#73 California Dreamin’ & Thanksgiving 2015

California Dreamin’ the classic 1970’s summer of love song by The Mama’s & Papa’s took on some added meaning this Thanksgiving break. Rather than having Ryan fly back to Boston for the holiday we flew to SoCal to bring Thanksgivng to him!
It was going to be a quick trip only Tuesday through Saturday so we headed straight-away to the SC campus to pick up Ryan grabbed a fast lunch at a food truck and then made our way to the OC. Shannon yet again found another great place to stay a half block from the beach on 24th Street on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.  When in Orange County you are never far from a great place to swim, be it a outdoor pool or the Pacific Ocean so I knew I would get in a couple of good swims!
Wednesday morning started bright and early with the 5:30am practice with Newport Beach Masters at Newport Harbor High School. It was nice 50 meter x 25 yard outdoor pool home to championship swimming and water polo teams. Backstroke Olympic legend Aaron Peirsol swam for NHHS. Coach Kevin was all bundled up and welcoming on a very cool dark morning. It was a lightly attended 3500 yard practice and a perfect way to kick off a sunny (but cool) Southern California day.
On Thanksgiving Day there were no open pools or organized masters practices so it was time to hit the Big Pool-The Pacific Ocean! It was yet again another cool morning and I made my way to Corona Del Mar State Beach (aka Big Corona) around 7:30am hoping the air temp would warm up a bit-it didn’t. Big Corona is an expansive protected bay that abuts the jetty that leads into Newport Harbor-perfect for open water swimming. The beach was quiet but as I drove up I saw two men walking towards the calm water so I knew it was safe to swim. A quick deck change in the parking lot and I found myself wading (slowly) into the cool water. Bracing myself I took the big plunge into a wave and per usual it wasn’t as cold or as bad as you always imagine. The water was fairly clear and I swam out to the buoy line and swam up and down it a few times. My guess is I swam 1-1.5 miles before I got lonely and decided to get out.  The water was in the low to mid 60’s and ultimately quite refreshing. Not a bad way to start my Thanksgiving.
Early Friday morning I found myself back at NHHS with Coach Lexie Kelly, FINA open water swimmer and friend of some of my Swim Across America buddies. It started out as a dark, cold and rainy morning and ended up just cold.
We have so much to be thankful for and this quick trip California once again reminds me of that fact yet again. Family time on the beach at sunset, boat cruises in the harbor, and new places to swim-what more can you hope for? Well…two things; Ryan found out he got the summer internship at Aloca he was hoping for and Sean was accepted into one of his top school choices CU Boulder!
There are always reasons for California Dreaming and I will be dreaming (again) for a long time to come.

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