My First Surf


In case you didn’t know, I lived in Hawaii for a year. I was a student at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo where I planned on originally playing softball, but long story short, I played basketball instead.

My first months in Hawaii were a huge culture shock. I was blown away with the fact that I was able to wear shorts and go swimming in the middle of November and not to mention the non-existence of hockey. After a while I learned to adjust to the new lifestyle and safe to say, I learned some things about myself. For example, little did I know I would LOVE eating raw tuna, in Hawai’i they are called “Poke Bowls” [pronounced poh-kay]. I also learned something else, I LOVE to surf!

At first, it was always something I enjoyed to watch from afar… local Hawaiians walking down the rocky beaches holding their hand-made wooden surf boards. I was always so amazed with the style of some and how they were so gifted with the talent to cut through waves and never fall off their boards. I never believed I would be the best at surfing, but one day I decided to give it a try.

My Australian friend Tom was a well-known surfer at my school and also gave lessons, so he offered to help me out one day. I made my way down to the beach and finally took my board in the water. At first, Tom told me to swim out as far as I could and turn around in time to ride the wave. To me, this sounded like a piece of cake… Until I tried to do it! It took me all day to gain the balance and style to jump up on the board. Fall after fall, slip after slip… I still continued to get back on the board and try again.

Finally, right before we were about to leave I wanted to give it one last try. I swam out to the center of the tide, turned my board around right in time to catch it, and jumped up right after I caught the wave.

Long story short, I fell in love with surfing. After working so hard to get where I wanted to, I felt the excitement of riding a wave and there’s really nothing else like it. 11187834_10206915549911013_5850671787946569211_o
Photos taken in Hawaii in 2014 by Kathleen Emmer in Hilo on the Big Island.
©2016 Kathleen Emmer.  All Rights Reserved.

My impromptu visit to Wrigley Field

The Chicago Cubs is my favorite baseball team and has been for a very long time. That being said, I have always wanted to catch a game in their very own home field in Chicago, Wrigley Field.

Last year, I finally was able to make that happen.

(Sep. 6, 2015) I trekked down to Chicago to visit my little brother in the Navy. I couldn’t stop fantasizing over going to Wrigley Field on the drive down and although we had plenty of organized family events that were planned, I knew I needed to find some sort of way to make it work.

On the last day we were in town, I planned a very impromptu visit to see the cubbies in person and bought a $8 train ticket to take me into the city. I had never rode a train before and hadn’t known I needed cash. When the train clerk came up to punch a ticket for me I told him where I was planning to go and he gave me the proper directions but then proceeding to ask for cash. My heart stopped, I searched and searched through my over-sized, un-organized purse and finally I was able to scrap up $8 dollars in coins! After that nerve-racking experience, the train arrived at my stop and I proceeded on my journey.

While walking towards the field through blocks and blocks of neighborhoods, I went on my phone and purchased a $45 “standing room only” ticket. All by myself I wandered into the gates of the historic Wrigley Field and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life! I got to see Jason Hayward hit an out-of-the-park home-run as well as witness Jake Arrieta pitch in person! I was in heaven.

I plan to go back very soon, but until then… I’ll enjoy watching my favorite team play from the comfort of my living room! 🙂


Photo taken in Chicago in 2015 at Wrigley Field.
©2016 Kathleen Emmer. All Rights Reserved.