|Photoshoot including CD: $75. Being Family-ish: Priceless. Photo: Peter Vandenbelt|
|Me and Harley, nearly 15. Photo: Peter Vandenbelt|
The family camp is at the University of California, Santa Barbara; you stay in student dorms and eat at the cafeteria and the student counsellors take care of the kids while adults go golfing, cycling, shopping, surfing, wine tasting or just act like students again.
|Harley and I viewing student digs round the corner...old bikes and last night's beer: " Stay in school son and one day all this this could be yours."|
|Santa Barbara Museum of Art|
|Harley on ropes course Photo: Peter Vandenbelt|
|Santa Barbara County Courthouse|
|Jackson, 13, and me on Leadbetter Beach|
|Tallulah (blue glasses) and camp friends. Photo: Peter Vandenbelt|
|Santa Barbara Marina|
|At Brophy Bros|
|Oil painting with Chris Potter|
|Casa del Herrero|
|Tallulah in our student dorms|
Tots to Teens: This is one of the few "all-inclusive"vacations in the US where the kids' programme takes one-month-old infants to 18 year-olds. Catering for teens is tricky and the new director Sheri Fruhwirth, formerly of Disney Cruises, wants to do everything she can to keep the teens coming back. Rope courses, rock climbing, surfing and sleeping under the stars seemed to do the trick for our 15 year-old boys but it was the counsellors who made it all so fun. For the first time our boys entered the family swim race and made wooden race cars for the "Pinewood Derby"
|Harley and his friend Nate Photo: Peter Vandenbelt|
The final morning Cy threw up, wept, and fell fast to sleep on the bathroom floor. Harley, nearly 15, mused how cool would it be to have a scripture tattoo on his rib cage. Too much enjoyment of life in the land far, far away. Time to return home to reality.
What to see outside the FVC...
1. Brophy Bros: Best fish and chips (or "fush and chups" as we Kiwis would say) and beer-boiled shrimps on the coast. At least a half-hour wait, but worth it for a view of the yachts and local Old Salts mixing with star-lettoes from West Hollywood.
3. Kitson: Bizarre mix of goodies including Chloe cardigans, compilation music CD by Perez Hilton, cute baby T's and "Naughty Girl" dot-to-dot books.
4. Santa Barbara Museum of Art: cutting-edge modern art will shake the sand from your hair.
(Today, my post on cycling in the Pyrenees is featured on BritMums, in a travel round-up by the award-winning blogger, Trish of Mum's Gone To.... Thank you Trish!)