I made my first pilgrimage at 17. Thanksgiving break from my senior year of high school, and stayed right at Pipe in the infamous Gerry Lopez house which was then rented by Rusty and is now one of the two Volcom dens. By college I was spending several weeks, and post-graduation I posted up for nearly two months a year. I spent countless hours battling the current and crowds at Rocky Point, biked the path, prowled for parties at Foodland, starred in a reality tv show, sipped Mai Tais at Turtle Bay, won heats at Haleiwa, spectated the Pipe contest, tasted mushrooms under a December meteor shower in cool thick grained sand, slept on the floor, on couches, and in shared beds. It was fun.
At 31, it’s different. A lot of those experiences are less appealing. Now I go for a quick week, hope for sun and good waves, and try to get some photos as quickly as possible so I can get out of there and back to other things. I didn’t even want to go this year. Home in Nicaragua is too good. A house that needs work, a garden that needs care, a faithful dog, uncrowded warm waves, and the best partner I’ve ever had.
Then we were kidnapped. Body Glove boys in a rental van with bottles of PVOGs (Passionfruit, vodka, orange, guava) took us on a wild ride through town, picking up a couple of other girls on the way telling us we were going to longboard Waikiki.
Ok, whatever. I gave in and enjoyed the ride. We rode twelve-footers on ankle-slappers, and had amazing pupus at Duke’s afterwards.
Well past sunset we pulled in to the house BG rents at Sunset Beach – a two story, five bedroom within spitting distance of the ocean. No surprise that every bed was full of at least one person, every couch taken, every futon claimed. Standard North Shore in December situation…. I pulled a pad off an outside chair and made a bed on the floor. Here we go again…
Over the next few days we surfed Rockies in patches of sun, hiked to a waterfall, ate poke, and easy simple food cooked to feed a crew of 25: lots of hamburgers and marinara pasta.
I watched Helina jump off a 50 foot ledge and butt-flop into the deep pool, earning her the most impressive bruise I’ve ever seen. I got a few good waves at Rockies, and hopefully a few good photos too.
In the end it wasn’t so bad. I probably seem like a spoiled little brat for complaining. But I’m now so happy to be back home!