One of the items on Dan’s and my pre-baby “to do” list was to go stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Neither one of us had ever done it and it’s actually a very convenient activity for us to do since we live so close to the ocean. But, in the 2 1/2 years that we were married before Vivian was born, we never got around to going stand-up paddleboarding:-( Once I had become a giant pregnant woman, I thought that that this item would never get checked off our list. That board had paddled away, so to speak. Although there are a lot of things that you can do with a baby, stand-up paddleboarding is definitely not one of them! Anyway…one of my awesome coworkers and friends had been asking when she could watch Vivian again and we agreed on a date. Once we had the date nailed down, Dan and I started thinking about what we would like to do sans baby. Sure, we could go out to a nice, fancy dinner, but we could always do that with Vivian. It didn’t take long before we both agreed that stand-up paddleboarding would be a great date day activity!
I bought a Groupon for the two of us to rent SUPs from Newport Fun Tours. We got a 30 second tutorial on how to SUP and then were pushed off into Newport Harbor. Our rental was valid for two hours, but I was initially convinced that we’d only be on the water for 30-45 minutes. It really didn’t take us too long, though, to get our sea legs. Dan fell into the water pretty early on in our adventure, but since it was such a hot day, it actually felt really good to get wet. I didn’t mind getting wet, but I was a little turned off by the murky water in parts of the harbor. We started off slow, paddling around small Newport Isle, before venturing out into the larger harbor and paddling around Lido Isle. We gained confidence and were soon expertly paddling around the harbor, dodging Duffy boats, gawking at the mansions flanking the water, and and coasting through the wake created by yachts cruising by.
We even had an interesting (and scary – for Dan!) encounter with wildlife. A Duffy boat had sidled up to a dock on Lido Isle where a large sea lion was hanging out. Dan paddled towards the sea lion to check him out, but couldn’t stop as quickly as he had hoped. He glided toward the sea lion and got way to close for the sea lion’s comfort (and Dan’s, too). The sea lion moved his behemoth body and roared at Dan, telling him to BACK OFF! Dan, who was only a few feet away from the sea lion, could not back away fast enough and fell off his paddleboard and into the harbor. Of course, me and everyone on the Duffy boat were just watching in curious horror, wondering if the sea lion was going to further go after Dan. Dan thought that the sea lion was for sure going to jump into the water after him. As Dan resurfaced in the water and grabbed his paddleboard, though, he realized that the sea lion had already accomplished his goal – getting Dan to back off. Dan felt a little embarrassed about his fall, especially since he did not mean to get so close to the animal.
We finished our four mile paddle around the harbor right before the sun set. After wobbling to our car, we picked up dinner from Ho Sum Bistro and then picked up our cute baby. Dan and I agreed that this was a perfect date day!