The Whiskey Chronicles (in Buenos Aires)

The Whiskey Chronicles (in Buenos Aires)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My Surfing Confession

As some of you know, I have a little ritual I perform on nearly every trip home. On a day when my mom is working, I drive north on A1A a few miles to the Natural Art Surfshop in Cocoa Beach (the home of Major Nelson and Samantha in "I Dream of Jeannie"). At Natural Art, I'll rent a tall, sturdy surfboard and take it to some secluded beach where I can't actually hurt anyone else in the water.

Oh, and I usually have a small cooler with a 6-pack of beer in it.

At the beach, I down a couple beers for courage, then paddle out into the 2-3 foot waves. Now this is when most people who hear me say "I like to go surfing" start to imagine me barrelling down the face of a wave, turning into the lip, and basically tearing it up like anyone who grew up on the Florida coast should be able to do.

The reality is that I usually just sit on that board and float. Sure, every once in a while I'll paddle into a wave, stand up for a few terrifying seconds, and plummet into the water. It sounds wimpy, but when you're six-feet tall standing on a board at the top of a three-foot wave, from you brain's point of view you've got a nine-foot fall coming and nine feet, in my book, is an awful long ways.

After an hour or so of this, I'll head back into the beach, drink some more Courage, and try again.

The reason I'm telling you this is because the benefit of being a writer is that if you can't actually do something cool like surf really well, at least you can write about people who do surf really well. Maybe you even get to call them and their friends on the phone and sound like you know what you're talking about. And that's exactly what I'm doing.

This weekend, Cocoa Beach native and former Pamela Anderson boyfriend Kelly Slater has a chance to wrap up an unprecedented seventh world title in surfing. For those who don't know Slater, he's a revolutionary in the surfing world, an aquatic Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. And while I am hoping Slater can seal his place in surfing history this year, I'm hoping he doesn't do it just yet, because my story about this Armstrongian achievement is due to come out in October.

If Slater wins this weekend's competition in France, my story is toast. So send whatever good vibes you can this weekend to Andy Irons, C.J. Hobgood, or any of another dozen pro surfers to win in France, and let's wait until October to raise a glass of Courage in Kelly Slater's honor.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Back in the USA

Sorry for the lack of updates, but Dana and I are back in the US for a few weeks. I never thought I would be so happy to see Super Wal-Marts, Costcos and malls with stores like Crate & Barrell. I feel like one of those Soviet immigrants in the 1980s who walked into American grocery stores and just started crying. We are eating things we can't get in Bolivia regardless of whether we're hungry or not. Brie, sourdough bread, and good beers are at the top of the list, sometimes all at the same time.

We'll be in Florida this weekend and I'll try to get some recent photos posted. Come back soon!