Weekend getaways are my favorite sort of travel.
Packing’s easier, the time away is less stressful, and as far as we know, a change in scenery never hurt anyone.
In celebration of our yearlong love, D and I went on a three-day vacay to the resort community of Avalon; the only incorporated city of Santa Catalina Island. We had never been there before, so we followed our usual M.O. – a hotel reservation, a couple changes of clothes, and no real plans. The trip, however, decided to start out a little interesting. Dana Point Harbor doesn’t like signage [I guess], so long-term parking was sort of a bitch to find, and in true Jenna fashion [yes, I’m absentminded at times], I left the car without my luggage, and by left, I mean I left my luggage sitting outside the car, realizing five minutes later “wait, where’s my luggage,” giving me the option to sprint back and retrieve it. [Wow, D must really love me.] Oh, and Catalina Express, well, Mother Nature decided our morning wasn’t entertaining enough, so we got to endure some pretty rough swells on our hour-long boat ride. The good news is D has excellent sea legs, but for me, I was a little concerned [I’ve been known to get motion sick during 3D films], but as it turned out, I can hold my own on a boat. And by the time we docked and got our luggage [yes, I did remember to grab mine], it was smooth sailing.
Man, what a fun area! I fell in love almost immediately. It was filled with small town charm, quaint shops, beachy hotels, and waterfront restaurants; and even with the weather being quite chilly, the city invited us in.
Saturday was busiest and [in my opinion] the best day of our pleasure trip. We ate the biggest clams I had ever seen at the El Galleon Restaurant. We discovered a dive bar called the Marlin Club and spent a good chunk of the afternoon there enjoying a few cocktails and listening to D’s selections from an old jukebox [he has really good taste in music]. We also enjoyed supper at the Avalon Grille, sat in our hotel’s rooftop Jacuzzi, and finished the night off with a return to the El Galleon for their Karaoke night [D even got up and sang some Jimmy Buffet]. Due to our first day excursions, we took Sunday pretty easy 🙂 lounging around most of the day, only to leave the hotel for food: breakfast at Joe’s Place where we had the worst service of my life [sadly, Yelp seems to agree with me], a carry-out pizza lunch from Antonio’s Pizzeria & Cabaret, and a delicious Italian “anniversary” supper at Ristorante Villa Portofino. After our much-needed day of rest, though, D and I were ready to hit the streets of Avalon, so we spent most of our Monday cruising around the island in a rented golf cart; their most common form of transportation. We drove along the coast, up to the highest “drivable” point, walked the Wrigley Botanical Garden, found the Zip Line Eco Tours [too high for us], and went on a journey of their most recognizable landmark, the Casino. An Art Deco lover’s dream, this twelve-story building was constructed from 1928-1929 and is a definite must see. It contains a theatre, a ballroom, and now a museum. The structure was the first of it’s kind and gets its name from the Italian language, where “casino” means a gathering place, so there’s never been any gambling [wamp, wamp, wamp]. Its murals, woodworking, and light fixtures were astounding. It’s a true classic. Once the guide wrapped up her spiel, D and I headed back to the hotel to claim our luggage and start our trek back to Carlsbad.
Catalina was the perfect destination for a romantic rendezvous. We had just the right amount of entertainment and relaxation to leave us feeling ready to return home. What can I say? There’s no permanent place for me and D without our three little monsters.
I guess I’ll need to remind myself of that next time they’re being bad 😉