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My Story Monday |Getting Away and Coming Back | Catalina Island Photographer

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Welcome to My Story Monday!  Mondays are the day I invite you in and turn the camera on my life so you can see some of my family’s story!  This Monday is about getting away:-)  As you know, My family and I built a house this past year, in fact we just moved into our new home this past weekend!  So, I probably should be posting pictures of it, but I have had this blog on my mind since we came back from our getaway, so you will have to wait for the coming house pics.  This is where the coming back comes in:-)  I know I have been a bit absent from social media and the blog, but I have not been absent, simply focusing on family, the house, and my clients! 🙂

I have written about getting away before, and last time it was a simple camping trip used as respite in a CRAZY year.  But this time the trip was BIGGER.  Still so very much needed, but it took planning and advanced thought;-) Two years ago, my family and I were introduced to Family Camp at Campus by the Sea.  We were instantly fans, deciding that year that this would be a family tradition.  Maybe not yearly, but definitely regularly (I actually think we thought it would be yearly, but we skipped last year due to house design/building).

In January when it came time to ACTUALLY register, we thought FOR SURE we would be in our house in May, so a week away sounded AWESOME!  BUT in JUNE when it was actually time to go, not only were we not in our house, we were actually only a week or so of work away from being finished!  Making the trip seem like such UNBELIEVABLE timing!  I was dreading leaving as we were packing up to go.

But from the moment we drove into the port parking lot, I knew it was the right decision.  As we sailed away from the coast of Long Beach and were out in open water, I felt my shoulders relax and instantly thought about the fun we were going to have.  The crossing over to the island is like magic, going to a place where the kids roam free, and the parents relax.  Meals are made for you, water sports are available, and your kids spend their days at a VBS-like program, while you dig in deep with a small group.  It’s amazing and refreshing!

I LOVED watching the port slip away as we left, knowing that everything would be there waiting for us when we returned.

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These boys claimed no memory of the last trip, but they eased right into life on the island within seconds of being there.

150629_04_BlogWe camped out in a tent cabin for the week, there are “real” cabins available, but we like these.  I have however promised the boys that I WILL request a “real” one next year!150629_12_BlogIf you have kids, you will know, throwing rocks into any water is a must.  This boy had one disappointing morning, and then spent an hour over here throwing rocks big, and small, and soon all was right again.150629_06_BlogIn the middle of the week, to give you a “break” from the schedule, we head to Avalon or spend the day on the waterfront.  We chose the 5 mile easy  difficult hike.  The boys were AWESOME!  They made it with minimal complaining, I was SO proud!  The hike was difficult for ME!  It was SO awesome to come around a corner and see the familiar bay of Avalon.  Familiar to me as my family spent several summers in town and on that bay.  We had a great day, and then took the boat back to camp.150701_07_Blog150701_12_Blog

The camp is beautiful, and the schedule includes night activities, one of which I left to capture this:-)  It was SUCH a beautiful night, and I cannot wait to hang this print on my new fireplace!150630_17_BlogCamp is the perfect easy vacation.  There is no other camping trip where I get away with doing mostly nothing!  I mean, I didn’t have to pack or prepare ANY meals, nor did I have to help pitch a tent, light or tend a fire, or entertain the boys all day!
150702_03_BlogThe food is AMAZING for camp food, it’s definitely not how we eat at home, but I love how everything is family style, how it’s ready and waiting when I arrive at the table, and we all work at clean up.  The last night they do a banquet for the parents, we put on a little nicer camp clothes and are served a special meal.  It’s like a 100 person date;-)  No really it is quite fun!150703_09_BlogAnd then at the end of the week, we say goodbye, vowing to come back next year and live it all over again.  We say goodbye to our new and old friends, and venture back to reality, hoping to take a little of what we learned and a bit of the peace that engulfed us here.  It really is a sweet family vacation!150704_01_Blog

Getting away as a family is SO important.  It’s a chance to break out of your norms, and see each other in a different way.  A place where laundry, work, and daily monotony are left behind.  It doesn’t mean the kids magically get a long, or they always make the best choices but it is just ALWAYS better on vacation! Sometimes it can only be a day, but if you can I would totally recommend it!  And take pictures, or sketch, or whatever you do to capture your memories, do it!  And then on days when the monotony has gotten the best of you, bring out the images (which really means you should print them!) and remind yourself of the fun you had, and how GREAT a blessing that family with all it’s monotony REALLY is!

 

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