Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester

Blog

Mexico!

¡Hola amigos! Greetings from Mexico. I have been off the blog for a few days, busy doing nothing at all, waiting for something out of the ordinary to happen so I’d have something to blog about. Guess days just come and go here and they’re all mostly the same. Absolutely awesome, that is. So where are we? Well, after flying LAX-IAH-OAX (Los Angeles, Houston, Oaxaca) last wednesday, we caught a small prop plane down to the nearby town of Puerto Escondido, a 35-minute flight from Oaxaca. We’re here because we wanted to go relax somewhere quiet after our giant roadtrip in the US the last couple of weeks, and it just so happens to also be one of the best beachbreaks in the world = Jacob gets to surf. The main beach here picks up any pacific ocean swell energy there is, and grooms and funnels it through its offshore canyons before focusing all its power onto the sandbars right outside of our hotel. Here’s a massive photographic effort of describing our trip here so far:

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Camping in an industrial parking lot, Inglewood, West LA. Since our flight to Houston was in the morning we decided to return our camper van the night before, and got permission to sleep in the rental company’s lot. Not the safest or most comfortable area to hang out at night, so we kept it low key.

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After a massive travel day into Mexico + getting kicked out of the airport in Oaxaca at 11pm without a hotel reservation, we boarded our Cessna Grand Caravan in the early morning hours, before the mountain winds arrive that make this aircraft type less reliable.

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Sofia, slightly nervous before her first Cessna ride.

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Before waking up in Oaxaca and getting in the plane, I had no idea how lush and beautiful southern Mexico’s landscape really is. Tropical rainforest covers these massive, mountain canyons for miles in every direction, with rivers cutting through the valleys towards the ocean just out of view. Our 35-minute plane ride turned out to be a very wise decision instead of the 8-hour bus.

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Seemingly endless rivers like this one, without any villages, houses or roads in any direction, were seen in every valley.

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Good morning selfie!

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Apart from us, the plane only held the captain, plus some half dozen upper class Mexican nationals. Flying almost private, over one of the most scenic views I’ve ever seen, on our way to some of the best surf I’ve ever heard of, made this whole scenario very unreal.

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8:00 am, and starting to feel like I’m wearing too much cotton. 20 hours after our departure, we were finally in Puerto Escondido!

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So here we are then, I thought one hour later when we had checked into our hotel, and slowly, in the oppressive blue-sky heat, made it to the beach. The ocean was still delivering the remainders of the previous mega-swell, and every 5 minutes another perfect double overhead set exploded just off the sand. Exhausted from 3 plane rides, and one very brief, sleepless hotel night in Oaxaca, I chose to observe instead of paddling out. At size, this spot breaks both surfboards and spines.

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Another impossibly fast left-hander reeling off towards the inevitable close-out section. I was later told the swell needs to have more of a southernly direction to create better rides here, and when we had arrived it was a little too much west. This proved to be true over the next following days when the swell size went down but went more S, producing more distinct, A-frame style beachbreak peaks. I can’t wait for the next big day if this direction holds.

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The day after the size had went down a foot or two and I decided to give it a go on my newly acquired 6’8″ pin tail. It’s hard to describe just have fast your paddling, pop-up, and take-off needs to be on this wave, it’s unlike any Indonesian pointbreak I’ve ever surfed. After a month of fastfood, beer and camping life in the US, I had a tough time getting into some of these pits. Pictured above is one of the ones that got away.

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And then I finally made the drop on a set, and I wasn’t fast enough to catch up with the face. Surfing after a long break is one of the most frustrating things in the world. You’re doing something you know you’re good at, but your body just won’t do what you tell it do.

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Washed ashore after yet another violent washing machine ride.

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Even when you suck at surfing, hanging out at the beach is pretty neat. Especially here, where no matter where you sit down, you’ll have a canine friend coming to hang out with you without expecting anything but your company in return.

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A couple of these feels pretty good after those long sessions of eating sand and swallowing saltwater…

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In the afternoon the winds slowly turn onshore and turns the surf into junk. Good time to go swim in the waves, the water here is hovering around the 28°C (82F°) mark.

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Sofia running into the ocean to cool down. The air temperature is even worse, easily reaching Vegas temps.

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The last few days have had small surf, but perfect little waves in the morning with almost no one in the water. You can’t complain about clean little faces like this. Sofia has been getting out of bed early some mornings to join with the 5D, unfortunately none of my best waves have been captured on camera. Typical, right? You’ll just have to take my word for it, I guess ;)

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Trying out hacks with a 6’8, kooking it.

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I like that it stays dark until 6:45 here, so you don’t have to wake up too early to surf uncrowded waves.

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Found a nicely groomed left-hander that reminded me of Bingin in Bali. Should have stalled and gotten deeper on this one though, but still getting used to the board I played it safe.

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Those steep backhand drops are tough but when you nail them it just feels so good. Now I just need some bigger waves!

Right now we have suffered some 2-3 days of very small surf but I’m excited for an expected increase in size starting tonight. Hopefully we can go nail some barrel photos!

One more week left on this insane trip, stay tuned for more!

Jacob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roadtrippin’

Whew, hi again everyone, I’m sorry for the long absence from the blog. We have been driving down the coast from Portland all the way back to LA, and internet connections have been few and far in between. Anyways, today we are living the airport life again, flying to Mexico on a surf trip to finish this vacation with a bang!

Yesterday I had a meeting and interview with ESPN for their RealSki TV show that’s airing this fall, so that’s really exciting. Can’t wait to show you all  what I’ve been filming for in between Unfiltered episodes.

Anyways, it’s going to be difficult to cover everything we have seen from Portland to here, but here’s an attempt to show the photographic highlights of our journey. Enjoy!

 

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view of mt.hood from portland, oregon. it’s crazy being in a summer city with good skiing only 45 minutes away.

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portland is as they say, hipster capital of the world, with it’s own motto (keep portland weird), and it’s easy to tell why. everywhere you go there’s beautiful murals, edgy coffee shops, cool fashion and interesting little shops. insane coffee, too.

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A must-do in Portland is visiting one of many brewpubs and try out all their little micro-brews. here’s 12 varieties waiting to quench our thirst.

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Sofia enjoying our home for this 3 week trip, on a camp site somewhere in Seaside, Oregon.

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Right after portland we headed an hour south to check out the surf at Shortsands. Even though the swell was tiny there were still surfable little peaks with almost no one in the water. the water temps reminded me of sweden :)

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Marine life all over the place.

 

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No barrels here, but surfing by yourself surrounded by these magical forests is fun either way.

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Sister’s rocks beach, southern Oregon.

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After a few days of desolate beaches and fun adventures in Oregon, we came back into California and headed down to San Francisco. I haven’t been back here since ’08, when I won the ski contest Icer Air. It was good to be back with a little more free time to explore the city!

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Most religions are pretty whacky, but this one definitely tops the list of craziness.

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Big Sur roadside breakfast stop, overlooking one of many private roads leading down to a private beach. It’s really saddening to see how little public access is left along the coast of California. Land of the free – if you have the cash.

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Sometimes you just have to wash your hair.

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Probably the most photographed coastline in the world.

     Alright, that’s it for now, now it’s time to board our flight from Houston to Oaxaca, Mexico. Check back soon for some surf updates!

Jacob

Mt.Hood

So the last couple of days we have been hanging out in Mt.Hood, northern Oregon. I haven’t been here in almost 4 years so it was awesome to be back in one of the most beautiful surroundings I can think of. Staying at the classic Ark motel, which these days serves as lodging for the staff at Windell’s the summer camp operation here in Mt.Hood, we got to hang out with a bunch of our skiing friends, such as Chris Logan, John Ware, Noah Wallace, Will Berman, Nicky Keefer, jeff Curry, Kevin Perron, Max and Tosh Peters, among other great people. 4 days of hiking, photographing, exploring the beautiful forests and skiing on the classic volcano, here’s another photo post!

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Mt.Hood Timberline ski area from the parking lot.

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Sofia in front of the iconic Timberline Lodge, the exterior famous from the Kubrick movie The Shining.

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View of Mt.Rainier.

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Sofia’s first time summer skiing.

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Always nice to get a couple turns in hoodie and sunglasses. Thanks Armada for hooking us up with some skis!

Didn’t take too much time shooting, but here’s a couple moments from my day:

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Public park rails

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Switch 7 on the jumps.

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Grabbing tail and enjoying the backdrop.

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Any day in the mogul course is a good day. Love the bumps!

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Hiking for another hit.

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Backflip on the bottom set.

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Classic flatspin shot.

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A (very) refreshing swim below Tamawanas falls. These cyan blue pools are cold, but oh so tempting.

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 The falls, only a 2 mile hike from the highway. I suggest checking them out if you are in the area!

Thanks to everyone out there who made our Mt.Hood visit such an amazing experience! I can’t wait to be back soon!

After Hood we have been driving through Portland, and then down the coast all the way back to California, but I’ll leave that for the next blog entry. Stay tuned!

Jacob

Yosemite national park

Hi everyone, we’re finally back online! It’s been 3 days since I have had any sort of internet connection except for a 5 minute starbucks glance on the road. Anyways, since the last post, Sofia and I have left Grand Canyon, driven our rental car back to Los Angeles, picked up our camper, and driven north to Yosemite, then on to Mt.Shasta, and now we have finally arrived in Mt.Hood, where we will be based for a couple of days. We have over 30 GBs of photos to go through, but here’s a quick lookback on the last few days:

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we found this little waterfall and swimming pool about 5 minutes from our camping ground in yosemite. pretty epic place for a morning shower!

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not sure about the water temp though, i’d say around 15°C (50°F), but the hot sun made up for it. camping is the best!

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Nature experience 1: The giant tadpole. I had no idea there were tadpoles this big, but this guy is massive. Here is another photo for reference:

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Makes you wonder how big the full-grown frog would be.

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Breakfast setup in Yosemite! Oat meal, trail mix, nutella and instant coffee for days.

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Our van, and rolling bed, “Mooney”.

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We did our first Yosemite hike in Mariposa grove, home to the biggest living organisms known on earth, the Giant Sequoias. These trees are all between 1000 and 3000 years old. Makes your head spin for sure.

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One of the grove’s biggest monsters, the “Grizzly Giant”. I like how the USA love to name things, all of the trees in the park have their own nickname. The lower branches on this guy are thicker than any of the non-redwood trees’ trunks in the park are.

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Sofia and The Roots.

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Moss close-up.

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Pretty sweet vista at the top.

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Aaand then it was time to jump off of something, finally. Mirror lake was not much of a lake with the on-going drought, but there were still a few deep spots. Half Dome, the iconic mountain right in the middle of Yosemite Valley is in the background.

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Sofia and crazy landscape.

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Cool lizard.

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chipmunk

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Lot’s of walking and a heavy camera pack.

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View from Glacier Point over the whole valley. Some of the most insane scenery I’ve ever seen. Like, system overload in the brain insane.

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One more vista.

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The current California drought showing itself on Yosemite falls.

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Checking out the falls up close.

Running out of laptop battery now so I will show you more as soon as I’m back on! Peace!

Jacob and Sofia

Grand Canyon

Another day, another adventure. Here’s a photo recap from our visit to Grand Canyon. This place is truly spectacular and even though we expected it to be amazing you really have to see it to believe it. We went to the north rim, which is about 4 hours from Vegas by car, and so worth the drive, it’s a lot less touristy and you’re really out in the middle of nowhere. Check out some of the photos we took:

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Between somewhere and nowhere.

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Right after entering Grand Canyon national park we bumped right into these impressive Bison. Beautiful animals, although they’re not native to this region and supposedly do a lot of damage to the park. Makes for amazing back-lit photo opportunities, however.

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Deer all the way along the roads, pretty scary driving back in the dark as we saw dozens of them trying to cross the road.

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We arrived at the Canyon just in time for an amazing sunset.

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Walking up to the edge in the howling head-wind was definitely an intense experience. The canyon is a mile deep (1600m), and in some places the walls are nearly vertical for the upper part.

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Sofia enjoying the warm breeze.

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Thanks for the vistas, Grand Canyon.

Now we’re back in LA but there’s no time to rest. I just got out of the water after one last morning surf session, and now we’re off towards Yosemite national park. High expectations for this one, even though it’s full of tourists I can’t wait to check it all out. Make sure to follow the blog for a ton of photos coming soon!

Jacob

Las Vegas

Vegas baby! 3 days ago we made the 4 hour drive from LA to the fabled gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas. A place I have only been once, and I wasn’t of legal age back then so I was super excited to be back in town. We stayed at the Aria for 2 nights, really nice hotel right in the middle of the Strip, if you are going I can definitely recommend it. There’s so much to do in Vegas, but here’s a sampling of some of the things we got up to:

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Driving through some iconic areas on the way there, I felt like I was in Fear & Loathing. The excitement was over-whelming.

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Car no-hand selfie.

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Probably the warmest place I have ever been. That’s 43°C, for you metric folks.

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The colossal Aria hotel.

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Complete with some of the most trippy carpets ever – made for some interesting drunk walks.

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Outside the “New York New York” hotel. The Excalibur in the background.

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Tourist photo opportunities all over the place.

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The Bellagio fountains with Paris in the background.

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“This isn’t the real Caesars Palace, is it?”

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There are certainly better hotel room views in Vegas but we didn’t mind.

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I kept waiting for the fountain to start again but I guess we missed the last one.  Still a pretty photo of the Bellagio.

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Aria’s gigantic pool area was the perfect place to sleep off the hangover from a late night out.

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Morning (more like afternoon) coffee.

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One of the most exciting things we did on the Vegas trip was actually playing the KISS mini golf. If you are here, do it! It’s exactly as tacky as it sounds.

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Rock’n'Roll all night!

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Sofia and the 18th hole.

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Thank you Vegas.

If you want to see some moving images, here’s a little timelapse video we shot on our last night:

Right after Vegas we headed straight for the Grand Canyon, but that’s another post. Stay tuned and I’ll make sure to get it online soon!

Jacob

Encinitas surf

After hanging out in newport for a few days, we headed down to Carlsbad/Encinitas to hang out with a bunch of friends (Banks Gilberti, Stefi Luxton, Jossi Wells and his fiancee Hannah, kiwi snowboarder Possum Torr among others). We went surfing and watched the world cup, and just had a great time in general. California in the summer is pretty awesome, I could definitely see myself living here for a year or so.

Some photos from the day:

IMG_1036 Sofia enjoying the sun and the water in Encinitas. Such a chill spot to hang out.

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Sofia and another dawg.

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Surfing, sun and too much Chipotle makes Jacob a sleepyhead.

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Getting ready for a sunset surf with Banks. He is not as short as this photo makes him out to be.

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One of the funnest longboard spots I have surfed. It’s a long way from grinding indonesian barrels, but really fun and relaxing for a change.

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After a 6 month break from surfing this is how excited I get. Anyone who surfs knows how much better of a person you become after a session.

Yesterday we packed up and left SoCal for Vegas, and this place is insane. I will drop a post on all the craziness here tomorrow. Now we’re off to the pool for a beer and some gambling later. Peace!

Jacob

Six Flags

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So the other day Sofia and I went to Six Flags, which is one of the biggest (and best) rollercoaster park in the world. It’s pretty much the most fun you’ll have in one sweaty afternoon. Unfortunately all the schools are out so crowd was definitely a factor and we only ended up riding our favorites, before collapsing from jetlag and dehydration. Didn’t bring a camera into the park except the little gopro, so here’s a couple screenshots:

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So excited!!!

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In front of Superman. Didn’t get to ride it because of the 1.5 hr lineup. Next time.

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Melting in the 35°C heat.

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Sofia has been working out this past winter.

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Sofia in front of “Riddler’s Revenge”. Easily my all-time favorite ride. You stand up on it, which makes it feel like skiing.

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Screenshot from Riddler’s Revenge.

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Viper screenshot.

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View of downtown LA on our drive back.

The two days after Six Flags we have pretty much been doing nothing but hanging out in Costa Mesa, skateboarding, surfing and meeting old friends. Tomorrow we are going to Vegas, so make sure to check back soon!

Jacob

USA

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And it has begun! Yesterday Sofia and I finally got to LA after 24 hours of flying, running between terminals and standing in massive customs lines. We just woke up in our friends Josh and Carly’s beautiful apartment in Costa Mesa, and today our six week adventure on the US west coast begins. First stop – Six Flags. We have been there before and it was so insanely fun we decided to make it a must-do on all our Cali visits. Hopefully the lines won’t be as long this time. Check back soon for some crazy roller coaster action, I am bringing my gopro with me on everything. Peace!

Jacob & Sofia

Arcade Fire

Went and saw one of my favorite bands, Arcade Fire, here in Stockholm the other night. Such a fun live band to watch and enjoy, even though the sound wasn’t the best. Go see them!

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Today we’re off to see some more music, with Swedish band Kent hosting their own festival in Stockholm. The weather is on top so we are ready for some more good times!

J