On October 5, the varsity swim team departed for Santa Monica for intense swim training (and tanning, body surfing, shopping and, most importantly racing the Pali High Dolphins, the fastest team in Los Angeles! We were lucky enough that the Pacific Palisades High School lent us their beautiful 16-lane outdoor pool for daily workouts.
Nothing was better than waking up in a hotel room filled with sunshine and Katy Perry blasting in the room next door. Although our days were filled with 90-minute sprints sessions in preparation for the race with the Pali team, we still had time to tour around Santa Monica, shopping on Main Street and visiting the boardwalk at Venice Beach. In the evenings, we enjoyed team dinners and checking out Santa Monica Pier, with its iconic neon Ferris wheel and roller coasters.
The swim team also got a glimpse of American high school life, attending football games and supporting the Pali Dolphins. Despite being our competition, the Pali swim team hosted two barbecues for us on the beach, where we had a huge potluck and went body surfing in the waves. Many of us kept in touch with the Dolphins and even met up for ice cream.
The combination of constant sunshine and fun waves made for perfect beach days (made better with a man who brought his pet parrot to the beach!). On our last full day, we finally raced the Pali team, beating their JV boys and varsity girls. Congrats to our team, as it was many Wolves' first time racing in a 25-yard pool (and a shout-out to those who raced the 500-yard freestyle!). After the race, we went down to the beach for a final potluck and farewell to our California peers.
Although we were there for less than a week, many of us fell in love with the city and all it has to offer. Yet, all good things come to the end, and we returned to Vancouver and are already prepared for the ISA meet on October 13. Go, Wolves!