Bucket list: Surfing Lessons

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to surf.  My mom and I watched the movie Gidget and I was hooked.  She could surf, she could hang with the incredibly handsome boys, and she just made everything look so easy (minus her approach to snagging her crush).  So at 28, I still hadn’t tried surfing, and that was about to change.

The last leg of our honeymoon had us staying in Noosa Heads.  We follow the Starwood Hotels, what can I say?  Noosa, known for being the Hamptons of Australia, is also known for some of the best surfing spots in the country, so we had to sign up.  As part of our surfing lessons, we spent some time on shore learning the proper stance, how to jump on the board, and just get our muscle memory going.  Our group consisted of a few girls from New Zealand, and a young boy who took lessons a few times a week.  After some time on land, it was time to test our skills in the ocean.

The waves were about 4-6 feet high, and were so hard to navigate.  Half the battle with learning to surf is just actually getting out far enough.  Once we made it out, the instructor helped us get on board, push off and would scream “STAND!” when the time was right.  Stand I did not.  My husband on the other hand, stood up on his first try and gave everyone the peace sign as he rode on by.  I’m competitive, and I was pissed.

So after riding the surf in on my belly, I gathered the board and battled the current again in order to catch a wave, shoot the curl, hang 10, etc.  Again, I didn’t stand.  And again, I headed back into the sea, battling the waves, and the exhaustion that comes with it.  With each time I got closer and closer to standing and staying up, but each time I failed.  After what seemed like hours, the lesson was done, and I had not stood on my board.  I was disappointed, but more completely sore and exhausted.  And so was my husband.

The result: cocktails in the hot tub at the hotel.

At the next opportunity, I fully intend on trying surfing again, and at least this time I will know it’s not nearly as easy as Sandra Dee and the green screen made it seem.  At least I already have my Moon Doggie. 😉

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I mean look at these men! Who wouldn’t want to learn to surf if this was at the end of every lesson??

Noosa Heads – Wait, where am I?

When planning our Australian honeymoon, we knew that Sydney was a must, and so was the Great Barrier Reef, after that, we had no plan.  After looking at our map of Starwoods in the area, we settled on Noosa Heads because of a recently revamped Sheraton.  Doing a little research, we learned that Noosa was their version of the Hamptons, with surfing, beautiful beaches, a national park, and close to Fraser Island.  Fraser Island?  We’ll get to that in a later post.

We arrived late in the evening at Noosa, and checked in.  We were upgraded to a duplex, pool facing suite, with a downstairs living room, patio, and powder room, and upstairs with a master bedroom, balcony, and huge bathroom.  Like a bathroom you only dream about when watching HGTV.  To put it bluntly, the hotel was stunning.  The next morning, we were excited to start exploring.

The concierge mentioned there was a beautiful hike in the National Park, in walking distance from the hotel.  In fact, everything was in walking distance of the hotel.  The main street was adorable, littered with boutique shops, al fresco style restaurants, and on the other side, a gorgeous beach with big waves.  With our sneakers on, we headed toward the hike.  The hike was up a large hill, half trail, half wooden stairs, overlooking the beach, beautiful mountains, and various swimming holes.  The views were incredible, and the hike was fairly easy.  Upon reaching the top, the trail continued down the other side of the hill into another stretch of beautiful beaches but we chose to head back due to a hunger and an overwhelming need to go swimming.  It was here that we discovered our favorite lunch spot, Zachary’s.  Their arugula, pear, and parm salad dressed in a thick balsamic covered in grilled chicken was large enough for two.  We became regulars overnight.  One Monday during lunch, I watched the Giants get their first win of the season against the Minnesota Vikings while eating lunch.  The time difference and sports never lost it’s initial luster for us.

After lunch we decided to rent paddle boards.  This was a unique experience.  After standing up and falling a few times, I paddled out a bit further to discover I was surrounded by hundreds of light blue jelly fish.  I didn’t even bother standing up again, despite a few Australians trying to coax me up and shouting words of encouragement.  They weren’t close enough to see the terror of jellies waiting for me if I fell. I think it’s time for a new paddle boarding experience though, no?

It was back to the beach for some relaxing, and it is a beautiful beach.  In fact, there are multiple beaches in Noosa Heads.  Along the Noosa River and by the Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve, there are beautiful beaches, heavy winds perfect for kite boarding, and a view that will blow your mind.  We explored all sections of Noosa, and spent many an afternoon lounging by and walking along the reserve, watching the people, the puppies, and the kite boarders.

Noosa has a lot to offer, there was no want for nightlife or restaurants, and in nearby Noosaville, there were also wonderful restaurants and bars to enjoy.  We loved iS Tapas Bar in Noosaville (unfortunately no website to link to).  The sangria was delicious and the food was just as tasty.  Everything was either in walking distance or a short drive away, and on week three, I was a pro behind the wheel.

Noosa was a great relaxing stretch of time, and for anyone heading to Australia, I would highly recommend it, especially the proximity to Fraser Island, a really cool and fun day trip, coming up on the blog next week.

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Hanging out by the Noosa Spit
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Looking out at the beach from the entry to the National Park
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Toward the start of our hike, repping my BU Terriers
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Admiring the view
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Pups travel in style, Noosa Spit edition