It was early, the sun just peaking over the horizon when we tossed our none too organized gear in the car, mounted the board, and headed out. Kala sat on my lap, completely oblivious that her 47lbs self would soon cause my legs to fall asleep. Turning, she nuzzled me and slumbered.
We rolled the windows down and let our hands dance on the wind; my hair streaming out like a golden wave, beckoning the breeze to tango. The morning was invigorating, giving life to our day and fresh air in our lungs. We turned the music on and let the sound of congas set the rhythm of our trip.
“Where are we going exactly?”
“To the ocean, my love.”
The trip took longer than expected (but doesn’t it always?). Halfway through I asked Sam if we had reserved our campsite. We hadn’t. We planned to stay at a state park near the shore, make camp, and wake to the sound of ocean waves and seagulls taking flight. But we soon discovered that “Snow Birds” and spring breakers had filled every known campground and left us without home for the evening. Determined, I continued to call down the coast finally landing in Saint Augustine, Florida. We snagged the last spot available and continued on.
A winter swell was forecasted for North Florida and was reported to bring with it a fun set of waves. Sam, with childlike anticipation, reminisced about his favorite surf sessions and excitedly talked of future adventures. After moving inland eight months ago, we were desperate for sand in our toes and saltwater in our hair. Kala had never seen the ocean and that, in itself, was reason enough to go. Nothing could break our joy as we turned down A Street and spotted a blue horizon. We parked, threw off our sandals and raced across the dunes; Kala spraying sand behind her as her fluffy paws met the warm beach for the first time.
The wind whipped my hair around my face, tickling my ears as we watched the waves crash against one another. Unfortunately, unlike the reports, it wasn’t the perfect condition. In the end, some might have said we missed the swell all together, but the excitement of being back to the ocean was all encompassing. The sweet scent of salt kissed air and palm tree swaying in the breeze, felt like old friends welcoming us home.
Sam pulled on his wetsuit and ran to the ocean.
Life doesn’t always give you what you expect. We drove to Saint Augustine for the waves, but found ourselves enjoying the easygoing beach town just as much. It’s amazing what you experience when you take a minute to slow down and appreciate each new second. The people, the place, the memories. Blink and you just might miss them. But that weekend, we made a promise to ourselves to live in every moment. To love with our whole hearts and to learn from each experience. We met a few truly incredible people and we wouldn’t trade the best of waves for those precious times. So when you drive six hours for a swell that doesn’t quite pan out, laugh it off and find a new adventure. I promise, it’s out there.
“When will we come back?”
“As soon as we can, my love.”