Day 12: Surfers and Kamikaze Pelicans at Ocean Beach

Day 12: Surfers and Kamikaze Pelicans at Ocean Beach

Saturday was my first time ever at a Southern California beach. I was easily engulfed into the SoCal beach culture— except for the fact that I still reek of the East coast. I was rocking the Sublime, RHCP and Deftones playlist, wandering along the shore checking out all the surfers for a few hours.

I took a bus from North Park to Ocean Beach. It took a little over an hour, and an uncomfortable conversation or two with some seedy individuals. After living in New York for four years, you learn to deal with strange people. We definitely have our share of crazies in the city. But the difference between New York’s nut jobs and San Diego’s: New York’s nut jobs tend to keep to themselves- for the most part. Sure, they’ll shout weird obscenities at you, or maybe even spit on you, but they don’t open up  and tell you their life stories to try and become friends. This guy on the bus yesterday pulled out a knife and started waving it around to the guy next to me. After showing off a plethora of weapons, he saw that I had my headphones on and proceeded to wave at me until I took them off. Then he said “that’s a great shirt. My girl would love it, where’d you get it?” Apparently my poser SoCal-style tank top was fitting right in. But when I told him I got it in New York, he asked me if he could buy it from me. Then he continued to tell me about how he was in jail in New Orleans, how he’d been shot twice (and showed me the scars to prove it), and then showed me a few more weapons. At this point a fellow Southerner had joined in the conversation as I kept trying to ignore him. Apparently these two had been in the same jail at the same time. Then he tried to offer me some socks with peace signs on them, and some “welcome to San Diego” weed. After I refused about 15 times, I finally had to tell him that I don’t wear socks ever, I only wear flip flops. For a second I thought he’d realized I was lying as he questioned me, “even in the winter? That’s awesome dude, I wish I could do that but my feet are too soft.” Thankfully, on that note, it was my stop. I wanted to snap a picture of him but I was a little scared of what sort of suggestive pose he might try out, so I just got this shot of his socks.

As soon as I saw the jaw-dropping sight of those humungous Pacific Ocean waves, it literally took my breath away. I caught myself talking out loud a few times, saying “wow, now that’s a beach!” I think I’ve become pretty spoiled when it comes to beaches. After seeing the crystal-clear water and pure white sands of the Caribbean, and the enormous waves of the Pacific, east coast beaches just don’t do it for me anymore. Any time I visit an east coast beach I can’t help but think, “that’s it?” But Ocean Beach was definitely a real beach in my book. This was my first time ever seeing surfers too. As I sat on the pier listening to 40 oz to Freedom, I was so tempted to walk over and buy a surfboard and a wetsuit and give it a shot. I probably would have if I had health insurance.

I took a walk out on the pier where a ton of people were fishing, but not catching much.

I think the Pelicans had better luck fishing. Or should I say kamikaze dive-bombing for fish.

I started to get a little chilly, so I enjoyed a late lunch at a place called Shades, where I ordered an orange spice tea, grilled cheese and french fries. Grilled cheese is always my go-to meal when I’m on a budget, because it’s usually no more than $2 or $3, as opposed to a $9 burger or sandwich. And that usually includes fries. Tea is almost always a cheaper option than any other drink also. I was a little confused as to why they served me with 5 tea bags of different flavors when I specifically ordered the orange, but I threw them in my purse and was on my way. Probably shouldn’t have done that. But, not bad for a $6 meal.

I climbed up on some rocks and sat and watched the waves splashing around me.

Finally when the marine clouds started rolling in around 6 I decided to head over to a friend of a friend’s house who lives on the beach and wait for JJ to pick me up. I sat there for a bit while their band practiced, and eventually made my way back to JJ’s. By the time people showed up at his house to pregame before heading out on the town, I was exhausted. I laid down for “only an hour,” which turned into me staying in all night while they went out partying. I spent some time updating the blog while watching Wedding Crashers. What a way to spend my last night in San Diego, eh?

As if that weren’t awesome enough, I received a text message at 130a. It was JJ. It said “call Mike for a ride to the Greyhound station tomorrow. I’m in jail for trying to break up a fight.” And that was it. Apparently both of the guys I was staying with, JJ and Sam, got in some trouble for being drunk and disorderly. Maybe it was for the best that I didn’t go out with them last night. They didn’t get released until I was already in LA.

You can check out all of my pictures and videos from San Diego on Flickr.

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