Brandon Hernández 9 a.m., Dec. 5
The uncertain look to the sky made me a little leery of riding my new Dreg mini cruiser down to the boardwalk. The grays plastered off the shore and the constant chatter of rain at work made me a little uneasy about getting a bad run of cards and ending up wet. However, boredom at home prevailed which led me to muster up the energy and confidence in the weather and began my ride in search of a chill spot to smoke a cigar and have a drink.
My ride down the streets of North PB are sketchy as it seems the ground is sticking it's foot out to trip me every 10 yards. Not to mention the influx of drivers in search of a parking space en route to their favorite bar. As I cruise, I began to wonder, where's my favorite bar? Do I have one or even drink enough to have one? The answers slip my mind as I avoid a close call with a car door swinging out at me. Despite the constant scares, the ride is smooth, chill, and in a way that only a Washingtonian would understand, beautiful. The crisp cool air that tickles my face is a warning that winter is right around the corner. This also signifies two reasons for a true surfer to be stoked - less crowded line-ups and more consistent waves. Ah yes, at last, winters coming knocking and I can find a reason to be really happy. Unlike the streets of PB, the boardwalk poses much different threats; the weary surfer, the clueless tourist, and the persistent beggar. As I pass by a few bars, I realize I'm searching for my perfect chill spot, the perfect bar. Without a moment notice, I stop dead in my tracks as I gaze at a sign that reads, Lahaina Beach House.
At first glance, this place looks like a run down dive bar in a million dollar setting. However, upon closer examination, I came to appreciate and love the "true to life" feel of the bar. Not to mention, a panoramic view of the ocean undisturbed by the passerby or two on the boardwalk seeing as the elevation of the patio sets it slightly above the tallest head. The crowd is mostly older it seems but none seem intrigued by my youthful presence. As I walk past, I remember that I'm on a quest to find the perfect bar and I make my way toward the door.
The bartender like most, gives me a long hard look as if trying to make out my age and status quo. As I present my I.D., I gander at the bland interior but smile when I realize that bland is good. Having a lackluster interior simply means my focus would remain on the prize outside, a million dollar view at the cost of a cheap beer. I grab my drink and chat it up with the bartender which I will call J. J tells me of a time when the bar used to be door to door with business but the weather is presenting a challenge to compete with. Knowing the pain he feels, I remind him that we never win against mother nature. J and I talk about the surfers outside and talk of our glory days on the waves. I ask J about smoking and he lets me in on the fact that smokers are allowed to smoke on the patio. Finally. I had found a place that allows me to smoke and drink while watching the waves. Like a kid receiving the perfect gift on Christmas day, I was smiling ear to ear as I smoked my Romeo y Julieta on the patio. After bidding farewell to J and the crew working at Lahaina, I grabbed my skateboard and began the long ride home. Only this time, the main threat on the way home was the influence on my mind.