Catalina Island

So, this year for our kind-of anniversary trip (4 years already), we went to Catalina Island for Easter weekend.
It was crazy… There was almost no one else there.
First we took a ferry-boat over (Jason got seasick)
Jason and Ferry Boat
When we got to Avalon, which is the the main city in Catalina Island, it was virtually deserted. All the buildings are little, and there are only compact cars and golf carts. I felt like we were in Oz or Munchkinland.
Little Avalon img_6206.JPG
We walked around there all morning, ate lunch on the pier. It was a gorgeous day. There were even trees floating in the sky:
Trees in the Clouds
Then we took a bus ride to the other, even more deserted part of the island. The “Safari Bus” was a bumpy, crazy drive with gorgeous views of the inland parts of the island. We first stopped at Airport-in-the-Sky and watched some planes take off. Then we read about the Preservation of the Island’s plants and native animals, like the Santa Catalina Red Fox, Catalina Red Squirrel, deer, and buffalo. Oh, yeah, wait- native buffalo? Not really…. A few wild bison were brought to the island for a filming of a 1925 movie, “Zane Grey’s The Vanishing American”. They adapted well to the island’s climate, flourished, and multiplied. Now wild bison roam the island in herds- and when we left the Airport en route to Two Harbors, we got to see a herd along the road.
Safari Busimg_6259.JPGWindy Road
img_6285.JPG Airport-in-the-Sky Airport
Buffalo Wild Bison Jason kissing buffalo
On the bus ride over, we were the only two people on this huge school bus- it was really creepy! Check out this video:
Jason alone on bus
Then, we arrived in Two Harbors, a very tiny town on the West end of the island. The town has a population of 100 people. You cannot own private property there. You must work for the Catalina Island Conservancy (who owns the town) to live there. Our Bed and Breakfast was called “Banning House Lodge” The Banning brothers originally owned the island until they sold it to Wrigley- the chewing gum tycoon, who then put 88% of the island into a nature conservancy (to avoid property taxes). Below are pictures of the view from our hotel (we even saw a solitary buffalo roaming from our window!):
Jas and hotel Cat Harbor View Banning House Crazy Jason BUFFALO OUTSIDE HOTEL WINDOW Room #5 for us Me at hotel

Then Friday evening, we went on a Hummer “High Adventure” tour of the coast of the island. Our driver was the same guy that drove us across the island (in the empty huge bus)
Both of us by Hummer Jason on Hummer Me- hummer ride View from Hummer
That night, we went to dinner at the only restaurant on the side of the island (so, yeah, the prices were very high- I guess you can charge anything if there is no other place to eat!) The next morning, we got up bright and early to do a “Super Tour” which was Kayaking down the coast to Blue Caverns and back, with a stop in the middle to snorkel in a kelp forest. We got to see many fish, well only one type of fish actually- the bright orange Girabaldi- the official state fish of California. The water was freezing (58 degrees) and even my 7mm-thick wetsuit didn’t keep me warm enough.
Amanda snorkeling Pulling out kayak Me in Wetsuit
Then, we rested all day. It was beautiful and sunny outside. We went for a little hike:
Hiking Jason hiking

On the next day, Easter Sunday, we couldn’t go to church because there was no church in the small town of Two Harbors. We took the same rickety, scary bus back to the populated side of the island- Avalon. We had lunch there at Catalina Cantina and Jason ate a BUFFALO burger (made out of real buffalo meat). It tasted almost the same as a real burger. And I ate a fish:
Me eating a fish Jason at Cantina

We had a wonderful time- celebrating our 4th Anniversary together out in a secluded island. Although it was only 3 days, it felt like a lot longer.


3 thoughts on “Catalina Island”

  1. It does look gargeous there. How do wallfish taste Mandy? Also your goat is huge Jase… looks like one of the buffalo attached to your face and stowed away with you. This looks like a lot of fun! I’m so jealous!


  2. Wow- absolutely beautiful !! Steven and I have been to Catalina but it was in the summer so everything was brown and dry. I love the green hills and the yellow flowers everywhere !
    Naomi and Amelia ask me everyday if you are coming over to watch them : )


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