Well finally! After an extended period of snafu’s we are back to wow and entertain you…possibly, maybe, hopefully. You see I have discovered that my brain seems to have checked out and gone on vacation while all systems were down. Traitor! Until it gets back and begins performing as usual let’s get caught up.

Some of you may or may not know how a surf contest works. Judging criteria, tabulating, games, promo and all of the other various aspects involved. And I do plan on going into depth soon with detailed follow-up posts but today I wanted to give ya’ll a simple overview. An homage so to speak to some friends that I do not get to see nearly enough and some of my favorite photos from the weekend.

Every July I look forward to three days of unadulterated fun surrounded by sand, sun and surf. Encompassed by svelte, tan, youth reveling in the joy of a summers day at the beach. Being neither svelte or tan I like to live vicariously ya know.ย  The main reason I look forward to the annual contest though is being with my family and friends. Friends whom, even though I see them only once or twice a year, feel like an extended part of my family.

Like this lovey couple Jen & Tony Butler ofย  WBLiveSurf . You will not meet a nicer, more genuine, community involved couple. We all live in the same town, okay on polar opposite sides of said town, so we usually only see them about twice a year. It is always joked about each year that we will get together more often but this year we are going to do that for sure. Jen needs to whip me back into shape. Ifย  anyone can this athletic surfer girl can ๐Ÿ™‚

Now six years ago Jen & Tony along with this mad man…

Brad Beach of Reefย  Sandals, came together to create one of the biggest surfing events on the east coast. The Reef Sweetwater Pro-Am. Now I am assuming that ya’ll have heard of Reef Sandals but if not give them a visit. Sweetwater happens to be one of our local surf shops with Tony as a managing partner. If you are at all curious about the Pro-Am part it means that there are two different levels of competition running simultaneously for the duration of the contest. The Pro-professional side is competing for a monetary purse as well as prizes and of course bragging rights. The Am-amateur side is competing for prizes and their own much deserved bragging rights as well.

Boys, girls, men and women come from up and down the east coast, the west coast and a few as far as Hawaii to compete on our little stretch of beach. Local kids show up daily to get a glimpse or autograph from some of their all time favorite surf idols, who until then were only accessiable in their Surfer Magazine. For three days the beach is packed. Not only excited tourists, who inadvertently picked the best weekend to visit our area but some extremely happy locals as well.

Tony, Jen and Brad’s collaboration has evolved into a beautiful marriage of equals parts passion for a sport, an industry and bringing the community together. It is always a pleasure to be even a small part of it. I can’t wait until next years contest to meet up with friends, watch all of the surfers compete & enjoy all of the kids participating in the festivities.

Here are just a few of my favorite photos from the 6th Annual Reef Sweetwater Pro-Am.

Early morning set up and arrival. The neat thing to me about this photo is that it is not a foggy morning nor is it heat haze as it may seem. This photo isn’t out of focus either. The fog is actually immediate condensation from theย  heat and humidity even at 7am. WOW!

See…I cleaned the lens off and the world is now clear as a bell.

Ahh..well feed for breakfast and lunch by Cafe del Mar, Tower 7 and Vito’s Pizza. The best part was the daily view with my coffee and breakfast burrito. Nothing beats it. I miss living so close to the beach. Top photo is bacon, egg & cheese breakfast burrito, bottom photo is chicken coated with cilantro pesto, veggie wrap. YUM!

My darlin’ leaning over to peer at our delicious breakfast and coffee from three stories up. I had to laugh because it went something like this…

Darlin’ Surfer-Is that coffee!!


Darlin’ Surfer-And breakfast!?! (precariously straining over a three story high wall)


Darlin’ Surfer– What’s up with that! Why don’t we have any? We’re the judges?

Red-Cause I’m nicer, cuter and Ed wuves me more than you.

Darlin’ Surfer– ??? Wha…

Don’t worry I gave my love food and much needed coffee. The coffee went up safely the food…

It grew wings so to speak. See that metal pole running up the right side…if I had been quicker with my camera you would have seen a big monkey climbing up it during the contest.

Speaking of Ed…here are our wonderful, fantastic, adorable friends Ed & Heather, along with their cutie-pa-tutie. I didn’t get a chance to hang out with Heather at the contest but I had to show her to ya’ll. We love this family to pieces!! During the contest Ed is THE go to guy. Poor Ed gets run ragged by all of us but we wuve him immensely!!

Ms. Mary-Anne. This woman knows more about running a contest than I could ever hope to learn. And she has a wicked sense of humor with a heart as big as Texas!

This good looking fella waiting his turn to longboard would be only one of her three wonderful children. Their whole family fills my heart with joy and love…and they know it. PS: This guy took 1st place in the US Championships for longboarding in his age division.

Carolina blue skies, big fluffy clouds and white beaches. My favorite view most days.

Little groms either waiting for an autograph or goodies to be tossed out. I love little groms with their bleached out hair and itty bitty surf boards. They are just too darn cute ya’ll.

Youthfully, tan svelte bods. I was never tan in my youth and well lets not talk about svelte it makes me wanna weep into my wine glass. Now that’s something I have over these teeny-boppers…I can have a glass of wine. Ha!

This young man would probably have a thing or two to say about svelte bods but we won’t go there. It weirds me out! He is pretty much like my other younger brother. Kisses and hugs Bradley, behave! Nah…he’s a good boy, excellent student, budding actor and making waves in the surfing world. There is a certain AT&T commercial out there with this young man in it.

The family that surfs together sticks together. This surf family of daughter, father and son (minus a cute little redheaded monkey that I wish to stow away home ) always touch me with how close they are. The dynamics of their relationship amazes me everytime that I am around them.

Monkeys…caught in a moment of unusual stillness and tranquility. Every other moment they were running amuck all over the beach like the little beach bums that they are.

Now the next photo is for all of you who were Baywatch fans. Okay all of you ladies who were Baywatch fans. Guys scroll quickly to the bottom and disregard the next two photos. Also if you happen to be one of our close guys friends…not one word! I don’t want to hear it.

I’m probably never going to live this down but oh well it’s not for me… it’s for ya’ll.

Told ya…Baywatch.

Now this one is for me! If he only knew…giggle.

Oh yeah! You guys can have the Baywatch boys…I’m totally covered! My GaGa’s are fed, sated and TICKLED.

Now I am not the best yet ya’ll with surf action shots.

When I have a big whopping lens like this one I’ll be able to capture some killer images of surfers throwing buckets of water. Until I win the lotteryย  you can see some of the surfers in action on our local newspaper’s website. They have some fabulous ones on line. When you scroll down the article you will see a listing for photos on the left towards the bottom.

I hope that you enjoyed a small taste of a surf contest, friends and the beach. There will be some posts coming that will break down the nuts and bolts so to speak of how it all works, who all is involved…you know, details. In the meantime have a great day!


Tickled Red

PS: To my pals, if you don’t see a photo or think that I forgot you don’t worry…I have plans and more posts coming. Hehehehehe