, I let the girls play in the water since I thought there was not going to be any surf lessons (and it kept them occupied while I was on the phone). Yes, we lathered ourselves in sunblock to prevent future sunburns.

After 30 minutes of playing phone tag, I finally had the business call me back and had me walk up to see if anyone in this group of surfers near us had the name of the person I was given over the phone. I think his name was Derrick, but since it's been a few months, I'm not 100% sure that is correct. So I walked over, asked and found our instructor, and called the girls back over to me so we could start the surf lessons. We stood around while he tried to find the right sized body suits for the 3 of us. 

Once he found the right sizes for us, we put the suits on and started our first part of the lesson: What to do in the water and how to fully get up and surfing on the boards.

After 15-30 minutes of learning the proper techniques and practicing on land, we headed into the ocean with the provided surf boards to start surfing. Yay! But here is where one of the girls almost didn't want to get in the water to surf. Although it was in his good intentions to warn us, he told us to skim our feet while walking on the ocean floor (not lifting your feet up like normal when walking) so you don't step on jellyfish... The second he said that, I said to myself, "F***!!!". One of the girls started to get worried and almost didn't want to go out in the water, but I had to remind her what he told us was to not scare us, but if she did what he said, she would be fine and have fun.

When he tried taking both girls out with them riding on the surf boards, the waves were a little rough that afternoon, and it kept knocking them off their boards and kept making them swallow water. I could tell the girls were getting discouraged to possibly surf, so I suggested to him that taking one kid out at a time would be best. So he got started with them, then over to me, and would go back and forth.

After a while, the girls grew bored of trying and just wanted to play normally in the water and on the beach, so I said ok. I wanted to surf. I paid to surf, I told people at my jobs that I was going surfing, I wanted to surf... I was going to surf! Even though my asthma was kicking in (which would have gone away had I brought my inhaler and not left it in the hotel room) and the swallowing of sea water didn't help any... but I pushed onward until I finally stood up a couple times and rode the surfboard into where the sand and water meet.

By this time, I couldn't go on... which made me sad because I paid to surf and I wanted to keep practicing to stand up, but it just wasn't going to happen that day. So I told our instructor that the girls were obviously done, and that my asthma was preventing me from going on, so I had to call it for our lesson. But before we took off our body suits, I had the girls and Derrick pose with us with the three surf boards upwards.

We removed our body suits, handed them back to him, and said thanks for the lessons.

Since we had time before the timer on our parking meter ran out, I let the girls go play in the water for a while. Amanda made a heart out of sand, while I tried too look for sea shells by sifting sand. We found a lot more sand crabs while digging in the wet sand than I did sea shells.

We were having fun on the beach when it hit me that the parking meter may have expired, so I frantically told the girls to come on and we all headed back to non-sandy area to clean off. I cleaned off first, and pulled the car around.

Other than getting wet while surfing, I only got my feet wet afterwards. So I was pretty much dry, except for dealing with wet sandy feet while walking back to the car, hauling the cooler (which was a bitch!). I let the girls clean off and I pulled the car around to the area I originally wanted to park at since there was now plenty of open spots, and walked down to meet them and help load the car up with beach toys and boogie boards. But when I was bringing the car around, Amanda somehow got sand in her eye and it wouldn't come out no matter how much we tried flushing it out.

With the sun setting soon, and a busy energetic afternoon at the beach, we headed over to a nearby In-N-Out Burger in Santa Monica. I found out this would be Amanda's first time eating there. She liked it, and we continued to eat our dinner as we drove back to the hotel covered in sand and ready to wash it off. Like in the hotel in Ventura, there was sand everywhere in the bathroom and bedroom floors.

After cleaning ourselves up, I made the girls get to bed the next day was going to be a busy day. Once they were asleep, I headed to a grocery store nearby to shop and to see if they would blow up the two giant number 9 shaped helium balloons I secretly packed for the girls... but found out they, and anyone else I called nearby said they couldn't do it because there was either no one at the stores to fill them or they wouldn't let me do it since I know how. So I never filled them. I told someone at my work this and they asked if I filled them up using a straw to just put air in them... I didn't even think of that at the time. I was thinking I just wanted they floating in the air. But I headed back to the hotel and went to bed because we had to wake up early in the morning.

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