Catalina Island

Catalina - missing the ferry

This part of the adventure starts with this ferry leaving the dock at Long Beach … without G and I on it! Our ferry! Gone! Missed by minutes! Wah! Wah!  All due to the joys (er, nightmare) of driving in Los Angeles!

Not to worry though, our tickets were honoured (thank you Catalina Express!) for the next ferry across to Catalina Island where we spent two days/nights in this famous locale. We opted to stay at the secluded Zane Grey Pueblo, set way up above the tiny village of Avalon (the main ‘town’ on Catalina).

Catalina - Zane Grey main entryCatalina - Drift Fence lanaiCatalina - Drift Fence bedroom
1) Zane Grey’s Pueblo; 2) our lanai; 3) our bedroom

This pueblo was Zane Grey’s (famous American western novelist) home. It is rustic – no phones, no tv, no radios. You pay for seclusion, rusticness and the view which, as you can see, is gorgeous!

Catalina - Gary looking at Avalon
4) G admires the view of Avalon from Zane Grey’s

Zane Grey Overview (all ratings are 0-5 where 0 is ‘horrible-avoid’; 3 ‘good’; 5 ‘exceptional’):

Check-in: 3 – Jessica was welcoming; friendly and made us feel at home (the buffalo head on the way was scary mind you)
View: 5 – breath-taking!!!!
Value: 1 – in most cases paying $US175/night would get you a phone and Frette linens at a minimum, however, the view alone was worth the price
Uniquiness factor: 5 – how many pueblo hotels (almost Flintstones-like) of famous authors set on a mountain above a pictureque village and secluded from everyone do you get to visit in a lifetime?! Few I bet.

Catalina - Harbour at night from Zane GreyCatalina - Zane Grey porchCatalina - Zane Grey pool
5) view from Zane Grey of Avalon at dusk; 6) the door out to the porch; 7) the pool from our own porch

Catalina - Zane Grey Southern Rivers room outside viewCatalina - Zane Grey pool at night
8) Southern Rivers room and pool at Zane Grey; 9) and at night

It was rustic for sure. Something G doesn’t do well, or often. Boutique/chic hotels is more his style. So bravo on G for ‘camping it’.

Catalina, since the time of silent films, has been a movie star get away and filming location. Over 500 films, television shows, commercials and documentaries have been shot there including:  Treasure Island (1933), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Chinatown (1974), Jaws (1974), Waterworld (1995), The Hunt for Red October (1990) … to name but a few.

Since next to no automobiles are permitted on the island, everyone gads about in golf carts and we opted to rent a cart as well and toured the area around Avalon in about an hour.

Catalina - Pebbly BeachCatalina - golf carts parked
10) Pebbly Beach Point; 11) parking in Avalon

Catalina - golf cart harbour view from topCatalina - Harbour zoom from Zane GreyCatalina - Brent golf cart
12) view from Mt. Ada; 13) boats in harbour; 14) Brent driving golf cart

Catalina - golf cart harbour view Catalina - harbourviewCatalina - Avalon view from way up

15) The Casino and harbour heading up to Mt. Ada; 16) more boats in the harbour; 17) Avalon Bay

Other things we did on Catalina included:

  • eating;
  • visiting the art deco “Casino”;
  • watching the divers dive off the Casino breakwall;
  • admiring the flora and fauna;
  • strolling downtown on a Saturday night (it was “Prom Night” on Catalina Island so it was very interesting to see the younguns out with their dates roaming the streets in golf carts. The lads all had that California surfer dude look; the lasses, hmmmmm …. overdressed and over make-upped)
Catalina - Casino closeCatalina - the Casino from Zane GreyCatalina - Casino architecture
18, The Casino; 19)Casino taken from Zane Grey; 20) Casino art deco entrance

Catalina - Brent at Eat at Joe's baldCatalina - Original Antonio's Pizza
21) Brent at “Eat at Joe’s” diner; 22) the decor at “Original Antonio’s” (great pizza!)

Catalina - pretty flowerCatalina - Zane Grey Chick n Hen
23) gorgeous flowers everywhere; 24) and huge “chicks & hens” (this was outside our room and was as big as a honeydew melon)

Catalina - Cold Stone signCatalina - Cold Stone ice cream
25) Cold Stone Creamry; 26) where they hand mix your chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream

Go to Catalina if you have the chance. It’s the Amalfi coast and Cannes rolled into one in California. Truly unique.

Packing on Saturday night before heading back to Los Angeles, I decided to pull out the Madonna tickets to confirm the time the concert started. Opening the envelope, I was horrified to discover I had brought the FashionCares tickets (for this coming Saturday, June 3) not the Madonna concert tickets (for Sunday, May 21).

“Oh, my gawd!” was all that escaped my lips as G looked at me in a state of utter shock.

… to be continued …

Saturday’s outing
: Doors Open Toronto

I met up with Blee in a jetlagged stupor yesterday afternoon to tour the
University of Toronto – Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. Very funky building …. though I do wonder how long it’ll last like this once the students get wandering through it! Here’s some shots I took of this funky building with its bamboo atrium.




After visiting here, we walked over to the National Ballet of Canada’s new buildings on Jarvis and toured there as well. They’ve done a good job of integrating old and new (along with the Radio City condos) on site. The tour was rushed and you could really take any interesting pictures but they do offer more in-depth tours Tuesdays and Fridays which I think I’ll try out.

photo credit: Doors Open Toronto

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Catalina Island

  1. orchidgrass says:

    that’s kinda spanish.
    ryc: very accurate description of the book. you know, i hated it the first time i read it.

  2. pradaholic says:

    Wow. Catalina looks so nice. I’m planning on going to Cali at the end of the year. Maybe I should go there.RYC: Yes, PHD. Unfortunately, I’m going to be experiencing syndromes of it until the end of the year. HAHAHA…

  3. bennykan says:

    I love pic #4. It pretty sums up where I wanna live once I am retired. LOL And how dare you took the wrong tickets? Oh my I am curious about the next episode hehe..

  4. Fatcat723 says:

    That sounds like a great trip. Catalina sounds like a relaxing place. Thanks for the pic too!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have to check out Catalina Island… sounds so relaxing.

  6. COLD STONE!  I love their Birthday Cake Remix…YUM!  And you make G such a mystery!  LOL.  I’m so curious.

  7. enRoute says:

    Oh wow, what a wonderful trip you had. I love your pictures! =)

  8. no i haven’t read any of those books but anyway wow what a LONG entry. lol. oh you went to catalina island! very nice =)

  9. m3galomaniac says:

    CHOCO-CHIP-COOKIE-DOUGH-ICE-CREAM!!!! looks like a great getaway…welcome back..

  10. abcyeung says:

    Welcome Back!!!!It looks very wonder, the trip must give you alot of good memory!!! So jealous!!!

Comments are closed.