Paradise Point and the Jet Ski

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Let me immediately disabuse you of the notion that we spent the past week in actual paradise: everyone knows that’s in Hawaii. We were in San Diego.

A week of fun in the California sun – complete with muppets and grandparents. (So I totally stole away to the spa.)

Paradise Point is a resort enclave tucked away on Mission Bay. So hidden are the charms of its sandy beaches and seaside bungalows, that not even the future disturbs its presence. Entering the exact replica of the resort my brother and I stayed at with our parents some 30 years ago, Search and Destroy charged the ocean with vigor.

Well Destroy did. Search was a bit more tentative about this entire endeavor.


Reeeeally not sure how I feel about this…

It took a bit of time, but safely ensconced in (modern day) floaties and my boys were hooked. All that sand, salt, and spritzing I find so disdainful (and difficult to dislodge) called out its siren song.

We decided to take it to the next level. Hey, it was our vacation too. And Jon wanted to go jet skiing.

Destroy, ever in the attempt to mirror his father, decided that he too must jet ski.

Shorts match. Foot goes like so... OK!

Shorts match. Foot goes like so… OK!

My parents scoped out the marina and reported back that the summer-job-kid had eyeballed muppets and deemed them too tiny to participate.

Destroy would accept none such deterrent. Regulations require riders to stand a minimum of 36 inches tall. Destroy is easily 37.

When I next looked over, he was hanging from the cashier’s ledge. From behind the dock rental shack, all any employee could see was a windblown tuft of brown hair. In front, was a very determined little boy.

“I wanna go on a jet ski,” he demanded.

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His victory was momentarily thwarted when I was sent back to our bungalow to retrieve my valid driver’s license. I narrowly made it back to the pier after an unfortunate encounter with a Segway riding teenager with zero concern for life, liberty and the pursuit of not getting smooshed by the illegitimate love child of a lawn mower and motor-scooter.

Next up was the safety video. Normally completely consumed by videos, Destroy gave our debriefing on how to operate heavy ocean machinery a good nanosecond. He batted at the screen where his little fingers deemed the power button should be.

“Can we go on the jet ski now?” he implored.

Let’s be honest, reviewing a map of the bay was completely useless for me. There was no way their hand-crafted 2D interpretation of waterways would translate into anything I could translate into actual beaconing should I lose sight of the shore. So I spent that lecture restraining the buoyant life-vested boy.

Finally, we boarded our vessels. Search remained skeptical. Destroy was ready to go. No sooner had the marina skipper informed us that the green button provided power, when Destroy punched that starter With. Authority.

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“Jet ski!” he cried with glee as the engine roared to life.

Search appeared to be arguing with the angel and devil on his shoulders about just how intelligent was his decision to ride.


Jon and Destroy on Wave Runner 1, Search with me on Wave Runner 2 – we hit the bay for an hour. The former with plans to chug right on out to the “open speed waterways” and go “SO FAST.” The latter planning to toodle along shorelines, pushing that scary accelerator only when the current could no longer push us.

Turns out it was fun!

Destroy didn’t love the choppiness of the wake while planing alongside larger boats and he seemed more than a little concerned when briefly left in charge of his ski so Jon could dive into the Pacific waters to dislodge the seaweed foiling the motor of his craft. But I have never seen such a grin on the tiny man’s face. “We went SO FAST!” he squealed with glee.

Search didn’t like sea spray, but slowly came out of his shell and we spent a few moments hurtling along at X-game speeds of 10mph. As our hour on the bay closed, we coasted back into the dock as Search pushed my hands aside.

“I drive the jet ski!”


These are the lasting memories worth making. So much so that Mom forgot to reapply the sunscreen.

California sun: 1
Tricia: (Big red) 0

Ooooooh, burn….

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