Officially Santa Catalina Island, it is a small place off the coast of Long Beach, CA. Most people know it for Avalon, the only real town on the island and a tourist hub. You might know it from this song:
Cute video, huh? Not ours, but it has some images of the Isthmus which is pretty cool.
My family and I have gone to Catalina every summer since I was born. And not the touristy side. We stay in the one other town on the island (though "town" is an overstatement): Two Harbors aka the Isthmus or Isthmus Bay.
Two Harbors in its entirety consists of the following: 1 restaurant, 1 cafe (think burgers to go), 1 general store, 1 dive shop, 2 bathrooms/showers, 1 small hotel, a scattering of houses, camp sites, and boats. That's it.
No computers. No internet. No possible way to work on the wedding. Bliss. There was barely even phone service until a few years ago (OK, so there's internet now too, but I didn't bring my computer, so I didn't need to acknowledge it's existence).
If you look at pictures of it from the forties, you'll notice it's barely changed, and that is its charm. It's like a slice of old-world life. The modern conveniences you have are the ones you bring with you (for the most part). It's the only place I've ever been where I feel like I can truly relax.
If you remember back to a year ago, Daniel and I seriously considered getting married on Catalina. In the end, it was just too expensive to get everyone over there, but we ended up going on vacation the weekend we would have done it there, and I couldn't help but think about what it would have been like.
With views like this, it would have been spectacular. It would have been an utter pain in the ass. It would have been worth it, but it would have been so much more "me" than "us." In the end, it doesn't matter because we couldn't do it, we didn't do it, and our wedding was awesome, so it doesn't matter. Still, stressful as it would have been getting there, I definitely would have been calm once we arrived.
Anyway, I had a really great week with my family. It was nice to have one more family vacation before getting married, and I highly recommend it if you can get away a few weeks before the wedding. What's more, my brother actually talked to us while we were there! That was quite the treat in itself.
I relaxed, I regenerated, I swam, I tanned. All highly necessary. AND I got to stay in the hotel with my mom for one night instead of on the boat which I have always wanted to do. That was the best night of sleep I had gotten in weeks.
But most importantly, I got this:
The chance to say goodbye.
Did you have a stress-reducing retreat before your wedding? Get to spend any time with your family before tying the knot?