Hiking & Baking on Channel Islands

I haven’t written about this mini-trip yet since it happened right before the accident, but one of the silver linings to my leaving New York and returning back home (full post on that later) is indeed more family time.  Though we do a pretty good job of making things work, seeing my parents & sisters has been choppy over the past 5 years I’ve been out in NYC.  I’m definitely looking forward to spending more time with them & bonding on the regular.

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This was an impromptu celebration for my dad’s Fake 60th Birthday.  60 is a big number in and of itself but in Chinese culture, you skip over the 9’s when you’re counting birthdays… so that you don’t jinx hitting another decade.  So my father’s real 60th will be next summer.

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Anyways, our family took a trip out to the Santa Cruz Island, of Channel Islands, and spent the day hiking & picnicking & roasting in the sun.  This was our first time out there but we’ll definitely be back… there’s so much to do there! Dozens of different hiking trails all over the island, camping, kayaking, snorkeling and more. photo 1

The islands are 25 miles off the coast of Southern California. The easiest way to get there is to drive to Venture & take a morning ferry out to the islands. The ferries stop by several different islands, and takes about an hour to get there.  Along the way we saw countless schools (schools?) of dolphins swimming & surfing the boat’s current.

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We hiked to the beach at Smuggler’s Cove – about a 7-8 mile roundtrip hike, stopping for mini picnic breaks along the way, and telling stories to distract my mom from the heat 🙂

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The island is populated with many indigenous species – most notably are these ginormous red ants and the island fox.  You can read more about the wildlife & conservation efforts here.photo 2

 

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