We're back! Had a fabulous 3-days with my daughter and her classmates on Catalina Island. We stayed at Campus by the Sea, a "rustic" site three miles from touristy Avalon. For those of you outside of CA, Catalina is true island. It's about 22 miles from the mainland. There's a small town (Avalon), but the rest of it is rugged cliffs and canyons. Our camp was situated in one of those remote spots.
Just so you know, no tents were involved in this excursion. We had electricity-free cabins instead, and yes, I'd take that over sleeping on the ground anyday. Besides, our cabin was right next to the fully electric, fully plumbed ladies restroom. So all in all, my kind of camping (although, sad to say, no Starbucks in sight.)
The Long Beach Marine Instititute ran the show for our kids' three days there. Program highlights: Squid Dissection (just before dinner too :-), ocean kayaking, snorkeling and s'mores on the beach. I've kayaked quite a bit in a local harbor but never out in the big bad ocean and let me tell you, it was fabulous! Launched right from the shore into itty-bitty waves (thank you Jesus!) and paddled over past bird rock (named that for obvious reasons), and saw a spotted sea lion, couple of gorgeous blue herons, one lone cormorant and tons of kelp. Thankfully NO SHARKS. Can anyone say YAY?
On the last morning of our trip, I took a walk on the beach at low tide and offered up a prayer of thanks. Afterward I looked toward the water and caught sight of a school of flying fish. They made three dips into the ocean before disappearing from view. Kind of like God answering, "You're welcome!"
Although the trip was a 6th grade grad trip for my daughter and friends, I've come back refreshed and amazed at what I saw. My Chocolate Beach revisions have been turned in, and I'm ready to hit the keyboard again, my mind fully recharged. Hm. I'm thinking something on a deserted island, a handsome surfer, a beautiful kayaker, and lots of chocolate.