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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Blue Devils at Senior TJ Pura's House
Blue Devils in Paradise: Day 1
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/07/2017
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During each day of the men's tennis team's trip to Hawai'i, a member of the Blue Devil squad will offer his thoughts on the experiences. Day one kicks off with senior TJ Pura recapping Friday.

I thought I would be writing this post from my apartment in Durham. But, thanks to the weather gods, our tremendous travel agent, and [head coach] Ramsey [Smith]'s unparalleled organizational skills, I am writing from my hometown of sunny Los Angeles! 

To say that we were fired up to have an entire day in LA before going to Hawai’i would be an understatement. Can't speak for the rest of the guys, but I hopped up from my 3:30am alarm like I had overslept for a final exam (without the trepidation). 

Our 6:00 a.m. flight from RDU to LAX was a breeze thanks to American Airlines wonderful movie selection and beautifully reclining leather chairs, which felt like clouds that early in the morning. 

Upon arriving at LAX, priorities were in order as our first stop (of course) was In-N-Out Burger. After crushing over 25 double doubles as a crew, we began our drive up north to Malibu to my mom's house. Without a cloud in the sky, our drive up the historic Pacific Coast Highway was magical. Freshman Nick Stachowiak, who had never stepped foot in California prior to today, had the look of a dreamer in his eyes as we traversed the winding road along the sunny Southern California coast. 

Upon arriving in Malibu, I gave a quick tour of the house before we headed to Malibu Racquet Club for our afternoon player-only hit that I organized. Hitting balls with the ocean in plain sight, we practiced with all smiles and not a care in the world. After getting our sweat on, we returned to the house and went straight to the beach. Watching the surfers and paddle boarders ride the long Point Dume break as we chatted and took photos as a team, the vibes among us were as strong as it could get. 

Finally, we finished the night up at the house enjoying our second round of burgers (grilled to perfection by iron chef Ramsey), broccoli, potatoes and salad. Meanwhile, Coach [Dan] P[erlmutter], the human encyclopedia, taught us a lesson in the classic board game Trivial Pursuit. 

Tomorrow morning will be another early one, as we leave for the airport at 5:30 a.m. to catch our flight to Hawai’i. Somehow the stars aligned and gave us a day in LA in addition to the good times to come in Hawai’i. The energy is strictly good so far, with no end to that in sight. We could not feel luckier and more privileged to be on this trip. Day 1 is officially in the books!