Polar Bear Dip- Brrrr-ringing in the New Year

I'm sure you are all familiar with the Polar Bear Dip/Plunge- or at least you've heard of the concept. I know that Cayucos is not unique in it's annual New Year's Day tradition. The Netherlands by far has the largest number of participants-10,000 at one event alone, in icy cold water. Those crazy Dutch- oh wait! I'm part Dutch- I mean, those wonderfully eccentric Dutch!

As you've read in my previous post, Taking The Plunge In More Ways Than One, I was present at this year's Polar Bear Plunge- not as a participant but as an observer and guest at a convivial wedding of a friend. I have never gone before, figuring if I was not participating then I certainly didn't need to brave the parking and the crowds. Well, weddings give you an excuse to do all sorts of things you don't normally do! So I found myself wandering the streets of Cayucos with my sister that first day of 2013, pulling my scarf a bit tighter and gripping my hot coffee close, feeling a bit sorry for those crazy  brave people and not relating to my Dutch roots at all!

Early arrivers

After the wedding but before the icy plunge, my sister and I wandered the beach in search of familiar faces, because yes, I have friends nutty enough to do it! (that means you Holly!) While searching the incredible sea of faces we happened upon those wacky people who dress up in costume- I missed photos ops of some of the best ones! I really wish I'd managed to captured the family dressed (very convincingly) as the Smurfs and Gargamel! Or the guy with the plastic horse strapped between his legs and little cowboy hat- and the Mayans who had a handmade sign apologizing for the whole calendar/end of the world debacle. I spied them all but was too deep in conversation with my own "plungers" to get photos. I did manage to get a guy in a pink evening gown, swilling some liquid courage!

And how is this for some dedication? Calisthenics anyone?! I suppose you do have to stay limber for that arctic water. You don't want to freeze up or anything.  

It's amazing we found anyone in this mass of people. I did get lucky and instead of finding was "found" myself! I must admit in this day and age of smart phones, it's kind of hard to stay "lost". 

So the countdown began- we made our way back to the wedding party to observe the happy couple taking their plunge- winding our way in and out of groups of people, praying we wouldn't still be in the middle of the mess when they reached 1 on the countdown. No trampling for me today, thanks!

Watching all those freezing people with chattering teeth inspired a craving- a trip to Cayucos is simply not complete without Brown Butter Cookie Company! 

So while I indulged my cookie craving my sister reached deep and found her inner Dutchman-she's just   fun loving enough to come up with mad cap ideas. So guess who's been talked into being part of the kooky masses in 2015?!

That's right you've guessed it, yours truly. Only for my sister...

Oh and yours truly was caught in the act of chronicling the day, Vespa bag and all. 
photo credit: Colin Wenzl


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