Iceland

by The Good Life on July 20, 2016

in iceland

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Last week, we were very lucky to visit one of the worlds most beautiful places and also most on trend these days.

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The country of Lava rocks, regular rocks, lakes, volcanos and in summer never ending day light.

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There are also geysers, which are still working over 100c.

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Sometimes they change by the day as did this one which kind of exploded one day, with a walkway getting burnt and sucked into the geyser.
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The shipping world is pretty full on here too.
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I’m sure this is from the end of Star Wars when they met up with Luke Skywalker again.IMG_4103

Ah the sunsets.  This was at 11.30pm. I thought this would be it, but it went really quick down.

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These two guys were out just taking a little cruise in the evening.

More photos to come…

Cheers to you France.

by The Good Life on July 11, 2016

in France

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The crew of crews.  Ilmo, Spencer, Mareike, Sani, Me, Koen, Sarah, Lucy, Stype with Mr Weaver taking the photo.  Olive and Lenny were deep in slumber by this point.  After two trips back to France from the states, and then 3 summers down here, the SW of France has quickly become one of my favorite places on earth.   I thought to illustrate this post, I should use Sanis photos which, lets be fair, are way better than mine. So a few things which I love here.

  1. Friends. One of the best things with France and its not really France at all, but with all it has to offer, you can always find good people up for a trip.

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Spencer always makes the trip and no matter how busy a schedule she has, always loves visiting down here, and this year had a new surf friend in Lenny.

Of course Lenny met a new friend also in Olive so he had a sand eating buddy.

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Lenny seemed pretty proficient by the end of the trip.
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He also had a crush on Lucy I think.  I can hear her now “Cuco Lenny, Cuco Lenny”

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Of course, its friends, but also spending time with those nearest and dearest.  The one and only Wifey.

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2. One of the other reasons, I love France.  Land of the Free.

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It looks like a small thing, but after living in the states for a while, where the law makers don’t feel that we are responsible enough to take a beer onto the beach or drink in public at all, because maybe someone gets addicted to it, having a beer on the beach is a wonderful thing.  No one got addicted in the taking of this photo.  Its funny that law though, because if you wanted to sit on said beach with a gun concealed, you can do and many would encourage it, if you have your license with you.

I love this guy too.

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Not in that way, but just for the fact, thats what he is into, and in Europe, its not frowned upon, intact this guy has his own stretch of the beach “La Natuerelle”.  Again, in the states, its created all kinds of chaos, women wanting to go topless, but in europe people don’t even look when they see a 60 year old bloke drinking a beer going for a walk to the waters edge to get that all over tan.

3. Surf.
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Of course this is a big draw. Dr Koen, taking Sarah, Mareike and Spencer out for a serious heat on day 1.  So good to see the amount of rental schools now where people can actually gey great equipment, such as the Hurley centre which Koen has been setting up.

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Of course Mr Sani, crushing a wave in Estagnots.  This was such a fun day.  I think we were both out for 3 hours, which resulted in a few good photos, a badly bruised rib for me thanks to the crazy woman who dropped in on me.

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Mareike just crushing the waves out there too.

 

4. Vino, beer, cider, anything else you can find.

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These kronenburg stubbies are like water in France, and go down very quickly.  Its not that i drink much normally, nor even get drunk on holiday, but just with a nice sunset, having a couple beers is a nice way to end the day.

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Or share a vino.  I love this photo with Spencer.  We’ve known each other for 6 years now maybe, I remember first meeting her when she was doing back rodeos in breckenridge, and then got injured if I remember correctly.  Since then, we’ve been round the world it seems, had ups and downs, and throughout she has had fun, been a great friend, and been later focused on her goals.

5. Sunsets.  Yes its cheesy.

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but when Koen is out paddling and it looks this good, don’t begrudge me that.

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This was the scene most nights at sunset.  And also 3am and 5am, as Lenny seemed to have his schedule all over the place, and so having him in the ergo baby was one of the few ways to get him to relax and sleep.

5. Dinners in the sun.

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This was one of the best dinners of the trip, cooked up by Koen and Sarah, and is my perfect kind of dinner.  Easy, mellow, lots of fun, and a beautiful sunset.
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My dad also visited and had a great time with us all.

6. FOOD.  Of course.

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From my favorite place to eat anywhere on earth i think, Chez Minus, which is so simple its brilliant.  To new spots like the oyster bar.

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To the amazing pastries selection which we over indulged in every day.  I wrote it before, but in france everyone seems to eat pastries, drink wine by the bottle, have oil on food, yet no one is fat.  No one.  I didnt see anyone “obese”, no any vegan menus, but everyone seems healthy.  I mean they all smoke too, so maybe its just something in the water, but there has to be something said for it.

IMG_3381Thats it.   More blogs than I have written in months, in 2 weeks.

Yes there are more reasons to love France, but for now, thats it.  This photo will keep me ticking until next summer.

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Biarritz

by The Good Life on July 11, 2016

in France

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Ah Cote Des Basques.  This was probably one of the first places I ever thought “i had surfing”.  I remembered being dragged about in all kinds of current, but that it was fun and I actually managed to catch a couple waves.  For the end of our trip we headed down here for a few days.

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I always enjoy spending time in Biarritz.  Its definitely busy, both in and out the water, but there is a nice feel to walking round the town, and drinking some rose after a nice surf.  We spent a bunch of time when Cheryl lived down here, and it was always fun, as if it was massive up north you could catch some manageable surf here still.  Above is grand plage which I enjoyed surfing before summer kicked in, as during summer the surf schools would claim a part of the ocean for themselves and then the lifeguards would also lay claim to a spot too, and you would end up with all kinds of chaos.

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This beach, well i don’t even know what its called, just that its where people go who want a leathery tan.  You see them round town in whats an unhealthy leathery tan, but they seem to love it so good for them.

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Of course, you can also soak up a few treats too.  Lenny boy trying to get a taste.

One of the highlights of the trip, was meeting Archie again, the son of the one and only Mr Greenshields.

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Archie “I tell you what Lenny, your old man just told me he is saving up his money for a boat trip for us”
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Lenny “Keep smiling, this time next year we’ll be decked out in new wettys and getting after it down on cote des basques”

On the morning surf check I also went through a couple spots I hadn’t visited before.

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Guethary is somewhere Gary has told me about, but so far not managed to visit.  Great spot, would love to see this place with some proper swell.IMG_3715

Of course no trip to france would be complete without seeing a million german vans parked up looking for the swell.  I don’t understand whats written on this, but hey, I’m not a german living in a van for the summer.  Good for him.IMG_3669

One of the other things we did was pay a visit to the Beach House from Lupo and Kiwi, two of the nicest guys ever, who besides running a very successful business in the production world, also have the Beach House in Anglet.IMG_3682

Like I say, one of the best dudes ever.IMG_3699

They just added in this boat, which was built inland, and never hit the ocean, so was perfect to build a bar in of course.IMG_3673

With a great bar and beach area it was perfect for kids and parents alike,IMG_3677

and people who love food too, of course.

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Meanwhile, back on the beach, Lenny confirmed that he is once again following in my footsteps by being able to sleep anywhere, and everywhere.  It was a touch windy, so we made ourselves a base camp behind a little surfboard.IMG_3736 Couple of legends right there.

Surf Boards

by The Good Life on July 10, 2016

in France

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I think this kind of photo will always be special to me, as sunset with some waves and some friends is one of the greatest things ever.  I just wanted to write this blog, more to myself really to remind me of which boards I surfed this trip.  When I started surfing I was always a bit skeptical of trying new boards but with getting slightly better over the years, its been super fun to learn about what different shapes can do for your surfing.

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The board above, and in the first shot is what I used for most of the trip, a Lost Puddle Jumper, wit Lib Tech Construction.  I had already surfed the Ringer from lib tech but this is a different shape, and so was excited to try it.  Its 5’9 and 37.5 liters and really light because of the construction, and of all the boards i’ve surfed, probably one of the most fun.  Its got enough foam under the chest to catch most anything, and also still easy to duck dive, and works in good surf, and on the bigger days it was great fun.  I’d love to have had a board like this when I was learning.  It paddles well, catches everything and is fun.

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The next board was Garys Bradley, the “chocolatine”, which was 6’3 and 35 liters, so a bit under what I would normally surf but also way more of a performance board than I would surf normally.   I got lucky by taking this out on a very clean and fast day in France, where luckily this board was perfect.  One left I got was so fast it was perfect.  Someone dropped in on me of course, and I had to jump over the back, but it was one of the most fun dismounts ever.
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I surfed it the next morning too, but the swell had dropped, and it was fun, but struggled to catch the small waves.  So I looked in Garys stash of boards and found this twin fin from Rupo.  I have no idea how many liters this is, i just now its a 5’8, and paddled amazingly, caught even a ripple really well, and turned super easily.  I would love to have a board like this in the bag.Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 10.48.43 AM

If there was a board I’d probably buy for my surfing right now it would be the lib tech puddle jumper.  Because of 3 things:

1) great shape and volume for someone who is intermediate.

2) very durable. For someone who travels to surf either in cars, or planes etc this is perfect.  Knowing you can travel without it breaking is amazing.

3) Kind of combines my current boards and mixes them together.

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Jumping for joy!  Actually, running out the surf, because the tide came in whilst the lady and lad where on the beach!

I thought I should also note down, which boards I’ve surfed over the last few years, in chronological order.

Weber (i think) 6’2 mini mal – bought in Bali.

Channel Islands Biscuit 6’2 – bought by Mareike for my 30th – amazing board, learnt so much on that one.  Catches everything in its path.

Channel Islands 6’2 Motorboat – got this for the boat trip to the maldives.  Super fun board, greats step from the Biscuit, but maybe not enough rocker.

Channel Islands Gravy 6’0 – Mareike had this board, made famous by Machado.  Fun.

Lib Tech Ringer – 6’2 35 litres – super fast and good for bigger days.

Channel Island Neck Beard 6’2, 38 liters  – Current go to board on bigger days, amazing board.

Firewire Baked Potato 6’2 – 50 LITRES.  A monster of a board.  Perfect for Oregon crappy surf.  Amazing to always have in the car.

Lost Puddle Jumper, 5’9 – 37.5 litres

Bradley shaped for Gary, 6’3 – 35 litres

Rupo fish – 5’8 twin fin.

I think thats it…. Maybe i should dig up a photo from each.

France – les continuation

July 8, 2016

Towards the end of our trip, we got a last minute addition to the team, Senòr Weaver, in town for a couple of days to see us all, play with […]

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San Seb

July 5, 2016

This is a perfect example of how a day in San Sebastian goes.  Some wine and Tapas in a backstreet in the old town. I can eat this all day […]

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France part 3

July 5, 2016

This picture above pretty much sums up France for me.  Sun, beach and friends. The other things which sums up France is unbelievable baked goods.  People in the US would […]

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France 2016 Part deux

June 29, 2016

Nothing better than this to wake up too. This is our spot, right by the beach, with a perfect sun bathing zone. French breakfast, about as good as it gets. […]

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France 2016

June 27, 2016

Nothing sums up France better than sun, a cheeky weak beer on the beach and a naked fella getting a stroll in.  Sani just soaking it up. An evening on […]

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Traveling with a Toddler

June 26, 2016

Step 1, ensure to exercise probably before take off. Step 2, ensure to remember “we’re in this together” even when your rental car doesn’t work out, or you are tired. […]

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