Everybody knows all the horrible reasons why it's so bad to live in southern California. Immigration issues, high taxes and cost of living, traffic and smog, crime, idiotic politicians, earthquakes, fires and mudslides to name just a few.
But every once in awhile we are reminded why so many people put up with it all and pay so much of their hard earned money to live here.
Last Monday, February 15th, on a warm and sunny day with a cool breeze, we drove one hour to a harbor in Ventura and took a one hour boat ride to what many have called the Galapagos of North America: Channel Islands National Park. Just a little day trip to another planet. I took LOTS of pictures and video so I'm going to post in installments.
We put the kids to bed in their clothes and I brought yogurt and cereal in the car for breakfast. The baby slept the whole drive and everyone else was too tired to eat anything. Brandon made sure we all took our anti-nausea pills in case anyone - like me - got sea sick. (I once threw up over the side of a boat on a snorkeling excursion.) Everyone perked up once we got to the harbor. It would be nice if I had really cool, stylish Columbia/North Face/Patagonia clothes for the kids, but here they are in their usual sloppy duds. It's a good thing they don't care that their mother HATES clothes shopping.
It was a GORGEOUS day.
Once we got on the boat I got a kick out of all the couples obviously going to the islands on a romantic date. Brandon and I certainly would not have minded taking this trip alone and it looks great and all, but I have to admit I was feeling rather smug about the fact that we had four young children with us on our trip. Parenthood truly is not for wimps! And we love the idea of doing adventurous, tough things with our kids in ruggedly beautiful places. Once Rachael gets a little older we are going to get serious about our goal of visiting as many National Parks as we can and doing more backpacking/camping. (I might even buy some cool clothes and a cowboy hat like she's wearing. . .)
I'm wearing my morning work out clothes I picked up at TJMaxx.
They didn't look so perky on the boat ride home.
It took about an hour to go 19 miles by speed boat. There were some pretty big swells on the way out which were a lot of fun, but my anti-nauseau medication just barely prevented me from losing my yogurt. Even though it was pretty cold, I spent a good part of the trip at the front of the boat, cold air in my face, looking off into the still horizon. It helped a little. (I do not see any sailing expeditions in our future.) We also saw a school of dolphins on the way! I think the kids loved this initial boat ride more than anything that day.
Approaching Santa Cruz Island.
And we're here!
There were no welcome leis, no Tattoo the midget, just the island itself.