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TruFamily End of Summer Surfing

It is the end of summer and I had promised my kids a surfing vacation. Well, the summer nearly got by me and I realized we had not gone anywhere fun with the kids…and certainly not surfing.

At the last minute, my son Freddy (12) and I found a place on AirBnB in Santa Cruz, CA.  This was a week or so ago. When we arrived, we met Hallie, our rental house gal, and checked into our super tiny house for the weekend  (for the 8 of us). We actually take pride now in renting the smallest house possible and seeing if we can all fit and be reasonably comfortable! The house was charming and perfect for us. Hallie inquired as to what plans we had in the area and I had said I promised the kids a surfing vacation. She asked if she could help find me some surfing instructors, and I agreed, while at the same time thinking that I would get to it also (as I didn’t want to rely on someone I didn’t know). That evening, she connected me with Anthony and Shawn, who check in with me and we arrange to meet.  I really thought I would have to figure the surfing part out on my own, but Hallie came through! We met at the beach in Aptos that I thought he meant, and of course it was the wrong beach. But, no worries as he came by and we followed him to the right beach. There he gets out all the wet suits for all 8 of us, right down to Rowan’s (who is 5 and super small). Along with Shawn, we schlep the 8 boards down to the beach, down the long stairs and then across the really long beach to the surf’s edge. Anthony gives us a safety lesson on rip tides and how to be safe in the ocean, which I wasn’t expecting; but I was grateful he spent the time to explain each detail to us.  Our next lesson was how to get up on the board. My kids and I had been watching YouTube to get some idea of what to expect—they had been practicing “pop-ups” all week long and said that I should practice too.  Yep, I’ll get right on that! I don’t really have time to lay on my stomach and try to get to my feet in one jump (that would take at least 10 minutes)! HA! Then it was my turn. I went out and had trouble getting up because I cannot get on my feet fast enough (should have practiced like the kids said). Thus, I kind of knee surfed.  But then a big wave comes and I just go for it and mange to get up and surf all the way in.  Yes, I got the Wave of the Day!  Seems only right. HA! And there of course is no photo of my great success (because I am the photographer)!!!!   Off to the ocean we all went. Rowan stays back at the beach with me for a bit while we watch the others give it a try. Everyone manages to get up at least a few times.  Then Anthony works with Rowan.  He, of course gets right up, and surfs right to the beach. Oh, to be 5 again. After a couple of hours of trying to surf, I looked over and saw my husband call it a day. He fell asleep on the beach laying on his board. My 4 older kids, however, were still at it including Georgia (10), who said she “did it,” and is “all good.” Panama_smallWow, what a great day!  We say goodbye to the boys and plan on surfing again the next day. Afterwards, we heard that Anthony was a Mavericks Surfer http://anthonytashnick.com/ – !/page_Bio. So not only did we get a super cool and sweet guy to help us surf, but he was THE GUY! Then Shawn “Barney” Barron, our other instructor also stands as a surfing legend, and was incredibly nice and awesome at getting the kids up on the boards. http://www.surfingmagazine.com/news/barney-conversation-with-a-legend/ When we got back to the house, the kids immediately started watching surfing videos of the guys. Amazing! The next day, a couple of my kids wanted to surf, while others wanted to boogie board, so again Anthony and Shawn gathered all the gear and met us at a new beach—one with waves. They said everyone was out looking for waves, but we actually had them! I felt like I was all of a sudden part of a secret club.  Must say I felt cool. We had a great day and the older kids got up on the boards more. Anthony and Shawn would stabilize the boards and surf them in. Then Anthony sat on the beach by Rowan asked if he wanted to go out and surf. Rowan was unsure, but was convinced. So up they went. Anthony had him on his back and paddled him out.  It was the cutest thing I have ever seen: a surfing champion happily taking my 5 year old for a final surf of the day! It was the absolute best part of our summer, and the end, but the best adventure ever. Next…surfing in Costa Rica!!! Next year… trufamily goes surfing
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