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Old 05-01-2013, 08:48 PM   #76
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Hmm I wonder when I will get mine. My mail is taking forever to catch up. It is driving me nuts.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #77
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Great pictures, Sherry.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:53 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by kaoden39 View Post
Hmm I wonder when I will get mine. My mail is taking forever to catch up. It is driving me nuts.
Michele -

You've got that whole forwarding thing for your address in place, right? It doesn't help matters any that the 2013 Visitors Guide is sent out through Bulk Mail and it takes a long time to arrive. What used to be sent out in a nice, protective plastic sleeve is now beaten up, dog-eared and mangled by the time it shows up in the mailbox.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Great pictures, Sherry.

Thanks for sharing.


PrincessInOz!

Welcome aboard! Or, if you weren't planning on sticking around and were just doing a quick drive-by pop-in, thank you for saying hello. I was surprised to see your post here! The last post for which I got a handy DISboards e-mail alert was Michele's above, and I hadn't come back here to check the thread until now -- so I didn't know you had posted.

You probably saw my comment in tayalltheway's thread about spotting some of your Catalina pictures and some of my Catalina pictures on the same results page (mixed in with many others) when I used Google Image and typed in some version of "Catalina Express free birthday boat ride," or something similar to that. I recognized a couple of your Catalina photos from back when you first posted them and talked about your trip.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:04 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Michele -

You've got that whole forwarding thing for your address in place, right? It doesn't help matters any that the 2013 Visitors Guide is sent out through Bulk Mail and it takes a long time to arrive. What used to be sent out in a nice, protective plastic sleeve is now beaten up, dog-eared and mangled by the time it shows up in the mailbox.






PrincessInOz!

Welcome aboard! Or, if you weren't planning on sticking around and were just doing a quick drive-by pop-in, thank you for saying hello. I was surprised to see your post here! The last post for which I got a handy DISboards e-mail alert was Michele's above, and I hadn't come back here to check the thread until now -- so I didn't know you had posted.

You probably saw my comment in tayalltheway's thread about spotting some of your Catalina pictures and some of my Catalina pictures on the same results page (mixed in with many others) when I used Google Image and typed in some version of "Catalina Express free birthday boat ride," or something similar to that. I recognized a couple of your Catalina photos from back when you first posted them and talked about your trip.

Sherry, I can only hope about the mail. I put in a change of address but very little of our mail is actually getting here. I am kind of irritable over it too.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:19 PM   #80
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In two days I will be back in Avalon!

Actually, it's hard to believe it has already been one year since I was last there. To be honest, in recent weeks I was waffling on whether or not I was actually going to go. The weather has been too hot for my liking lately and I have been feeling a little ill for other reasons. Also, at one point the forecast was showing that there could be a humidity-fueled thunderstorm on July 21st. That ominous prediction seems to have moved to another day. The last thing I need is to be stuck on a boat in the middle of a sudden, freakish thunderstorm! With my luck I'd probably end up in a scene out of "Sharknado" or something.

But, alas, as I stared at the bottles of 110 SPF sunscreen and scalp protection spray sitting on a nearby shelf, and watched a Catalina Island commercial plugging the free Express birthday boat ride, I knew I had to go. This is most likely the last year of the free birthday offer, and I'd hate to think I missed it completely.

So...I've got my boat reservation made (6:15 a.m. departure; 9:45 p.m. return), my Sav-On Shuttle reservation to and from Long Beach made and my birthday promo code printed out. I also printed the list of birthday freebies from the Catalina Express site, which will include a free ice cream cone and a free cup of coffee (both of which I took advantage of last year -- because caffeine and sweets are necessary for a long day).


As I recall from my trip in 2012, charging my camera batteries was a huge annoyance, as the one lone place that allowed me to do it took hours and hours and hours to complete the charge. There is something wrong with the electrical currents in Avalon. I am convinced of this fact. There is no possible way it could have taken as long as it did (over 3 hours) to charge one camera battery when it doesn't take me that long to charge a battery at home. It must be all of that sea air. It messes everything up.

Nevertheless, I have to start charging up the ol' batteries and packing my bag. I have to make sure the memory card, camera, charger, sunglasses, wallet and sunscreen are in place. I have to call the L.A. Times and make sure my Sunday newspaper is held for me. I have to head to the ATM (you cannot use plastic when renting golf carts at the place I rent from). I have to put my jacket (it will be needed when I sit outside on the boat ride home at night) near the door where I can see it. I have to pull an extra tote bag out of the closet so I have something to put assorted brochures and birthday freebies in. I have to pack a handy bottle of Advil and some Kleenex. A couple of extra bottles of water, of course. (I will be lucky if I don't pass out -- the lack of shade in Avalon is astounding and daunting for a pasty-skinned Irish girl such as myself.)

What else? What am I forgetting? There must be something.

Planning for a day trip in Catalina is not as time-consuming as planning a trip to a Disney resort, but when you kind of pull everything together at the last minute it can seem as though you have a million things to do!


I'll check back here after I return! I hope there are still some people out there, following along!!

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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:15 PM   #81
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Smile *** lurker lurker lurker ***

.......ya know, I have you to thank (via your blog) for "encouraging" me to visit Catalina Island -


BUT.........


gotta a 'few' ?'s 2 ask ya:



I am assuming that I will be getting there (from ? pier I dunno yet), what times are the last ferry runs??


What restaurants wud ya recommend??
any tours u wud recommend as well??




Looking forward to hearing more





T.T.F.N.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:23 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knewton64 View Post
.......ya know, I have you to thank (via your blog) for "encouraging" me to visit Catalina Island -


BUT.........


gotta a 'few' ?'s 2 ask ya:

I am assuming that I will be getting there (from ? pier I dunno yet), what times are the last ferry runs??


What restaurants wud ya recommend??
any tours u wud recommend as well??

Looking forward to hearing more

T.T.F.N.

Hello and welcome, knewton64! I'm so glad you joined in.

It's funny you mentioned "blog." I might -- just might-- be doing an actual Catalina/Avalon-related blog very soon. Stay tuned. This specific thread is my Trip Report, so you don't really see anything about restaurants or tours in it because I didn't do those things on my trip last year (and I have yet to determine what I will do in 2 days when I head back to Avalon). I rented a golf cart and went up to the Wrigley Memorial, and then walked around taking many photos.

An actual blog will be much more informational in terms of suggestions for food, tours, etc.

In the meantime, there's another thread I started a couple of years ago - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2703621 -- which started out as a main thread to explain the free Catalina Express birthday boat ride to people, but kind of turned out to be a general Catalina discussion thread. You will notice in the first post of that thread that I included a link to the free Catalina Island Visitors Guide, which you can order online. That's a great place to start for basic information. You will also notice that several different people such as endy, PHXscuba, pixarmom, PrincessInOz, etc. posted in that thread with photos or links to photos and info, etc.

As for which times the last ferry runs, it depends on when you go and which boat you take. Catalina Express out of Long Beach has many more departures and returns than the Catalina Flyer out of Newport Beach. If you were to go during the peak summer season, there are some weekend nights when you can take a 9:45 p.m. Express boat back to the mainland (which is what I am doing in 2 days). Other nights the boat leaves earlier than that, like in the 8:00 p.m. hour.

As for tours, it, too, depends on which time of year you go. During summer there are some extra tours operating, such as the Flying Fish Tour (which I highly recommend), and some other seasonal tours. I also recommend the Semi-Sub tour instead of the glass bottom boat tour because you can see more close-up sea life that way. The tour that takes you out to see seals is good too. In the off-peak season (which is basically any time after Labor Day), the tours are more limited (as are the ferry times). You can take the Casino walking tour year-round, I think -- and that's a good one if you like beautiful architecture and design. I also like any tour or bus that takes you deep into the interior of the Island, even to the other side (known as Two Harbors, or the Isthmus), because you see more buffalo that way. They come closer to the road when you get to the less-traveled areas.

As for restaurants -- I like Antonio's Cabaret right on the waterfront. It has a lot of choices on the menu (some Italian food but there are many things, and they also serve breakfast too), and nice seaside dining. Right next to Antonio's is Armstong's, which I have been told is good for seafood lovers (I don't like seafood), but I think that PrincessInOz ate there a few years back and I don't know if she liked it much or not. I think she thought it was okay but not great, but I could be remembering incorrectly.

There is a new restaurant that opened up on the other side of Armstrong's (more seaside dining), but it was not open when I was there last year. I am going to check out the menu in 2 days and see what they serve.

As for regular counter service restaurants, Rosie's on the Green Pleasure Pier is supposedly good (more seafood). Giada de Laurentiis even featured Rosie's in one of her hour-long specials on a weekend in Los Angeles several years ago. I also like Coney Island West, which is your basic burgers-dogs-sandwiches sort of food, but it is pretty tasty. Antonio's has another smaller restaurant on a side street and their pizza is not bad. Lloyd's of Avalon is where everyone goes to get fresh salt water taffy, in many flavors. Big Olaf's is where everyone goes for giant ice cream cones. Steve's Steakhouse is pretty good, from what I recall from long ago. El Galleon was not bad, from what I can recall.

The Cottage (or Pancake Cottage, as it is usually called) has good breakfasts. Sally's has good diner-ish type food, from what I remember. Luau Larry's is where the fun people go, to wear crazy straw hats, listen to music and drink crazy drinks. But people say that the food served there is not bad either.

Up until last year, it had been 9 years since my last Catalina trip -- and I used to visit there all the time back from the late '80s through 2003. So I spent a lot of my day trip last year walking around, trying to see if certain things were still there! I was trying to get used to a lot of what had changed. I am hoping that this time I will actually eat more than just an ice cream cone, so I can determine if the food is still good!

I will see what I can come up with in 2 days!! I will report back. I will try to see if I can get photos of menus, or maybe get some takeaway paper menus to bring with me.
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:37 AM   #83
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Have a wonderful day Sherry. Looking forward to some more pictures. Happy Birthday
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:58 AM   #84
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Have a wonderful day Sherry. Looking forward to some more pictures. Happy Birthday
Thank you, Wendy!

I haven't been feeling too well lately, for some unknown reason, so I am a little iffy about being out in the sun (which always makes me feel worse!) all day, but I am going to soldier on and go ahead with it. Hopefully the picture-taking will keep my mind off of feeling icky! I am pretty sure this will be the last year for the free birthday boat ride and I feel I can't let it go to waste! Plus, my birthday won't be on a weekend again for many years!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #85
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Thinking about you today ... I was forced to leave beautiful So Cal yesterday after a lovely week there. Drove through rain in Riverside, alongside rain in the AZ desert, and made it home just before the monsoon storm hit here!

I could see Catalina from the beach and pier when I was there; hope you have a great time!

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Old 07-23-2013, 02:41 AM   #86
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Thinking about you today ... I was forced to leave beautiful So Cal yesterday after a lovely week there. Drove through rain in Riverside, alongside rain in the AZ desert, and made it home just before the monsoon storm hit here!

I could see Catalina from the beach and pier when I was there; hope you have a great time!

PHXscuba

Hi, PHX!

Thank you for thinking of me. I got the email alert about your Facebook post too, but I have not actually signed into Facebook yet to reply to anyone.

I had an overall good time, but I was in a lot of pain and it put a damper on my enjoyment. My leg and hip were acting up (and this is all related to the back injury I first suffered in 1995, which has plagued me off and on ever since) and I was having a very hard time walking. I was hoping that once I got into a photo-taking groove I could block out the pain and forget that I wasn't feeling up to par. Sometimes I can do that. This time, the pain won the battle and I couldn't get into any kind of groove. I had to keep sitting down, and even that was painful. By the end of the day I was limping through Avalon.

So, I was definitely not on my photo game. Not like last year's trip. I feel like I barely got any photos, and I didn't do a couple of things I wanted to do (like the Casino tour), all because of being in pain.

Today, I am in the throes of the 'sun hangover.' Headache, queasy stomach, etc. That's typical for me. It was muggy, warm and overcast for the first part of the day -- it was never all that sunny, really -- and then, all of a sudden, a magical, wondrous sea breeze wafted in and wiped out the warmth...to the point where I overheard someone saying, "It's so cold...." Of course, I didn't think it was cold at all. That sea breeze was my respite from otherwise overheating (on top of being in pain). I was delighted when I felt the temperature drop and the wind began hitting my face!





Some points of note:

1. Although I wore 110 SPF broad spectrum sunscreen (Neutrogena) on my face and 50 SPF sport lotion (Banana Boat) on my arms, my face is now tomato-red and my arms are fine. I also sprayed my scalp with a different Banana Boat product (lower than 50 SPF) and my scalp seems fine. It's just my face that is bright red. I even wear giant sunglasses that cover half of my face and I still got burnt. Moral of the story? Banana Boat makes better sun protection products. I've used them for years and they do not disappoint;



2. At the golf cart rental place, I mentioned to a rather serious clerk/attendee that I was thrilled to see that my favorite seaside road had opened back up for golf cart driving, as it leads to a couple of photo spots that are better than the ones I dealt with last year when forced to take a different path. The rather serious clerk said, "Well, it's always been that way. You've always been able to use that road." I said, "No. Not last year. That road had been closed to any non-residents for a while, and last year I was not allowed to drive on it." She replied, "It's always been that way. That's always been the path for the golf carts...well, except for, like, 7 years when the road was closed."

So, basically, I must be mistaken about the path I was not allowed to drive on because the road has always been open, except for that short little 7-year time span!

I also said to the clerk that being able to drive on this particular newly-reopened path was good because it allows access to one of the better 'postcard photo spots' -- a spot at which my friends and I would always stop in our golf cart-renting heyday of the '90s. I could not access this same location last year, when I was prohibited from driving along the path. I could access other decent postcard spots, but not this particular one -- because the only way to get to it was by driving into the hills via this path that had been blocked off to non-residents. I was told this by the guy who rented me the cart last year.

However, the serious woman who rented me the cart yesterday again told me I was mistaken (which I was not) and that I could access the photo spot last year too (which I could not). I actually began to silently wonder if she had ever driven the golf cart "scenic route" that is mapped out for the visitors because I got the feeling that she wasn't familiar with what could be accessed from which path. Maybe the residents can access certain roads from certain points, but the tourists renting golf carts have to stick to certain roads and avoid the "private roads.";




3. In an effort to try to eat something on this trip (last year all I ate was my free birthday ice cream cone the entire day), I set out on a quest to find a nutrient-rich, protein-filled breakfast to give me energy and stamina to face the day. All of the places on my list of possible choices were either jam-packed with people or closed.

I had planned to sit down and eat a nice egg/bacon breakfast sandwich on whole wheat bread or something similar, with some fruit on the side. Naturally, what I ended up with was something called "The Best Brownie Ever" and "The Best Cinnamon Roll Ever" from the place that provided my free birthday cup of coffee. I will give you the scoop on whether or not those sweet treats were, indeed, the "best" brownie and cinnamon roll later, when I do the actual trip report;





4. The guy who served me my free birthday ice cream (yes, I got that too!) told me that this year has been Avalon's busiest year ever. The birthday promo through the Catalina Express took a while to catch on, but once it did it was off and running. The ice cream guy and I agreed that we think this is the last year for the free ride, now that business seems to be booming again. I have to believe he was correct about the number of visitors to the Island this year -- when I was zooming around the hills in my cart I noticed that it was next to impossible to stop anywhere for any reason because there was always someone right on my tail, whether it was a long line of other golf carts or massive tour buses. I don't recall this being the case last year. I was able to actually stop in 2012, but this year it was very difficult to do that;




5. I tried to get as many of the totally free things as I could for my birthday (as opposed to just the discounted things). I still have not taken advantage of the free meal at the Buffalo Nickel restaurant (the location has to be accessed via taxi or golf cart, and I didn't want to waste my cart time by eating), but in addition to the free coffee and free ice cream I also obtained a free island trail map from the Catalina Island Conservancy gift shop and a free (full-sized) poster in a cardboard canister from the Aurora Hotel (which is located up a steep hill!). Those, combined with the free (a $72.50 value) round-trip boat ride to the Island, make me think I made out okay!;




6. In a remote section of the golf cart path, way up in the hills where the zip liners gear up and take off, I managed to stop in a no-stopping zone so I could get a quick photo of the platform from which they soar. While there a nice lady in another golf cart asked me to take a photo of her group...and it turned out that her name was also Sherry (though probably spelled Sheri), and she was from Los Angeles!!! What are the odds that I would be up in the hills of Avalon, on a remote road, and the person who asks me to take a photo ends up having my name and is from my city? Life works in mysterious ways, doesn't it??;





7. I noticed more bright orange Garibaldi fish than ever before in the water. They were everywhere. Last year I don't recall seeing quite as many, but they were out in full force for 2013. Maybe the fish got the memo about the free birthday boat ride too!; and




8. The longstanding Armstrong's restaurant (popular for its seafood) is no longer there! It was open last year and now it is gone. The old space formerly used for the long-out-of-business Busy Bee Cafe has been combined with what used to be Armstrong's to form one big restaurant called the Blue Water Grill (specializing in seafood). So now you have Big Olaf's ice cream, Antonio's Pizzeria/Cabaret and Blue Water Grill in one big block.





Anyway, I have to get to sleep. I am still trying to sleep off the pain and exhaustion from yesterday. Until I can get back with a full report, here are a few photos (out of the very few photos that I actually managed to take)...



The sun rises over the ocean (in rather dramatic fashion) on the ride to Catalina...







For some reason, this photo makes me giggle...







This little guy (actually, big guy) waddled over to keep me company as I sat on the bench in my "thinking spot," overlooking the sea....







And the sun sets over Avalon in rather dramatic fashion too (I find this photo interesting because of the different types of trees in the same shot!)...








Night falls on the Casino. I was waiting for a sea lion that I had just spotted moments prior to pop up again -- and he did, but he was too fast for me to catch a photo...


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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:56 PM   #87
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Beautiful pictures, Sherry. Sounds like a good trip. Look forward to the full TR.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:10 PM   #88
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Glad you made it back (mostly) intact. Looking forward to seeing more photos. And now I miss CA again.

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Old 07-23-2013, 11:17 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by funatdisney View Post
Beautiful pictures, Sherry. Sounds like a good trip. Look forward to the full TR.
Well, hello there, Liza! Welcome!

Thank you! It was a good trip because of the freebies involved, and because I always enjoy a trip to Catalina. I only wish I had not been in so much pain. Sometimes I can push through the pain when it starts up, but this time the pain won out.

I tell you, though, I kind of wish I had been at Disneyland because they are serving up strawberry shortcake demitasse desserts (in the Santa Mickey mugs) as part of their Christmas in July celebration this week! I could have had strawberry shortcake and peppermint ice cream at DLR on the same day!


Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post
Glad you made it back (mostly) intact. Looking forward to seeing more photos. And now I miss CA again.

PHXscuba
Hello, PHX!

Thank you. I wish there were many more photos to show everyone, but I just couldn't get in the groove of taking photos because I had to keep sitting down. I couldn't do the Casino tour because it involves walking and I was in too much pain.

Normally, in a single day trip I can crank out a good 750+ photos. In a multi-day trip I can crank out 1500-1700 or so. On this trip two days ago, I think I took maybe 370-ish pictures. So, for my particular habits, this was not a lot. I was disappointed in myself, but it couldn't be helped. I was literally limping and hobbling and wobbling from side to side as I walked. I had to sit. And what photos I managed to take may not be very interesting or good because I just couldn't concentrate.

However, at least I took an abundance of photos in Avalon last year, which counts for something.

You've got to get back to Catalina with your family one of these days!




Anyway, stay tuned. Eventually you will all find out if the "Best Brownie Ever" and the "Best Cinnamon Roll Ever" really were the best -- and you will see photos of those, so you might be able to figure it out!
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**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:32 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endy View Post
http://www.visitcalifornia.com/Fun-Spots/e80246

Here's a $7.50 off Catalina Express.

There are quite a few coupons on this site.
Oh, pooh....that coupon expires on 9/30/13. I am hoping they come out with another one before our trip in December

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
remind me of your December dates again. I think you told me the specific dates in the past and I blanked out. I normally do my holiday Disneyland trip in the first or second week of December, so I wonder if I will end up being there at some point during your trip! I haven't booked anything yet, but it's a possibility.
Our dates changed since our original plans.....instead of Dec2 (mon)-Dec9 (mon) we're arriving friday Nov 29 and leaving Dec 9. This works out wonderfully as our APs have blackout days on Nov 29 and 30. Going to Catalina on Sat Nov 30 will be perfect. There are more boat rides on Sat even though it is off season! My Sis-In-Law, her partner, our niece and her boyfriend, and hubby and I....We'll get a golf cart that seats 6, I'm sure....but my sis-in-law is still getting major chemo so I'm a little worried about her stamina and frankly, the boat ride. We probably will do little walking but maybe a tour would work. I'm afraid that open hummer tour to the "inside" might be a little too rough on her tailbone.....we'll have to play it by ear. I do foresee our niece wanting to do the zip-line and I could actually be talked into it too (will depend on cash-flow at that point). I personally would love to do the pottery tour where you make a tile which they fire then mail to your home after it's done. I would probably be in the minority with that one, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Also, are you planning to head up to the L.A. area during your December trip as well (like to Farmers Market, The Grove, the Tar Pits, Hollywood, etc.)? Let me know if you do, as some of those places are in my neighborhood!
When our niece graduated high school from a charter school she attended close/in Reseda last June we went to the Walk of Fame and saw the Hollywood sign. We won't have a car this trip and my s-i-l will pick us up at our hotel on the way to Long Beach for the Catalina trip. I'm sure the trip will wipe her out so we probably won't see them again until later in the week when we'll go out to dinner together or something like that. We've never been to the Tar Pits, The Grove, or the Farmers Market.......aren't the last two of those closeby?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
As for when you should go to Catalina during that specific Mon. - Mon. week, that is a good question. Maybe on Friday or Saturday. You want to make sure you're not too exhausted from Disneyland to walk around Catalina (even though Avalon itself is a tiny town), but a Friday or Saturday might offer a couple of extra boat times that aren't there during the earlier portion of the week.
Instead of staying at PPH hotel the entire time we're staying at HoJo, theme park view the first 2 nights......it didn't make sense to stay on property when we weren't even going to the parks those first two days anyway. We'll be paying less than half for those first two nights and still be able to view the parks (whatever that entails) from our room I'm content with that choice......so now I can drop the vacation package and get a room only at PPH for 8 nights instead of 10 and for now I'll use our AAA discount (which is better than nothing)...get an AP and hope for a discount to be announced later (hopefully) ( I'll do this next paycheck since I'm still recovering from my son's $850 1st sem book fee

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
I haven't been to the Island in (what Catalina considers to be) its off-peak season (which would be October-November-December) in so long, but I'm fairly positive you will run into very minimal crowds. It's not like Disneyland, where crowds are substantial for the holidays. As long as the weather holds up and there are no huge ocean swells, the boats should still run on schedule although the activities and boat departure/return times in December will be a bit more limited. Some of the tours shut down in the off-season. The golf carts are pretty much available all the time.
I'm wondering what tours will still be going on. I need that brochure, I think......I'll have to check a few websites and see about getting one of those. Oh, and I'll have to remember a jacket! I got an awesome black fleece jacket for WDW.....it has MM on the back in a cream color with sparklies.......but it clearly says WDW.......will I be looked upon as a loser wearing it to DL?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
I noticed that a new restaurant is opening in Avalon (it will be open by summer) called Bluewater Grill. It is taking over the wonderful waterfront location that used to be occupied by a restaurant called the Busy Bee Cafe. Bluewater will be situated right next to Armstrong's Seafood and Antonio's Cabaret/Italian Restaurant, in that little waterfront block of restaurants. I love getting a table outside and looking down at the water for fish! In December, it probably will not be hard to get an outdoor table at Antonio's, Armstrong's or Bluewater!
WEll, I'm deadly allergic to shellfish but the rest of our party loves it. Dh usually shies away from it because of me but I would rather he get what he loves.......obviously I rarely cook it. I do love to people watch so I think possibly sipping on a nice glass of wine whilst gazing upon the water sounds lovely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Now...I just have to figure out what I'm going to do on this day trip. I feel like I should rent a golf cart again because I spent so much time at Wrigley last year that I didn't actually spend enough time in the hills, overlooking the scenic vistas, when I had the cart. When I realized that I was about to run out of precious cart time I put the pedal to the metal and hit the road like I was in a high speed freeway chase, just to get back to the golf cart rental place before said cart turned into a pumpkin. (I could almost hear "I Can't Drive 55" playing in the background as I zoomed around the dirt roads and narrow paths.)
So, in some ways I feel like I should do something instead of the golf cart...like a tour. Maybe I can take the Safari Bus to the other side of the island (Two Harbors, and the Isthmus), which will basically put me in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of bees and not much to do except look at pelicans.

However, having traveled via the interior of the Island to Two Harbors in the past, I know that it is a great way to see a lot of bison/buffalo, often up close. Sometimes they even just mosey out into the road, in front of the various vehicles that cruise by. I like nature. I like to see critters that I wouldn't normally see at home. Maybe that can be an option.

Or, I can do the nighttime flying fish tour again, which I haven't done in probably 12 years.

Maybe the Casino tour? I can get some inside-the-ornate-ballroom-and-theater pictures?

I received my 2013 Catalina Visitors Guide in the mail a couple of days ago (I order one every year whether a trip is on the horizon or not), so I will skim through it and see if anything grabs me.
I would love to see the flying fish but we probably won't be there that late. The trip to the inside would be fun if the ride wouldn't be too hard on s-i-l. I would love to get ahold of some artwork on Catalina....do they sell that there or possibly it would be a better idea to search for something when we get home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
[COLOR="Blue"][B][SIZE="3"]In two days I will be back in Avalon!

Actually, it's hard to believe it has already been one year since I was last there. To be honest, in recent weeks I was waffling on whether or not I was actually going to go. The weather has been too hot for my liking lately and I have been feeling a little ill for other reasons. Also, at one point the forecast was showing that there could be a humidity-fueled thunderstorm on July 21st. That ominous prediction seems to have moved to another day. The last thing I need is to be stuck on a boat in the middle of a sudden, freakish thunderstorm! With my luck I'd probably end up in a scene out of "Sharknado" or something.

But, alas, as I stared at the bottles of 110 SPF sunscreen and scalp protection spray sitting on a nearby shelf, and watched a Catalina Island commercial plugging the free Express birthday boat ride, I knew I had to go. This is most likely the last year of the free birthday offer, and I'd hate to think I missed it completely.

So...I've got my boat reservation made (6:15 a.m. departure; 9:45 p.m. return. I have to head to the ATM (you cannot use plastic when renting golf carts at the place I rent from). I have to put my jacket (it will be needed when I sit outside on the boat ride home at night) near the door where I can see it. I have to pull an extra tote bag out of the closet so I have something to put assorted brochures and birthday freebies in. I have to pack a handy bottle of Advil and some Kleenex.
Sharnado...... I wondered about the sunscreen....wasn't sure if you bought it brand new or just used something you had at home...but it does have an expiration. I think I've read somewhere that it needed to be bought every year. Looking forward to the weather in December......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
As for restaurants -- I like Antonio's Cabaret right on the waterfront. It has a lot of choices on the menu (some Italian food but there are many things, and they also serve breakfast too), and nice seaside dining. Right next to Antonio's is Armstong's, which I have been told is good for seafood lovers (I don't like seafood), but I think that PrincessInOz ate there a few years back and I don't know if she liked it much or not. I think she thought it was okay but not great, but I could be remembering incorrectly.

There is a new restaurant that opened up on the other side of Armstrong's (more seaside dining), but it was not open when I was there last year. I am going to check out the menu in 2 days and see what they serve.

As for regular counter service restaurants, Rosie's on the Green Pleasure Pier is supposedly good (more seafood). Giada de Laurentiis even featured Rosie's in one of her hour-long specials on a weekend in Los Angeles several years ago.

The Cottage (or Pancake Cottage, as it is usually called) has good breakfasts. Sally's has good diner-ish type food, from what I remember. Luau Larry's is where the fun people go, to wear crazy straw hats, listen to music and drink crazy drinks. But people say that the food served there is not bad either.
We will probably be eating 2 meals in Catalina. Wondering what others' experiences have been like at the restaurants there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
I had an overall good time, but I was in a lot of pain and it put a damper on my enjoyment. My leg and hip were acting up (and this is all related to the back injury I first suffered in 1995, which has plagued me off and on ever since) and I was having a very hard time walking. I was hoping that once I got into a photo-taking groove I could block out the pain and forget that I wasn't feeling up to par. Sometimes I can do that. This time, the pain won the battle and I couldn't get into any kind of groove. I had to keep sitting down, and even that was painful. By the end of the day I was limping through Avalon.
I'm sorry your trip wasn't all you had hoped.....I hate it when something I'm really looking forward to doesn't happen the way I expect it to. You'll have to start planning your next trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Today, I am in the throes of the 'sun hangover.' Headache, queasy stomach, etc. That's typical for me. It was muggy, warm and overcast for the first part of the day -- it was never all that sunny, really -- and then, all of a sudden, a magical, wondrous sea breeze wafted in and wiped out the warmth...to the point where I overheard someone saying, "It's so cold...." Of course, I didn't think it was cold at all. That sea breeze was my respite from otherwise overheating (on top of being in pain). I was delighted when I felt the temperature drop and the wind began hitting my face!
Oh, the sun can really take it's toll on a body. I get that exact same thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
However, the serious woman who rented me the cart yesterday again told me I was mistaken (which I was not) and that I could access the photo spot last year too (which I could not). I actually began to silently wonder if she had ever driven the golf cart "scenic route" that is mapped out for the visitors because I got the feeling that she wasn't familiar with what could be accessed from which path. Maybe the residents can access certain roads from certain points, but the tourists renting golf carts have to stick to certain roads and avoid the "private roads.";
Oh gosh.....I just have a feeling we will surely get lost! Hubby was reading something about a scavenger game you can plan on Catalina with smart phones.....do you know anything about this? I want to say he said it was $49 for up to 5 players?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
In a remote section of the golf cart path, way up in the hills where the zip liners gear up and take off, I managed to stop in a no-stopping zone so I could get a quick photo of the platform from which they soar. While there a nice lady in another golf cart asked me to take a photo of her group...and it turned out that her name was also Sherry (though probably spelled Sheri), and she was from Los Angeles!!! What are the odds that I would be up in the hills of Avalon, on a remote road, and the person who asks me to take a photo ends up having my name and is from my city? Life works in mysterious ways, doesn't it??;
I would say life sure does work in mysterious ways!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
The longstanding Armstrong's restaurant (popular for its seafood) is no longer there! It was open last year and now it is gone. The old space formerly used for the long-out-of-business Busy Bee Cafe has been combined with what used to be Armstrong's to form one big restaurant called the Blue Water Grill (specializing in seafood). So now you have Big Olaf's ice cream, Antonio's Pizzeria/Cabaret and Blue Water Grill in one big block.
hmmmmmmmm



I love this picture!
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