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Old 06-30-2011, 09:29 PM   #46
endy
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One more day to finish packing and clean the house. Good thing tomorrow is a holiday, Canada Day.
I can't believe how quick time has flown by since I booked the flights.
Friends at work have said to take lots of pictures, after looking at the website they're envious.
Thanks Sherry and everyone who piped in with ideas of things to do. Only the zipline is booked, the rest will fall into place (I so not a planner). Oh and Cars 2 is playing at the theatre while we're there so it's on the list.

We'll have 3 full days in Anaheim. Medieval Times, get one free for my bithday month, great deal ,we've never been. Got a $10 certificate for Rainforest also Dave & Busters. So that's all our meals maybe too many. We'll hit at least one Angels game as motel is walking distance. Also Long Beach Aquarium, both hockey stores and likely the Block at Orange.

And just like that it's all over and time to come back to work. I already have our campsite booked in San Diego for 10 days in Aug.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:49 PM   #47
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Wendy -

When you have a second be sure to pop in here and let us know how the Catalina trip went - at least in a nutshell, and then you can get into more detail when you're settled in somewhere later on. Since it was the first time there for both you and your son and you stayed several days, I am curious to know what a first-timer's opinion is!
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:17 PM   #48
endy
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Just a brief comment, on the motel computer in Anaheim and waiting for the washer to finish.
Catalina - can't say anything at all other than it was great, amazing. My new favorite place. DS14 commented the first night there - if we sold everything we own we could move here. That tells you his thoughts. He also wants to go back next month when we drive down to San Diego, don't think it'll happen tho.
We did a lot, spent alot, loved every second. Weather was perfect, water was warm, saw dolphins, sharks & sea lions, buffalo, golf course is pretty nice. Motel was a great location, rooms were small.
We're at Ayres in Anaheim, love it, great free breakfast, the most comfortable beds & pillows ever.

Thanks for asking Sherry, I'll be back with more details mid-week.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:18 PM   #49
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Sherry are you close to Anaheim?
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:14 AM   #50
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Wendy - Thanks so much for checking back in to update us on your Catalina visit! I look forward to hearing many more details (when you get home) about what you did, where you ate, etc. but it sounds like it was a productive trip!

Let's see....I'm trying to guess what you did in Avalon based on what you said. I know you had the zip line booked for your son. He probably loved that. If you saw sharks, you must have done the semi-submersible tour? Seeing buffalo means you did one of the inland tours OR took one of the buses that goes all the way to Two Harbors, so you could see even more buffalo, closer-up, that way. If you saw the golf course, chances are you rented a golf cart to get there (I hope!), which means you would probably have stopped at the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens.

You didn't say anything about flying fish. Did you not do the flying fish tour? Oh, I hope you did because that one is just awesome at night! Seeing dolphins and sea lions may or may not mean that you saw them from the Catalina Express boat as you pulled into the harbor? Or did you do separate tours to see them?

I'm also sooooooooo glad to hear that you & your son have fallen in love with Catalina too (at least it sounds that way!)! It could always go either way, where one person/family comes back saying they were bored and they wanted to leave after 2 hours, OR they loved it and can't wait to go back. And when I am the one who is strongly advocating trips to Catalina, I don't want to have to duck or run for cover if someone comes back with a bad report! More often than not, most people I have introduced to Avalon end up really liking it and wanting to go back. The town just has a certain charm to it that is infectious, I think. It's both lively and peaceful at the same time.

It's really good to have some current reviews or Avalon here on the DIS, especially in this thread, for anyone out there who may be taking advantage of this Catalina Express birthday offer between now and April of next year and wants to know what to expect.

I'm not too close to Anaheim, sadly (or I'd be at Disneyland a lot more often!). To someone who doesn't live in California, where I live would probably seem close to Anaheim. But I'm in Los Angeles, about 45 minutes away from Disneyland with no traffic at all.

Enjoy the rest of your trip and be sure to tell us more when you get home!





Oh, and anyone else out there who may be lurking but who has either already done the Catalina Express birthday trip, or maybe just visited the Island for the first time, or anyone who is planning to visit Catalina in the near future - please don't hesitate to join in here and ask questions or tell us about your experiences!
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:25 PM   #51
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Catalina Express - they asked for my id to show it was my birthday. Upgraded to the lounge, not worth it, You get first boarding, 1 drink & 1 snack either a cookie or rice crackers. Didn't do it on the return trip.
We bought some tickets while waiting for the Express. The more you buy you get a discount.
Checked into motel, it was what I expected. Not great but it was clean. Location is excellent. Good thing we were on the second floor, the third floor was a long way up.
Did the flying fish tour the first night. Saw lots and it was a beautiful night.
The semi submersible was great, what a wonderful way to see the fish. The water was amazingly clear, I think it was 40-50 feet deep that you could see.
A few people mentioned not to do the glass bottom boat if you were doing the submersible.
The inland tour was pretty good. Up to the airport where they had the best oatmeal cookies I've ever had. We saw buffalo both directions, no foxes.

We rented a golf cart at the pay for 2 get 3 hours. 2 hours would've been enough as we did the loop twice. The cart was pretty wimpy and ds kept giving me a hard time about my driving.

DS went on the introductory scuba diving while I did the dolphin & sea lion trip. I loved this. You could see sharks close to shore, apparently they are the harmless ones. Tons of sea lions, lots of baby ones. And then the dolphins. Not predictable it the sightings but we saw lots.

DS loved the zip line. We watched the 4th of JUly parade. Being Canadian it was kinda neat with all the golf carts decorated.

DS went golfing which he loved.
He would've golfed a couple more times if we didn't wait til the last day And I didn't know there is a junior rate which made it a great deal.

We ate at Antonio's a few times. The chicken is delicious. Pizza ok. Peanuts in the shell - yummy. We have a big collection of their cups. The Sandtrap was pretty good for lunch.
The Von's do an excellent business. It was always busy. Breakfast was good the one time we went.

Gas is almost $7/gallon. Not that most visitors need to worry about it.

We could've spent another day on the island rather than Anaheim but I already had the boat, car & motel booked.
We did Medieval Times. Rather cheesy but it was a first for us. Went to DTD, wandered around and ate at RFC because I had $10 coupon.
Dave & Busters another first. DS loved it. We'll go back again in San Diego next month. DS discovered the Hollister store at the Block. He bought a bunch of stuff for reasonable prices.

Gardenwalk - not a big hit. Tho ds found more stuff at this Hollister store.
Both hockey stores were great as usual. Not sure why stuff is so cheap compared to here especially when most of it is made in Canada. DS bought a hockey stick for over $100 less than here.

So now we're home and I work tomorrow.

We got a new laptop too so I have to figure out how to get my pictures downloaded later this week.
I'm sure I missed more stuff that I'll remember as I look at the pictures.

All in all it was a great trip and we'll definitely go back to Catalina likely next summer.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:58 PM   #52
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Wendy -

Wow! You did do a bunch of stuff, didn't you? That's so great! I was worried that you would come back and tell me you guys were bored or had a bad time, and then I'd have to go duck under some chairs or something to avoid flying objects! But you and your son really jumped into the activities full throttle!

First of all, I am one of the ones who says that the glass bottom boat is not necessary if you take the semi-sub, so I agree with those folks who told you that. You see the fish much, much closer in the semi-sub than you do in the glass bottom boat. The only reason to take the glass bottom boat is because glass bottom boats are kind of an unusual concept and they are kind of synonymous with Avalon - but given that you said you and your son like fish, I knew the semi-sub would be the better choice!

The golf cart time limit needed seems to vary with different people. I have heard some folks say they were done with it in one hour. I tend to use every minute of my 3 hours! But it's definitely the quintessential thing to do on one's first visit to the Island! Some folks find other side streets or back roads to drive it on that they didn't know they could drive it on (I've found a few of those from time to time, which is how we saw some deer at one point). They take it out to the Casino and park, then walk out on the rocks. Some folks stop and linger at all the picturesque photo spots. Some people drive it into the hills, park and start walking. Maybe they stop at the Wrigley Memorial and study all the plants in the Botanical Garden, then the tilework, etc. Some folks use a golf cart to help them carry purchases back to their hotel if they buy groceries or souvenirs. I guess it all depends on what you do during the time you have the golf cart. But you definitely wouldn't be the first person to say that you could have been done in 2 hours!

I love Antonio's - they used to have great garlic bread. Their "Mama's Day Old Spaghetti" used to be delicious. Did you eat at the Antonio's on the water - next to Armstrong's - or the tiny one that's on one of the side streets? For some reason they have two, which makes no sense in such a tiny town.

Next time you go to Catalina, maybe you can venture beyond the airport where you can really see lots of buffalo - many of them up close. Take a Safari bus over to Two Harbors (the "other side of the island"), over the less-traveled terrain, and more buffalo come out along the side of the road. But I'm glad you got to see some on the Inland tour. I've done that tour before - though I never tried the oatmeal cookies! It was a lot of fun!

I'm so glad you did the Flying Fish tour! Wasn't it cool? That is one of those things that is only available to do for a few months out of the year, and the fish are so interesting to see at night, all aglow and flying across the water, that it's definitely a unique experience that should not be missed. Did you get the warning from the boat captain that the fish might jump into the boat? They love to warn people about that happening, and I suppose it does happen, but fortunately no wayward flying fish jumped on us when we did the tour! They said that the fish don't smell very good so I don't think I would want their icky slime on me!

Wow, so your son went scuba diving, zip lining and golfing! He must have had a blast! But really, if you're an active person and you like outdoor activities, there are tons of things to do in Avalon. There's really no shortage of things to do.

So you said the dolphin tour is the same tour as the sea lion tour? It's all one and the same tour? If so, that is a totally new thing since when I was last there. There used to be a tour called Cruise to Seal Rock, available only during the summer like the Flying Fish tour. But there was no mention of dolphins at that time. In fact, all of my dolphin sightings have been on the Catalina Express! If there is a tour that now combines dolphins, sharks and sea lions, I might have to look into that myself! I have only seen a shark on the semi-sub tour, but not from any other tour. I know the sharks come in to feed on the kelp. As long as they don't kill me, I would like to see them!

All in all, what a wonderful trip you had and I am soooooooo happy that it went well for you and your son (so I didn't have to go into hiding for recommending Catalina in the first place!), and that you plan to go back next year.

It sounds like the rest of your trip (the non-Catalina part) was pretty busy as well. Next up: San Diego, right? This is a busy summer!

I have not eaten at the RFC in Downtown DIsney in about 2-1/2 to 3 years. I used to really enjoy Rainforest but so many people have been complaining that it's not good anymore. Did you have decent food at RFC or was it bad?
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:41 AM   #53
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Coincidentally - and I did not know this when I was responding to Wendy in the above post ^^ last night - it appears to be "Catalina Week" on a little show called California's Gold, hosted by Huell Howser (more on Huell in a moment).

Tonight the local PBS channels that carry California's Gold are featuring a show all about the Wrigley Botanical Garden (which you can access on the golf cart parth). Later this week they are showing my favorite episode - all about the Flying Fish Tour. Sprinkled in there will also be episodes about the (former) Catalina Arabian Horse Ranch and something called "Bird Rock," which, if you've ever seen Bird Rock you'll know, is just a big rock in the middle of the ocean, off of the Catalina coast, and it's covered in, um......poo. Bird poo, to be exact. Hence, the name Bird Rock. But someone actually owns that rock and that family is featured on the Bird Rock installment of California's Gold.

Although they are not airing this week, in the past there have been several other Catalina episodes of California's Gold, such as the one from last year that featured the famous Casino and everything inside the Casino (including the absolutely gorgeous movie theater and the ballroom). There was also an episode about the former Cubs summer training ground on Catalina Island (the Cubs baseball team was owned by the Wrigley chewing gum family, and the Wrigleys were very involved with Catalina). And there was another episode or two featuring buffalo and some other wildlife. There have been more Catalina-related shows, too, but I am blanking out on the others.

I don't know if you all are familiar with Huell Howser, the host of California's Gold, Visiting...with Huell Howser, California's Green, California's Golden Parks, California's Water, California's Golden Fairs, Road Trip with Huell Howser, etc. - chances are, if you don't live in California you have probably never heard of Huell. And if you have heard of Huell....well, let's just say there are mixed opinions about him!

Huell Howser is a transplant from the South, and for the last 20 years or so (possibly more) he has been doing these wonderful travelogues about every possible hidden gem in California that one can find. Huell has a very exuberant, boyish approach to his interviews - which some folks find quite endearing, while others find it impossibly annoying. He can get very excited over the simple notion of a lemon tree in someone's backyard (literally), or a vernal pool full of rare critters. "Oh boy!" is a familiar expression you will hear on his show!

Huell Howser is the anti-Anthony Bourdain (of the Travel Channel). They are the good guy and the bad guy of travel television! They are polar opposites of each other on the personality/travel show host spectrum, and yet, I love both Huell and Anthony!

Huell visits mom & pop fruit stands, hair salons, tiny villages, gas stations, old forgotten Western towns, random places he runs into along the highway, the "four corners" of the state, etc. He will visit the tourist locations, too, from time to time - he has a wonderful hour-long show about the Farmers Market here in L.A., as well as shows at the L.A. Zoo, Sea World, Westwood Village, Venice Beach, Napa Valley, Golden Gate Bridge, etc. - but his show mainly features the people and places in California that you would never know about otherwise. He is more interested in, say, the local doughnut shop owner or soap maker who has been there for 50 years than he is in which celebrities are spotted shopping and dining in Beverly Hills.

Oddly, Huell has never done a show about Disneyland - and there has been a lot of buzz about why he has chosen not to. It can't only be the 'tourist' angle that turns him off, because, as I mentioned, he has done shows at other tourist locations around California. He always finds some aspect of a familiar location to highlight that is new and unknown to the general public, whether it's boring or not. So I don't understand why Huell has never ventured to Disneyland to do a show about some of the 'hidden gems' we all know and love here on the DIS! There are plenty of 'off-the-beaten-path' elements to DLR that could make for wonderful segments on California's Gold. He could do a show about the flowers, the windows on Main Street, the weather vanes, the topiaries, the Imagineers, etc.

And...to boot, people have said that they've seen Huell Howser at the Grand Californian Hotel before, so it's not like he is anti-Disney! For some reason - perhaps becase of legal limitations imposed by Disney?? - he avoids Disneyland at all costs. Apparently, when Huell has been asked about his lack of Disney programming, he is evasive and sketchy in his answers. So I am assuming Disney must have wielded their mighty power and restricted filming by Huell's production company - or charged a hefty fee of some kind....because I know there are aspects of Disneyland, California Aventure and the 3 hotels that are lesser known and would work perfectly on a California's Gold segment. There is a lot of material in the Disneyland well to tap into - lots of historical elements - and it's not the typical tourist-slanted stuff.

In any case, catch some of Huell Howser's charming Catalina Island shows this week on PBS! The Flying Fish show (which airs Thursday, I think) and the Wrigley Botanical Garden show which airs tonight are both really interesting snapshots of two major aspects of nature, flora and fauna in Avalon!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:12 PM   #54
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Thanks Sherry. You have such good information.
I'll have to see if we get the show on our channels. Sounds interesting.

It was a 1 hour do lphin/sea lion trip, $38. Seeing the sharks and dolphins really made it worthwhile. Apparently they don't always see the dolphins. You get tickets at the same place as the diving. It's right beside the golf carts on the road from the Express. I didn't hear bird rocke mentioned but we saw a few white covered rocks. This trip goes to the south of the island.
snorkellingcatalina.com

Did you know they're shipping rock from the south end on barges over to build the new piers at Long Beach. Guess it's better than having all the extra truck traffic on the freeways. Two barges were already on their way and two more being loaded when we went by.

I'd love to go to Two Harbours next time. Funny you mention that - when we checked in at the airport the woman who took our luggage has a son working there. She goes often to see him and do some hiking.

We ate at the Antonios on the water but didn't sit outside. They give you in the shell peanuts inside. Someone local also recomended the day old spaghetti, we should've tried it.

DS wants to go to the WAP next month because they have a zipline too. I've created a very expensive kid.

I forgot we also did a segwag tour, very fun. I'd like to be able to just rent them without having to do a tour. They do a tour that goes up the hills which sounded fun but more money.

I found a flyer on our last day where you can do a introductory demo flight. That might be fun to try next time. $179 for two people and you have to get to the airport on your own. Not too bad considering the scuba and zipline are over $100 each.
DS wanted to try the jetski but he's to young to go on his own and it was pretty pricey.

The sea trek looked interesting but also pricey. I'd heard that you can't really go thru the kelp beds because of the air tubes.

Do you know the condo fees at Hamilton Cove are $900 a month. Wow that's a killer. But they all have an ocean view.

I really hope more people will get a chance to discover the peacefulness of Catalina this summer.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:06 PM   #55
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They have Segway tours on Catalina??!!!! That is such a perfect match for the island! I Segways! I just did a Segway tour on Balboa with DD12 last week. Just checked out the Catalina Segway website and I will definitely be putting this on the list to do next time we are over there!

DH and his crew just returned from Catalina last weekend. They said the water was pretty warm -- 68-70 while SCUBA diving as long as you stayed above the thermocline (40 feet-ish).

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Old 03-18-2012, 11:11 AM   #56
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I got so caught up in my Disneyland Halloween and Christmas trip plans last year that I realized I forgot to give an update about my Catalina trip in my own Catalina thread! (What a great moderator I am, huh?)

Well, long story short...I ended up having to cancel my free birthday Catalina trip last year, very sadly. I hated having to do it - I literally felt ill when I had to call and cancel the boat reservation. And you all know how much I love Catalina!

There were a few reasons I didn't go - one of them being that my very good friend from Georgia was in town and I only get to see her once every 2 or 3 years. She and her family wanted to come along on the Catalina trip and join me. The thing was, I had my heart set on a solo trip because that's the only way I can really get a lot of photos - and get good photos. When I am rushing or distracted or busy with other people, my picture-taking suffers. There are 5 of them in their family and I knew it would be hectic. But...I wanted to be free to see my friend and she didn't have any other day when she could see me.

Plus, because my birthday was on a Thursday in 2011, this meant that the latest possible return time I could get from Avalon back to Long Beach would have been 7:30 p.m. or something like that. I was determined to get Avalon sunset photos from particular locations - and if I had to line up at the boat terminal at 6:45 p.m., I knew I wouldn't get them or I would be rushing through them. Also, in case I wanted to do the Flying Fish tour, I would not be able to do it before I left.

So it all just got to be too confusing and overwhelming to deal with and I just bowed out, assuming it was not in the cards for me to go - even with the free birthday pass.


And then.......



To my utter delight and surprise, I just learned 2 days ago that Catalina Express has extended the free birthday offer through April 2013!!!




Happy dance! Happy dance! Happy dance!!




I get a second chance!!

Not only that, but I also think that people who have already claimed their free birthday boat trip last year or early this year can claim it a second time!! I could be wrong on that, but Catalina Express has not indicated that if you already used it once you cannot use the free offer again. I have not seen any fine print to state otherwise.

This means that, most likely, even if you already took advantage of the free boat trip last year, you can do it a second time (as long as it is before the end of April 2013).

I actually wrote to Catalina Express a couple of months ago and asked them if there was any chance of them renewing the free boat offer for another year (Disneyland did not extend their free birthday offer so why would Catalina Express, I thought). I was told to check back in early March for any news or new deals.

Two days ago, on the Catalina Express Facebook page, they broke the news of the second year of the deal.

This time, I am making it work, no matter what - and this year, my birthday is on a Saturday in peak season (Summer), so this means I can leave Avalon as late as 9:45 p.m. and/or do the Flying Fish tour if I want to!!!




So I highly, highly, highly recommend a visit to Catalina to anyone who has not been there - it is a fantastic day trip. It's beautiful. There are flying fish. You see dolphins on the way to the Island. There are buffalo in the interior of the Island. If you like seafood, there is a lot of that. There are plenty of activities to do if you are active. It's also a great place to just sit and people watch or soak in the atmosphere.

Plus, the boat fare is now $70.50, so getting a free round-trip ride is not too shabby!!

Here is the link to the free boat trip offer (more information can be found on Page 1, Post #1 of this thread):


http://www.catalinaexpress.com/birthday_promo.php


Be sure to order your free 2012 Catalina Island Vistors Guide (this is a magazine that is put out every year, and the Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Bureau will mail it out to you for free) to get an idea of what you can do while on the Island!!




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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:26 PM   #57
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What a great update Sherry.
Really hope you get to go this year.
I was wondering where to go in July. If I can find cheap flights we're going to Catalina again.
I'll sign up for the birthday deal again.
I check their website quite often just to look at the webcams.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #58
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Sherry, I'm just so sorry to hear that you had to cancel your birthday trip to Catalina last year, but thrilled to know that you'll have another chance!!! The Express offer isn't extended far enough to cover my birthday in 2013, but you know how much I love the Flyer. So then I'd have to choose between free Express or the $$$ Flyer. Hmmm . . . I really love the Flyer from the Balboa Fun Zone THAT MUCH! Anyway, I'll really look forward to your updates and photos!

Wendy, thanks for your report! We're really looking forward to ziplining on our next visit! And I do love Catalina on the 4th of July. I think if I looked in the attic, I could find the Catalina Island 4th of July t-shirt I bought 22 years ago.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:19 PM   #59
Sherry E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endy View Post
What a great update Sherry.
Really hope you get to go this year.
I was wondering where to go in July. If I can find cheap flights we're going to Catalina again.
I'll sign up for the birthday deal again.
I check their website quite often just to look at the webcams.
Wendy
Wendy -

I hope you and your son can make another Catalina trip this year! At least now you have been there once and you know what to expect, you know the things you enjoyed, you know the things that you would or would not do again, etc.

I still have not seen any small print anywhere on the Catalina Express website to indicate that the people who used the free offer last year cannot use it again this year, unless they added something in since I last checked. When they first posted the news about the renewal, there was nothing that outlined any limitations.

Were you able to sign up a second time for the free offer?

I know what you mean about the webcams! When I think of it, I like to check out a couple of the webcams as well! For some strange reason, it brings me comfort to check in and see a live feed from Avalon!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pixarmom View Post
Sherry, I'm just so sorry to hear that you had to cancel your birthday trip to Catalina last year, but thrilled to know that you'll have another chance!!! The Express offer isn't extended far enough to cover my birthday in 2013, but you know how much I love the Flyer. So then I'd have to choose between free Express or the $$$ Flyer. Hmmm . . . I really love the Flyer from the Balboa Fun Zone THAT MUCH! Anyway, I'll really look forward to your updates and photos!

Wendy, thanks for your report! We're really looking forward to ziplining on our next visit! And I do love Catalina on the 4th of July. I think if I looked in the attic, I could find the Catalina Island 4th of July t-shirt I bought 22 years ago.
pixarmom -

Thank you so much! I am thrilled to have the second chance at the Express' free birthday offer, too.

I can't quite explain it, but last year just didn't seem to be in the cards. I don't think it was meant to be, or the timing was not right or something. I had the plan in motion. I had made my boat reservation. I was prepared to do a Thursday trip to Avalon. And then I realized that the latest boat return time I could get at night was like 7:30. I wanted something later than that. On Summer weekends, the Express has boats that leave Avalon at 9:30 p.m. and sometimes later than that. Having that extra 2 hours makes all the difference to me. I figured that, since I had not been there in sooo long, I wanted to take the earliest boat out to the Island (at 6:30 a.m. or whenever it is) and the latest possible boat back. But Thursdays are limited in terms of boat times (not as limited and infrequent as the Flyer, but limited).

And then there was the issue of my very dear out of state friend (who I only get to see every few years) being in town. She and her family (all 5 of them) wanted to join me in Avalon for my birthday, which was so sweet and thoughtful. The thing was, my idea of what I wanted to do involved a lot of roaming around and taking photos, since I had not been to Catalina in years. If I had been there more recently or more often, I would not have minded having friends with me in Avalon. In fact, I have had many wonderful, fun, lively trips to Catalina with lots of different friends.

But this was going to be more like a 'mission.' I cannot take a lot of photos if I am with people. I wanted to get a bunch of photos so I can start the Catalina Superthread I have been talking about. So I would either have to abandon the photo idea and fully focus on my friends, who I had not seen in a few years, or abandon them and go off to shoot thousands (literally) of photos. I knew there was no way I could abandon my friends. But then their little boy got ill and they were not going to be able to go anyway, and at that point I had just kind of resigned myself to the fact that a 2011 Catalina visit was not meant to be, for several reasons.

You know, a couple of other friends of mine who live in Orange County have a friend who lives in Hamilton Cove on Catalina. A couple of years ago they had asked me if I would be interested in joining them at their friend's Hamilton Cove condo during the off-peak season. I said yes, but, of course, when they finally went to stay there, did they bring me? No!
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**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014

Last edited by Sherry E; 04-14-2012 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:48 PM   #60
endy
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Yes Sherry, I did sign up again for the Express and got the email for the free birthday trip. Now if only I could find a deal on flights and a motel. The motels seem to be higher than last year. I've considered camping but now sure about flying and it's the 4th of July again so camping may be full.

My ds15 said he would go again. He loved the golfing.

On the Catalina site there are deals for all day and two day passes to do lots of activities with good savings. There are still a few things we'd like to do.

Sherry I have pictures if you get a thread going. I'll have to figure out how to load and are nowhere close to professional. And I hear you about going alone - nothing wrong with that. Catalina would be a great place to wander on your own and take in the sights. I could totally see myself going alone for a few days and loving it.

Got the tourist book and it's already covered in drool.
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