Low-and-High Lights: The trip to Cali.


(No, these are not California wave pictures…)
Jonah took them last week and sent them to me to share.  Because he’s a good sharer.

While I’m all cuddled up here in our hotel room in San Clemente, I thought I would share a few of the main events so far between getting here, and being here…The photos are really just to break up my sleep-deprived story telling. (consider yourself warned.)


I have been snapping some iPhone photos which will find their way to you eventually, but somehow the boys won the debate on who keeps the “real camera” while I’m away, so cell phone photos are all I have.  (Dave will bring the “real camera” Friday, so then we’ll capture a bit more.)

Meanwhile, Instagram is your best way to follow our adventures.  Now I’ve already shared a few lows and highs both on Insta and on Facebook, but here’s just a little more.

*Don’t worry, there is really only ONE LOW, the rest are all HIGHS…

LOW:  My trip over turned out to be WAY less than ideal.
I don’t want to slime you with too much negativity, but if you can take it, here’s the nutshell version:

After sitting at the United gate for 2 1/2 hours, my 11:00 PM flight was cancelled…They sent the whole stampede-full-flight of us to get our luggage back from baggage claim, and then to wait in a (really really really long) line for a new flight assignment, and a hotel reservation…This landed me in a smokey taxi at 12:30 AM, only to settle into a Waikiki hotel room at 1:00 AM, with the alarm set for a 4:00 AM wake up (you did the math, right?  Yes: horrible!)

(Note: I could have chosen a later flight, but my goal was to get to Luke in time for his Saturday afternoon surf heat at the Rip Curl Contest, Huntington Beach.)

A shaky and disoriented Monica woke up, and ran with bags bouncing behind her back down to another taxi…this one driven by a woman who invited me to sit in the front seat, and then confessed she had been up for something like 40 hours, and swore she was thriving on her four shots of espresso.  At that point I wondered about drug testing and taxi drivers, and decided I might have been safer on a plane with faulty mechanics than in that taxi cab.  I was too tired to think about it.

I made it to my flight, and greeted the girls next to me with “Hi, I’m Monica.  I’m going to sleep now.” At which point I nodded off with bizarre dreams of taxi cabs, and stampeding travelers.
I made it to LA, which of course required another insanely long line for a rental car, where I nearly got into a yelling fight with the man at the counter who was certain I needed that ($400) “added insurance” that I never get but suddenly wondered if I should get because he was sure I would regret saying no.  (DO you get the added insurance?)
Anyways, after some nasty LA traffic, where I drove with complete paranoia that I would somehow wreck the car and the pushy rental-car man would be right after all (sleep deprivation does funny things to you,) I arrived safely in Huntington Beach.  I refused to stop to eat or use the restroom because I was trying to get there to see Luke surf in his heat…

And as things go, I connected with Luke shortly AFTER he finished his surf heat.

Pause for a pretty picture.  (Releasing negativity...)


Luke had done well in his first heat, so would be advancing to the next round Sunday morning.  Yay!  I’d get to see him compete after all!

Luke and I made it back to San Clemente, had a great dinner out (I realized I had eaten pretty much all of NOTHING since I left Honolulu)  and fell into some really comfy beds to watch FISHING on TV.  (that would be a Luke-high.)

We had a  5:30 AM wakeup, which I could remind you is 2:30 AM in Hawaii, but I’m done being negative…

(Pretty picture break,)

**Luke’s next surf heat COULD be considered a LOW because he actually did not advance on to the next round.  However, my friend Kelly taught me the new phrase “You win some, you learn some,” and that was absolutely the case.  Luke has a lot to learn still about the Huntington surf break (he paddled out in the completely wrong place, struggled against the current, and so on…) In general, you always learn a lot from competition. This was a great time to learn some lessons so he can return back for nationals in a few weeks with more knowledge and experience.  This was also an older age division, so he has three more years to take charge. No sweat.G1038662

HIGH:  Luke and I then drove a couple hours out to my brother Craig’s house to visit and congratulate my niece on her high school graduation.  It was so much fun to see them, and I only wish someone could tell me why I didn’t think to take a SINGLE iPhone photo.  Geesh!  Anyways, hanging with family was the best, and we are so glad we went.

HIGH:  We made it back to San Clemente before dark, and did the big (mile plus-) off-road hike down to Trestles where Luke is pretty sure that he discovered heaven.  I don’t think even winning a contest could compare to his UTTER JOY at finding a surf break that he loves so much, and knowing he gets to come back again and again for the next few weeks.  If you’re a surfer, you know that Trestles is a special place.

And hiking BACK to the car as the sun went down, we couldn’t help but thank God Levi wasn’t with us, as these daily (more likely two times daily) hikes would not be fun with a four-year old in tow.  (BTW-Levi, and all of the guys are doing GREAT at home–and we have been Face timing all day long! ;))

If I can turn off my brain and go to sleep now, we’ll be up for another early surf tomorrow morning.

Thanks for stopping by to visit.  I have a few more partially-written posts to finish at the beach or somewhere over the next few days, so do stop back, ok?

Feel free to leave me a high or low of your weekend or the week ahead…and really–Thanks for caring.  I mean that with all of my heart. :)

With Aloha, from SoCal…

15 thoughts on “Low-and-High Lights: The trip to Cali.”

  1. Wow! What an adventure!! I love that you kept your sense of humor through your travelling ordeal–or at least, in your re-telling of it here! Congrats to Luke on getting as far as he did but, more importantly, on discovering the joy that you mentioned at Trestles. :-) Looking forward to more updates as they come, but no pressure!

  2. Highs – Total house clean out to even more corners that I didn’t know were even holding clutter. Graduation Ceremonies and Parties in town.

    Lows – House is clean because hubby and youngest grom went down the coast to a family graduation and oldest grom was lifeguarding at the lake for a special event all weekend – and the wind was too strong to surf.

    1. ahhh, there is not much I love more than a really clean house. Nice job last weekend! Where does your oldest son surf? Thanks for stopping in and commenting! ;)

  3. My surfing family lives in Huntington Beach. We go to San Onofre to surf which very close to Trestles. You should take him there , he would love love it there also. Funny that we treasure our yearly trips to Oahu to surf.

    1. Thank you Corina! Funny, I was just saying we need to check out San Onofre…Trestles has been SO packed, it is crazy. We’re headed to Huntington to surf and play tomorrow! :) And yes, the grass is always greener….haha. Aloha!

  4. Thanks for your honesty! Wow, what an exhausting flight fiasco! I’m glad you’re there safe and sound. I can’t wait for more posts and pictures! My high this weekend was 3 whole days with my Amazing parents staying with us, who watched the kids every morning so JD and I could sleep in. :-)

  5. What an airport adventure! I’m glad you made it to SoCal safely (and with your sense of humor intact :) )! And how awesome that Luke fell in love with Trestles. The rockier the start, the sweeter the rest of the trip? :)

    Looking forward to the rest of your adventures! :)

  6. High: Confirmation Sunday for 3 of my middle school students, softball game, small group bible study bbq, and lastly YOUR niece’s graduation party. Which some involved me spending close to 4 hours at the Nyquist’s. You will not believe what your nephews were doing with the fire (hint, it involved balloons and jelly beans), and a game of Dominion with Aiden and Kaleb.

    Oh, and I was just reading some “Travel Hacks” and one of them said to check with your credit cards cause some of them cover the insurance on rental cars so you don’t have to get the extra.

    1. Great high! You know I’d love that one! :) (Wish I could have been at the grad party!)
      And the “travel hacks…” How’d you get so smart!? You must have been homeschooled! haha. Great tip! XO

  7. HIGH: My 6 year-old, Josiah, came to me this morning and said he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart–and he did!!! Doesn’t get any higher than that!!! :) :) :)

  8. I think I’m really late for this post, but here it goes:

    LOW: I got laid off. last Friday was my last day of work after 8 years with the company!

    HIGH: Yay I got laid off! I get to spend the summer with my kids!

    *The entire time I was reading your airport/hotel/taxi adventures I was thinking to myself thank goodness Levi wasn’t with you, can you imagine???

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