2012 Olympics Eye Candy: Who’s Your Crush?

The 2012 London Olympics has arrived.  Yes, it’s been 4 years since the Beijing Olympics!  I know, it seems like 2 years at most.  I hope the Olympics will inspire people to play a more active role in their lives and to get healthy.  The image of the sizzling bodies of the participants should motivate you to stay fit:)

For as long as I could remember, in every Olympics, I always had at least one major crush from among all that eye candy.  The majority of my past crushes had come from the women’s gymnastics team.  Something about girls in leotard gracefully orienting themselves on the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor, is appealing.  From the moment they first reveal their wide-eyed smiles for the audience to when they strike their final pose, I’m in awe.  Their cute game faces coupled with their composure in such a high level of competition, adds to their attractiveness.

In the 2008 Olympics, my crush was Nastia Liukin.

Her golden hair and bright eyes complimented her slender body nicely.  She definitely had swagger and even a bit of attitude, but was such a joy to watch.  I could not tear my eyes off her!

For the 2012 Olympics, my crush thus far is Alexandra Reisman.

I had spotted her during the prelims; she seemed sweet and had great form:)

Do you have an Olympics crush?  Who is it and what attracts you to him/her?

As a side note, I’m completely straight, but if I were to go the other way I’d definitely have my eyes on the men gymnasts–and the fluid divers–from China.  Gorgeous skin, silky and toned bodies, ever-so graceful movements.  What more could a girl ask for, right?:)


Horseback Riding on the Beach in San Diego

Ever since I saw the movie Titanic where Jack says to Rose he’ll one day take her to ride horses on the beach, the image of a guy and a girl galloping off into the sunset has been imprinted into my mind.  I loved the idea of a couple doing something few have thought to do.  Two people.  One shared experience.  Love and romance captured.

Over the years I wondered if it was possible to ride horses on the beach here in San Diego.  Being a city with plenty of spectacular beaches and tourists, you’d imagine it readily available to engage in this activity.  You can ride “ponies” in Rosarito, Mexico and horses at Shelter Island, but a pony is not exactly a horse and Shelter Island is a bay.  I’m talking a stretch of coast, crashing waves, open ocean.

Then I heard about a place in Imperial Beach where you can ride actual horses on the beach.  I had to see it for myself. After some research, I arrived at Border Field State Park, parked my car, and took out my mini bike and road it on the paved road for 1-2 miles to get to the beach.

It was just me (plus a border agent) and miles of empty beach, not even a single palm tree.  I walked along the shore and plopped myself on the sand, sitting on the plastic bag that came with my 5-rolled tacos for an impromptu picnic. South of me was a large flock of seagulls.  I waited.

The tide began to recede.  And then the first trio of them arrived.

How awesome the riders and horses must have felt having an entire beach for themselves.  I smiled at them as they passed, all the while munching away on my tacos.

The moment held me in a daze.  One of those times I wished I had a girl to enjoy the experience with.  It wasn’t just about being at the beach or seeing horses, but the adventure of getting here, the process of discovery.  Strolling along a private beach with a girl, I thought.  We’d be free to do whatever we wanted to. No towels, no showers, no problem.  We’d dip our toes in the water, relax on the plastic take-out bag from Roberto’s, look out into the Coronado Islands, and we’d be happy.

Later, as I walked along the beach, I took a candid photo of a couple.

I thought they were part of the group tour, but it turns out they came separately, and it was their first time here.

The guy handed me his camera and I took some photos of him and his girlfriend. I thought of how Jack said to Rose: “We’ll ride horses on the beach, right in the surf.”  This image that had been in my mind for so long had come true, vicariously.  Fifteen minutes later as I was leaving, I caught a final shot of the lovebirds heading off into the horizon.

Check out if you’re interested in renting horses to ride on the beach in San Diego.

Summer in San Diego

Here is the final part of my “summer in San Diego” blog.  Boy, what a summer this has been.  And with the weather only starting to really heat up, summer doesn’t have to end.  Leave out those white tank tops, bright bikinis, and short shorts for an extended summer.  The heat should last until the end of the year so there’s plenty of time to cool off at the beach, go on a roadtrip or two, partake in a summer fling or a bit of romance.

Freedom encapsulates the essence of summer.  There’s time to try a new sport or taste a different kind of food, meet that boy, or girl, who has managed to elude you the previous 8 months, spend lazy days on the beach licking ice cream cones under sweltering heat.   More freedom, more time = happy people.  Summer is when we let down our guard, if only a bit, but just enough for possibility to seep in.

This summer I spent much of my time surfing in Coronado, a island city pretty much attached to San Diego via the San Diego-Coronado Blue Bridge.  Class met on Monday and Wednesday from 5:30-8:00pm, allowing for plenty of time to surf, glisten in my new tan, catch a radiating sunset.  A surfing class on Monday was perfect to start off the week on a high note.  I felt energized the rest of the week.

The drive to Coronado calmed me in a I’m-taking-a-vacation-and-leaving-my-worries-behind kind of way.  The Coronado Bridge turned into a blue rainbow where a pot of magic greeted me on the other side.  My favorite sight on this rainbow was towards the end where a patch of palm trees swayed in the tiny cove and sailboats rested along the sand while their cousins bopped in the turquoise water.  An occasional pelican or seagull flew by the vanilla sky and sent streaks of light catching my eyes.  No wonder I never noticed the sight of Hotel del Coronado upon reaching the end of the rainbow.  I must have thinking about my little getaway and girls.

The highlight of my days was, of course, surfing.  I had trouble at first, but like anything else in life, I continued trying and learned not just to surf, but that persistence is more important than ability.  The final week of class was the most thrilling.  I surfed with dolpins splashing in and out of the water against a freshly-tanned sky and caught many waves.

My best ride occurred on the final day as I paddled off on my favorite of the boards–the 10 footer–at just the right time to catch the wave and ride down its face.  The energy of the wave pulsated my veins.  A moment of connection with nature which I tried to grasp and hang on to as I floated towards shore.  And in that moment a spark jolted through me.  I knew I had made the most out of my summer.

This entire summer felt like a two-month boot camp where my body endured serious hardcore training.  Besides surfing, I also had a volleyball and dance class.  Connecting the dots, you have a surfer who loves sports and dances for fun.  By the end of it all, I had a rock hard body that continues to sizzle, along with a tantalizing tan.  What more could a guy ask for?

Here’s a link to the non-summer schedule of classes for those who wish to have fun, get away from your daily routine, try something new: class schedule.  The watersport classes are surfing, sailing, keelboating, kayaking, and canoeing.  Other great classes include yoga, dance, softball, tennis, swimming, volleyball, etc.

I’ll definitely be back when the time is right and maybe I’ll even see a few of you out there as I sit on a rustic, wooden bench peering off into the Pacific.  And if not, may our paths still cross one day when we finally let go of ourselves to see truth and beauty reunite.

Have a mind-blowing summer!

Hotel del Coronado

I have long awaited paying a visit to the Hotel del Coronado, as it’s only a few miles down the street from my surfing class.  For the longest time I’ve been fascinated with “the Del”.  The hold is has over me strengthens every time I’m reminded of romance, pastoral settings, glamour, a picture-perfect spot.

I parked right across from the Del and began walking around.  The string of Victorian homes here is eye-catching: cone-shaped towers, white verandas, tiny wooden benches, sharply-defined angles.  Across the street stretches miles of white-sand beach sprinkled with patches of mini sand dunes.  The perfect place to people watch while soaking in a bit of sun.

After my quick stroll I headed back to the Del freshly tinged with sea mist.  My skin must have been glowing.  My mission was to explore every corner of the inside of the Del.

The first thing you notice after entering is the HUGE crystal chandelier suspended from above, creating a surreal environment.  I made my way towards the stairs next to attendant-operated elevator and found myself on the second floor greeted by long, off-white hallways.

The higher up you go the lower the ceiling and smaller the doors, as if you’re a giant in Munchkin Land.  Here, the floors creak and sounds appear and dissipate at random.  The stillness of the air adds to the enigmatic aura.  I thought about the ghost of Kate Morgan and goosebumps appeared.  I racked my brain wondering what room number she inhabits.

On the top floor were some very narrow hallways complete with various look-out points with a unique view to each one:  pine trees and sailboats moored in the harbor, a glittering white sand beach, buildings and the Coronado Blue Bride.  I wondered which vantage point L. Frank Baum had when he supposedly used his stay at the Del as inspiration to creating

Emerald City in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Later, I sauntered over to the Mahogonay-wood railing by the stairs and the attendant offered me a ride back down on the birdcage elevator.

The door to the grand ballroom was open so I hopped in.  A carpet of white-petalled flowers swelled from the center of the room.  Crystal chandeliers dotted the vaulted ceiling.  On the far end, glass windows offered a stunning view of the deck and Coronado Beach.  At once, I became part of a work-in-progress painting.

With the door still adrift, my nose caught scent of something sweet.  I followed the aroma of waffle cone and vanilla ice cream past a corridor and ended up at Moo Time Creamery.  I wish I could have stayed longer to reminisce, ponder about life and girls…but I had a destination to get to.

A final “summertime” blog to wrap up my summer on my next blog…

San Diego Surfer Boy

Yes it’s true, yours truly finally caught a wave!  I really struggled the first 2 weeks of class and couldn’t even catch one wave.  I kept at it and by the third week I caught my first wave and have been “easily” catching them ever since.  Here’s a few things I learned…

If you’re completely new to surfing, it takes several weeks to adjust to being in the water for long periods.  There’s the dizziness factor caused by the salt water and the rocking motion of the waves, the fatigue factor due to your body constantly being thrashed around, the balance factor of learning where and how to stand on your board, and the patience factor, which if you have it, counts for a lot as the learning curve in surfing can be high.

After adjusting to all of the above, wave selection and paddle action with your arms is very important.  Catching the right wave at the right time can be done with minimal effort if you remember to paddle several seconds before the wave even approaches, as your momentum will carry you forward, and hopefully place you on the wave.

In my experience catching a wave before it breaks was too difficult.  I had wanted the bigger waves, paddling out further than I should have gone.   Then one day I decided to just ride the whitewater (a wave after it has already broken) and that’s when I caught my first wave (actually it’s more like the wave catching me, but it’s all the same once I was on it).  You can catch a wave on whitewater all without even paddling.  Angle yourself towards shore and if the whitewater is coming in fast enough, get on your board, putting more weight towards the back than the front so you don’t nosedive after catching the wave.  Balance, balance, balance, and your first wave will be had!

After I caught several waves riding on whitewater, I felt confident maneuvering myself around.  Only then did I paddle further out and actually catch a wave right after it broke.  I’ve been catching them ever since, although it’s only been about a week:)

There’s this truly amazing, exhilarating feeling you get the instant you’re standing on your board and riding a wave.  The experience is like walking on water.  You keep thinking you’re gonna fall (and at first you do) but then you manage to center yourself and suddenly you’re gliding on water.

I caught my first wave on a 8.5-foot long board.  Just yesterday I tried out a 10-footer and WOW, the experience is even more stimulating.  I felt much more connected to the wave and was reminded of how small I am.

This blog is the third part in my “summer” blog.  I’ve been tinkering around with different usernames and finally found the perfect one with “romanticasianguy” to hint at where I’m coming from.  The first and second part of my original blog is San Diego Summer Vacation 2010: sun, sand, surf and Coronado Blues.