View from the hotel – no complaints.

I envisioned the SoCal beach scene of my youth. Tan bodies, bikinis, blankets spread across the tar-studded sand. Warmer waves, small but snappy.

I was close.

People were tan.

Girls stretched out on beach towels, clad in two-piece swimsuits.

Tar bits stuck to my feet.

The sun provided enough heat that dawn felt like early afternoon.

The waves? Well, they certainly were small. So small. So, so small. And mushy. So, so mushy.

Nonetheless, I paddled out. Twice. Stunningly crowded for how little actual surf existed.

I focused on the novelty. On not wearing booties! On the view of the Channel Islands. On the lack of current pulling you up the coast, out to sea. So easy to sit, hang out, watch the longboarder in the trucker hat with the ‘stache and wonder if his facial hair was ironic or if he’d simply refused to surrender the ’70s.

Not the right board. I did scrape off the yucky wax and replace it with a layer of fresh.

I didn’t bother with a leash. Managed to catch a wave or two or three despite the odds. Nothing amazing, but enough to say, “I surfed.”

Not being cold? That was nice.

But I’m glad to be home where, at least, we have some swell.

Kiteboarders for days once the wind came up.