I have recently returned from a week at Laguna Beach and wanted to share my thanks to the city for providing such a great vacation. One experience especially contributed to this lasting impression with me and I wanted to share it with you.
I was considering signing up for a week at Blue Pearl Laguna, which is a spa-/boot camp. My concerns were around the fact that I had polio as a small child. As a result I wear a long brace on my right leg, which has also weakened considerably through the years.
After hearing that owners Geo and Katresha would make certain that I would be very active during my visit with water exercises and visits to the ocean, I proceeded with my travel plans. The water is the best place for me to exercise so I was very excited.
One of my hiking guides, Alfie Smith, was assigned to transport me to the ocean, assist me in taking off my brace and getting me into the ocean so that I could play to my heart’s content. Little did he know or expect that as soon as I got in the water, I would take off like a fish … laughing and playing in the waves as far out as I could go!
Unbeknownst to me, a wonderful lifeguard by the name of Jonathan was keeping his eye on me as I frolicked in the waves. He told me later that he was thinking to himself, “Yep, I’ll be bringing her in.”
See, I grew up on the East Coast and am used to swimming on and around the Carolina and Florida beaches. I turned around in the waves at Laguna Beach and saw the biggest wave I had ever seen in my life. I tried to jump over the wave and got smacked down hard and got swirled around at the bottom for what seemed like forever. When I popped out, there were Jonathan and Alfie right at my side.
They carried me out of the ocean and put me back in my chair while I recovered, but it wasn’t long before we were all hysterically laughing (fat lip and all). I felt so invigorated and so proud to have fought the ocean. Oh well, I guess the ocean won.
I want to thank the city of Laguna Beach for providing such great lifeguards. Jonathan told me later that he wanted to let me have some fun; he knew how important this is for people like me to enjoy life to the fullest event though we may have disabilities.
People life Alfie and Jonathan are true heroes in my eyes.
Sharon Heinz, Columbia, S.C.