Thanksgiving week is probably one of the highlights of our year. It is because the average age of our Costa Rica trips drops to teenage!

We have two different trips going on this week: one being a family trip and the other our friends from the Baylor School (who are celebrating their ninth year paddling in Costa Rica with us!). And both groups headed to the west coast to begin their trips.

The Baylor group makeup changes every year: sometimes it is all male, last year it was all female (that was a first) and this year we have a cool new group: five of the seven are female, three of the seven are dad, daughter and son, one of the group is our youngest paddler even to join us here in Costa Rica–sixth grade, and everyone is totally digging Costa Rica.

We arrived at the beach this morning and had to work through some apprehension about what it was going to be like surfing out in the waves. They looked intimidating. And while the idea of leaning into waves makes sense, out in the ocean it seems like you are leaning upstream–which doesn’t make sense. Tim, the Baylor Walkabout Director, kept reminding everyone “lean towards Hawaii!” Once in the boats and ready to go, the next challenge was getting beyond the break in order to take a look around and get comfortable with the whole ocean experience. That took some more than one attempt. But before long, everyone was hooting it up as they rode down the front face of big waves! We had awesome trundlings, some Nascar-like pile ups, and some close calls with surfers who made the silly mistake of thinking we had enough control to get around them. It was a blast.

After a long afternoon surfing, we hung out on the beach to watch the sunset. The due-west angle of Jaco Beach sets up the perfect sunset. It was a magical moment when the sun plummeted below the horizon line, setting the whole sky on fire.

With stomachs full of pizza and burritos (from our favorite beach restaurant), sinuses full of salt water, and fatigue from traveling setting in, we are all headed to bed early. That way we are up early tomorrow and ready for a great day on the river!!

Pura Vida.