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Surfing USA

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

The Days of Yore

I grew up in the water. Seriously, my Dad was an Olympic-class swimmer and he dunked me in the Atlantic before I was three. By the age of five I was body surfing. Our family moved to California and, naturally, I wanted a surfboard so I could really ride the waves like the cool kids. For some unknown reason, my parents obliged and I spend all day every day during each summer on one surfboard or another (begging proved a very effective way to coerce a new board out of my parents).

Fast forward an undisclosed number of years and a number of desk jobs. I somehow forgot about my surfing passion when I went to college, being more interested in deep philosophical thinking and other things that absorb college students. My work took me out of Southern California and surfing didn’t make the short list of things I felt I had to do. Wrong.

Finally, because of ready Internet connections, I am now able to spend a good deal of time in California again, so I employed my most successful tactic: I begged my wife for a surfboard. After she stopped laughing, she started to get into the whole idea and I bought a board. And humiliated myself whenever I paddled out.

Whatever I knew, I had forgotten. Whatever arm strength I had then migrated to my belly. I thank the person or people who attached leashes to surfboards for saving me a lot so swimming.

Getting Serious

Friends and family were starting to get wind of this new obsession of mine, so my Holiday gifts (quite by coincidence) from several of them were gift-certificates for a local surf shop. When I added up how much I had, it looked like close to enough for another board. Not that my previous board wasn’t good enough — I just wasn’t good enough for it.

I found a nice 9′ board and plunked down my gift certificates. All waxed up and ready, I paddled out into the winter surf and was amazed at how much easier it was to get into the surf lineup on a 9′ board than a 7′ one. I began to enjoy some success. Still taking ungainly dives off the board, but much better results.

Gathering Momentum

Having spent about a year with my 9′ board, which my wife has dubbed the “banana board,” largely because of its color, I felt I could use some help getting to the next level. For some reason, golf lessons and tennis lessons are considered de rigeur, but who actually thinks about surf lessons? I mean, isn’t it more fun to bang your head against the wall while you figure it all out?

I thought not. One evening, my wife suggested a local surf school. I spent nearly three hours with an instructor, and followed it up with another three-hour session. The things I couldn’t see about my surfing were subtle, but so significant that they were holding me back. Once pointed out, I began to incorporate them into my surfing. And now I get a special critique (and I mean this in a good way) from my wife each time I finish a session.

Keeping Healthy & Clean While Traveling

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, here are some products that I wouldn’t be without. All of these items are allowed to be carried on the airplane, since they are under 3 oz. and are not gels.

Increase your odds of staying healthy with all-natural Flight Spray — the first nasal spray created especially for travelers! Let’s face it. Dry aircraft cabins, recycled air, and sneezing, coughing passengers are not a good mix when you’re embarking on a trip. Flight Spray is made of Hawaiian-grown Turmeric Root (an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal agent), Spearmint (a natural antiseptic), and purified water. It helps prevent viral infections by creating an unsuitable environment for inhaled germs to reproduce. Also alleviates nasal dryness and relieves cold symptoms. Alcohol-free. (1 oz spray bottle weighs 1½ oz)

Now you can get that just-brushed feeling anytime, anywhere. With Oral-B Brush-Ups® textured teeth wipes, all you have to do is rip one open, slip it on your finger, and brush your teeth. You’ll get a clean mouth and fresh breath when you’re on the go—no water or sink required. You can find Brush-Ups® in the oral care aisle in a store near you. So instead of carrying a toothbrush and toothpaste (which may not be allowed on board) bring along a few packets of Oral-B Brush-Ups. Your seat-mates will thank you for it!

Nice’n Clean antibacterial hand wipes come in packs of twenty or in Individually wrapped anti-bacterial moist wipes that kills germs, helps prevent the spread of colds. They contain moisturizer plus aloe and do not irritate your skin. I have been using these for years and happy to report that I have been cold free. They are also useful on children and adults, after a messy meal, after using the washroom, or just for refreshing your hands.

For a complete body refreshing, Fresh Bath body wipes is the way to go. No water or rinsing required.

Fresh Bath™ disposable body wipes keep you feeling clean and fresh without soap and water. Each thick, lightly scented 8″ x 10″ wipe contains a patented cleansing formula (with Vitamins A, E and aloe vera) that effectively neutralizes odor. PH balanced, alcohol-free and anti-bacterial, they leave skin feeling refreshed and moisturized. Wipe the grime away with these easy-to-use wipes. Great for freshening up en route or after a day of sightseeing.

Fresh Bath™ Bio Wipes give that clean-all-over feeling even when you’re miles from the nearest shower. Bio-degradable wipes provide antibacterial, rinse-free bathing. Fresh Bath™ Wipe is moistened with patented cleansing formula containing micellized vitamins A and B with aloe vera for skin moisturization.

I have found many of these products on drugstore.com.

Wishing you clean, safe and healthy travels.



Packing Tips

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

“There are two kinds of travelers in the world: those who packed light and those who wish they had.” I love that quote. One of my favorite tips not mentioned in the article is; cross pack items in two suitcases. When traveling with your spouse, partner or friend, pack some of your clothing in each piece of luggage. If one of them gets lost, you’ll both still have something to wear.

To read more great suggestions on packing, go to: Packing Tips on travelsense.org.


We Want to Hear from You!

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Tell us some of your savvy travel ideas–the latest and best place you just visited, how you upgraded your hotel room, insider spots in your hometown, your favorite airline, how you pack and bring just what you need, or tell us your worst travel story.

Give us a list of places you want to visit. The 4-S beaches (surfing, snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing) that you have found. Favorite mini vacation spot. Have you been to Paris (or Rome) and want to share an “off the beaten track” restaurant, wine bar or some other fabulous place to see?

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