Oh the excitement! Good Vibrations was our very first unschooling conference...and it just happened to be in one of our favorite places in the country, San Diego! We made plans and more plans and at one point it looked like Matt wasn't going to be able to join us due to work conflicts, but he was able to come a few days late and we were able to celebrate life together as a family!
Upon arriving at the hotel, I was reunited with one of my favorite people ever and a dear friend, the fabulous Tiffani. And at her side, hoop master mama Brianna. This was my first time meeting Brianna after hearing about her and "knowing" her on Facebook. We hit it off immediately and the three of us had way too much fun. The entire weekend after that point was a blur of laughter, hooping bliss, poolside margaritas (well, not me obviously... but I lived vicariously), and oh yeah...how could I forget? Unschooling inspiration!
There were so many amazing speakers at this conference...such wisdom from seasoned unschoolers. This room always had my favorite sessions...roundtable is definitely more my style than a classroom setup. Tiffani was leading a discussion on "play" in this photo. And true to her style, she handed out wigs for everyone to wear :)
I thought that I would go to a lot more of the workshops than I did...but we ended up "UNconferencing" a bit :) I had rich, relational experiences with friends just sitting around the pool and talking about our unschooling and real life. We learned so much by watching and soaking up each different family's style of parenting. Every one has different ideas and ideals and how they live it out is so interesting. Much more fun than reading about their lives online :) Matt was able to attend several of the "Dads sessions" and came away feeling more informed and confident in his role as an unschooling dad. It was fun to hear about all the great discussions that they had.
We weren't the only ones making new friends. Within a few minutes of registering, Lucy struck up a friendship with Grace, another little girl at the conference. Every time she saw her, she would exclaim..."FRIEND!!"
Speaking of FRIENDS...we also got to hang out with Mike Hedge after not seeing him since Texas. He was the official photographer for the event...and he did an amazing job! (He has posted nearly 1,000 photos of the conference here). And I finally got to meet a blog friend, Jess, who is currently living in Japan! She brought her mom with her and she and MY mom hit it off and had many long talks/walks while they were there.
Bella reveled in the freedom that came along with being at the conference. She went by herself to sessions that she was interested in and loved being with her new friends in their hotel rooms and around the pool. It was great to see her blossom in so many ways while we were there. She had good conversations with girls who had experienced public school prior to unschooling...so good for her to hear their thoughts first hand.
This was our beach potluck that got moved back to the hotel after a power outage. It affected all of Southern California for 12 hours and caused a sewage spill at the beach (among other problems!) We didn't mind though...what could be better than crowd-sourced food, sunshine, and friends!? We just pressed on...and we all breathed a sigh of relief at 2am when our lights and air conditioners popped back on!
My mom came with us so that I would have extra help...and she and Lucy had lots of fun around the pool and playing dress up! Both girls could not get enough of the water...the common cry from our room was "let's go to the pool!" With every day consisting of sunshine and 80 degrees, we gladly obliged.
The pool area was a constant hooping mecca...there was always some hoop action going on somewhere. So much fun. As a side note, I ran into Baxter and his friend Kara the day we arrived as we all hooped poolside. So random. They were there decompressing from Burning Man...although I'm not sure how relaxing it was with all of us crazy unschoolers running around the hotel! :)
On the last night, Matt, Tiffani, Brianna, and I went to a delish little Mexican joint near Torrey Pines State Beach...and then we headed over for a sunset photo shoot. When we got there, we were reminded not to touch the poop water :)
The day we left, we headed up to Encinitas and played at Moonlight State Beach. Perfect sunshine. Perfect moments. So thankful. We're already dreaming of next year! I leave my heart in California every time I fly away...