Today marks one week since we’ve been in California and, if everything goes smoothly, today is the day we cross into Mexico! It has been a week of organizing and making last minute purchases for the van before we set off. We somehow managed to cram two lives worth of stuff into this little Toyota van but not without some sacrifices. It is really strange having to consciously ask myself if each and every item we were loading was absolutely necessary. The result: I said goodbye to about half of the clothes I had brought. Van life is not for pack rats.
While the work has been tedious, there were some really fun moments too. Paul got a new board shaped for him by Nation Surfboards owner Ryan Engle. We got a couple of surf sessions in around Dana Point, at Uppers, and in PB. At this one spot, Paul and his friend Max tried to scrap for waist high waves against the grom nation of Dana Point. It was a clear and decisive defeat. Groms: 1. Old guys: 0.
That afternoon, we ate at Maxʻs restaurant The Shwack Cantina. The people working there were so fun to talk to and the food was amazing. That evening, we camped at Doheny State Park. We parked right next to the beach and were treated to views of this perfect little wave running near the shore. It wasn’t big, but it was so clean and perfect it made us wish we had already got long boards.
Our subsequent hunt for long boards over the next couple days took us to Happy Battle Surf Co. where we met the owner Mark Polintan. He and his wife had recently left their “regular” jobs to pursue the things that really made them happy. For Mark, that was opening up his own surf shop. The Happy Battle Surf Co. opened around June in San Diego. Lucky for us he’s got a huge array of boards, both new and used. We got hooked up with a couple of long boards, fins, and roof racks. It was so great to speak with Mark; you can so clearly see he’s happy and is doing what he loves. Definitely check this spot out if you ever get the chance!
These past two nights, we have been staying at our friend Kate’s house in PB. She’s a flight attendant (best job ever I’m pretty sure) so she travels between San Diego and Hawaii a lot. We got one last surf in with her yesterday where we tested out our long boards. A side note: the water is ridiculously cold here, in the low 60s, and I suck at putting on a wetsuit. I’m coming up with new dance moves just trying to wriggle into this thing!
So here we go! Next time I write will be from somewhere in Baja. And the Wi-Fi hunt is on!