manhattan beach, where our parents live, is a big beach town. famous for its beach volleyball tournaments, its casual beach/surfer lifestyle, and now, it's mega-million homes. i grew up in this town on the "eastside," which is not as highly regarded since it's farther away from the beach. but back when i was growing up, this place wasn't as expensive and exclusive as it is now. anyway, being an eastsider and not a very outdoorsy family, we rarely made it to the beach. so i'd never been to many of the major events that take place down there.
one of those events is the surf festival, a whole weekend of beach sports activities. we finally went this past weekend because our friend MZ was on a 6-man volleyball team with his brother. although it can be a pretty fierce and serious tournament (there are former olympians, pro beach vball players, and college players who participate), it also has a distinctly beach/crazy vibe to it. most of the teams dress up and there's a lot of drinking before, during and after the tournament. MZ's team was dressed up like the cleveland braves from the movie "major league." we saw superheroes, cereal characters, guys in girl scout uniforms, and girls in '70s bikini getups. the event is extremely popular; sign-ups fill up quick and there are thousands of people who come to see it. there are at least 32 courts set up from the manhattan beach pier (where the above picture was taken) for four blocks.
but because we're not much for crowds, we left after about 10 minutes. we walked to rupert's parents' beach house and let the grandparents take the kids. rupert and i went down to the water alone for the first time in years to enjoy a nap and a quick swim. it was heavenly!