After living on the other side of the world for 2.5 years, something really special happens when you return home. All the places you've spent so much time before, the familiar streets, people, and beaches, the ones you may have taken for granted in the past...suddenly carry a new sense of novelty and excitement. Viewing somewhere I've been before with a new perspective is sometimes even more rewarding for me than visiting somewhere new. It's more real, expectations are lowered, and because of that it's often the seemingly average, little things that surprise and elate me.
When I booked a styling gig in California, I was excited to return to the place my brother has lived for almost two decades, where I've accumulated incredible friends, inspiring work contacts, and memories that are painted in my mind for a lifetime. I looked forward to spending some quality time exploring the coastlines that have felt like home for years. California for me is a cocktail of nostalgia and nuance, with familiar places offering new adventures daily. I couldn't wait to indulge.
With no set plan for how to begin my adventure, fate intervened by reconnecting me with a fellow East Coaster, photographer and friend Adam Bartoshesky, who was down for anything. I was borrowing a longboard from friends in Laguna Beach, thus the destination was chosen. Adam picked me up from Santa Monica and we headed south. We decided to take our time in Orange County, ignoring the usual whine-inducers like traffic and crowded summer beaches, and appreciated it with fresh eyes, in no hurry to reach a particular destination. It turned out to be one of the most memorable days of my entire trip! We sparked conversation with some local legends over margaritas at Coyote Grill and explored Table Rock Beach and the watery, majestic tones beneath the surface. With a few hours to spare we hit up San Onofre for an evening surf and caught some epic little peelers before cracking a few beers to watch the sun melt into the sea. It had all the ingredients for a perfect day -- laughs, drinks, new friends, old friends, waves, tacos...and a killer sunset to punctuate the good vibes. Another not-so-average adventure in SoCal proving this return will not be my last.