One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is its proximity to so much natural beauty. Drive an hour south and you’ll hit the beaches of Orange County. Head east and the mountains and deserts will greet you. Make your way up north and you’ll find the majestic mountains of the Sierras. There’s never a shortage of adventures waiting around the corner.
Unlike most of the American population, my husband and I were far from relaxing, BBQ-ing and drinking this Memorial Day weekend. Instead, we were testing our mental grit summiting California’s third highest peak: Mt. San Jacinto.
I crossed off another life list item this past weekend. I attended (and survived) the second weekend of Coachellaaaaaa! It was definitely an experience of a lifetime!
Experiencing Coachella is something that I’ve always wanted to do ever since I first learned about it. The idea of having a music and arts festival in the middle of a California desert intrigued me, and I knew it was something I wanted to see in person and be a part of. When I first added it as a Life List item, I envisioned myself attending Coachella waaaaay down the road. Definitely not anytime soon. Nevertheless, the opportunity to purchase pre-sale tickets last May came along, and there was no way I could pass it up!
After 14 years of living in Southern California, I can finally say I’ve visited Catalina Island! There are a number of reasons why it took so long for me to explore this charming island merely a one hour ferry-ride away from mainland California, but at this point it doesn’t matter anymore.
We spent two days and one night on the island, which was more than enough for our purposes. We arrived early Saturday morning at the Long Beach port and rode the Catalina Express.
I must say, even with a strong stomach like mine, I found the ferry ride quite uncomfortable. The open water was so rough and wavy that I constantly felt my stomach dropping! Wave after wave after wave slammed against our vessel, making it difficult to even stand up.
Nevertheless, the ride was worth it because it felt like arriving to paradise once we docked in Avalon. We definitely got lucky escaping the gloomy and foggy weather back in the mainland!
Upon arrival, we immediately checked in at our hotel, The Catalina Island Inn, which is conveniently located in the heart of their main town center. I highly recommend staying here! Our room was clean and updated, and the staff were extremely helpful. Plus, the location is unbeatable, only a 5-minute walk from the ferry port.
We spent the next few hours relaxing [and dodging seagulls] at the beautiful Descanso Beach Club. The weather was a bit on the chilly side and the sun came out of the clouds sporadically, so getting in the water was out of the question.
Next item on the itinerary was biking! There were a few rental areas, and we scored ours for only $8 per hour! We stayed primarily in the main town since the rest of the island had steep inclines! Nevertheless, it was a fun and relaxing way to explore more of Catalina Island. Through biking, we discovered that they pretty much only have one of everything: one school (from K-12), one church, one hospital, one fire station, one gasoline station ($6.20 per gallon gas yo!) and such. We were definitely NOT in Los Angeles anymore.
We cruised all over the island, waving and saying “Hi!” and “Hello” to every one we encounter: pedestrians, other tourists, locals playing golf… and surprisingly, everyone waved back! They were so friendly. We even waved at the captain of the submarine (pictured above). He not only waved back at us, but even honked the submarine!
I definitely recommend Catalina Island for a weekend getaway for those who want to disconnect and unwind from the hustle and bustle of city life in the mainland. I am most definitely coming back!
Click play below to watch our video diary. Make sure to watch in HD!
After a few days of heavy rain storm, Southern California’s peaks finally received a much-needed helping of fresh powder. It was absolutely breathtaking. Snow truly does beautify everything it touches.
My family and I headed up the mountains early Saturday morning and surprisingly had a smooth ride up. It’s been years since my last visit to Big Bear, and I had a wonderful time with my family bob sledding and having snow ball fights! Regardless of age, snow brings out the inner kid in every one!
Thank you for reading!