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




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!


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.


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. Dang girl, you’ve really been criss-crossing the country, haven’t you! Gorgeous photos, as usual. Did Your Loyal Follower buy that red fedora?

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Yep, but I’m home for the rest of the summer. Until September anyway. No, he didn’t buy it. He said he thought it made his head look fat. Men!

  2. 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. Honie Briggs says:

      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. 🙂

  3. The Hook says:

    Incredible shots!
    This post was like a mini-vacation!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      These are a few of several hundred shots. It’s true, a quickie vacay does a body good.

  4. artsifrtsy says:

    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. Honie Briggs says:

      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. artsifrtsy says:

        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. Honie Briggs says:

          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. artsifrtsy says:

            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.

  5. mairedubhtx says:

    Catalina sounds lovely and the photos are spectacular. Thanks for sharing, Honie!

  6. Wonderful pictures, you packed a great deal into three days. Loved the theater, spectacular. That little yellow house, how pretty!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      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.

  7. fransiweinstein says:

    Sure looks like a lovely spot.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      A lovely spot. Yes, it is.

  8. amazing pics — I know why you picked up those students and chose that guide–loyal follower is awfully understanding! )lol)

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      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. 😉

  9. lylekrahn says:

    I like those cactus photos!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I was lucky some were in bloom.

  10. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I have heard about the theater, but this is the first time that I have seen any photos of it – Thanks!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      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.

  11. Great pictures. I’ve been there and you did a great job!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      It is a place worth seeing at least once, isn’t it? Thanks.

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