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10 June 2012

What a weekend!

I have just returned from a wonderful weekend at the beach with the Better Half of MFMC. It was approximately 36 straight hours of relaxation and fun. A much needed kick-off to my summer. We relaxed on the beach, paddle boarded till our arms were going to fall off, ate and drank good things, and laughed. A lot. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and we couldn't have asked for bluer skies, calmer breezes, or more perfect temperatures. 

The Intracoastal  
There was an old collapsed and decayed pier at the north end of Carolina Beach. I was a little obsessed with it.
Pilings

The old pilings and the new pier. I love the juxtaposition of these two structures. 

People were actually jumping off of these pilings on Sunday morning. While they weren't high, they were dangerous in that the waves hit the pilings very hard. It would due so easy to get caught up in the current and be smashed against them. I prefer to avoid such activities.
Waves crashing. 

Dunes. 

You know I love shadow pics ...
 Paddle boarding on Saturday was AMAZING. We rented board for 4 hours, and we used them the entire time. We made our way all over the Intracoastal at Wrightsville Beach. It was only our second time on the boards, and, initially, I was uncomfortable and nervous. The waves on the Intracoastal were far more turbulent that those on the lake where we had our initial lesson. After about 30 minutes, I started to feel more comfortable and was able to get up to my feet without wobbling to the point of falling (which, I will point out, never happened!). It's a very different experience to get used to, but, once I hit my stride, it was awesome. By the end of the 4 hours, I felt 100% at ease and comfortable. I practiced getting up and getting down quite a few times and learned a few different strategies that helped me to be more stable and successful. I learned that I can't look down, or I falter. I have to keep my eyes on the horizon or other points in the distance. I learned that my feet need to be slightly staggered and about three inches in front of the center of the board. I learned that I hesitate too much when going from my knees to my feet and that I need to do it much more swiftly (which I was doing very successfully by the end of the 4 hours). I also learned that I LOVE this sport and cannot wait to own my own board and paddle. :)
Yes, I can paddle board!!
After paddle boarding, I didn't feel as sore as I was expecting. Especially after 4 hours of it. My arms are a little sore, and my quads are a little sore as well. But, over all, I feel great today! It's quite a workout though. On smooth water, it's relatively easy and relaxing. But, as soon as you hit any choppy water or a boat passes, leaving a wake, it gets much more challenging and requires pretty much every muscle in your body. I'm proud to say that the Better Half and I managed to navigate all of those without dying. Our goal is to navigate open ocean by the end of the summer. Gulp ...

This morning, the beach was beautiful. I didn't want to leave.
Heaven? 
 I also learned that I don't know how to properly apply sunscreen. I brought my waterproof 50SPF for sensitive skin and thought I applied it evenly. After paddle boarding, I had a wicked burn all along my lower back. It was quite clear where I had applied and what spots I missed. I have spots like this all over my body, but my lower back is by far the worst. I guess if I am going to be paddle boarding more often, I'll have to get a lot better at this. Perhaps I can find a tub to fill with sunscreen and then dip myself into it. That should do the trick ...
My rear isn't as large as it looks in this photo. Well, at least I tell myself that. :)

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