As the week went on Hobie finished his packing, made sure he had his passport, drivers licence, and health insurance information. He also made sure his credit card company and cell phone provider knew that he would be away and where he was, he also added international roaming to his cell phone to cover him for well he was away.
It was now Thursday afternoon and Hobie was packing up his carryon bag he put in a couple of extra t shirts, some long sleeved T's and some extra underwear just in case his luggage got lost on the way. He also packed up his camera and spare batteries and charger for it. Well he was packing he went through the packing list that his mom had sent him some of the things on it he knew he wouldn't be following to the letter for example his mom wanted him to pack sunscreen with a higher SPF then he normally used every day. He wondered if she had forgotten that he lived in California and worked on the beach for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. Then again most people didn't exactly understand why he became a life guard or why he continued being one. Part of it was because in the beginning it meant he could still be in the band he helped start in high school another part of it was he enjoyed it; it also meant he could be in his favorite place every day the beach.
As he was packing he pulled out his phone and sent a text to his mom asking if he really needed a winter jacket and if he could just get by with his fleece lined jacket and a hoodie instead. His mom texted back that the weather was a bit milder then she had thought when she made the list and said that if he needed one she probably could get one he could borrow. Hobie decided at that point to just pack his fleece lined jacket in his carryon bag, and he took his snowboarding jacket out of his luggage which actually cut down on some of the weight in it.
Hobie also checked into his flights online as he would be taking two flights to get to Toronto from L.A. The first part of the trip would be from LAX to Calgary, Alberta and then onto to Toronto from there. This also meant he would have to go through Canadian customs in Calgary.
The next morning he was up early as his first flight was living around 8:00 local time, his dad had nicely volunteered to give him a ride to the airport which was only about a 20 – 25 minute drive from their house in Santa Monica.
* Bay Watch *
Meanwhile in Toronto Gail was getting everything ready for Hobie to arrive she put clean sheets on the extra bed in Mikes room, as it mainly got used a couch when his friends came over to play video games. Mike was a little suspicious about this but his mom did change the sheets on it every now and then any way so he thought nothing of it. Later on Friday when Mike got home from school his mom told him they were going to head out to the airport to pick someone up. Mike smiled and said "Is Hobie coming tonight?"
Gale smile back at him and said "maybe."
Later that night after Dinner which Gale had saved some for Hobie, just in case he was hungry when he got in, then they left to go out to the airport. When they, arrived at the airport they parked the car and headed to terminal 3 where Hobie's flight would be landing. They waited about 20 minutes when Mike spotted him and pointed him out to his sister Sarah, he was actually pretty easy to spot as he was the only person coming off a flight from Calgary to Toronto that had a Tan and a T shirt on, his hoodie was lying over his carryon bag as was his jacket. He was also caring his garment bag and his suitcase behind him, and he also had a lap top bag slung over his other shoulder too.
Hobie saw them and walked over to them and gave his mom a big hug before turning to Mike who even at 14 wasn't too cool to hug his older brother. Mike then introduced him to his sister Sarah who also gave him a big hug. Hobie also looked over at Mike and noticed that he had also gotten a haircut since he had last seen a picture of him he now had his hair cut short with spikes in it just like He did. He smiled at him and said "Nice spikes dude."
Mike smiled and said "yeah they are cool aren't they."
Mike then asked if he could help carry anything. Hobie said "cha you can take my carryon bag for me, but first I need to find a restroom."
His Mom pointed to where one was well he left his stuff with them. Once he was finished he grabbed his hoodie and jacket and put them on before grabbing his luggage. Mike took his gym bag he had used for a carryon and his Mom grabbed his laptop bag. Well Hobie shouldered his garment bag and pulled his suitcase behind him, his other free hand was being held by Sarah. Gale then led them out to the car, on the way out Sarah asked him if he had sand in his shoes right now. Hobie laughed and said "Not right now it's too cold for me to be bare foot in my shoes, so I've got socks on right now and sand just makes a mess of them." She seemed a little disappointed by that as did Mike, Gale on the other hand was glad that she wouldn't have to worry about sand being dumped on the ground onside the house. As they made their way outside Hobie felt a little cold, but then again he had been in California only this morning.
Mike asked him if he was cold and Hobie just said back "nah bro, just a little chilly and hungry, I haven't eaten since I was in Calgary."
His Mom then said "don't worry I saved you some food from dinner then. So how was Calgary did you have any problems with customs at all?"
Hobie smiled and said "thanks for saving me some food and as for customs the guy I had jokingly hassled me about being a life guard until I showed him my badge."
Sarah then said "you have a badge, like a police officer does?"
Hobie then turned to her and said "Cha it says on it Los Angeles County Fire Department, Life Guard Specialist."
Sarah then said "you talk funny sometimes like Crush in Nemo."
Hobie laughed at that as they git to the car and said "nah I just talk like a surfer sometimes, cuse that's what I do when I'm off work. As to crush he was based off of surfer talk." He then loaded his stuff in the truck before taking the front seat in the car.
On their way to the house Mike and Sarah had more questions for Hobie; some of them were about Life Guarding while others were about him and California in general. Mike asked him why his badge said fire department on it when he pulled it out to show them. He said "because the La County Life Guards are a division of the Los Angeles County fire department, we use their shield on our badge but have Life Guard or Life Guard Specialist on them, instead of fire fighter."
Mike then asked what the difference between Life Guard and Life Guard Specialist were; Hobie then explained that being a Life Guard Specialist meant that he also had paramedic training in addition to his regular life guard training. Mike then asked him if he had ever driven an ambulance to which Hobie responded "yup, I've got an emergency vehicle drivers certificate to drive ambulances, life guard trucks and the call cars, which are pretty much just a pickup truck with the same supplies that a regular ambulance has on them except there 4 wheel drive for use on the beach."
Sarah then asked him "is it hard driving on the beach?"
Hobie replied back "a little bit as you have to be careful with the people around you and also even when you have the lights and sirens on people still don't always get out of the way. The hardest part is watching out for people lying on beach towels, but I've never hit anyone or run anyone over."
Mike then asked "what kind of cars are they?"
Hobie answered "about four years ago Ford gave us a deal on some modified Hybrid pickup trucks. So we actually use way less gas them we used to and most of the time unless were speeding to a rescue then the gasoline engine kicks in, but most of the time we just cost around under electric power."
Mike said "wow that's cool so are they four wheel drive like the old ones."
Hobie replied "cha, you can't drive on a beach without it. The great thing about them is actually helping protect the environment that we work in everyday."
Sarah then tried to ask what a Hybrid was. Hobie then told her that it was a car that had two engines in it one that burned Gas like a regular car and one that uses only electricity that the cars stores in batteries to run at low speeds.
Once they arrived Home Gail told mike to take Hobie up to his room where he would be staying. Hobie asked Mike what he felt about it, he just said he was fine with it and would rather share his room with Hobie then his sister any day.
When Hobie came down his mom had a plate of food for him sitting on the table that she had warmed up for him.
Later that night when Hobie and Mike were heading down to Mike's bedroom to change for bed, Mike asked Hobie why he had come early. Hobie said "there's a couple of reason the first one is because I had some vacation days I had to use before the year ended, because of a change in rules from county regarding banking vacation days, and I had too many of them," he said this as he was taking his shirt , "and also because of this."
He said the last part as he was taking his jeans off. Mike looked over at him and asked "What did you do to your knee?"
Hobie said to him as he was taking it off "I wiped out skateboarding and slightly tore my ACL and I have to wear this knee brace for the next couple of months, and I was on light duty for the last week because of it."
Mike asked "what's that like."
Hobie replied "hell, it's mostly answering 911 calls, calls from lifeguard towers and doing paper work. The stuff no one really wants to do but it has to be done."
"Man that must suck," Mike replied.
Hobie replied "yup, especially because the switchboard is so old we can barley find parts for it anymore. Apparently were getting it and our phone system/ radio all upgraded sometime in the New Year. So when did you start spiking your hair?"
Mike said "man that sounds crappy about the switchboard; I hope you guys get a new one then. As for my hair a couple of months ago one of my friends stared doing it and I thought it looked cool, plus my older brother does it and he's the coolest person I know."
Hobie laughed at last part and said "so what makes me cooler than your friends?"
Mike replied "The fact that you live in California, have a tan all year and save people's lives for a job, plus you surf and skateboard what's cooler than that?"
Hobie then said "well when you put it that way I guess I am pretty cool."
Mike then asked "I've always wondered do you have any cool nicknames people call you?"
Hobie shock his head and said "nah, most people usually just call me Hob for short, sometimes when my friends are joking around with me they call me 'cabana boy' but that's more of a joke about my job than anything. "
"So why is calling you a beach boy a joke about your job?"
"It's because I work on the beach and most people think all we do all day is flirt with girls, run into the water every now and then, well we work on our tans all day."
Mike then said "that's dumb, I remember the day Mum and I came to the beach and sat beside your tower, even though I was asking you lots of questions you still were watching a lot of people out in the water and on the beach. "
Hobie then said "yeah that was a fun day, what else do you remember from it?"
Mike said "I remember when you were explaining about the phone when you saw something and took it off the hook, grabbed your can well taking your shirt off and said 'stay with mum' all well not even taking your eyes off of someone who was in the water. That was so cool watching you bring that person in when they fell in the water. I also remember you telling someone to not take an inner tube in the water; I don't think I asked you about that."
Hobie replied "that's cool you remember that, as for the inner tube thing people aren't allowed to take them in the water as they can be tossed out of them easily and get tangled up in them and it makes rescuing them harder. Also it's easier to prevent having to rescue someone then actually having to do it."
Mike then said "I guess that makes sense, I also remember at one point you walked down the ramp raised your can in the air and put into in the ground at the edge of the ramp and said to mum and me that you were going to work out or something like that. "
Hobie replied "yeah during an 8 hour shift we get an hour to work out well in the tower. Holding up the can and planting it in the ground is our sign to the other guards around us that were going for a swim, and not on a rescue."
Well they were talking they got into their beds for the night, Hobie also took off his watch and knee brace before getting into bed. Mike saw his watch and asked him about it. Hobie smiled and said "you think its cool then?"
Mike replied "yeah"
Hobie then said "it is pretty cool, its waterproof too, so I and wear it at work every day. Mom and dad gave it to me for my 18th birthday and also as a graduation present. I think mom just forwarded some money to dad and said to pick out one he'll like and wear. "
Then Hobie yawned and said "night Mikey, I'll see you in the morning."
Mike thought about correcting him about his name but instead just said "night cabana boy."
Hobie mumbled "don't ever call me that Mike."