Friday, June 12, 2009


I am insanely jealous. My family, cousins and aunt and uncles are all at Jalama (beach in central Cali) right now. It's Alyssa's last vacation before her station up in Kodiak, Alaska, and they are up there celebrating the fact that this girl graduated from high school last night. She'll be heading off into the big, new, exciting world of UC Riverside...following in my footsteps. Congratulations Inky!!

Ingrid, number 5 in the Williams clan

We have been going to Jalama since I was in elementary school. All the Williams family, along with Tante Bay and her kids, Alyssa and Brad, Oom Jopie, Tante San and her kids ,Willem and Meryl, Oom Tiki, plus whatever friends we wanted to bring along with us would go beach camping here. Our Oregonian cousins have come a couple times too, and we all have so much fun together. It's the best, there is a little general store in the campground, and hot showers and flush toilets and you're at the beach. Not the hard-core roughing-it camping. Every year, we would start getting things together to pack for our camping trip, and we would leave the night of the last day of school. Knowing that we would be leaving for Jalama on the last day of school is what got us through the school year. It's a family tradition. Last night, they left at 2 am so that they can get there this morning to hopefully get a spot. It's been crazy to see Jalama's popularity boom over the years. It is very rare now to get a spot right away, most often we are put on the waiting list for a day and have to camp in town for a night or two (they don't do reservations). In August, someone has to drive up a whole week before the planned trip, to wait and get a spot, and stake a tent to reserve it for the rest of the group. crazy.

Ok, so some photos of said paradise.

A midday photo of the beach. You can literally camp right on the beach, and we've been lucky enough to snag a some of these sites a couple times. They're always first to go!

Same view, later in the day towards sunset. It's fun to watch the clouds creep in over the hills....but it always stays clear right over the campground. When we have the beach sites, we all move our sleeping bags out onto the dunes, and stargaze. We have contests of who can sees the most satellites or shooting stars until we fall asleep.

Just before the sun went down.

Aren't those colors freaking amazing? I don't know how you can beat a California sunset, and forget trying to top a Jalama one.

When we aren't in the water ourselves, another thing we love to do is watch the surfers and dolphins play in the evening waves. The dolphins always come out then, and you see them surfing the same waves as the surfers. It's so fun to watch.

A view of the campground. You can see it is pretty small, and there is only one road leading to the campground and access to this beach, so it is pretty private. You will only see folks who are also camping, or those there for day use (mostly surfers from town).

We ususally take one day to go fishing, which entails a 3 mile hike down the beach towards Point Conception. We always take our time meandering and exploring the beach and checking out the tide pools along the way. We pack up a bunch of backpacks with snacks, and when we finally get to our destination, we make a bonfire and hang out while we take turns fishing. There is also usually more exploring, and eating and sleeping. We usually catch perch, but have also caught halibut and sea bass.

Ryan got to come last was his first ever seeing the ocean! It's only a four hour drive to the Gulf for us, but I didnt want to waste his first time on the Gulf. You gotta do something like that right. I have not been to the Gulf myself, but I hear it is pretty nasty.

Collecting mussels for bait with Stevie (red, Ash's bf) and Brad. We usually head out right after breakfast, and the tides were at really odd hours this trip. We were catching it late while the tide was coming in. It gets really deep right in front of where Ryan is standing....and the water is pretty chilly!

The best part about Jalama is you don't have to do anything you don't want to. You can sleep, eat, go for a walk/ take the dogs on the beach, sometimes we bring our bikes and go for a bike ride, go surfing and body boarding, cruise the longboards (skateboards) around the campground, lay out, or just do nothing and be with the people you love! Here, Ingrid and I are peppering a volleyball. And we have at least one good tackle football game a year.

Mem and Ash hanging out after a hard day on the beach. =P

I could go on and on about all the fun times I have had with my whole family, not just here but all the time. Tante San lived 4 miles west of us, and Tante Bay 3 miles to the east. Us kids all went to the same school, and did everything together! I can only hope that my generation stays as close as my mom's, so that our kids can have the same great childhood we had...or even better!

I hope you guys have fun up there this next week!

No comments: