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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Paddle surfing and a proposal

Matt and I really like to try new things. Our latest adventure? SUP--stand up paddle surfing at Redondo Beach.

SUP is an ingenious cross between regular surfing and kayaking. The boards are similar to long surf boards but have been modified slightly for increased buoyancy and stability. Unlike regular surfing, you stand straight forward on an SUP board and use a one-bladed paddle which is similar to a kayaking oar. The pros catch waves like this but since it was our first time out, we decided to stick with calmer water (okay, it was actually required by the rental company, along with the attractive over-sized life vests). We went with Kenneth and Amy and took turns watching Danny while the other couple raced up and down the harbor. It was a great workout and so, so much fun!
While we were out on the water, a sea lion suddenly peaked its head up out of the water no more than a yard away from Matt's SUP board! There were dozens of sea lions on the rocks at the end of the harbor, but it was especially exciting to have one so close. Our sea lion continued to dance around us for awhile and then I finally remembered I had a camera with me as it went away, so this blurry shot is all the proof we got.
I took the live sea lions in the water as a good sign--obviously, if there was a great white shark around, they would not be "live" sea lions, right? That kind of faulty logic always makes me feel better when I'm in the middle of the ocean. Ah, but just because I don't think there are sharks under me doesn't mean I want to fall into the ocean! Matt and I had a close call when our SUP boards collided. I think he did it on purpose :-)
As it turns out, though, I didn't even need Matt's help to end up in the water! I didn't slow down enough coming back into the dock, which naturally led to my SUP board ramming into it and jolting me off. I saw that one coming from a mile away, so it was pretty hilarious.
Danny had fun hanging out with Matt and watching his parents take the SUP boards for a spin...
... but he had even more fun when it was his turn! That's one cool kid right there.
Then, while the men returned the boards to the rental shop, Amy and I got to have a fun little girly adventure of our own! Earlier in the day, we had our nice cameras out when a 20-something-year-old man approached us and asked if we'd still be at that dock at 3:30 p.m. Long story short, the camera he was supposed to borrow fell through and he requested that we take pictures of his best friend proposing to his girlfriend (who thought her boyfriend was out of town at the time). Um, yes please! I love love, and I love proposals, and I love that you just asked me to spy on one for you. He gave me a CF card to take all the pictures on, so all I have is a picture of the location.

Use your imagination, though, and picture a beautiful blonde in a sundress casually walking along the waterfront and then suddenly spotting her man--all dressed up in a suit and tie--stepping off a gondola covered in red roses. Picture her running down to greet him on the dock, them hugging, him dropping to one knee, her smile beaming and hands coming up to her face in surprise, and then her jumping into his arms and him swinging her around and kissing her passionately. Amazing, no? They then rode away in their gondola as she admired her new ring, and were later presented with 450 (yes, 450!) beautiful pictures of the whole thing. Hooray!
Still on our love-induced high, we ended our exciting day with a lazy, late afternoon visit to the beach itself. Redondo Beach isn't my favorite, since it's full of people and sea weed and such, but it hit the spot that Saturday. And really, who can complain when there's sand between their toes, the sun shining in the sky, and waves crashing just a few feet away? Not us, that's for sure.
Edit on 9/2: And speaking of proposals, Matt came home from work today with a rose for me. I was kind of confused since I wasn't paying attention to the date or anything, and then he says, "So, remember that one time I proposed 3 years ago?" Yeah. How sweet is he to not only remember but commemorate that day? I sure love that man.


  1. that looks like so much fun! I would for sure tip over though!

  2. ahh this post made me smile! esp reading the part about getting to take pix of the proposal. Wow! you were in the right place at the right time. That paddle surfing thing looks interesting. Were there other ppl out there doing it as well? Fun fun! My dad grew up around that beach so its neat to see pix of it. Hope to visit it someday despite the seaweed and crowds :)

  3. So fun! I totally would have been in the water more than once though -you're amazing to have stayed up that whole time. Paddle boats and paddle surfing... we're like twins. We'll switch and this time I'll put up all the pictures of me fallin' IN! Haha...

  4. Love the beach and you have plenty to choose from!

    Lets see a little leigh hill action!

  5. Hey, looks like everything´s fine in SoCal and you´ve a great time! Like your Beach - Pics!!!

  6. Oh I love the proposal story! Too bad you had to relinqush all those pictures without getting a copy for yourself.

    Someday I'm going to visit you in Cali so I can try SUP. Looks like a blast.

  7. So So So Cute! I loved Tyler's proposal, but this almost makes me want a re-do. Maybe not exactly...but maybe a few different proposals just for fun, lol.

  8. We have many things to discuss.

    A. You look like you in every picture I see. You're beautiful.

    B. I would fall over and die, very quickly. The sea lion alone would've killed me.

    C. I wish you had the proposal picture.

    D. You are still one of my two favorite blogs. Your adventures are always a breath of fresh air.

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  10. The SUP boards look like so much fun! I wonder if they have one with training wheels or ballasts? Since I'm sure I would fall right off. How fun to witness the proposal...too bad you couldn't keep a picture, but I guess the bride-to-be wouldn't want a stranger, even a very nice one, to randomly have her picture. What a nice memory though, and I could see it because you described it so well.


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