Albert had never been to Catalina, so I got him a trip to the island as a birthday present several years ago. We finally got around to going last weekend and it was a blast. I had spent every Thursday for a summer on Catalina when I was singing on cruise ships, so I was quite familiar, but I had never stayed overnight on the island.
We took the huge Catalina Express ferry from Long Beach, and an hour later we were on vacation. It really feels like you’re far away from the world, even though if you squint, you can see LA. We strolled around the town of Avalon and toured the beautiful casino, which has the largest circular big band dance floor in the world. Designed in the beautiful art deco style, like Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Avalon opened in 1929 and broadcast live performances on the radio across the country. It was one of the best performance spaces of the day, and still anchors the town in nostalgia.
The town has limited cars, so most people ride golf carts or get around on foot. We hiked to the beautiful Wrigley Memorial, which looks like a stunning monument to the Greek gods, not a gum guy. There are beaches with rum bars, delicious restaurants, and everyone in town seems to be eating ice cream in waffle cones—not a bad way to spend a weekend.
Speaking of ice cream, there is an ice cream truck outside my house right now playing a familiar tune—Silent Night. First, why would they even have this song on their playlist of happy xylophone tunes? Second, it’s August, and I’m hot and confused. What’s happening?
To see more pictures of Avalon and Catalina Island, click the link below: