Catalina is owned by the Wrigley chewing gum family and sits about 22 miles off the coast of California. I think the Bubbalicious family owns a similar island off Maine.
After an exhaustive, near failed quest to secure a babysitter willing to watch 3 four and under boys for 12 hours straight, my wife and I carpooled with 4 other friends down to Long Beach to join our group for an hour long ferry ride to Avalon, the main town on Catalina.
I was particularly excited about the ferry ride. I know it’s just 22 miles or so, but still; there’s something mysterious about crossing the ocean. I was hoping to see some really cool ocean fairing critters, like a giant manta ray, or a whale shark, or even more cool would be to see the carcass of a blue whale being eaten on by great whites. Disappointingly, all I saw was sea weed, drift wood, and sea gulls. There weren’t even any dolphins swimming along the boat like they normally do.
Once we arrived in Avalon, we all moseyed around the harbor and ate lunch at Steve’s “tourist trap priced” Steakhouse. The food was good, none the less (my wife and I shared), and the fellowship was excellent.
Afterward, we had about 2 hours or so before we all had to return to the ferry landing for the ride home. Most folks walked around in the tourist trap priced sidewalk stores, but a couple friend of ours suggested we rent a golf cart and drive around the island. It was a bit pricey, but seeing that my wife and I wouldn’t be returning to Catalina anytime in the near future, we decided to splurge and it was well worth it.
Catalina experienced some wildfires last week and the cart ride took us directly to where the fire burned up to the side of the road just 100 feet or so from a condo complex.
My lovely wife took these pictures of the burned areas:
Our golf cart tour also took us by the Wrigley secret mansion, which was closed to the public of course, and then brought us back around to the front side of the island where we saw a spectacular view of the harbor. Avalon must be a place where the emperor decadent wealthy congregate, because there were high class fishing boats and yachts floating all over the place.
This big blue yacht was anchored a little farther out from the main collection of boats. It looked like one of those James Bond villain yachts. You know, the super intelligent bad guy with “Dr.” in front of his name, who has a nasty scare going down one side of his face, wears a monocle, and carries around a long haired cat in his arms that he strokes as he barks out orders to his henchmen and plans the destruction of the free world.
When we returned to the cart rental place, we had about an hour before we needed to be back to the ferry landing. However, we learned coming over that it was necessary to be in line at least 30 minutes before the ferry began loading passengers or you would be stuck with a seat no where near a window or you would be confined to standing the entire trip. So we got some ice cream and headed over to the landing to get in line.
We finally got home around 6ish and our babies had survived, as well as our baby sitter (bless her heart), and when we got them bathed and in bed, I think my head was hitting the pillow at 8:30. It had been a long day, but a good day. Nothing beats hanging out with great friends and an awesome wife.