Surfing With The Best Day Foundation 2019

It’s not often on a Sunday that we choose to get up at 6am. In fact if it wasn’t for school, and work and other commitments we wouldn’t choose to be up at 6am on most days, but 6am on a Sunday in the Summer, takes some real doing. It was going to be a hot day for sure, and we were excited as we got the last of our gear together (we had done most the packing and prepping the night before). We ate our breakfast, and when the time rolled around, we called our Lfyt.

No many of you know we don’t live very far from the shore, and we really don’t live far from Point Pleasant Beach specifically but one think you learn from living in the area is that you don’t drive close to the shore on weekends. You especially don’t try driving home from the shore on a Sunday afternoon.

So we gladly boarded our Lyft with our Beach Bag, Back Pack, Camera Bag, Beach Umbrella and 3 legged folding stool, and set off for the Beach! Specifically a beach in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ where the Best Day Foundation were holding their 2019 Point Pleasant Beach surfing.

It was the same location as last year, and just as exciting, and yet very draining. While we absolutely did not need to worry about our little ninja the whole time (the girls that surrounded him were doing an excellent job) we somehow managed to leave more exhausted than a day at Six Flags, but I can imagine that the surfers and volunteers that spend so much time arranging these events left even more exhausted than us.

The line for check in filled out quickly it felt like, with the parking trolley dropping people near by. Volunteers handed out wrist bands to get on the beach, and we waited for the time when we would meet our buddies. I don’t have any pictures of the contents of the bag that was given, but it was a very high quality offering of Sun Glasses, a really nice Water Bottle, and some other items. He was also given a new 2019 shirt, but he insisted on wearing his 2018 best day shirt. As I write this I’m really wishing I had take the time to get pictures of it and what was inside.

After getting to the beach proper, it was time for some stretching. Spider Man was there again this year, and Captain America also. We also had some choppers fly overhead, I think they were checking on Cap.

After our stretch out, the NinjaBaby got busy playing in the sand. The girls C &C were great, but with the apparently lack of surfers today, our little Ninja soon had a larger following and was surrounded by girls wanting to play.

While the Ninja and the Girls were playing in the sand, I decided to go get some pictures of things going on during the event. I knew that when our Ninja was out in the water I would be focused on him, so this downtime was my ability to get some good shots of the various people doing good things, and those having a great time. I want to take a moment to stress that the various volunteers had to be reminded/told to get out and take a break, because they wanted to be there all day for everyone. There was definitely a feeling of wanting to make sure no one was left out or left behind, and an awesome atmosphere of happy inclusion.

Our Ninja’s first outing was on the large paddle board. He was with a myriad of volunteers who were helping kids, and paddling around. They went decently well out, and the Ninja had an absolutely awesome time. He didn’t get splashed in his face once, which made it all that more awesome for him (he hate’s having his face splashed) so unlike POAC Surfing, where he made it about 30 seconds before returning to play on the shore, our ninja made the full trip on the paddle board, and was definitely ready for more.

While the Ninja was re-connecting with the Girls (read as, they were surrounding him and asking him how it was, and he absolutely loved that) they called his name and it was time for his time on the surf board. Now I’m not sure where the true is in this, but I was told actual Surfing wasn’t allowed this year, and I noticed the kids in Life Vests and such weren’t allowed to play int he surf, so I’m going to assume it was an insurance liability issue, but once out on the board, our Ninja was paddled out by an awesome surfer who gave him the ride of his life.

I watched as the Ninja hung on, while being paddled out, he laughed as they “spun” in the water, and went further and farther, and just had a ton of fun. When I asked our Ninja about it later, specifically the spinning he said “It was the absolute best day ever, I can’t wait to do it again” and he has spoken of it fondly. I’ve even heard him using the words “best day ever” in his play since then (it’s a habit he has, where his daily life is adapted into his pretend play).

And then there was more beach play. Our ninja was signed up to go again, but time ran out before he could. And that’s fine. He got his one run on both the board and the paddle board, and he was ecstatic. It’s not often that we see our Ninja so willing and wanting to do things out of his sensory norm. He has made so many strides lately when it comes to water, it’s just amazing. Not just in allowing his hair to be washed regularly, but pushing away from the edges of the pool with his puddle jumper (life vest) on. Going in the Lazy River at Hurricane Harbor without a tube, and even experimenting in the shallow end of the pool without his life vest (when immediately supervised).

After our end bit of playing in the sand it was time for the award ceremony and then food. I’m sorry I have no pictures or video of the awards, but I do have some beach video and surfing video to post later. By the time the awards ceremony came around I was packing up A’s and my beach camp (which we barely used) and getting ready to leave.

A huge shout out to Ivan Zhirnov (@vanyasadventure) and East Coast Surf Tribe (@eastcoastsurftribe) for everything they did towards making this such a great day for our little ninja. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts. If you ever need a photographer in the area, let me know. I would love to try and repay the favor.

-R

P.S. I’m sorry about the lack of consistent colors. I edited these galleries over 3 days, at various levels of exhausted, and while they are all beautiful and amazing, they are less than consistent. For that I apologize.

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