Friday, April 27, 2012

Catalina Island

I found two videos that I wanted to share with you from San Fran before I move on to our first port on the cruise.  The first one was shot from Angel Island of the city, Alcatraz and the bridge.

This one was a cool video of a tiny crab that my camera blew up to look huge.  It was so funny watching him eat.  From where we were standing you couldn't really tell what he was doing because he's only a couple of inches big.

Our first stop on our cruise was Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles.  I heard it's the west coast Hampton's.
It is breath taking.  I loved how most people drove golf carts around the island as their mode of transportation.  I think a big reason was due to the fact that gas costs almost $8 a gallon!!

We ported in Avalon (a city of Catalina) and the first thing that stood out was this huge building called the Casino.  We found out that despite it's name it's not actually a casino.  It's a theatre, ballroom and museum.

Our excursion on this island was a glass bottom boat tour and a canyon drive.

Ryan & I about to get our boat ride on.  (I loved that old man next to us.  He slept for almost all of it even with a really loud 90 year old woman screaming at every fish she saw. Ha!)

Ryan looking at a list of potential fish we might see.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't say Catalina would be the best place to do a glass bottom boat tour.  Their water isn't very clear and the fish were pretty much all the same.  It was still fun though.

Another view of the port as we wait for our tour bus to pick us up.

Hands down the canyon drive was my favorite thing about this stop.  I loved learning about the history of the island and seeing these gorgeous views.  We learned that Mr. Wrigley (of Wrigley's gum and owner of the Cubs) used to own this island and still has a big influence over it.  Mrs. Wrigley planted a ton of Eucalyptus trees all over the island.  You can see one on the left side of this picture. 

Stopping point to snap pics of the views.

We would definitely come back here!

We saw lots of wild life including Buffalo!  Apparently, 6 (or 9?) were brought here for a movie but the film directors ran out of money and were not able to take them off the island.  So they stayed put and multiplied and are now a staple of the island.  Another funny fact is they were actually cut from the movie!
(Sorry for the white glare on this picture.  It was shot through a window.)

At the very top of the canyon was their little airport that commercial plans used to fly into.  They decided to quit doing that when they realized it took 45 minutes to drive down the canyon to the city and you could basically fly into LA and take a boat over a lot faster!

I believe private plans still fly into it though.  It was super cute and had a great little shop there that we enjoyed.  (You know I bought a little trinket!)

Their cactus garden.

And I will leave you with one last shot of a herd of Buffalo we past.  It was just too cool to see them all out in the wild like that.

I would definitely recommend visiting Catalina!  I want to go back and drive a golf cart through the town.  :)

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