Two weekends ago (yes, it's taken me this long to update my blog...sorry folks...prepare yourself for an awesome but long story), I had an incredible opportunity to go to Santa Cruz with the Mauli-Ola Foundation to help put on a surf day for kids with CF in the Monterey/San Francisco/Santa Cruz area. It was an AMAZING weekend- my first weekend away from the hospital.
My dear friend Erin came with me and we enjoyed getting away from LA and the 6-hour drive up central California. We had a great time catching up- talking, and singing to some tunes, it was a really relaxing time. After arriving and meeting up with the other friends from the foundation who had made the trip also, we enjoyed our first evening in Santa Cruz with dinner on the pier (I'll post more pics once I get a copy of hers- I forgot my camera!). Brissa, Steve, Erin and I enjoyed a relaxing seafood (yum!) dinner and then got our sleep before waking up early on Saturday morning for the surf day...
Which was amazing! Our surf day ended up being a dream come true for me and many others who participated. We enjoyed a RARE 90 degree day on Cowell's Beach in Santa Cruz and had also a RARE 6 CF adults and 2 kids join us for the day. For me, it was a day filled with joy. I was able to get to know and spend time with CF adults which is not only rare but just doesn't happen in this day and age of CF. We are not 'supposed' to be around each other, due to infection control- but thanks to the grace of God and our extreme efforts to keep our coughs and germs to ourselves we enjoyed a day of pure blessing- talking, getting to know each other, swapping stories and just relating like none other. One of the best parts of the day (an un-expected gift) was the opportunity to reconnect with 2 dear friends Isa and Ana Stenzel- CF twins who I've known since I was 10 years old (see pics below). Isa and Ana have been such an encouragement and blessing in my life, they were my CF camp counselors back in the 90's and we lost touch shortly after camp. We haven't been able to reconnect until just this year and none of us could ever have dreamed we'd be SURFING together almost 15 years later!! God is so good!
We made some great connections and had a blast at the surf day- followed by lunch with the CF adults (following contact precautions of course) and dinner with the Mauli-Ola Foundation crew at a beautiful home in Santa Cruz! Erin and I drove home Sunday morning rejoicing over the relaxing weekend, fun stories, and rejoicing over the people we spent the weekend with.
I couldn't have asked for a more encouraging weekend. I spent the day with new and old friends- all of which we just knew each other's stories. You know that feeling when you can just be 100% yourself and it's so comfortable? It was just like that with people I just met that day. We had so much in common, it truly like being with family. The twins and I just picked up where we left off- we had so many stories to share, life to catch up on and we literally didn't stop talking for hours. It was so good for my soul to be with them. I am so thankful to have been out of the hospital and able to spend the weekend in Santa Cruz!! The CF community is an incredible group of people- I am blessed and priviledged to be a part of it and to be an adult in the small population of CF adults. I definitely hold the memories from this weekend so close to me and thank God for my new and old friends.