Catalina Quickie

Life's A Beach
Life’s A Beach

A midterm exam, writing a four-page case for support of a local not-for-profit agency, and a couple of volunteer projects are this week’s priorities, but I couldn’t let the week go by without sharing the highlights of last week’s getaway to Catalina Island.

My Loyal Follower
My Loyal Follower

Chewing gum’s big kahuna, William Wrigley Jr. and his wife Ada stand out among the rich and famous in Catalina’s fascinating history of wildlife enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. The 47,000 acre island once home away from home to novelist Zane Grey is managed by Catalina Conservancy, endowed by the Wrigleys and dedicated to the preservation of flora, fauna and wildlife that includes a herd of bison brought to the island for the making of the movie based on Grey’s novel The Vanishing American.

Pet Cemetery
Pet Cemetery

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Doesn't this look like a cartoon?
Doesn’t this look like a cartoon?

07-DSC_0185My loyal follower and I packed as much fun into three days as good middle-aged suburban tourists can. We rented a golf cart to explore the city of Avalon and visited the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden. Living on the edge as we do, we picked up a couple of hitchhikers, Texas Tech and Penn State students bumming a ride to the beach. Kids!

Tim & Matt
Tim & Matt

While touring the fabulous art deco theater built in 1929 at the cost of a cool 2 million, (yes, not everyone when bankrupt that year) we witnessed a marriage proposal. Kids!

Please say yes or it will be a long ride back to the main land.
Please say yes or it will be a long ride back to the main land.
YES, he went to Jared!
YES, he went to Jared!

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The Casino Theater
The Casino Theater
The Casino
The Casino

We also explored the island’s interior in a bio fueled hummer with 10 other tourists.

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Steven was our driver. He’s awesome. (and funny)

Extreme Tour Guide
Extreme Tour Guide

People watching is always fun no matter where you are.

For A Good Time Stay Here
For A Good Time Stay Here

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26 thoughts on “Catalina Quickie

  1. Stunning photos! As usual. I had no idea Catalina had so many cacti. Despite living 8 years in California, it’s one of those destinations I never got around to seeing. Kinda like Yosemite. Missing both was a crime!

    1. Thanks Mark. Cacti dominate the natural landscape there, especially on the island’s interior, away from the houses and hotels near the beach. It’s worth a trip if you get a chance to treat Tara to a romantic getaway. It takes about an hour by boat. There is also a helicopter that takes about 15 minutes. We took the boat. 🙂

  2. I LOVE Catalina – I went there several times as a kid and it looks the same as I remember it except for that Hummer. I need to go back there! One time I went with my Rainbow Girls group and a chaperone thought that we should all have a good breakfast before we boarded the ferry. She took us to the IHOP and sprung for strawberry pancakes. You never saw so many puking teenagers in your life – I was wearing a girl scout tee that said “Green is my Color” and it really was that day.

    1. The historic buildings were in good condition. So, it probably hasn’t changed much. I was surprised at how many people were traveling with pets since no dogs are allowed on the beach.There were several dogs on the boat AND a dog even went on the hummer tour. We had a great time. Oh, and the bird pics…just for you.

      1. Well, thank you. That acorn woodpecker was stunning. I loved the one in flight. The Casino looks unchanged. Did you see the buffalo on the west side of the island?

        1. I had to post that googley eyed photo of the woodpecker flying away. Although a bit blurry, it was too funny not to share. Yes, we did see the buffalo. Four on the ridge line, but too far in the distance to capture a shot that didn’t look like a big brown rock. It’s interesting, when the population of bison gets too large, they are shipped to a reservation in South Dakota. It’s quite expensive, approx $800 a head.

          1. Amazing that they would have an overcrowding problem – but I’m glad to hear the herd is still there. They were there before it became fashionable to raise buffalo.

    1. We did, Val. It was a quickie getaway for sure and so, so needed. The houses in Avalon are very close together. Lots of vacay rentals. Some cute and some in need of TLC. The theater and some of the other older structures are in terrific shape. It’s obvious the care takers of those properties are serious about historic preservation.

    1. Very funny, you dirty girl! The guide, we didn’t choose and those hungover frat boys reminded us too much of our son. My loyal follower is all the man I need. 😉

    1. I could have written an entire post about the theater and I do have several other photos that are worth sharing. One of the ballroom which holds 600 people, has a 360 view of the bay, no structural barriers inside at all – an engineering marvel. The coat check area and lounge are straight out of a classic movie. Allan, you must go see it for yourself.

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