Monday, June 8, 2009

California Life

Ok people, I am VERY sorry for how slack I have been with my postings. But seriously how can I follow on from almost being eaten by crocodiles and surfing amazing Central American waves? A bit over a month has passed since my time in Costa Rica, so I will try to briefly fill you in on what's been going on!

Coming back to the US was a bit of a shock to the system. It's been almost a year since I passed through here last. And after living and traveling through such amazing places like the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic returning to a relatively normal life can be challenging. Not to mention the thought of going back to full time work. My aim is to spend the summer here working, build up some more travel funds then hit the road again. So I arrived in San Diego early May, hoping to find work straight away. My Auntie and Uncle live in Carlsbad and were kind enough to take me in. The first few weeks here were tough. I was out in the suburbs with no transport and the bus system here is appalling. It's funny that I find it easier to get around a third world country alone than I do in California! The weather was miserable as well, May gray was in full swing, and my poor body was softened from the warm Caribbean weather. For my first surf here I had to borrow a guys size medium wetsuit. It was a horrible rainy day and the wind was howling. On my first duck dive the wetsuit swelled up with water like a balloon and I felt like I was going to sink! I had forgotten what cold water felt like. Finding a job was also harder than I had anticipated, the economic crisis is being felt by all, with jobs scarce and so many homes being lost with people out of work.

Despite a rough start things started to get better after the first few weeks. The first stroke of luck came with finding my car. She's a beautiful old volvo station wagon that I picked up for an absolute steal, and she runs like a dream. It fits all my boards in the back, and pretty soon I'm going to put a mattress in too and some curtains up! Plus I drive like a grandma so I'm pretty suited to a volvo. Being mobile again and having freedom made everything so much better! I can go surfing everyday now, and it also opened up a lot more job opportunities. Next came the job, I scored a sweet job at a popular restaurant/bar in Del Mar called En Fuego.

The weather is slowly improving too. I invested in a 4'3 wetsuit which has made things a lot more toasty. Except the thing broke after only 2 weeks so I had to send it in for repairs, so now I am back to freezing again. Every couple of days I drive to chase some bigger waves at either Trestles or Oceanside. San Diego in the summer is pretty damn flat! I think I may have to take up stand up paddle boarding. Trestles is a quality wave but it gets very crowded. Still all things considered the surf has been OK. I did a day trip down to Blacks with my friend Vanessa and although the surf was terrible we had a great time. The hike down is beautiful and having to walk through the nudie beach to get to the surf is always entertaining. Had one guy wearing only a baseball cap, knee high socks and soccer shoes ask me to take a photo of him.

On that note I will wrap things up, over all I think San Diego is going to be a fun place to spend the summer working. The weather is warming up (although the swell is disappearing) and there are lots of fun things to do around here in summer. Still, it's taking me a while to get used to wearing a wetsuit again...