My fellow Angelenos, if you don’t have time for a full-blown vacay, I highly recommend going to Catalina Island for the weekend. It really feels like we went to another land, and we were only away for one night!
We got up early on Saturday morning, dropped Julius off at the dog boarder’s, and drove to Long Beach. While waiting for the Catalina Express ferry I split a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar and a large apple with Abe:
I gave him more bar and he gave me more apple…
We both started off sitting on the boat deck but I got cold (and it was loud/smelly from the engine) so I moved indoors. The view was nicer (you didn’t have to turn around to see the water) and I took a nap during the hour-long ride.
I can get seasick, and there were no issues at all – hooray!
Avalon is Catalina Island’s largest city.
Very touristy, but really cute:
We stayed at The Aurora Hotel, which is just a short walk up from the main strip:
Check-in wasn’t until 3pm, but at 11am our room was ready! It was very small, but modern and clean:
We dropped everything off and took a long walk up to Avalon’s Earth Day festivities, which I had seen on the city’s website.
Earth Day isn’t officially until April 22nd, but I was really glad they started celebrating early!
For a $5 suggested donation, we got veggie burgers, potato chips, and potato salad. I fixed mine up with tomato, lettuce, mustard, and Vegenaise – with salsa and hummus for dipping.
Pretty much everything was organic and eco-friendly, thanks to Dinghy Docks Organic Foods.
So much better than any overpriced veggie burger we could’ve gotten in town…
…and we got a free concert too:
After lunch we headed up to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens; admission was free in honor of Earth Day. I felt bad that I wasn’t chewing Wrigley gum.
(Why is my leg so freakishly long in that picture?)
The view from the top!
We walked. And walked. And walked. I really loved this adorable street, where I was about as big as the houses:
On our feet for hours (and awake for 9), we took a little afternoon siesta back at the hotel. I also had some work to do, studying lines for an audition Monday.
Refreshed, we walked over to Golf Gardens for some putt putt.
I was doomed from the start. This cat wouldn’t get out of my way on the first hole!
Abe kicked my butt. The golf course isn’t anything fancy, but it’s really well-designed and fun.
For a health food blogger and her vegetarian husband, there’s really only one option in town for dinner – the newly-opened M Restaurant:
They focus on local, seasonal and organic ingredients, with a ton of vegetarian options. Killer bread:
I had 1.5 pieces, dunking some into Abe’s delicious corn chowder:
I ordered two appetizers. A salad with baby heirloom tomatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, hot house cucumbers, asparagus, wild flower honey, and meyer lemon vinaigrette:
The veggies were fine – nothing spectacular. I wish some of them had been grilled, I guess (they were raw). But the crab cakes I got were ah-mazing:
3 fresh dungeness crab cakes, avocado puree, cilantro aioli, and petite herb salad.
Part of my crab cake fell on the floor. So sad.
I also traded a bite of my salad for a bite of Abe’s tofu and cabbage stir fry, which was light and tasty:
The insane view:
We were too full for dessert so I suggested we bring a goodie back to the hotel room for later. There were a number of bakeries, but the place with the best-looking cookies was C.C. Gallagher. I got a big chocolate chip one, and we stopped by Sugarloaf Books and Videos to rent a movie that was shot on Catalina:
The Glassbottom Boat wasn’t particularly good or chock full of Catalina locations, but it WAS fun, silly, and perfect to watch while we were there.
The cookie, on the other hand, was the best thing on the island – thick and chewy and buttery:
Our room had some great teas, too – Abe brewed me a cup of Mandarin Orange Herbal Spice:
(Yes I wear contacts.)
The robes at The Aurora are incredible. Like a thick, water-absorbing sweater.
I was SO exhausted and kept falling asleep by the end of the movie, around 10 pm. There were a lot of loud, drunk people outside our room (part of a wedding group) and I still passed out.
Be back tomorrow with Day 2!