Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week of Bliss -- Our vacation at Mount Hermon

My family and I just returned from Mount Hermon, a conference center in the Santa Cruz mountains, for a week of fun, fellowship, and reflection of God's grace and mercy. It was an incredible week. I grew up going to Mount Hermon as a kid and worked three summers in my early 20's but haven't been able to return until this summer. My kids and husband have never been. They were blown away. We found banana slugs (pictured on my son's arm), ate oodles of ice cream, ran all over the trails, went boating, swimming, ropes course, creek walked, rode a train to Santa Cruz, the rode rides on the Boardwalk, played on the beach, sang songs with Jack Pierson, and didn't watch one second of TV (because our cabin didn't have one). Besides having spotty internet on my iPhone, I didn't open my laptop once. It was a much needed break with a time of reflection in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. My kids cried when we left. They loved Day Camp and their camp counselors!

For those who don't know, The Emerald Talisman is centered in Mount Hermon and the redwood forest surrounding it. It's funny some of the reviews I've read where people have criticized and actually believed Julia's fear to walk home through the forest surrounding her home absurd. Well, here are those so called tame woods (that's my niece pictured on the trail in pink), and the cliff Julia hung precariously from. As you can see, it would be far from a leisure walk from the road to her house and though I'm not afraid I'd run into a vampire or a mountain lion, I'd never walk it alone at night just because it's creepy in the dark! Also pictured is the bridge Julia ran across. The creek below is about 60 feet down. Those little tiny people are my kids in the middle.
            
 I happened to stumble upon Evergreen (one of the cabins) as well. The entire town is surrounded in redwoods that are so majestic and huge, it literally feels like you're in another world. And families come from all over to stay and retreat together, celebrating God's love and forgiveness.

And you can't forget the Giant Dipper on the Boardwalk. And here I am being silly with glow in the dark necklaces. Every day and night was full of fun and relaxation on this amazing retreat.

Here's my kids hanging with Jack Pierson and his banjo. The kids LOVE him and he's so talented with all his fun songs.

I also was able to reunite with past Day Camp counselors and others who worked the summers of '93 and '94. So much fun to see the legacy continue in their kids.


Anyway... I'm back home and ready to write again.


The Evergreen blog tour hosted by Once Upon a Twilight kicks off August 20th which will be filled with awesome giveaways, reviews, interviews of characters, and fun! Don't miss it!