Since returning to my roots in sunny Southern California, I’ve been experiencing a bit of reverse culture shock. After 8 years in Charlotte, I had become accustomed to folks wearing shoes and shirts in restaurants, to tea being sweet (not infused with pomegranate) and when someone referred to “The US Open,” they were talking golf or tennis. Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit, ’cause out here, “The US Open” means surf, sand and suntans.

So last Sunday, Cory and I decided to check out what all the hootenanny was about. We rode our bikes (don’t worry – not beach cruisers… soooo impractical) down to Huntington Beach and landed in Hawaiian Tropic’s version of Times Square – wall to wall people reeking of suntan oil and salt.

It was the first weekend of the US Open of Surfing, athletes were in qualifying rounds and the atmosphere was surprisingly relaxed. Most people were taking in the “experience” (visiting vendor booths, buying souvenirs at the Nike Pop-Up Shop, loading up on free stuff, waiting in line to get pros’ autographs or just getting their tan on) and saving the real sport spectating for the next weekend.

We had a great time soaking it all in. The people watching was probably my favorite part, followed closely by the bowl skateboarding arena and Converse shoe tent. Plus, everything is FREE and there is no dresscode. Take that tennis and golf.


08/13/2012 1:12pm

You said hootenanny. This is why we're friends.


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