So I went ocean kayaking…

My recent life has been a little stressful to say the least so I was soooo looking forward to going down to Corolla for our weekly family vacation at the beach house.  The second you walk into the beach house is hands-down the most relaxing moment of my year.  Yes, you have to carry all the suitcases and grocery bags of food, and you have to unpack and set up, and yada yada yada, but then you know you’re in store for food and rest.  I had a friend once say, pretty much summing up the whole beach house experience:”Well, I haven’t eaten in about 15 minutes, so I’m gonna go take care of that.”  Seriously, all we do is eat and relax, then eat some more.  I’m not really sure how my big family (there are usually about 25 of us at the house) can all get together and just relax because if you know anything about my family, you know we are “do-ers”.  My mom vacations like it is the last vacation on earth.  We went to Europe once and she bought a Fodor’s guide book for Rome to plan out our few days there… I swear she read that thing like it was the Bible.  Heck, she probably slept with it next to her pillow.  By the end of the vacation, “the Rome book” might as well have been the black plague in paper form because none of us wanted anything to do with it.  Yeah, my family doesn’t really relax on vacations, we “do”.

So getting to the beach house was the best feeling ever.  I went down halfway through the week, so I very fortunately missed all the unpacking and setting up, and also conveniently after they had already divided up the cooking responsibilities.  (I’ll use my “kid” status as long as I can!)  I was really looking forward to laying on the beach, reading a book, drinking coffee in the morning, a mojito in the afternoon, and sleeping whenever my body felt like I needed a good nap – in a bed, on a couch, in a beach chair, it’s the greatest.

My cousin Clint on the other hand, does not understand the concept of relaxation and seeks out opportunities to expend unnecessary amounts of energy.  Who says, “Hey, let’s race down to the end of the houses!” while their on vacation?  Seriously.  That level of physical expenditure is totally unnecessary on my week off.  So, during our last full day on the beach, he rented an ocean kayak.  The excitement of a borrowed paddle board had long since worn off, so ocean kayaking was next on the list.

What I haven’t mentioned yet was that the ocean waves were RIDICULOUS.  I’m not saying like big, I’m saying hurricane big. Big and choppy.  Big and numerous.  Big and deadly.  And Clint wants to ocean kayak.  Ok, whatever. Knock yourself out.  But you’re not getting me out on that thing.  I don’t have a death wish.

Yeah, so I went.  It was later in the afternoon, I had been laying out, sleeping, and eating for 3 days straight (I told you, that’s what we do at the beach house!) and I was ready for a little excitement.  I had just watched Clint and his wife Andrea spend nearly 45 excruciating minutes trying to push the kayak through the oncoming breaking waves, until finally recruiting Andrea’s college-age son to help with the task.  Andrea was exhausted, Clint was frustrated, and we all thought they were crazy for even trying for so long… and somehow, I ended up in the same position later in the afternoon.

Initially, Clint and I tried the same technique – pushing the kayak over the breaking waves… epic fail.  We just got hammered with waves over and over and over again.  Exhausting.  So then I think I’ll just get in the kayak, paddle through the breaking waves, continue to get hammered by them but just keep paddling until I make it to the other side of the break.  It totally worked.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the whole beach had been watching us fight with that darn kayak for the last half hour and every time I went through the blast of a breaking wave, the whole beach was up and cheering!  If only they knew what was in store.

We didn’t do such a great job of riding the waves in, seeing that they were 7 feet from top to bottom at the biggest point before breaking, but it was still fun to ride them in as far as we could before bailing off the side to avoid serious injury… that is, except for the last ride in.  We had decided we were done for the day, both completely exhausted from paddling, and crashing, and bailing, and paddling some more, so we decided to try and ride the wave all the way in.  Bad.  Idea.  We caught a wave, rode it in pretty far to the shore, put our paddles up in the air in celebration, and BAM!  The kayak flipped and down we went.  We were a sight to be seen walking back up to the beach.  Clint had an open gash above his eyebrow that was bleeding all down his face, and the kayak had hit me in the face and nose, which was now bruised and swelling with a goose-egg on my forehead (which would conveniently show up the next morning before I had to go back to work).

When Clint returned the kayak back the next morning, the rental guy asked how the week was.  When Clint responded that he’d only had the kayak for one day, the guy looked at him and said, “It was too rough to kayak yesterday.”

Yeah, thanks for the heads up.

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  1. […] July 22, 2011: “Who says, ‘Hey, let’s race down to the end of the houses!’ while their on vacation?  Seriously.  That level of physical expenditure is totally unnecessary on my week off.” […]

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