Big Wednesday

Do you know the roots of Volkswagen?

"Ironically, the idea for the Volkswagen, 'People's car', came from Adolf Hitler. He chose Ferdinand Porsche to engineer a car that could carry 2 adults and 3 children, and that could do 100km/h (62mph). And the idea was, that people could buy it trough an affordable savings scheme. That's how the base for the VW Beetle was born." 
- Just one of the facts Arlo learned this week while researching the history of Volkswagen.*

Let it be known that I am not proud of the fact that our boys missed their second day of school this year in honor of Big Wednesday at San Onofre. As much as I tried to figure out a way to make it there without them it just didn't pan out so I was shadowed with guilt the entire day. Though I will admit that starting school in August has always seemed downright absurd to me, so maybe this is  part of me subconsciously rejecting it? Either way, it's 105 degrees, in the peak of the summer swelter and we're sending them off to readjust to a school routine during a month they can't even go out on the playground because the temps are edging the danger zone.

It's ridiculous. If ever there was a petition I wanted more . . .

Aside from my own bitterness and lax stance on ditch days - which won't be happening very frequently know that there are three of them in school - the day was worth the guilt it drudged up. If only because of how sweetly it revives something of a sixties surf nostalgia that I can't compare to anything else we've been part of, even on a beach notorious for it's laid back, old school Cali vibes. And man, that's a mighty hard one to pass up. Fingers crossed next year falls on the week before school picks up because now the boys know exactly what they're missing when and if they do.

This Big Wednesday is put on by a couple guys who started it a little over a decade ago - one of which is Mike's old friend Ryan who's watched it expand from a measly 10 Volkswagens in the beginning, to an impressive 100 plus this year. With the strip of sandbank lined and stacked in every color, shape and year VW one can possibly imagine. Drawing in grips of photographers perched up on the hillside to capture all the gleaming ariel shots you'll see pop up in everything from postcards, to magazines to local newspaper clippings. An in line camp out happens the night before (which Mike is devastated to have missed out on) when they all roll in around midnight to stake claim on a prime parking spot and sit and shoot the breeze under the stars while waiting for the gate to open. A fun, free wheeling crew clinging to the stuff West Coast dreams are made of: Sand, Surf, Old Cars, Beer, Music and Bikinis. All together for one long afternoon there in the loving name of Volkswagen.

The following evening we showed up at to back to school night where I had to juggle three class introductions and wanted to slink beneath the desk when Arlo's teacher took special care to reiterate her strict stance on superficial absences. Where all I could think was, thank God we have the rest of this year to make it up.

* to prove aspects of alternative learning still happen in these defunct family ditch days