Mini-Vacation: Catalina Island

Let me start by saying I’d never been to Avalon, Catalina before this trip. I’d been to Newport once before for a whale watching excursion, but had never ventured beyond. My boyfriend’s mom planned a girls’ trip for her and her coworkers and invited us to join them on their last night. We made it to Newport just in time for dinner, where we stopped at a restaurant called Quiet Woman.

Day One:

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We made it just in time for Taco Tuesday, where the restaurant offered a $12 two-taco plate, half-off select appetizers, and $5 margaritas. I ordered the sirloin tacos and my boyfriend ordered the swordfish; we traded one of each and oh my word the swordfish was so good. We also ordered a plate of calamari, having heard it was the best in town. Everyone who took a bite claimed it was the best they’d ever had. It wasn’t your typical calamari. They must have had a calamari steak, then cut it into strips, because these pieces were bigger than any I’d seen before. Each piece seemed to melt in your mouth, with a slight crunch from the crust. 10/10 would order again.

A side note – the restaurant’s logo includes a headless woman. Some of their artwork is a little gory in this theme, but it’s definitely interesting.

Day Two: 

An early morning. We woke up in the hotel couch-bed at around 6:30 AM to get ready for our day. We were supposed to be at the ferry around 8 AM, but knew they wouldn’t be leaving until 9. I used Waze to direct me as I drove my boyfriend and his mom, until we hit a mini-ferry and weren’t sure we were in the right place. At this point, we were cutting it close. It was 8:40 and to drive around the bay would take an additional 25 minutes. The man in charged swore he could get us there in 2. We paid $4 and were on our way, arriving at the Catalina ferry right on time. We met up with the other ladies and enjoyed a 1.5 hour boat ride to Catalina (I took a nap).

Upon arrival, I can tell you I was stunned. The weather was gorgeous, the water was a beautiful deep blue, and the town was thriving. We walked for awhile, up and down each side street, checking out the shops. We stopped at a small restaurant – forgive me, I can’t remember the name – and I had fish and chips. They were meh.

Next we decided to go on a golf cart tour, on which we rented a golf cart and followed a route pre-drawn on the map provided. It was glorious. My boyfriend and I sat facing the rear of the cart, so we got a backwards view of everything, but it was wonderful. The wind was lovely on my face, I had the sun on my feet, and I got some pretty great views.

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After the tour, we decided to head over to the Casino, which we were excited to check out. Upon arriving, having walked rather far and not having much time before the ferry left for the day, we were eager to get in and at the very least get a good look. All of the doors were locked. People were staring at us. Finally, one of the women I was with asked a ticket boother if the casino was closed. She informed us that “it’s named after the Italian word ‘casino’ which means ‘gathering place.'” We had trekked to a ballroom and theater, not a gambling haven.

We trudged back to the ferry, and boarded reluctantly. We’d had such a great day, great weather, great company. My boyfriend and I took his mother to the airport upon arrival back in Newport, then headed home.

Would I go back? Probably not. I think we got a pretty good feel for the island. Would I recommend it to others? Definitely! Just make sure the weather is nice!

 

 

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