Category Archives: Aliso Beach Park

Yachak Organic Yerba Mate

YACHAK ORGANIC YERBA MATE

Yachak Organic, Yerba Mate_ Yachak Truck, Aliso Beach

Yachak Organic Truck At Aliso Beach

After a morning of vicious barrels at Aliso Beach, I was talking with fellow body boarders in the parking lot.  I noticed this truck with an unmistakable and attention grabbing logo on its side that read Yachak Organic Yerba Mate.  I saw the truck park near by and as the representative, David Vasquez, got out of the car, I decided I would go ask him what he did.  As it turned out, he was what I would call a brand ambassador for the company and this new product As it turns out, is produced by the Rockstar Energy Drink people, and in my mand, that couldn’t be a bad thing.  I told David that way back in the day when I was a food service supplies sales rep in Orange County, I ran into a rep from Rockstar when the company was getting going and he gave me a case of Rockstar.  Little did he know at that  I would soon be hooked.

According to the website, Yachak is a name used by South Americans to honor their Shamans.  Yerba Mate is a drink enjoyed in South America for centuries.  It is a caffeinated beverage and it comes in 4 different flavors. There is a Berry Blue, Berry Red,  Ultimate Mint and Infused Mate. We were fortunate enough to be able to sample them all and I have to believe the Rockstar Company has something with this new venture.  I found the non-carbonated drinks similar to tea with a subtle sweetness that was both tasty and not over the top. Unlike many drinks in the market place, they aren’t obnoxiously overloaded with sugar and they are a great alternative to sodas, sweetened tees and the fake juices with low percentages of fruit in

Yachak Organic Yerba Mate Beverages, Aliso Beach

Yachak Organic Yerba Mate Beverages

them.  They are organic, gluten free, non-gmo and fair for life.  David explained that fair for life designation meant that the ingredients used in the Yachak Organic were produced by people earning a living wage and not being taken advantage of.  My personal favorite I think was a toss up between the Berry Blue and the Berry Red, although the Ultimate Mint was amazing too.

Watch for the Yachak truck!  David is out and about and talking to people about this new product.  That is how the word is spread.  With their product representatives, they are gauging the interest in the market place for their product.  To the best of my knowledge, it is not yet in the stores but David led me to believe this could change soon.  I can see them doing well with the drinks and happily offer my thumbs up.  I would indeed buy it!  Good luck with your new venture guys and thanks for allowing myself and a few friends try this delicious new beverage.  

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Aliso Beach Your Home

ALISO BEACH YOUR HOME

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Paradise!

Aliso Beach is a special, special place for me in Laguna.  It is a favorite spot of water photographer and filmmaker Scotty Carter, who over the course of working on helping to promote his photographic art, has become extended family.  With his work, the team at Aliso Beach can help you Aliso Beach your home with the incredible photography of waterman Scotty Carter.

The smell of the ocean, the merciless pounding of its shore break waves, the soothing breezes, the aqua-green water color, and the coastal hills offer a tranquil setting to beach goers while the body boarders,  soft top surfers, and the skim boarders all make this an interesting and spirited community that I have enjoyed being a part of.

One of the ways we humans show our appreciation for the natural environments we covet is to display art featuring it.  Why?  It is not explainable in many ways, but we are so deeply connected to nature that the places we experience leave a mark on us that is both unforgettable and difficult to explain. Our homes are a reflection of who we are and the art reminds us of the outdoor settings that in part define us. We are moved by sun, sea, waves and coastal breezes. This little place we call Aliso Beach is one of those locations that leaves us better than we were before we visited!  You can’t put a price on the wonder, tranquility and soothing that this incredible slice of Laguna Beach delivers.

If you love Aliso Beach, and would like to include Aliso Beach art and imagery in your home, contact me at info@alisobeach.com.  If you are like me, you love Aliso Beach and it is a part of you.  I recommend the 72 x 48″ size because you can look up at and feel like you are in the barrel.  It’s priceless!

 

 

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Fire Pits Are Serious Business

FIRE PITS ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS

fire pits are serious business

Fire Pit at Aliso Beach reserved early.

Availability of the fire pits at Aliso Beach is hands down the number one question this website receives.  On July 9th, I was checking the surf and I noticed two things:  1) The sea gulls had thrown the contents of overflowing trashcans all over the beach looking for food scraps and 2) All of the fire pits were attended to by people reserving them for a family day at the beach.  Fire pits are serious business at Aliso Beach and they are first come first serve.  I asked a gentleman who was reserving the fire pit for a family event at the beach what time he had come down to lay claim to the one of 6 fire pits on the sand in Laguna Beach.  What he told me fits with what I have always believed to be true.

There is more demand for the fire pits than there are available fire pits, and if you don’t get their early during the summer, the chances of securing a fire pit evaporate quickly. Technically, he had arrived to save the space and fire pits slightly before the parks opening time of 6:00 am.  County of Orange maintenance workers were their early to haul away the damage beach goers had inflicted on the beach the day prior with trash cans bursting at the seams with wrappers, baggies, cups and bottles spilling over the top and onto the ground.  It wasn’t pretty, but it speaks directly to how popular Aliso Beach is and how much competition there is for the limited space available on a summer day.

I have told anyone that inquires online about the fire pits at Aliso Beach that get there early or forget it.  While this is truly an inconvenient truth, securing a fire pit at Aliso Beach may require showing up before first light, parking on the hill and walking down before the gates open.  It is what it is.  This may be the only way I can say that you have a 95% chance of getting a fire pit during prime beach season.  The man I spoke to also said that he would typically pay kids in the family and friend network to come down and reserve the pits while he keeps a tight grip on extra hours of sleep.  He said that with a grin and as you may be fully aware now, you know fire pits are serious business at Aliso Beach.  It’s the old supply and demand lecture from economics class.  If you indeed want that fire pit for the day, consider there are less fire pits than families who wish to reserve them any summer day or holiday weekend.  Your success in securing a fire pit is dependent on your strategy.  At AlisoBeach.com, we wish you luck!

 

Also posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, La Vida Laguna, Laguna, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , |

Great White Shark Activity

GREAT WHITE SHARK ACTIVITY

great white shark, art, great white shark painting, Whitney L. Anderson

Whitney L Anderson with Great White Shark Painting

From the near fatal Great White Shark Attack at San Onofre weeks ago and the OC Sheriffs Helicopter warning a paddle boarder of being in the middle of a pack of 15 sharks to personally seeing sharks thrash around the water 10 feet or less from the sand and the OC Register report of a shark at Thousand Steps Beach, the danger has become very real to this South Orange County Body Boarder and ocean enthusiast. A friend in Laguna Beach had suggested that there was a sighting at Aliso Beach several weeks back and I immediately drove up to Aliso to speak with a lifeguard supervisor who was unaware of any sighting.  That day curiosity got the best of me and I headed to Capo Beach where there has been many daily sightings over the last several weeks.  Sure enough, I got to see them in the surf zone at a spot I have paddled out at in years past.  I was moved by the fear of a friend of mine who has been in the San Clemente to Laguna community as a former professional body boarder for the bulk of his life.  I would like to acknowledge Joe Grodzen and I wanted to relay the sentiment of what he said on Facebook.  He spoke of his deep ties to the ocean and those of his wife Keila whom is also a former professional body boarder.  Raising a young boy and giving him the gift of beach and surfing culture, it is not lost on Joe how concerning the rash of shark sightings from San Onofre to Long Beach, California is.  Joe for the most part is a very unflappable, competitive and in the moment kind of personality.  What he said was very raw and very real.  Reading his thoughts, I was affected by the fear he had related to the presence of these sharks in what perhaps is a new normal along our coastline with regular visits.  He echoed the sentiment that he may have to give a second thought to being in the water to keep he and his family safe.  Joe has been at this far longer than I have, and to hear a man that has spent nearly every day of his life since he has been old enough to walk in local ocean waters express a genuine concern for his safety, it definitely caught my attention.

Still trying to process the swarm of so many sharks in the area, I did return a second time to Capo Beach noticing the shark warning signs, and eventually seeing one splash around 10 feet or less from shore.  It is probably not a good idea to be in the water at all at Capo.  Rumor has it that boats and perhaps kayakers are chumming the waters to attract the sharks.  Some of these boats are alleged to be whale boats capitalizing on the presence of these toothy new inhabitants of Capo Waters.  Any reasonable human being should not approve of throwing blood and guts into the water near shore for commercial gain, capturing footage or taking photographs.  This is a really bad idea that may contribute to a fatality and should be stopped immediately.  My hope is the lifeguards and authorities can identify those perpetrators and force them to stop.  As far as I can see that is harassment of a federally protected shark but what do I know.  If this is being done please stop this very reckless behavior.

Since I spend more time at Salt Creek and the coves of Laguna Beach, I felt like I was relatively safe in the zones I like to play in.  Given the explosion of shark numbers close to shore in San Clemente and Capo Beach, the idea that there are no great whites near shore at Salt Creek and Laguna Beaches rests on quicksand.  It simply doesn’t hold.  A Laylan Connelly, Orange County Register Article, shattered my idealized safe zones with a shark spotting at South Laguna’s Thousand Steps Beach and the mention of a shark advisory at Salt Creek.  Say it isn’t so!  I don’t know what I am going to do personally and I am feeling like I may put myself on a self-imposed time out, and as Joe Grodzen so eloquently said, what are we going to do? Ocean enthusiasts have built their lives around washing away all that ails them in the ocean and doing something athletically that keeps them happy.  I don’t know the answer to this question, and I suppose time will tell.  Having paddled way out at Salt Creek and sitting in the kelp paddies, I admit that I have thought about the unseen below that perhaps I don’t want to know is there. The ocean and local waters are home to the Great White Shark, but I cannot say that in over the 30 years I have spent time in these waters, that this is normal in any way shape or form.   How I feel about this situation will in no way dictate the behavior of sharks and where they choose to set up shop.  While I pray that their presence will come to pass and they head out to deeper waters, their continued presence could put a damper on what little ocean time I have as it is.  Having had a fin pop up on me in Baja while body boarding alone at a northern stretch of La Fonda, I really don’t want to find myself in that situation again.  Fortunately, a well-timed set arrival got me out of there before I could stare into the intentions of presumably a Great White Shark…and I prefer that to be the last time I find myself in the water with one.

I would like to take a moment to thank my friend and artist Whitney L. Anderson, a brilliant painter and collage artist residing in Seattle, Washington.

Website:  http://www.whitneylanderson.com

Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/whitneylanderson_art

 

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Trash To Treasure

TRASH TO TREASURE

Have you ever heard the saying “One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure”?  I haven’t come across that statement in a while but it was the first thing that came to mind after visiting Aliso Beach two consecutive weekends in a scene representing trash to treasure.

trash to treasure, debris, storm debris, aliso beach

Aliso Beach Debris from storm runoff.

We have experienced a rainy season for the record books.  I hate to say it but rain and Southern California are like an oxymoron most seasons.  This winter has proven to be a very memorable one for weather, rain and snow.  While it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not the wet season is over, the snow pack has been measured well over 100% of normal, California dams have been stressed to near breaking points and roads have been washed away with cars overcome by torrents of water under heavy downpours.  Our local Southern California Beaches, including Aliso Beach, Laguna, are on the receiving end of all the runoff and whatever it carries down stream from storm drains, washes, creeks and rivers.  With significant rain over short periods of time, you can imagine all the things swept down into our ocean and deposited back on our beaches. Plastics, bottles, toys, wrappers, bottle caps, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, baggies and even dreaded syringes as seen recently in Newport Beach near the River Jetties.  Also ending up on the beach from heavy rain and wind events were leaves, twigs, tree branches, logs and driftwood.  At times it seems like you could take a rake to the top layer of the ocean surface along our coastline, and those logs and branches put wave riders at risk of serious injury.

That first trip to Aliso Beach, there was an unsightly pile of wood and branches just south of the main lifeguard tower.  It was, however, cleared from the beach and shoreline and staged for removal.  This is where the ingenuity of a father spending time with his son transformed the debris from trash to treasure.  I had no doubt the County of Orange, who does a great job of maintaining Aliso Beach, was going to come in and remove the pile of wood.  Probably because of consecutive days of rain, they were unable to get the debris out of there, or they figured they would add to the pile during additional rain events so they could clean up the beach all at once.  It is completely logical to me.  The picture to the left shows the wood all piled up steps from the parking lot and ready to be hauled out of there.  Given that our winters in recent years have not produced much rain, it was somewhat surprising to see a pike of branches and wood like that on the beach.  Some of the branches were substantial, and with all of the trees that came down in South Orange County along the coastline, it really wasn’t any surprise to see that kind and volume of wood deposited on the beach.  I am wondering if the Full Moon Drum Circle group saw that pile of wood.  It would have made for a great night with plenty of wood to keep everyone warm!

 

aliso beach, trash to treasure, storm debris, south laguna beach

A fort built by a father and son with wood washed to the beach from winter Southern California storms.

While the pile of wood certainly wasn’t hurting anyone, a father and a son went on a building spree.  They took the larger wood pieces and buried them vertically in the sand.  I was surprised that with the girth of the branches that the sand would keep them standing upright.  As far as I know, no one was injured in the evolution of trash to treasure in what I call the making of an Aliso Beach fort.  I have to admire the father.  It takes the ability of a parent to think creatively like a child to entertain a child.  I remember how much I liked forts as a kid, and to be child-like was worthy of my attention and a smile.  In that moment, it felt like all was right in the world and that everything was okay.

The picture below, is the result of a creative father showing his son a good time.  It was cool to think back to my own childhood and how forts at summer camp at home were a big part of my own childhood!  My guess, by the looks of him, is that the little dude had a really good time!  I was truly happy for them and grateful to be under the smiling eyes of Mr. Sun.  Is it summer yet?

 

 

 

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Dude Offered Me A Taco

DUDE OFFERED ME A TACO

 

I was surprised this morning how much energy was in the water at Salt Creek today.  It wasn’t huge but it was fairly consistent and punchy.  The bulk of the morning I spend body boarding the shore break with friends.  After a couple of hours and an influx of new eager wave riders, I decided to exit the liquid stage.  My friends decided to whether the crowd increase for about an hour longer and I strolled up the hill cursing under my breath as I often do at that very steep hill.  I was already cramping and tired before the incline delivered a final blow to my desire to exert myself physically.

As I often do, I run into members of the Salt Creek Community.  There are some truly amazing people from a variety of wave riding disciplines that I have enjoyed surfing with and talking to over the years.  Ezra rolled up and parked his car in between the traffic lanes going each direction to check the waves.  We had a 15 minute conversation that included how Salt Creek was more like a community than a public beach because of how many wave riders have surfed this beach for a long time and many people know each other from over the years.  He said, ” I wonder if it is like that at other beaches?”.  I would like to believe so but know that Salt Creek is a special place.

He parked in the lot and proceeded to strike up a conversation with a pretty gal and I waited for my friends to limp up the hill from their surf session.  After chatting with everyone for 20 minutes, hunger kicked in and they all zipped down PCH to Chronic Tacos.  We all agreed to get back to the coast and check Aliso Beach in Laguna due to a rapidly draining tide that favors the shore break.  I headed up to Laguna Hills to get a juice at Mother’s Market and do some shopping.

Jack beat me to Aliso and had already rained on my parade texting me that it was too small.  I was already headed there so I decided to give it a look anyways.  The winds were perfect and the water was a sparkling blue-green.  I was on the phone with Scotty Carter telling him that conditions were perfect minus the surf.  When I told Scotty I thought it was 3 foot a guy cooking at one of Aliso’s barbecue pits said, “Nah, it’s like 6 foot out there right now!”  I laughed and politely told him not today.  He went on to make a comment about how rough it was to which I explained, “that is Aliso Beach.”  He offered me a canned beer that I declined telling him, “Thank you, but no I recently quit.  Nobody likes a quitter”.  He laughed and said, ” You aren’t all that bad”.  I showed my appreciation and continued down to the water’s edge.

There were waves for sure.  It was possible even to ride them with travel time in the barrel but just not enough energy to compel me to paddle out.  There were gentle offshore winds, beautiful water color and glassy conditions.  The winds were feathering back these little wedging peaks back so I snapped a couple of photos on my IPhone.  Knowing I would not paddle out there I walked back up the sand berm and made my way toward the dude that offered me the beer.  I told him to watch for lifeguards and Laguna Beach Police Department whom I have seen write tickets for alcohol on the beach.  He appreciated that and then the dude offered me a taco.  Regrettably I had to decline.  I was so full from a large juice and a couple of organic food bars from Mother’s that I could not eat anything more.  I felt bad for having to decline.  He had the chicken perfectly barbecued and all the fixings for a taco meal and told him everything looked great.

Call me an old sap but that generous offered seemed like the world that has long passed us by.  We are so technologically connected and so inter-personally disconnected that  friendly encounters like that seem so far and few between.  It saddens me.  They were very nice people and I enjoyed talking to them.  It is those types of dealings with strangers that gives the world hope and we all should take note of how small conversations between strangers lead to meaningful dialogue and friendships. In a perfect world, the dude offered me a taco and I was hungry.  In today’s world, this afternoon at Aliso Beach, I had already eaten and wasn’t hungry.  I do appreciate their gesture and hope that people take note of this and look to have conversations like this wherever they go.  They mean so much more than we give them credit for.

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Road Rash

ROAD RASH

 

It’s not what you think!  I didn’t wipe out on a mountain bike, skateboard, roller blades or motorcycle, but the result was the same.  It was painful reminder from Mother Nature that we are not always in control!

 

road rash, scrapes, cuts, wounds

Road Rash from Aliso Beach Beat Down

Yesterday, I met up with a friend to go body board Salt Creek when the reports were less than ideal from wave riders coming up from the beach.  Between Saturday and Sunday Morning, the swell had increased, became more westerly, and by consequence, became more closed out. We figured we could come back if we absolutely had no other alternative.  It was 86 degrees, the sun was shining and there was little or no wind down at the coast.  We decided to head up to Aliso Beach.  I must admit, Aliso has not been on my radar and the last time I was there had to be before my terrible car accident in June.  There were whispers of quality surf there the day before, but as Salt Creek proved, what a difference a day can make when it comes to surf.

The aqua green-blue water that is a hallmark of the beautiful Laguna Beach Coastline, was glassy smooth and inviting.  The tide was a bit on the high side when we arrived so it had that wonky Aliso Beach look that only a much lower tide would correct.  We had time on our side without the threat of a late morning onshore wind to get in the way of our plans.  As 3 of us stood on the beach, the tide continued to recede and an occasional wave or two would peel through that motivated me to paddle out.  Having successfully worn trunks the day before at Salt Creek, I was excited once again to leave the wet suit out of the equation.  Because I feel so weighed down by the extra neoprene, it was great to once again be in 67 degree water unencumbered.  It was November 13th!  For the last 3 years I have been in the water without a wet suit during November.  Crazy!

With trunks and rash guard I plunged into the Pacific by myself leaving two friends on the beach trying to will themselves into less than ideal conditions.  There must have been 3 guys out in the lineup spread way out with a couple of skim boarders lining the shore and doing their thing.  I got a couple of waves right away and I expected my friends to paddle out.  It was decent size and it kept improving as time went by with plenty of racey waves of consequence.  As I continued to get waves and the soft top surfing crew started to paddle out and push me further north.  I continued to get decent waves. After I had been out about an hour and a half, I decided to get out to find out if my bros had abandoned me for better waves reported at another spot.  I was a little salty.

When I got to the parking lot, I noticed by friend’s SUV still in the parking lot.  He must have gone out, I thought to myself.  After putting my body board and fins away, I walked south along the parking lot and spotted my friends.  Had it not been for two or three perfect waves coming through, I would have called it a day.  On my second wave, a chunky right popped up and my friends were hooting me in.  It was a boomeranging wave that slung me pretty good.  I knew the thing was going to heave and after I got about 20 yards it unleashed its inner beast mode and  began to hollow out quickly.  I saw it coming and was perfectly slotted when the thing closed out and slammed me to the bottom on my back.  After having a fin lost to the ocean, the wave violently dragged me over some rocks and I knew that I was cut.  Most likely the rocks came from Aliso Creek and migrate south towards the reef with predominant West and West Northwest Swell Directions.  It felt like someone dragged me over a reef forcefully while lying on my back.  Yep, it was good old fashioned road rash on my lower back.  It kind of sucks!  I suppose that it could have been worse because that wasn’t the only thing that happened middle part of the beach that was alarming.  You will have to read my next post to find out what that means.  Until then I am lubed up with Neosporin and hoping that the road rash goes away quickly. It stings and is uncomfortable, but that wave was worth every scrape I got!  Be careful out there!

And yes….I know crack kills!  When I had the picture taken I was less concerned about my crack and more concerned about the severity of the injury.  It didn’t feel so good!

 

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Dianas Lesson

DIANAS LESSON

Sometime in the Fall of 2015, I introduced myself to a couple of young girls in the parking lot of Aliso Beach. One of them turned out to be Diana Rosa Cordova, the only Mexican, Female, Professional Skim Boarder on the planet.  Little did I know, a month later or so, she would sit with me for several hours and take a barrage of questions, and pass along what I now call Diana’s Lesson.  As manager of the Aliso Beach

diana rosa, diana rosa cordova, pro skim boarder, professional skim boarder, mexican professional skim boarder

Diana Rosa enters friend Samantha’s hoverboard picture for Aliso Beach website

website, I am constantly looking for cool stuff to include in the blog.  Her friend Samantha was riding one of those hover boards that are getting a lot of press for spontaneously bursting into flames, and I asked her if I could take a picture of her riding.  She was hesitant, and I get it.  It’s like, who is the creepy older guy that I don’t know requesting to take pictures?  Samantha was joined by a wide-eyed, vibrant personality that you couldn’t help gravitate towards.  After talking to them about the website and how I envisioned it playing a role in the community, I told Diana that I would like to do a write up about her for the site.  I have talked with several people in the community about doing stuff on the website, and because her enthusiasm for the website was so great, I knew that doing a nice piece for her was meant to be.  Diana joined the picture with Samantha on the hover board with a flare that is typical for someone with the love of life and people that I have discovered she has.

We met up last weekend, and although I knew it would be fun to talk with her, I had no idea that when we parted ways that I would have so many great angles for stories that shined brightly on this young and rising skim board star.  Initially, I thought the pieces would focus on skim boarding, but during our conversations, it became clear that this enterprising and personality full, young lady was a collection of really neat stories that I feel blessed to pass along.

Diana indicated that she didn’t grow up with a whole lot of money.  Her parents divorced when she and her brother were young, and so her mom had to make a go of it as a single parent.  The feeling I get is that it made her mom tough, resilient, driven and willing to work hard for everything she gave her children.  I am happy to say that despite her friendly demeanor and kindness, Diana Rosa exhibits many of the same qualities she described in her mom.  Her mom has to be proud of the woman she has become and the woman she has the opportunity to be.

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Education was a topic I was really curious about when we spoke.  I was impressed by her college education in aerospace part manufacturing.  I can count on one hand the number of people that I have rubbed elbows with that are in that field, and there is no question you have to be smart to enter into the field at the college level.  This gives her an opportunity to work in a field beyond skim boarding if she chooses, and she indicated that her experience in the manufacture of aerospace parts has her thinking and believing she will become involved in her own projects. Diana is strong in her belief in what she can do and about the amazing opportunities that are out there for her.  Look out world!  I sincerely believe that she will do great things.  While learning of this part of her education was fascinating, it was what her mom did with respect to her desire for her children to get a quality education that paved the way for Diana’s lesson.

Diana comes from humble beginnings.  Her mother could not afford the kind of education she wanted to give her kids when they were young.  It didn’t stop her from making a quality education happen for her children.  As Diana tells it, her mother walked into a Montessori School and told the administration that despite not being able to afford it, she absolutely believed her kids should be there.  The school took them in and Diana tells me that it changed her life.  It was there and at a young age that she learned English.  They were her formative years, and this education left an undeniable, positive impact on this child who now as a young woman has the world in the palm of her hands.  What her mom did was so valuable proving that if you want something bad enough, go after it.  It changed the course of history for Diana.

So there it was, August of 2015, and Diana was entered in the most prestigious skim boarding contest called the VIC as an amateur.  Some of the men’s professional skim boarders from South Laguna that come down for contests at her local skim breaks in Mexico, encouraged her to jump to the pro event.  She made the leap and placed 8 with no sponsors, no competitive track record in the US, and absolutely nothing to lose.  She was not intimidated and she gave her best effort.  It is hard to be anything but excited for someone that just goes for it.

Diana has a lot of friends in the skim board community, and they have helped her remain in South Laguna to continue practicing and getting better.  Aliso Beach is a pretty good beach among the other South Laguna skim spots to hone her skills.  Fortunately, the water stayed warm until the middle of December, so she was able to get by without a wet suit.  Just half way past the middle of the last month of the year, the cold water in Southern California started to bite a little harder.  Not to be deterred, Diana successfully negotiated a wet suit sponsor that is dedicated to the women’s market.  She understands that opportunities come with effort and believing in herself.  Diana’s lesson is that if you want help or you want something, ask for it!  This type of success and application of lessons taught to her by an amazingly driven mother are the way a parent hopes their children respond when it is their turn to take on the world without them.

I am proud to know Diana Rosa!  I am proud to call her a friend.  I happily root for her in everything that she does and everything she hopes to achieve.  The sky is the limit for her.  She can do whatever she wants to do and she will continue to amaze on her journey through life touching and inspiring people wherever she goes.  If you can’t smile in the presence of this beaming and blissful young lady, I would not know what to say to you.  She is everything that is good about people.  Diana is kind, thoughtful, respectful, genuine, empathetic, articulate, smart, funny, light-hearted and so much more.  You might call me one of her biggest fans, but I do know the kind of impact that kind of personality can have on all sorts of people.  It is not surprising at all that she has been embraced in the Laguna Beach skim community.

Thank you Diana for spending time with someone that you barely even knew. I appreciate your being open about all of the personal things that you really didn’t have to talk about.  That was a conversation I will probably remember forever and I enjoyed it.  Whether you stay here in the United States, travel the world or settle back down in Mexico, you can count me as a friend.  While this story is one of many that I will write about you related to our conversation, this certainly is not the end.  I wish you the best and will root for you in whatever you do!

Diana Rosa Facebook

Diana Rosa Victoria Skim Boards Profile

Victoria Skim Boards Instagram @victoriaskimboards

Diana Rosa Instagram @diana_cord

Diana Rosa Tattoo Sponsor Pure Tatts

Diana Rosa Wet Suit Sponsor GlideSoul

 

 

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Great Big Plants

GREAT BIG PLANTS

Great Big Plants, tomato plant

Before Great Big Plants feedings for 5 weeks

I have been promising a Great Big Plants Story for months now, and I thought that people from the Aliso Beach and South Laguna communities would enjoy the article.  I am glad, however, that I waited to write this story because the success of the product since the time period that I was supposed to write the article in has shown 15 times better results.  Let me start by going back in time and talking about how a connection has turned into the promotion of an amazing product with real results in my own backyard.

My fraternity brother’s family owns Left Coast Brewco in San Clemente, California.  He had been nudging me for at least a year to come check out the tasting room.  Not sure why I didn’t take the bait of finely crafted beers until nearly 2 years of existence as a business, but I finally got there.  In addition to the quality of their micro brews, I was struck by the type of people that were in the tasting room regularly and felt like it could be really good for business.  The clientele at Left Coast is really cool. One of the people I met early in my time at Left Coast was this funny, young, twenty something who had a penchant for thrift store work shirts.  Everyone of them came with a different name sewn on the shirt and a different company name.  I found that hysterical and lo and behold Spenser was someone I talked to a lot while at Left Coast and a friend.

One day we ended up in a conversation about his family business Great Big Plants.  I told him that 2014 was very productive for tomatoes in the backyard and that 2015 had been for the most part a disappointment.  He suggested that I try his organic Great Big Plants solution which puts beneficial nutrients and microbes back in the soil that are beneficial to growth and productivity. He was even willing to bring me a complimentary sample.  It seemed like a lost cause but I was down to test it out.  The plants looked like they had completely given up and the life had been sucked out of them.

Two of the three tomato plants after feeding them the solution for a couple of weeks roared back with a deepening healthy, green color and new foliage.  There wasn’t a single tomato initially, and the flowers that started to spring to life seemed to be die and fall to the ground.  That was discouraging, and the bees that were so prevalent in the spring were nowhere to be found.  When this feeding process first started it was late summer early fall.  It was not a forgone conclusion that this would work but in addition to the color, the vibrant smell of the plant became more pronounced and a tomato magically appeared.  I began to notice that the local humming birds that chase each other around the yard for priority on the feeder hanging from the back patio, were now interested in and feeding on the nectar from the tomato plant flowers.  For awhile, the lone tomato grew larger and then one day, it seemed like there were 5 or 6 more.

January_3_2016_three_tomatoes.jpgJanuary_3_2016_tomato.jpgJanuary_3_2016_tomatoes.jpg

The plants aren’t out of the woods though as winter temperatures and predicted El Nino rains threaten the viability of keeping the tomato plants.  There are now 15 tomatoes on the plant which to me is absolutely remarkable.  They are all green and not quite at the ripening stage.  I am hoping that they continue to develop into a salad friendly fruit, or vegetable depending on who you talk to, but the branches are starting to split under the weight of the tomatoes.  This may force the decision to pick the larger tomatoes to see if placement next to a ripening banana starts a chain reaction that leaves them all red.  Understand that I had no expectation for results like this.  I was convinced that there was something to this solution when I saw the new, green growth and a single tomato formed. The odds were long so getting to 15 tomatoes in my mind is nothing short of amazing. We are approaching 3-5 days of rain, and I will be interested to see how well the plants hold up.  Plan B is to remover the big ones to see if they can be influenced to ripen by bananas.

Why is this important to Aliso Beach or South Laguna?  One of my initial thoughts was that the greens over on the 9 hole course at The Ranch At Laguna Beach were treated with pesticides and fertilizers that get into Aliso Creek.  As you may know, phosphorus in fertilizers contribute to algae blooms that upon their death leave a toxin called domoic acid that poisons shellfish beds, lobsters, crabs, fish and larger sea creatures that feed on them.  Couldn’t the Ranch at Laguna Beach make a change that keeps the greens healthy and pristine without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers?  Wouldn’t such a move keep in line with the purpose of maintaining the Marine Reserve at Aliso Beach which is downstream from the golf course? Keep in mind this is just me thinking about the potential uses for Great Big Plants.  The company is already responsible for flipping a country club in South Orange County into their product and doing away with harmful fertilizers and pesticides. It makes me think that it is possible at a place like the golf course at the Ranch at Laguna Beach.

To be crystal clear though, I have no idea what the Ranch at Laguna Beach uses to maintain that golf course.  I think most would agree that golf as a sport generates so much interest and revenue that keeping the greens attractive and top notch are important to the success of the course.  I would bet that most would agree there is a good chance that like many other golf courses, the one here uses pesticides and fertilizers that we would be smart to keep out of urban runoff, out of Aliso Creek and out of South Laguna coastal waters.  Again, I have no idea what they are using at the Ranch.  I do think it would be cool if a business like Great Big Plants got in there and helped them make a change to organic solutions that went along way to protect local ocean waters and honor the Marine Reserve that environmental activists in Laguna worked so hard to create.

The product works.  I can and do enthusiastically speak on behalf of the Great Big Plants solution.  I thought that in order to talk about the product the way I should that I would need to perfectly understand the science of it.  With the plants coming back to life off season and producing tomatoes, all the evidence needed is the tomatoes growing on a couple of plants that were basically dead when the solution was first applied.  After a 30 day period not feeding the tomato plants, some of the foliage died and they did not look as healthy.  The tomatoes kept growing despite the leaves turning brown and the Great Big Plants feedings are back under way.  We will see what happens, but either way, there is more than enough to convince me that this product does what it says it will do.  I will leave the science of that up to Spenser.  My enthusiasm for and belief in the product was enough to connect Spenser with a large player in the landscape and organic gardening business in South Orange County.  The rest is up to Spenser!  It feels good to get this article out there and honor my friend whose family has a product I believe everyone can benefit from.  Linking the organic gardening and landscape business to Great Big Plants feels like a very natural fit with the opportunity to partner on business that makes a real difference in South Laguna and neighboring communities.  The potential for this company to redirect businesses and residences to organic and sustainable gardening is a massive opportunity.  In today’s climate, I feel like people are ready to circle back to growing their own vegetables organically and contributing to the environment by discontinuing the toxic pesticides and fertilizers that deliver foods laden with poisons and soils that produce runoff that gets into our salt and fresh water.  Using Great Big Plants is a win for everyone!

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New Years Day

NEW YEARS DAY

New years eve and new years day were extremely quiet for me.  I did head up to the office in Costa Mesa on New Year’s eve to find a new IPAD Pro left for me by the owner of the company.  He and I have been through thick and thin together.  Seeing his company grow like that was the best thing that could have happened to us in 2015 and it sets up what could be an incredible 2016.  I fell asleep around 10 that night as the days of Rose Parade route festivities, New Years hotel parties, Teke parties and drunken madness have all fallen out of sight in the rear view mirror.  I just can’t do it anymore and nor do I want to try.

On New Years Day, I went to the Laguna Foundation For the Arts Gallery to check on a partition wall being built for the Scotty Carter Art showroom.  It is getting close to being done and should be ready for art walk Laguna on January 7th, 2015.  There is lots of cool stuff going on at this new gallery with many exciting announcements to come.  While talking to Tony Cox, the lead partner in the foundation, I was also trying to coordinate an interview with the first Mexican female, professional skim boarder Diana Rosa.  I happened to meet her in the parking lot at Aliso Beach one evening at sunset and I was really taken aback by her energy.  After learning of who she was and talking with her, I realized that she would be someone that I would love to interview for the website.

seagull, california seagull, aliso beach, laguna

What are you eating?

On the first day of 2016, our schedules just couldn’t line up.  I waited at Aliso Beach for a couple of hours before a transportation issue delayed Diana and forced me to reschedule. I arranged to meet with her on the second so there is an interview coming with her that I am sure will be an interesting read.  While I waited for Diana on New Years Day, a couple was sitting at the tables over by the Sand’s Cafe. The dude had a to go box of fries and the natives became restless.  Those natives I speak of were, of course, the local seagull population that has never passed on the opportunity for a free meal.  As the couple began to sense the interest in their food, I told them that it could get ugly. Advising them that seagulls routinely steal food from people at Aliso Beach, the dude asked me if the birds would come down and beat him. I thought to myself, these are seagulls not vultures!  I told him no but that for a couple of fries they might buzz his head and do fly by maneuvers in attempt to separate fries from his grip.  He and his lady friend decided they had seen enough, but I noticed the dude was irritated with me.  The birds were circling and more were arriving by the second.  If you attract one gull the rest of them don’t want to miss out on an opportunity for a snack and promptly join in.

As he walked away, he did something that was super not cool.  As he headed towards the parking lot with his to go box of fries, he through a handful at my feet as I sat at the table. A cloud of seagulls descended over my head and to the ground to enjoy that seagull delicacy known as french fries.  I wasn’t happy!  All I could do was cover my head and hope that the seagull frenzy did not result in an excited seagull leaving a steaming pile on my head.  I dodged a bullet there and came out unscathed.  It’s like yea bro, Happy freaking New Year to you!  Any enjoyment he got from putting me in the seagull swarm was short lived because they fought over a few scraps and then followed he and his girlfriend to the parking lot.  When he realized that he had not gotten far enough from the hungry gulls he surrendered throwing his box of fries to the ground while sprinting for the beach.  I call that karma homey!  Here I tried to give you friendly advice and you threw those fries in my direction so I would be in a mob of flying sea birds.  You are only as good as the last fry you give them and if you have more, remember they are coming for you!  That was a classless thing to do to start the New Year.  Oh well!  As for me it was an interesting New Years Day to start 2016 in what is shaping up to be an amazing year for me.

Thanks for reading the stories on this site.  It is a lot of work and at times hard to come up with cool things to cover.  I am working harder to find thing to publish and ways to keep this website fresh and fun!  It should be a good year, and as I have always stressed, I am interested in collaboration with artists, skim boarders, photographers, surfers, body boarders, Lagunatics and anyone else that loves Aliso Beach to make this website an incredible representation of South Laguna, its beach culture, and water sports.  Email me at info@alisobeach.com if interested.

Photo Credit:  Scotty Carter

 

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