Donna Holmes and her pro surfer granddaughter Brisa Hennessy made a special memory on a family trip to Fiji
Proving that there’s no time like the present to pick up a new hobby, Donna Holmes recently learned to surf on a trip to celebrate her 80th birthday in Fiji.
Holmes’ experience was a memorable moment caught on video by her granddaughter Brisa Hennessy, who is a Costa Rican pro surfer.
"This is 80!!!!" Hennessy wrote in the caption of a video posted on Instagram. "It’s never too late to catch a wave, it’s never too late. :) So special sharing my happy place with my grandma. 🥲🏼 ."
In the video set to Madonna’s “Holiday,” Holmes and Hennessy begin their day of surfing with some prep — including practicing on a yoga mat — before hitting the tropical waters.
“What’s your initial thoughts?” Hennessy asked her grandmother in the clip while they were on a boat before the big moment.
"I’m gonna die,” Holmes hysterically quipped, before adding: “No, I’m going to do fine.”
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With Hennessy taking a back seat — literally — on the board, the video showed Holmes conquering a wave as her granddaughter yelled on with glee.
Later, the two caught up with a notable Fijian pro surfer who had nothing but respect for the octogenarian’s moxie. “That was a nice wave you caught,” he said, before offering his own philosophical advice about learning to surf, no matter the age.
“Well, it’s not too late yet,” he said. “You just got to catch a wave and have fun.”
For Hennessy’s part, she couldn’t contain her pride, at one point telling Holmes as much. “Oh my gosh, I’m freaking out, I’m so proud of you,” she said.
The pro athlete looked back at the special experience during an interview with Good Morning America.
Hennessy said her grandmother keeps fit with an array of healthy activities such as yoga and line dancing and characterized her as a “firecracker, no-hold-back, adventure-seeker, arms- and hearts-wide-open lady."
"It was a picture-perfect day, the sun was out, there was no wind and it was small and glassy conditions," she said. "I acted like it was spontaneous but the real reason I wanted her to come to Fiji was to surf with me."
She continued, "We had nothing going on that day and so I was like, 'Grandma we are going surfing!'"
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