Hobie Buchannan was sitting at a table in Baywatch headquarters with his right leg elevated as he had injured his knee a couple of days ago and the doctor he had seen at the hospital had said it didn't look like he had done too much damage to it and would not need to have surgery if he rested it for a bit. So because of that he was on light duty which meant everything from going through rescue cards and filing them to answering 911 calls as the various lifeguard headquters assisted with 911 calls in addition to the calls from the towers and the boats. It was stuff that every lifeguard hated as it meant that you were stuck inside well everyone else was on a rescue.
Anyway well Hobie was stuck there one afternoon; he got called into the chief's office.
Newmie said to him "Hob there's a some changes coming from county that all unused vacation days have to be used by the end of the year and can't be banked for future use. Unfortunately your one of the ones that seems to be affected by this the most and since you're on light duty right now, you might as well use them now."
Hobie looked at him and said "so you're making me take more vacation time because I'm hurt?"
Newmie looked at him and said "no not at all, look I know you've already booked time off over Christmas to visit with your Mom and her family, what's an extra week or two? "
Hobie looked at him again and said "it's still paid right?"
Newmie replied "yes but two of them will be at 50% of your regular pay. Which I know you may not like too much, but we are all having to take some time off at reduced pay. It's either that or we get rid of some full time guards."
Hobie said "hey a small pay cut during my vacation time vs. having to do extra work, because of cuts to staff."
Newmie smiled at him and said "I figured you would see it that way, besides you need a break anyway. How's the knee by the way?"
Hobie massaged his knee as he said "its feeling better the doctor says it's a grade 2 tear of my ACL and not torn completely so I won't need surgery but he wants' me to have another MRI in a couple of weeks. Which means I guess I need to get in touch with him and see if he has a college or someone in Toronto, where my mom and step dad live?"
Newmie then said "why don't you take the rest of the day off to do that then."
Hobie then got up as he said "yeah maybe that would be a good idea, I'll give him a call. So when do I have to start my extra vacation days. "
Newmie looked up and said "how about now."
Hobie looked up at the clock since it was almost time for dinner anyway he figured that leaving now wouldn't be too bad. As soon as he left the office he changed out of his uniform and back into his street clothes. On his way out he gave his orthopaedist a call and left him a message about traveling and finding out if he could get an appointment for an MRI in Toronto, as that was where his mom and her family were living now after his step dad had gotten transferred there for work. After that he called his Dad to say he'd be home early and that he was possibly going to be leaving a few weeks earlier then he'd planed.
The next Day Hobie got a phone call from his orthopedist telling him that there wouldn't be a problem arranging with a hospital in Toronto as he had done his residency their and still knew some people there. He also told Hobie that he should be fine to travel and gave him the name of an orthopedist in Toronto just in case he needed some more pain meds or he reinjured his knee. He also asked Hobie if he could come in to get fitted for a knee brace that he would need to wear for the next couple of months.
Hobie pulled up to the hospital and limped into the building after parking in the visitor's parking lot. He walked up to the admissions desk and told them that he had an appointment, with Doctor Michaels in orthopedics. They took down his information before directing him to the office that the doctor was in.
Once Hobie arrived at his office he knocked on the door and the receptionist asked him to come in. Hobie walked in and talked to the receptionist who told him to have seat well she called the doctor.
Doctor Michaels opened his door and called Hobie in and asked him to have a seat, and said "since you will be wearing a knee brace for a couple of months and you are a life guard I've found one that should be good for your active lifestyle. It's been designed to be used in water sports as well as other activities well being light weight and provide the support you knee needs to heal. Also your insurance company is willing to pay about 90% of the cost on it. You guys must have a great health care plan for something like that"
Hobie nodded at that and said "yup we've got a sweet medical plan with the county; it's all part of the job. We have the same sort of deal as the fire department which were technically part of since we do dangerous work, it's not exactly easy running into the ocean to rescue someone from a rip current or being caught under a pier."
After having his knee brace fitted on to him, Hobie was both surprised at how light weight it was and at the movement it still gave him. Dr Michaels told him that he should wear it as much as possible when he was awake. He was allowed to take it off well showering and sleeping, anything else he needed to have it on.
After his appointment Hobie headed back home to start packing and to see what his flight options were and also to talk to his mom about the Change in plans and also tell her about his knee. Well Hobie was on the phone with her she told him that his half brother who was now 14 was excited to see his big brother again and she also told him that his now 4 year old half sister was also excited about meeting her big brother for the first time, and already had lots of questions for him. Hobie laughed at that and asked "what kind of questions does she have, so I can be prepared for them?"
Gale laughed at that as well and said "just ones like what's it like to be a life guard and she also want to know if you still keep sand in your shoes? I'm kind of curious about that too."
Hobie laughed at that again and said "when I wear them yes, except for dress shoes as I wear socks with those. Its funny how many people at work know that about me, even without ever being told it by me, it seems to be some sort of legend around here, that I do that, I actually got asked by one of the women rookies about that this summer."
Well she was talking to him she was also changing his flight information for him as she had booked it for him originally. She also talked to him about her secret plans for a trip to Walt Disney World and the cruise she had booked them on. She reminded Hobie that he needed to pack a suit for formal night, to which Hobie said "I'm doing one better on that I'm going to bring my dress uniform instead."
Gail replied back with "and I bet you look just as handsome as your father in it."
Hobie then said "so are you keeping it as surprise from Mikey and Sarah?"
She replied back to him "yes and just so you know he hates being called Miey now, he likes to be called Mike now"
Hobie laughed at that and said "that's good to know at least Jeff didn't talk you into naming him after a surfboard."
She laughed at that as well and said "once was enough, besides I thought you like that your name was different."
He replied back "yup it's just sometimes it gets a little old explaining it to people."
She replied back "so any way I have to go as Mike will be home from school soon and I don't want him to know I've been talking to you, but I'll see you in a couple of days at the airport."
Hobie said goodbye to his mom and hung up his cell before going to his room to begin packing his stuff. As he was packing Hobie thought about how the last time he had seen his little brother he was 10 years old and now he was 14, which meant he hadn't seen him in 4 years or his mom for that matter. A lot of things had changed he'd broken up with Summer as they realised the age deference between them was to great, he was now dating a new girlfriend who kind of started stocking him a little bit over the summer. It wasn't in a crazy sort of way more that she would sit by his tower off and on. After seeing her there a few times he asked her if she came there often and what she was doing beside his tower. She was a little bit shy about it at first and said that she had seen him at a distance at first; she also told him that she used to admire him in high school but she was to shy then as well. She then told him that she was really geeky back in high school and didn't think he would have gone out with her then. She also told him that her name was Alexis, the next day Hobie brought in one of his high school yearbooks as he wanted her to show him who she was. She showed him her picture in the year book which was about 3 pages away from Hobie's, she commented that she liked his hair spiked better then when he wore it long. As Hobie was packing to head to Toronto Canada she was packing to head to Colorado where her family was from.
Hobie carefully packed his dress uniform in a garment bag along with a couple of polo shirts and a pair of khaki pants, he also packed his dress shoes and socks in there too. His shield he would keep in his carryon bag as that was something he really didn't want to lose.
Next he packed a suitcase with some of his regular clothes; he put in a couple of pairs of shorts for well in Florida and well on the cruise, he also packed some t shirts and some hoodies and jeans. He also packed his winter jacket that he wore when he went snowboarding with his friends up in the mountains as he know it would be cold in Toronto. He also packed a couple of pairs of board shorts for going swimming, well he was packing he got a text from his mom that said "no dirty laundry this time", Hobie laughed at that as he remembered 5 years ago in 2007 when he had made a trip out to see his mom and brother before they went on a Trans Atlantic cruise, he had been called in to work an emergency 24 hour shift and hadn't had time to do laundry before packing so he came with a suitcase full of dirty clothes, which really pissed off at that, Hobie texted her back, "ha ha very funny, packed clean stuff this time."
As he was thinking of that he then remembered back to the first time his brother had been out to California it was in March of 2008 his mom had brought him out there for his schools spring break. He remembered hearing a couple of familiar voices approaching from behind his tower. The first voice said "now just so you know Mikey the water in the ocean can be more dangerous than the water in a lake or a pool. Do you see this tower here that's where the lifeguards work out of, if you need them that's where they will be, any questions?"
Mikey responded with "yeah where do you think Hobie is today?"
Without warning Hobie said to them "right here Mom and Mikey."
He took a quick look at the water and the beach in front of him before walking down the ramp towards them first he gave his mom a hug then he gave his 9 year old brother a hug too, and then said to him "want to see the inside of a lifeguard tower?"
Mikey turned to his mom and said "Mom can I?"
Their Mom smiled and said "of course just don't get in Hobie's way ok"
Hobie smiled back and said "don't worry he won't", he said this as he lead him up the ramp well Gale spread out a beach blanket just to the side of the tower. The first thing Hobie showed him was the first aid kit they had in there, he also showed him the binoculars they had i the tower and said that you could see all the way down the beach to the main headquarters if you focus them right. Mikey then asked him why the phone had no buttons on it. Hobie explained to him that it was made so calls had to go through the switch board in the various headquarters. Just as he was about to explain to him about the rescue can Hobie caught something out of the corner of his eye and took the phone of the hook and said to Mikey "stay with mom ok I've got to go save someone." He quickly took off his shirts and sunglasses well he grabbed his rescue can and ran out into the surf. Luckily the person was ok and had only been knocked down by a wave and didn't need any further medical attention. Hobie did bring him up to the tower though to take down some info for the rescue card, just to document everything. After he was finished he looked around for his sunglasses and saw Mikey was holding them for him. As he put them back on he thanked him. A little while later when Hobie got a break from another life guard they headed out for lunch and then when they came back Hobie still had a little time left in his break so he took his brother out into the ocean for a little bit. Gail sat on the beach and got a couple of pictures of her two boys together on the beach. Later that afternoon when they had to leave to head back to their hotel for the night Gail went back over to Hobie and said "sorry for surprising you like that but it was a bit of a last minute trip out here."
Hobie responded to her without taking his eyes off the water in front of him "don't worry it was fun, so what are your plans for tomorrow, I'm off but Dad's working?"
Mikey replied back in a really excited voice and said "Disneyland "and then said "Mom can Hobie come with us too?" She said yes and Hobie arranged to meet them at their hotel the next morning.
The next day Hobie drove up in his Jeep to pick them up Mikey instead in going in the front next to Hobie. Once they got there Gail was already to pay for the parking when Hobie pulled out his Annual Pass and showed it to them so he could park for free. They had a great time that day going on all the rides in Disneyland that day and even planed to come back later in the week when Hobie had another day off to go to Disney's California Adventure park.
Hobie then turned his thoughts back to packing once he was finished he heard his dad, Mitch, come in come in with eth groceries and went down to help him with them. Mitch saw the knee brace and asked him how his knee was and Hobie explained to him everything that the doctor had said. He also told him that he was taking some more time off and was going to be flying out on Friday instead of two weeks from then like he had originally planed.