Monday, April 25, 2011
The Lure of Catalina Island
Growing up in Southern California, I could see the island of Catalina from our backyard. As a kid, we used to go over for the day to explore the island, run around, camp, and basically feel like we were in another world - just for a couple of days. This past week, Sofia JZ and I headed over on the ferry, the Catalina Express, for a short break - just 26 miles from Palos Verdes Peninsula.
I hadn't been to the island since 8th grade, when our whole class played hooky and spent the day on the tiny beach tanning (burning) ourselves in preparation for our graduation. The first think I noticed about the island were the beautiful, colorful tiles that seemed to be everywhere - along the walkways to the casino, on the beach benches and throughout the botanical gardens. 1920-1930 tile designs had been preserved or restored and gave the island a vintage feel - almost like nothing had changed since the twenties when Hollywood stars used to go over and dance at the casino for a night or two.
We found a couple of good restaurants - Sofia enjoyed her first pound and a half lobster, after she figured out how to eat it - and there were plenty of cafes serving the local fish. A visit to Catalina wouldn't be complete without a Pacifica and a basket of fish and chips, doused with vinegar, from the pier.
Pondering why I wasn't doing one thing everyday that scared me, I decided to join Sofia and JZ on a parasailing adventure one afternoon. Flying 1200 feet into the air, we were pulled by a small boat which gave us a birds eye view of all of Avalon. Slightly unnerving, but eventually exciting, we were amazed to see the dolphins and seals swimming below us.
A perfect three day vacation, within an hour from Los Angeles - the lure of Catalina is still as strong as ever - I can't wait to go back!
Posted by Kaari Marie