Stacy's Post: We hit the Beach!
The rainforest was great, but I have to say - I LOVE AC AND COMFORTABLE BEDS.
Michael and I woke up around 9am (the latest we slept in) as we enjoyed a comfortable night sleep with air conditioning and a super comfortable bed in our new hotel in Playa Grande called - Hotel Cantarana. The skies were blue and the sun was shining... Hello Pacific Ocean.
We popped up and headed over to the restaurant at our hotel overlooking the beautiful grounds that we could not even begin to appreciate the night before. As we filled our coffee cup - we were greeted by a lovely french girl named Melanie and she quickly pointed out our need to grab a water gun as the birds around our hotel love to dive bomb for breakfast....Luckily Michael is a great shot and we saved our delicious breakfast of fresh fruit and the most amazing cheese and fresh bread I have ever have.
We could not enjoy this beautiful settting to long as DAY 1 of our surfing lessons were to begin at 10am. Our instructor Doug from South Africa was only 5'4 but had a great demeanor and teaching ability. Unfortunately - he doesn't know much about cars as his jeep beater decided not to start after being in the shop for a week so we grabbed the boards and headed for the beach. Only a short walk was the most beautiful cove perfect for learning to surf.
We got a brief safety lesson - COVER YOUR HEAD - if you take a nose dive. PS - this is a great point in the lesson as I DID take a NOSE DIVE and FORGOT to cover my head which got a great big knot on it from taking one straight to the head from the board mid lesson.
We did about a 15 minute on shore lesson where he explained the proper "popping up" method to make surfing an enjoyable sport. "Gosh - I sure wish I would have spent more time doing those push ups". Michael (of course) is a natural whipping that 6'5 body into position like an old pro. I wasn't having quite the same luck. Maybe my 38 year old body was cut out for such a manuever.
Doug gave some additional pointers and quickly said - let's work it out in the water. Hmmm... Wonder how that will work out?
So first Michael - I think it took him only a few wave passes to get the hang of it and he was popping up like he was a pro. The only downside for "kermit the wild frog" would be his affinity for moving to a smaller board (wouldn't work out like he planned).
No for me - I always knew surfing was NOT easy but damn this upper body strength thing.. I have great form, great paddling and understanding of the wave - too damn bad my upper body isn't as strong as Michael or they would have already entered me into a championship. But - Go Ole Doug - gave me a new technique and UP I GO!
Our hour and 1/2 half lesson went pretty quickly and not only were we naturals (per Doug) but we picked it up quite quickly and got tons out of our first lesson. We quickly popped in Little Gringo and headed to the surf shop Frijoles Locos run by an amazing couple named Coryianna and Ian to snag non training boards so we can continue the surfing experience in the afternoon.
Michael was set on getting a shorter board (not a smart choice). I wish I could have had the exact same long, padded board I had before but I settled for a blue padded one...this had to make it easier right?????? Which we promptly named Papa Smurf. My stomach was getting the best of me after a hard days work -
We hit the beach for another few hours and then headed back to the hotel for cocktails, a shower and some dinner.
We ate at the Cantarana restaurant and the food was to die for. Michael had a tropical marinated swordfish with veggies and I had this fish dish - Corigo topped with Spinach and grilled tomato....Absolutely mouth watering.
We enjoyed a delicious bottle of wine and reminisced about our first day of surf lessons and our trip. I can't say we have had a more romantic date.
Back to the hotel (early) for some well needed R&R.