Friday, January 16, 2009

Surf Fridays!

This Surf Fridays is all about surf dreams. Yours and mine.

These photos are from the April 2006 In Style magazine - a fine article about Gabrielle and Laird Hamilton and their home life in Maui. Since this article was published they had another baby girl, but I bet their lives haven't changed too drastically. I've saved this clipping for nearly three years, tucked in a surf story book at my bedside - and as you can plainly see, I've written at the top of it, "Jamie's Dream Life". If you have time to read the article, you'll get an idea that it's their overall spirited lifestyle that I am most interested in.

One of my most favorite things to do in life is dream. It is so important to me, that I love hearing about others' dreams just as much as I like to dream myself - and every inch of me wants to encourage someone when they talk of their dreams...any doubt they may express, I counter with a simple YOU CAN DO IT because I know that we can.

At the top of my goal list for 2009, I will be making time for dreaming. I'll share some with you throughout the year and I'd love to hear about yours. Big ones little ones, you name it. How can our dreams come true if we don't take the time to know what they are? Furthermore, we mustn't ever be scared of our dreams or belittle them as silly. Nothing is too big if it comes from your heart. The universe has a lot of space.

The Reece-Hamilton house, ensconced on Maui's North Shore, is all about blending in with the elements and allowing what's outside to come in.

The couple in a rare moment of repose, atop an old military weapons carrier they use to cruise through the surrounding fields.

Life's a beach - Just another day at the office: a goodbye smooch before Hamilton paddles off to work. One of Gabrielle's favorite activities is exploring the property with Reece strapped on her back.

One of Hamilton's many modes of water transport.

The water man returns from a long stand-up paddle.

left: In her father's workshop, Reece stands poised to fly in a game of "jump to Daddy."

right: She may not be as tall as her mom (yet), but even little Reece has her own king-sized bed.

"Some women have a problem with sweat - not me," says Gabrielle, going through her paces. "Exercise is a great way to get energized".

Join the Firm: A Fitness Buff's Secrets for a Great Body

Make It Official - Schedule your workout the same way you schedule everything else in your life - take the 'option' and 'emotion' out of it. Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise.

Remember: Consistency Is King - Let's face it: Even working out for just 20 minutes three times a week is better than exercising for longer periods of time with larger gaps in between.

Keep It Fun - Figure out what you like - whether it's exercising with a pal or hiking a scenic trail by yourself. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, you won't hang in there.

Eat Smart - Get your relationship with food straight, and it will make the other hill a lot smaller. Eat three meals a day - don't skip breakfast! - and avoid a lot of processed foods, wheat, sugar and ingredients you can't pronounce. You'll have more energy.

"I'm not sure if it's because we're large people or because we're simply large-spirited, but Laird and I really need our space," says Gabrielle.

left: The wraparound lanai helps them stretch out.

right: the household Lilliputians, daughter Reece and Pinot, the family Chihuahua.


article written by Kate Meyers, photography by Bobby Fisher

The Haleakala volcano rests in the background. The West Maui mountains stand regally in the foreground. And the island of Molokai looms across the water. Three stunning visions of geological interest. And out here, playing barefoot on the deck of their Maui home, are three natural wonders of a different kind: Gabrielle Reece, 36; her husband Laird, 42; and their barely clad, wildly maned daughter, Reece, 2. They look like a family created by someone in advertising. Observe them as they roam the 10 acres of grounds surrounding their home and you think, This is what Adam and Eve should have looked like.

Gabrielle, former pro beach volleyball player and model, and host of the Discovery Fit TV Channel's Insider Training, is 6 feet 3 inches of feminine power. Hamilton, also 6 foot 3, has a physique that could redefine the word "chiseled." He also happens to be one of the best surfers in the world (the guy who has ridden the biggest wave). He's the subject of several surf DVDs, including the recent All Aboard the Crazy Train, and he's the new face of Davidoff's fragrance Cool Water. But even though the bodies of these two may be a tad intimidating, their hearts are welcoming. Everything about their home is down-to-earth. The dress code is T-shirts and surfer shorts, the music is reggae - and help yourself to whatever's in the fridge.

Hamilton picked this "middle of nowhere" spot, just off the Hana Highway and down a dirt road, because a short jaunt west and below some rocky cliffs is Peahi (also known as Jaws or the Wave), the best wave break in the country and to him a holy place. And everything about this house is focused on gaining access to what's out there - the wild surf (Hamilton's place of business from November through May) and the heavenly turf, a paint wheel of lush green grasses, pineapple fields, acacia trees and passion fruit that you grab off the vine and bite into for its tangy, juicy middle.

The house, built over the course of eight months in 2004, is also all about function. The massive single-pitch roof protects the interior from the northeast trade winds. You can actually leave all the windows open during a storm and no water will come in. The lanai (or porch) that runs the length of the main floor is perfect for cheering on the guys as they race ATVs on the property's homemade outdoor track - or for watching sunsets with the girls: Gabby, Reece and Hamilton's 10-year-old daughter, Bella. "This house complements Gabby and me," Hamilton says. "The function is me. The style is her".

"I really wanted one big room upstairs so the three of us can be separate and together," Gabrielle says of the main floor living area, which includes not only the large space but three bedrooms toward the back of the house. "It's also about bringing the outside in. Sometimes if you block it with too much stuff, you can't receive the outside so well."

The absence of clutter and the 14-to-16-foot ceilings in the living area contribute to an overall feeling of airiness. Leather couches sit on one end and soft suede ones on the other. The dining table is made from a single slab of wood, a gift from a neighbor. And the kitchen rests smack-dab in the middle of it all. "It's up and out and open, and I think that helps keep your perspective up and out and open," Gabrielle says.

What else does the couple need to make a house a home? Their list includes love, health, physical challenges, harmony..."and two heads in the shower," says Hamilton, smiling. "All of our showers are two-headed because we always converse in there." Gabby adds a few more things. "Laird needs his coffee," she says, so he has an espresso maker in the workshop.

She needs chocolate, so there's a "fun drawer" containing a varied collection. There's a large supply of flip-flops for everyone. And, at the top of the list, both require a lot of motion.

To answer this need, Hamilton's workshop houses a bunch of 12-foot boards for stand-up paddling. (He often does 8 to 11-mile trips - standing on the surfboard and paddling through the waves - on days when the waves aren't big enough to surf.) There are other sea toys and bikes, and some beautiful paintings of waves done by local artist Dave Dickey, a friend who happens to drop by. Lots of people happen to drop by, because that's how Gabrielle and Hamilton like it. Gabby's downstairs gym has machines, free weights, a Pilates reformer, medicine balls and several spinning bikes so she can have her girlfriends over for some sweat time.

This overall feeling of welcoming is also evident in all the extra beds in unexpected places (the workshop and the gym, for example). Today a couple of Hamilton's surf buddies have come by. They'll stay for dinner and crash here. Many nights are spent, just like this one, drinking, eating (tonight's catch: a seven-pound Mahimahi) and laughing with friends around the weathered wooden picnic table in the workshop downstairs.

At the Hamilton-Reece household, the rule is that everyone must look everyone else in the eye when a toast is made. Not hard to do, as the two hosts have beautiful ones. Their eyes change with the light and defy description, except to say the Gabrielle's are an Easter-egg blue with green shards and a touch of fairy dust, and Laird's are brown, gold and green with a speck of the sun. Strong feelings of love flow under this massive roof, and if you stay long enough, it's a sure thing you too will be offered a bed. By all means, accept.


Most Romantic Spot - Hanalei River/Bay in Kauai is gorgeous. The river has bushes with yellow flowers that grow out of the water. The flowers drop off and the current carries them into the bay, so they float around you when you swim. Laird and I got married on the river. There were maybe eight guests. I wore a white bikini underneath a sheer white dress; Laird wore surf shorts underneath a sarong. At the end of the ceremony, he carried me over his shoulder, and we jumped into the river. Then the whole crew went surfing on the bay and caught a wave together.

Best Sushi
- Definitely the Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Maui. They've got karaoke too.

To-Die-For Pampering
- When you're muddy and wanna get shiny and feel like a girl again, the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa at Grand Wailea, Maui, is the place to freshen up. Plus they have some badass salt scrub.

Adventure-Lover's Dream - At 10,000 feet, Maui's Haleakala volcano is the largest in the world. Laird rides his bike up to the peak. You know it's tall when you've been speeding downhill for an hour and still haven't reached the bottom.

Best Place For a Kiss - Makena Beach in Maui is a beautiful beach. I got my first kiss from Laird there. I always remember how big the moon was.

Best Breakfast - The people who own Anthony's Coffee Co. in Maui are wonderful. It has this great family atmosphere. They cook giant steak breakfasts with poached eggs for Laird and me. I love their smoothies made with mango, bananas, peanut butter, rice milk and protein powder. They also roast the best espresso beans - we send them to friends around the country.

Lumahai Beach, Kauai - The ocean here is powerful, and there never seems to be anyone around. The sand is olive-green and has such amazing texture. It moves back and forth, up and down the shore, so the beach has a different personality every time you go there.


More reading: Laird's Laws & Gabby's site


You've seen it before...Laird riding Teahupoo.


Georges ABOLIN said...

Cool article ! thanks.

LINDSAY said...

thanks for the heads up on Melissa Loves mention:) Gabrielle is in such awesome shape. I admired her as a young girl. I was 5'11" in 7th grade. I was always looking to confirm supertall gals could be cool too. Isn't it funny the things we come up with when we're young? As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!

Clare said...

I still subscribe to this magazine and remember this article distinctly. I also remember what a hottie that Laird is. Yummscrumm. Anyhoo, my dreams for this year include becoming fluent in another language, buying a home in Nashville, losing 5 pounds, learning to breathe and enjoy life, making time for my friends and learning to knit with circular needles. Ha!

pushingtide said...

Good livin'.

I was out last summer at a south spot down here suuper early in the morning when you can barely just start to see. I see this dark object from the far left coming towards me and I am wondering what it is. It is movin' pretty fast and then I realize it is a paddleboarder. The board is just flying along and passes in front of me by 10 or so feet. I smile and get a smile and a stoked "beautiful morning!" back. I realize it is a girl now and she is really tall and put it all together that it was Mrs. Reece. She was in town for a volleyball tourney the upcoming weekend and they have a Malibu area house. I still couldn't get over how fast she was paddlin' that thing by me.

Anonymous said...

I totally forgot I saw this article a few years back. Thanks for the reminder! I love the description of their wedding sounds perfect! Hope you have a good weekend!

Surfsister said...

What a great post.

Like Push, I have had the honor of seeing and speaking to Gabby. I had just finished my heat in a contest in Venice. I got out of the water and there was this woman playing at the water's edge with her kid. I smile at all kids and that got us to talking about mommyhood. It was Gabby Reese. She's as sweet, and gorgeous (!!!), as she can be.

Jessica said...

Makena! Awww....

Letting the outside in; making time to dream; a king-sized bed with a rad quilt for a wee one...I remember and adored this article back then.

I need to let my inside out though this year. My inner strength; or what's left of it.

Dreams, yes. We all need to dream.

Marina said...

Wow, she is just enormous.
And what a life they have fallen into. I can simply not not find some pleasure in this article.

Mariss said...

A year of more dreaming...I'm totally in! That's a great article about the Reece Hamilton clan. Nice to see some sunshine and lots of family love on this freezing cloudy day in Philadelphia :)

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

Pretty jazzed when I found out Laird + I share a b-day (he's a couple years older though).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! Very inspiring. I think it just might encapsulate part of my dream life, too. I need to think more about my dreams...thanks for reminding us to do this.