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).
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!
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.
5) view from Zane Grey of Avalon at dusk; 6) the door out to the porch; 7) the pool from our own porch
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.
Other things we did on Catalina included:
- 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)
23) gorgeous flowers everywhere; 24) and huge “chicks & hens” (this was outside our room and was as big as a honeydew melon)
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.