Posted by: ritagone | June 19, 2019

Family Vacation

Welcome to oxnard green road sign

Last year our family of nine (Michael, myself, Dana and Ed, their three kids, Matt and his daughter Hannah) went to Hawaii.  We try to do a family vacation early in the summer, when everyone is out of school and work schedules allow it, and before everyone settles down to work and summer school and whatever else occupies that time between school semesters or fall workloads.  (Or, for Michael and me, more retirement!)  We had a great time in Maui.

This year we decided to try to make the vacation a bit easier (not to mention cheaper) by picking a spot we could all drive to instead of having to fly.  So we – and by “we” I mean the committee of two, Michael and Matt – selected the city of Oxnard, which has beach locations and is literally about 45 minutes by car from our homes.

Okay, so June gloom is a real thing in Oxnard.  But other than that, we had a blast.  We spent a lot of time at The Collection, a shopping mall that is like a town unto itself: shops, restaurants, and movie theater complex.  We played miniature golf.  We used one of the three hotel rooms as a game room and played various board games, card games, or whatever we had on hand.  We played ping pong in the room at the hotel complex designed for people to hang out in.  Many of us swam.  We ate.  A lot.

And then we capped it all off with a short drive to Ojai, where we walked around on the main drag of town and then drove to the Ojai Valley Inn and had dinner at their restaurant Olivella, which turned out to be one of the best, most memorable meals of my life.  We had a room all to ourselves, the best wait-staff ever, and a menu that was delicious from one course to the next.  For Father’s Day, all three of the dads enjoyed a very tasty bottle of red wine.

All in all, it was a great vacation, a wonderful time with family, and a joy.

If you have family that you enjoy being with, I wish you a vacation, time away, where you can savor each person and get to laugh and talk and just be together without so many of the usual distractions that keep us from focusing on one another.  It’s worth every cent you spend to do this.

And if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a family like this, my prayer for you as I write this – and as you read it – is that God will bring people into your life who will count as surrogate family, family “instead,” people that you can get away, get out of town with and really enjoy for a few days once in a while.  They don’t have to be related by blood.  Just by desire and by the hearts that bind you.

I don’t know where we’re going next year for our family vacation, but I do know that I’m already looking forward to it.


  1. Fantastic, Its great building family memories


    Kendall Sign Inc,

    Thomas Kendall

    Cell: 818 822 4645


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