My friend Jackie! is in town. This past Tuesday marked one year since her brain cancer diagnosis. Not exactly an event to toast to. With my birthday looming on Saturday, we decided that the three of us should get away. So we decided to go to Catalina Island. I was there last August under much happier circumstances. And while my body is still unable to refine diamonds, we went big and traveled to the island in style:


It was crazy. None of us had ever been on a helicopter before. Every other time I’ve gone to Catalina, I took a shuttle boat over. That takes an hour. The helicopter took 14 minutes. We flew right over the ferry.

Catalina Express

We checked into our hotel, then treated ourselves to a nice dinner at a restaurant that hung over the ocean. After dinner, we got dessert (fudge for me, waffle cones for Mike and Jackie! and we walked around the island. We eventually found ourselves at the same beach I was at last summer, except this time it was deserted.



We split and spent some time wandering around the empty beach, our thoughts and the ocean filling our minds. I thought back to last August. I remember laying on the warm sand under the warmer sun, calling home to talk to Mike and Maddie. I told them that we were going to come back here this summer, when Maddie was old enough to play on the beach and run in the surf. I really thought the next time I came to this island I’d have my daughter with me.

We would have built some amazing sandcastles.