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January 8th 2010
Published: January 9th 2010
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To start the new year in style and reconnect after my time abroad, my family decided it was time to visit and surf the island of Barbados! Barbados is in the West Indies and is apart of the British Commonwealth. 'Barbados' means bearded, due to the long roots of the trees on the island. From a traveling perspective, Barbados has something to offer everyone; white sandy beaches, coral reefs, palm trees, caves, monkeys, and of course world class surfing. Our hotel, the New Edge Water, is situated right above Soup Bowl, a heavy right hand wave thats claimed to be one of Kelly Slater's favorite waves in the world. Soup Bowl is on the East Coast and breaks over shallow reef. The whole East Coast is crazy, really rocky, underwater caves, and bad currents. Every morning we enjoyed eating breakfast and watching the sunrise over Soup Bowl.

Barbados is a small island, only 14 miles wide, so a variety of different surf spots were within 20 minutes of the hotel. When we first arrived in Barbados, the waves were 12-15 feet on the East Coast. With the waves big and currents out of control, the locals weren't even surfing Soup Bowl. To get some fun surf for a few days, we headed over to the West Coast. On the left side, we surfed Fray's, Mullin's, and Sandy Lane. The waves were really fun, chest-head high most days and we all had a good time. The island's surf consisted mostly of rights so Dad & Jill were charing frontside and I had to work on my backhand. The water was so clean and pretty and turtles were swimming right next to us in the lineup. Barbados has a lot of urchins in the water and shallow reefs but aside from some minor cuts and bumps, we came home without any problems.

While in Barbados, we befriended a local named Terry. Terry showed us around the island and hung out with us most days. The locals in Barbados are really friendly and a pleasure to talk with. We learned a lot about the Barbados culture and history. The locals have monkeys as pets, you can buy them for $100, and Jillian was especially fond of the monkeys, well until one bit her and she got ebola. Joking of course, but she did get bit. and we can't forget Dad's driving experiences on the other side of the road. Jeez, if i had a penny for every time he turned on the windshield wipers instead of the blinker...

Overall the trip to Barbados was amazing. I would defintiley go back & surf. Soup Bowl has become my favorite right in the world. It was a nice vacation with the family and I left Barbados with fond memories and good friends. It was awesome waking up every morning in a tropical climate, just surfing all day and not worrying about school, work, or any kind of drama. America is too money-driven and materialistic so it was nice to be in a community that really cared about family, good times, and that simply enjoyed life and couldn't be bothered with stressful drama. On my list of favorite places in the world, Barbados has taken the second spot behind Bocas del Toro, Panama! Saying goodbye to Barbados was not an easy task.

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